The lady doth protest too much

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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The lady doth protest too much
The lady doth protest too much
By Justice Markaney Katju

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks" is a line from the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. It is spoken by Queen Gertrude in response to the insincere overacting of a character in the play to prove Hamlet's uncle's guilt in the murder of his father, the King of Denmark.

The phrase is used in everyday speech to indicate doubt of someone's sincerity, especially regarding the truth of a strong denial.

This line accurately describes TMC MP Mahua Moitra who is accused in a cash for query scandal for asking questions in Parliament to benefit a businessman Darshan Hiranandani, who was a business rival of Gautam Adani, against whom she asked 50 questions.

Mahua Moitra allegedly received numerous costly gifts from Hiranandani for this.

When summoned by the Ethics Committee of the Indian Parliament Ms Moitra appeared, but later stormed out of the meeting shouting and screaming that she had been asked 'filthy questions' and playing the victim card. Evidently, she subscribes to the dictum that the best defence is offence.But this seemed just a drama and charade, by a person having a long history of theatrics and grandstanding, to avoid answering relevant, but uncomfortable, questions.

The allegations against her were that she had a connection with Darshan Hirananandani from she allegedly received many costly gifts and other favours (like paying for her frequent foreign travels), and with whom she had shared her parliamentary login account and email password. How was it unethical to ask her how many times she had travelled to Dubai to meet Hiranandani, and to other foreign countries, and on what dates? How was it 'Draupadi's cheer haran' as alleged by BSP MP Danish Ali? How was it rude, 'behuda' and 'besharam' to ask such questions?

Mahua Moitra was asked questions as to who funded her foreign travels, etc. What was wrong in that?

It has been revealed that Mahua Moitra's Lok Sabha portal was logged in 47 times from Dubai, where Hiranandani lives, and who has now given an affidavit supporting the complainant Nishikant Dubey..

One can understand an MP sharing his/her parliamentary login account and password with a secretary, PA, or intern. But why should he/she share them with a businessman unless it is for some material benefits ?

''Something is rotten in the state of Denmark'', said Shakspeare in Hamlet. And something seems rotten in this whole episode.

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

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