A retired police officer who, by virtue of being the first woman IPS officer, was unfortunately treated like a celebrity as soon as she joined the service. In her new avatar as social activist, she is associated with a number of NGOs.
As in most cases, the Magsaysay Award conferred on her served as the critical passport to her post-retirement stardom. She began to be invited for talks and seminars on issues concerning corruption and character.
It is another matter that she is known to have made no difference to corruption while she served in the police.
She was convinced that that she deserved no less than business class air travel for her lecture and seminar tours. Her sponsors always gave in.
But she invariably travelled economy class, that too by availing 75 per cent concession entitled to her by virtue of being the recipient of President's Gallantry Medal.
Nevertheless, she submitted the wrong invoice and received money for a business class ticket. The difference in amount in some travels was as much as five times.
Now when the misdoings have been discovered, she is making the preposterous, rather disastrous plea that the superfluous money she made was for the purposes of her NGO. Her patriotic heart had no qualms about bleeding other organizations to benefit her own.
The basic reason for humans with corrupt proclivities is that they are selfish in their make and have little concern for their fellow humans and countrymen.
To serve is not their motive. Such people invoke the interest of some organisation or the country to camouflage their misdeeds. They are no different from politicians who siphon off money in the name of party funds, which in the same vein as the case under question should be considered perfectly legitimate.
Regrettably, this kind of fudging of bills is rampant amongst civil servants. The lady in question seems to have persisted with the tendency after retirement and temptation got the better of her notwithstanding her current national and international prominence as one of the key members of Team Anna.
The lady is none other than Kiran Bedi.
Can she be a role model to the youth in this country?
The moot question is that if Anna Hazare cannot get three or four people of integrity in his core team, what would be the fate of Lok Pal?R S N Singh in SifyNews. Here
The problem is not of institutions, it is about 'we the people of India'. It is easy to rally masses and build mob hysteria by creating class enemies.
There will be no change until there is a sagacious leader who has the moral temerity to appeal and challenge the conscience of the people at large.
This appeal to purge individual and collective propensities to corruption will only smite our conscience if it is truly non-violent, all-encompassing and free of prejudice in its import.
Anna's movement, though non-violent in tangible terms, unfortunately smacks of implied intimidation, retribution and violence.