Nehru’s India has Become One Where Half of MPs Are Rape and Murder Accused: Singapore PM

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Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Singapore Prime Minister Loong briefly refers to a dilution of democratic ideals in India under Nehru to what it is today

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong invoked India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru while speaking on how high ideals and noble values on which most countries were founded and how succeeding generations often find it hard to sustain this momentum and drive.

He was speaking on how democracy should work in the city-state during a passionate debate in Parliament.

While mentioning India Singapore Prime Minister apparently drew parallel between Jawaharlal Nehru’s India with Modi’s India saying that how over decades things have changed. He mentioned how the David Ben-Gurions, the Jawaharlal Nehrus came through the crucible of fire and emerged as leaders of men and nations.

“Most countries are founded and start off on the basis of high ideals and noble values. But more often than not, beyond the founding leaders and the pioneer generation, over decades and generations, gradually things change,” Lee said on Tuesday during the debate on the Committee of Privileges’ report on complaints about untruths told by former Workers’ Party lawmaker Raeesah Khan, reports PTI.

“Things start off with passionate intensity. The leaders, who fought for and won independence, are often exceptional individuals of great courage, immense culture, and outstanding ability. They came through the crucible of fire and emerged as leaders of men and nations. They are the David Ben-Gurions, the Jawaharlal Nehrus, and we have our own too,” he said.

Imbued with enormous personal prestige, they strive to meet the high expectations of their peoples to build a brave new world, and shape a new future for their peoples, and for their countries. But beyond that initial fervour, succeeding generations often find it hard to sustain this momentum and drive, Lee said, according to the report.

The texture of politics changes, respect for politicians declines. After a while, the electorate comes to think this is the norm, and you cannot expect better. So, standards get debased, trust is eroded, and the country declines further, Singapore prime minister added.

Many political systems today would be quite unrecognisable to their founding leaders, said the PM.

“Ben-Gurion’s Israel has morphed into one which can barely form a government, despite four general elections in two years. Meanwhile, a stream of senior politicians and officials in Israel face a litany of criminal charges, some have gone to jail,” he said.

“While Nehru’s India has become one where, according to media reports, almost half the MPs in the Lok Sabha have criminal charges pending against them, including charges of rape and murder. Though it is also said that many of these allegations are politically motivated,” Lee said.

Lee Hsien Loong, 70, exhorted succeeding generations to protect and build upon the system that Singapore has inherited so that Singapore can continue to flourish.

“This requires us to uphold integrity, enforce rules and standards, apply the same rules equally to everyone, make sure nobody is above the law. If we can do that – consistently, persistently, unflinchingly – then we have a shot at making things work. People can trust our leaders, our systems, and our institutions.

But if we allow ourselves to slacken – loosen standards here, just a bit; overlook a lie there, just this time – the virtuous cycle will stutter and start to fail,” he said.

Meanwhile, India has taken umbrage at remarks by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who said, “Nehru’s India has become one where, according to media reports, almost half the MPs in the Lok Sabha have criminal charges pending against them, including charges of rape and murder. Though it is also said many of these allegations are politically motivated.”

Sources here said the remarks by the Singapore PM were uncalled for and India is taking up the matter with the Singapore side. But there was no confirmation if the Foreign Office had summoned the High Commissioner of Singapore to formally register its objections, according to The Tribune, India.

— With inputs from PTI

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Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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