It has almost become common for us to hear about some public figures, or their sons, behaving like brats in full public view and their 'heroism' being caught on camera. In almost every case, there is hardly any condemnation from the senior political masters – making any lay person to assume that the silence means either condoning or justifying the reprehensive statements or actions. This scenario is not confined to any one political party and may occur in any state.

This is amazing since many persons who owe their present political existence to Lord Rama, are going against the very principles that Rama stood. The act of banishing Sita to the forest was prompted by the consideration that the family of the rulers should not be the subject of public gossip. Yes, the Lord knew that his wife was chaste and innocent, but he gave heed to one isolated accusation. Can our present day rulers ensure that those close to them are always at their best behaviour?

Today, when our public representatives assume office, their oath contains a statement like an allegiance to the Constitution of India and not falling prey to evils like nepotism and favouritism. Maybe it is time that their oaths include promises like ensuring that their kith and kin do not exploit their (the representatives') power and position.

It is said that when Rajaji was the Governor General of India, one of his relatives came to Delhi for a UPSC interview. The great man asked the youngster to come to him only after the interview. The logic: "Some interviewer is bound to ask, 'Where are you staying now?' If you mention my official residence, the board members may assume that you are related to me. I do not want you to be selected based on your association with me, but on your performance in the interview." Can we find similar instances now?

Minister convoy
A convoy of security vehicles take part in a rehearsal for a road show ahead of the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Ahmedabad, India, January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Amit DaveReuters

Today, our present ruling dispensation takes great pains to claim that it has dispensed with the 'red light' system on the cars of the ministers, but has it been able to curb the red light culture of the VIP brats? In most instances, we find cases of road rage. Even a school child is quite knowledgeable about the rudimentary traffic rules; then with what authority are the offspring of some of the VIPs demanding that they be given a free reign on public roads?

More than the display of arrogance in public by such characters, what is shocking is the reluctance of most of the party seniors to condemn such acts. The most common response seems to be: 'The matter is being investigated.' A possible reason for such a deafening silence may be the fear of public admission of guilt and the negative publicity for the party. If one views the issue dispassionately, one will find that open condemnation of such offences can greatly enhance the reputation of the particular political party as one that truly believes in the rule of law and that no one is above the law.