By Tanya Shrivastava, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun.
Shuffling through the newspaper in the morning and reading the news which never seems to be anymore, every lazy eye must have been taken aback by the news reading: Delhi Law Minister Tomar’s UG degree fake, reveals RTI query. But this halt will not last long, because this is certainly not the first time that the Indian Politics is walking all over our expectations. Be it the “cry of attention” acts of the ultimate Aam Aadmi to the recent drama fiascos of the ex- Chief Minister of Bihar, Politics introduces a new chapter to us each day. Great Politicians missing out on opportunities to the corrupted ones getting new ones, everywhere we look, each situation is more entertaining than a Zoya Akhtar’s movie plot.
The only difference being, the people of the Country have to live with these regular skits. So, the present shock was a momental one. The Delhi Law Minister, Jitender Singh Tomar, later accepted the accusations and confirmed that his degrees, both B Sc. and LLB., were, in fact, fake and were received by him through two agents because he was not a bright student but had an immense interest in Politics. To join the party, he needed degrees so he opted for the short way, which is always available in India, he bought fake degrees. The High Court issued notice to the minister directing him to file counter-affidavit before May 17 on the plea of BJP leader Nand Kishore Garg, who had fought the assembly polls earlier this year against him. And has also directed the authorities concerned to preserve all the documents filed during assembly polls by Tomar, who contested from Aam Aadmi Party’s ticket, after Garg, the then candidate from BJP, contended that the law minister is presently an influential person and may destroy the documents from the custody of the poll panel.
According to the site of Delhi Government, the Department of Law, Justice & Legislative Affair’s major function is to tender legal advice on variety of issues referred to by various departments of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and also perform consultative role in regard to proposals for legislations, framing of statutory rules/regulations, notifications, byelaws and finalization of important MOUs etc. And without the knowledge the whole party, this office was being presided by someone who has never even been to a law school, let alone had an excessive knowledge of law. Does this indicate the standard of these departments? Because it has been more than four months since he was sworn as a Cabinet Minister in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
To contest in elections, one has to submit affidavit writing down his whole life in it. It includes all the assets, liabilities, general information, criminal records, information on Tax and Educational Qualifications. We have come across a plenty of cases of fabrications in these affidavits. But a post that is supposed to have been occupied by a highly educated and qualified person was being carried out by a person who has never even gone to college and the most disturbing thing is that he was successfully running his office since the last four months. This does not at all justify the other fabrications and these incidents reflects how there is always a scope of improvement in our Election system.
This case brought out many issues that we avoid talking about, either due to lack of documents or due to the involvement of significant people in the same. Like the fake degree supply. If it is possible for a Law Minister to forge a Law degree, then how difficult can it be for an insignificant someone to live their whole life with one? This is a classic example of the unfairness faced by Indians. A lot of deserving candidates lose their chance every day as a result of this unruliness. This is considered to be the basic origin of crime and corruption.
Incidents like these further deviates the people’s faith from Politics, resulting, the desirable future candidates to repel from it. It supports the common notion amongst people that Politics is not a place for sane persons. There was a flood of posts and tweets when this news first came up. Discussing about problems is always better than maintaining a hush, but, is it the only solution available. There can be many responses of a situation like this, either we can move on and wait for another similar incident to have something to discuss on the dinner table, to be active and protest and thus, fight for the change or to be the change ourselves. I would not say that any of these responses are inappropriate, since everyone has their own part to play in the society but one thing that is required is that there is a need of awareness and everyone should be free and have the support to choose whichever option they want to opt.