Suraiya writing in the TOI-
A can’t-do attitude is much easier to enforce than a can-do one. It is much easier to shut a school – temporarily or otherwise – than to ensure that there are basic amenities like electricity, to keep it open. It is much easier to make smoking in public places a can’t-do, than to make access to at least primary healthcare a can-do for all citizens.
The IPL exposes have, among other issues, raised the question about the legalising of gambling, which would earn the government much-needed revenue, which right now accrues to local mafias. Barring a few exceptions – such as horse racing in some centres, and ‘offshore’ casinos in Goa – the sarkar has banned gambling. Gambling is one of the many can’t-dos that the sarkar foists on us. Why? Because gambling is supposedly an un-Indian activity and injurious to our ancient culture. Which means that the Mahabharat – in which gambling plays a pivotal role – was probably authored by a prototype of Pakistan’s ISI.
I wouldn’t use the Mahabharata to strengthen any arguments. A story of skirt-chasing monarchs, irresponsible kings and queens, petty quarrels and gods embracing consequentialism in the name of the “good.” The ambivalent moral positions are what makes it interesting though.
Other than that, his argument is quite sensible. The “‘Can’t-do’ Sarkar.” A bunch of baboons running amok.