Our corruption and theirs
- Breaking: Navy officer dies on board INS Kolkata off Mumbai
- Subrata Roy to remain in Tihar, Supreme Court calls Sahara's proposal "dishonourable"
- Arvind Kejriwal stopped on way to meet Narendra Modi
- Modi's next round of Chai pe charcha doesn't have police permission yet
- SC issues notice to Centre on Kiran Reddy's PIL against creation of Telangana
As a sociologist, I respect the salience of cultural identities of various sorts. But the French Revolution taught us something when it privileged the "citizen" as the key actor in modern democracy. It is not the colour or caste of corruption that we should be proclaiming, but the need to recognise corruption for what it is, where it is, and by whoever it is, as being an immoral and unethical way to make one's material fortune. Talking about corruption in terms of group identities, or even formulaic class identities ("from the wrong side of the tracks"), is a lazy way of reading India's new reality.
Nevertheless, I defend Ashis Nandy's right to express his opinions. If we don't agree with him, we should counter his views with our own — this being the only way forward for a civilised democracy. And Ashis Nandy does have the courage of his convictions, strange though they often may be.
The writer teaches at IIT Delhi