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HomeIndiaPath to honesty is tortuous, sometimes damaging: Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa

Path to honesty is tortuous, sometimes damaging: Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa

Honesty always comes with a price, Ashok Lavasa writes in The Indian Express. His family has been under scanner for alleged tax evasions.

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New Delhi: After months of alleged harassment by government agencies, Election Commissioner (EC) Ashok Lavasa has said the path to honesty “often turns out to be tortuous, consumes more energy, sometimes even damaging the vehicle because of unfavourable road conditions”.

In an opinion piece in The Indian Express published Saturday, Lavasa, who is in line to become the chief election commissioner (CEC) when current CEC Sunil Arora retires, wrote that honesty as a policy always comes with a price.

Lavasa’s family has been under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate and the income tax department for alleged tax evasions ever since he dissented on the clean chits given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in cases of alleged code of conduct violations during this year’s Lok Sabha elections.

In reference to the ordeals faced by him and his family, Lavasa wrote, “The honest may not be physically strong or powerful; they have courage and that courage is their strength.”

“Those that do not stand by them in that hour of grief, need or isolation, might not be courageous. They are like spectators who rise to applaud after the drama. Even if they empathise with the actor, they don’t take part in the play. They may watch the protagonist suffer, even shed a tear at his plight, offer a silent prayer in his favour and wait for the denouement before they laud his part.”

‘Price for the honest could be in form of lonely suffering’

During the Lok Sabha elections, Lavasa was reported to have expressed disagreement against the decision of the Election Commission to give clean chit to Modi and Shah in cases of alleged poll conduct violations. He had then publicly taken exception to the fact that his dissents were not recorded by the Election Commission.

Lavasa and his family members have since been in the centre of controversies after the I-T department and the Modi government initiated several inquiries against them for suspected tax evasion and misuse of official authority.

“There is a price for honesty as for everything else in life. Being prepared to pay that price, directly or by way of collateral damage, is part of the honest act,” he wrote in the Express piece.

“It is naive to expect those that have been opposed by the honest to meekly accept the ascendance of the meek. They strike back and the price for the honest could be in the form of lonely suffering, even noticeable isolation.”

Also read: Ethics, transparency, Gandhi — the profound issues EC Ashok Lavasa has been tweeting about


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