Hi, When Did You
Come From Jail?
by B.Someswar Rao
Anyone who has spent some time in jail now is ashamed of the fact and would try to hide it, but there was a time – during the struggle for Independence – when it was a plus point. In fact certificates were obtained from jai authorities and the Congress government that replaced the British even paid a ‘freedom fighters pension’ that enhanced the value of such certificates. Very very few rejected the pension saying they did not go to jail for getting money. And some were so poor that they lived on it and had to go to court when it was denied — or pretend to be.
It was even alleged, after BJP came to power, that the colonial power provided to the Congress many facilities denied to other prisoners At least they were physically and medically safer there than outside.
There was a joke about a CM and leader of the Opposition who were on an inspection visit together. A school they went to asked for a grant of ₹50 lakhs but the CM gave only five lakhs Then they visited a jail where the superintendent asked for $5 laks for sime amenities. The CM, sanctioning ₹50 lakhs, suggested sime more, Asked by his rival he explained: You and I never went to a school añd never will. But bith if us will go to jail.
The jail is where most politicians deserve to be. That is the political culture developed by the Congress which ruled India for more years than others.
Like fashions, where old styles stage a come back, we have come to a stage where stigma is no more attached to jail. Top police and IAS officers, a ruling deputy chief minister like Sisodia of Delhi and industrialists have been jailed. We have come a full circle from the freedom struggle days. It is fashionable to be jailed. The day may not be far off when politicos may demand it saying they would be considered useless otherwise There are many parties and when one of them is in power its main job, next to distribution of freebies, is filing cases against rivals aa in Andhra. In fact almost all politicians in India have cases filed against them.
So don’t be shocked when you are greeted next with, “,Hi, When did you come from jail?”