Sunday, 30 November 2008

Men of Honour

Just as educated Indians often preserve standards of English grammar and diction that would make a native Brit sound pedantic or even archaic, so it would seem that old-fashioned notions of public accountability and honour recognisable from pre-war England also survive in the Subcontinent. Thus today we learn that India's Home Secretary and national security adviser have resigned in the face of widespread concern over the Bombay massacre. I've no idea whether they are personally at fault for any mistakes that may have been made in handling the situation; doubtless blame will be apportioned following an inquiry. But it's remarkable that the ministers didn't wait for any official process before accepting responsibility. What a contrast to events in Britain, where the government has persistently refused to allow a full public inquiry into the terrorist bombings of July 2005, and our own pitiful Home Secretary actively seeks to disclaim any responsibility for the actions of an increasingly politicised police.

A ministerial resignation such as those in India is virtually unimaginable here. I wonder why.

2 comments:

valdemar squelch said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the last 'big' resignation Lord Carrington, re: the Falklands? And of course he wasn't an elected MP. (It could also be argued he wasn't really responsible, given that military intelligence - under the PM(?) - must have screwed up very badly.)

Anonymous said...

The Indian ministers offering their resignations have not done so of their own accord nor out of any sense of moral duty. They have each been either forced into doing so by their party or shamed into doing so by the public.