Fake Degree Row: Move Beyond The Blame Game, The Problem Lies Within The System

Posted on June 15, 2015 in Politics

By Rishvik Chanda:

Plato in The Republic envisaged an oligarchic state which would be ruled by the most learned and the scholarly. But today we seem to have drifted quite a bit from this idea of rule by the wisest as the educational qualifications of some Indian politicians are being revealed to have been forged. It is a shame that it is possible for politicians to be appointed as ministers at the topmost levels even without verified certificates.

fake degree
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Delhi.gov.in

Jitender Singh Tomar, Delhi’s ex law minister from the AAP, on the 9th of June, was charged with forging certificates and has been put under police custody. Both his BSc degree certificate and his law degree certificate are under scrutiny for forgery . Tomar has already resigned and Kejriwal is being pressurised to step down as well by opposition parties. Smriti Irani, the HRD minister, was also embroiled in a controversy when she was found making contradictory statements under oath about her education during Lok Sabha polls .

The educational qualifications of top ministers are being investigated after they were appointed, when ideally it should be the other way around. Issues like these bring to light a number of problems with our politicians and the appointment procedures.

How can the administration of the country be trusted with people who aren’t honest even in their official admission? Administration is a huge responsibility. But time and again we’re reminded that we’re ruled by those who flout the rules to attain political office. Such is the desperation to circumscribe a college education that forging certificates has become a rampant and highly organised crime. The business of fake certificates is flourishing in our country and this problem needs to be looked into. One can only imagine how flawed the system is which lets unqualified people take up important seats in our government without proper verification of their documents.

When the AAP assumed office, they had tall claims of purging the country of corrupt officials. But now, one of its own minister’s is revealed to have been a fraud and AAP, in response, accused the BJP of continuing to harass and undermine the AAP government in Delhi. In retaliation by the AAP, Irani’s dubious education qualifications are being pointed out and BJP’s rival parties insist that she should also be investigated. Kejriwal, initially standing in support of Tomar, may now expel him from AAP. Will the parties, instead of indulging in political opportunism and turning them into a blame game, take responsibility for the problems in the system? A far cry from a rule-by-the-wisest, we have a government which allegedly makes it possible for unqualified frauds to be appointed as law ministers. More transparency and more rigour in the route to political office should be the way forward.