Shameful! Encashing Disability



Our social values are down in the dumps.

I spent Sunday watching Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid, Arvind Kejriwal and some scribes in a heated verbal duel over the central grants to an NGO engaged in the distribution of aid to physically disabled people in 17 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

The rising tempers and veiled threats on channels is becoming the order of the day. The decency of language is also a thing of the past nowadays –it pays to be louder, to be intemperate. We have learnt to tolerate expressions like ‘Shut up’, ‘I will see you in the court’, ‘Mango men in banana republic.’

What shocked me was the disability on display! First it was Salman and his wife Louise Khurshid who presented a guy with hearing disability, a beneficiary of their yeoman’s services.

The manner in which people with disability were showcased by the warring groups in defence of their contentions was obnoxious. The few that I saw on television looked so vulnerable, so innocent to even understand the intense drama that was going on. They came straight from the village, dumbstruck by the glitterati present.

The minister presented a guy with hearing disability. The fact that he was hard of hearing was drummed up before his innocent statement that as the machine (referring to the hearing aid) kept developing faults, I thought I will get another. So I denied I had received any hearing aid at the camp. All present there, including the minister, burst into a celebratory laughter as if they had hit a jackpot. As they clapped, the vulnerable old man looked confused.

The minister was trying to convince the media about the honesty with which their trust had organised camps to disburse aid and equipment to the disabled.

Next day it was Kejriwal’s turn to rebut the minister’s claim. So he got a couple of disabled from somewhere who in their innocence kept talking about their disability before the demanded quote, “I did not get anything at the camp.”

It’s sad when we use someone’s disability to prove our innocence or paint someone corrupt. It is more heinous a crime to encash someone’s disability as we are playing with sentiments.

I wish they, Salman and Arvind Kejriwal, had more compassion to use the disabled as props in their on-going battle. I was wondering why Salman is so disturbed when he has ministers like Beni Prasad Verma to defend him. What’s wrong with the Congress?

How can the ministers get away with statements like, “ Salman is a central minister and has been one earlier as well. When he is saying there is no scam, he should be believed—-. I don’t think a person like Khurshid will do anything for a trivial amount like Rs. 71 lakhs. It is a very small amount for a central minister. If it would have been Rs. 71 crore, I would have taken it more seriously.” Have they fixed any benchmark?

How shameful.

Still shameful is the silence of the party high command.

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