Ok it is a kind of season for scams, cwg, flats... Tape ...india shining,,india emerging...dont know what else. We are most likely to push 2G scam to the background if a couple of Hollywood stars are arranged to entertain us in TV. the memory of people is very short and week, every body has now forgotten Chara, Telgi, Tehlka, Boforce, Garland & the most recent CWG.
To speak of a tsunami of scams in India today would be palpably wrong. However disastrous a tsunami’s long-term effects, it is essentially a brief phenomenon. By contrast, corruption has become an integral part of India’s life and permeates the entire bodypolitic. It includes the judiciary, the media, private sector tycoons, power brokers and so on, as the Niira Radia tapes have established so eloquently.
Having increased arithmetically first and then geometrically, corruption on a mammoth scale in this country is now taking a quantum jump. It has indeed become the country’s fastest growing and least-risk industry. How and why this has happened is best exemplified by the 2G spectrum scam — the mother of all scandals since the tryst with destiny.
How former telecom minister A. Raja of the Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a vital ally of the Congress in the ruling alliance, was reappointed minister for communications and information technology in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s second government has been exposed thoroughly by the Niira Radia tapes. The Supreme Court, apart from the Opposition parties and the public at large, has commented caustically on Mr Raja’s ability to brush aside even the Prime Minister’s directive and the finance minister’s advice to him. He then went ahead playing ducks and drakes with the procedure for granting spectrum licences. The resultant loot is estimated at `1,76,000 crore, a mind-boggling figure. The Enforcement Directorate, in its report to the apex court, has stated that some of this money had found its way to various tax havens on the very first day.
Inextricably intertwined with the 2G outrage is the inexcusable appointment of P.J. Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner now under challenge in the apex court.
Around the time the stench of spectrum became unbearable, the country also witnessed a series of other revelations that underscore the total degeneration of the entire Indian elite. Flats in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society, meant for Kargil heroes and widows, were grabbed by retired and serving top military officers and an array of politicians headed by the state chief minister of that day; a Calcutta high court judge faced impeachment and a Supreme Court bench observed that there was “something rotten” in the Allahabad high court, the country’s largest; and nobody seemed horrified by the disclosures of bribes for bank loans or of foodgrains worth nearly `2,00,000 crore meant for the poor having been smuggled and exported. To cap it all, a CBI court sentenced a former chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh, Neera Yadav, to four years’ imprisonment for corruption. Along with her, a business baron, among the beneficiaries of her induced largesse in land allotment in Noida, was also sentenced. Be it noted that all this is the mere visible tip not of an iceberg but a glacier a hundred times larger than Siachin.
The painful subject is vast. In available space I can therefore make only three points very briefly. First, going by past experience, nothing much is going to happen to the culprits in the current cases also. Even if they are prosecuted, the proceedings can last forever. Can anyone throw some light on what has happened to the owner of Satyam or to Madhu Koda?
It is time we recognise that corruption in India is fast assuming the proportions of tyranny in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. And let us be warned that when an evil becomes so overwhelming, something has to give.