By Vidya Bhushan Rawat
The Delhi High Court has asked its registrar to take police’s help in getting N.D.Tiwari’s blood sample for his DNA test which will decide about his paternity issue with Rohit Shekhar, a resident of Delhi who has filed a case against Tiwari in the Delhi High Court. Tiwari has been trying to avoid the entire issue, has played delaying tactics and has given different arguments against the case. N.D. Tiwari is claiming that his integrity must be respected as he is a freedom fighter, was chief minister of Uttar-Pradesh and Uttarakhand, former governor of Andhra Pradesh besides being member of highest decision making body of the Congress party. Fortunately, no one has any doubt about his political integrity as well as administrative accomplishment. But the case has been filed by a person who felt he has suffered enormously of living life of humiliation and ignominy because of not being able to get name of his father legally.
Rohit Shekhar in his petition alleged that N.D.Tiwari was his actually fathered him and promised his mother that he would accept him in due time. Unfortunately Tiwari did not do so and as an aggrieved son he has every right to get justice from the court so that he can legitimately get his father’s name. Rohit says that he is not really bothered about his father’s property and has confined his case to the paternity issue only. However, once the case is decided, it is bound to open numerous other cases of property rights and the rights of children of unmarried couples.
N.D. Tiwari life style has been well known to people in the political circles. He was compelled to resign as governor of Andhra Pradesh in Hyderabad after a sting operation carried out by a local TV channel when he was having ‘fun’ with women in the Raj Bhavan. He came back unceremoniously and was looking for political revival which did not happen according to his plans. Even when he is over 80, Tiwari recently felt that he could still lead the Congress Party in Uttarakhand and threw his hat for the chief minister ship.
Everybody including political leaders and those holding responsible positions too has right to privacy including right to enjoy sex on mutual consent but not at the cost of exchequer. Media off late has been using the sex life of the political class as spicy stories to increase its TRPs which is a clear infringement of personal liberty of a human being guaranteed in all the international covenants and our constitution under fundamental rights. There is a need to understand that politicians and celebrities too have personal lives and it should not become a ‘national’ issue unless there are matter of propriety and unconstitutional behavior. This question cannot be handled through the lens of morality as one person’s morality may not be the same for other. It is essential for us to look such issues from the wider angle of secular democratic constitution and fundamental right to life according to your choice.
Hence it is not proper to write about Tiwari and his personal life. But the issue raised by Rohit Shekhar exposes the nature of dominance of our elite class including politicians and celebrities in taking sexual favors from people under false pretexts. Though the matter is still in the court and Tiwari has not been declared as an offender but the way he has been trying to violate the court’s order and playing delaying tactics show the thick skin of a politician who uses every trick under the sun to thwart the law. However, the court has realized this and has become equally adamant. All avenues of Tiwari to delay his case seems to have finished and it is a sad commentary on this affair that even after Supreme Court’s dismissing his petition that high court has to intervene and order the registrar of the court to bring him to Delhi for collection of his blood sample for DNA test.
The contradiction of private and public life of the political elite occurs because of political compulsions in democracy. Politics is based on majority opinion and politicians are not social reformers where you have to stand with a single person even if you have to face an adverse society. In fact, most of the time they play to the gallery and speak complete rhetoric to keep their ‘people’ happy even when their action violate the infringement of individual rights. Therefore what is considered ‘immoral’ in social life will always be ‘immoral’ in political life. Unfortunately, our body does not accept these ‘immoral’ acts as there are needs of human lives. The politicians will always condemn our ‘body’ needs as immoral and that is why they often play the ‘moral’ guardians of our society despite their own personal contradictions with it. Now with more media scrutiny these things are opening in public life and taking a dangerous shape. It is good to expose people who have the contradictory life style but definitely TV cameras and sting operation in your bed room would be the last thing that we should afford. It is catastrophe to the nation and society.
No child is illegitimate as creation and recreation happen through a natural process. It is clear that a new human being is born only after we consummate. There is no other process. Marriage has legalized the sex and legitimized the children born later but there are other realities of our lives too. It is that people have sex beyond marriage too and children are born outside the marriage too. While in the western societies, children outside the marriage has been accepted , we still have not yet convinced of that despite the fact that children are aborted and couples particularly girls live the life of a hell if become mother before marriage. The stigma is difficult to erase. Even today, it is difficult for a child to go to school if he does not have the name of his father or mother. We do not know whether Rohit is right or wrong but he is demanding justice for him. It has to be respected as in Indian society it would be difficult to live a life in humiliation. His mother must have the courage to have brought him to this age and today he seeks justice of a historical wrong.
There is nothing wrong if politicians or celebrity become father or mother before marriage. It is wrong when you do not accept your legitimate child. Long back, Neena Gupta, set an example of courage and conviction when her daughter was born. She put the name of her father as Vivian Richards who was iconic cricketer of his time and he too accepted it honestly. They are not married but they accepted the child and she is growing well. There is nothing wrong in such relationships as they it grows out of love only. India need to grow beyond its narrow social taboos which are killing hundreds of its young couples who knowingly or unknowingly become parent and are forced to abort the child and compelled to live life as hell.