Friday, 5 October 2012

Reforms II Over Back to Corruption

Yesterday the government has announced the second round of 'reforms' and perhaps we were expecting more, but looks like the issue of public corruption was just waiting in the background for the media's euphoria  over 'economic reforms' to subside. There was the resignation of Mr Ajit Pawar(NCP) on 25th/Sep over the irrigation scam in Maharashra, along with allegations of involvement of Mr Nitin Gadkari(BJP), Mr Sancheti(BJP),  Mr Mitesh Bhangdia(BJP) and Mr Prakash Javdekar(BJP); the list goes on. The media was back reporting, investigating and disclosing names of politicians who have been suspected of involvement.

Today we have the allegation of Arvind Kejriwal of India Against Corruption, about how as per him, there is reason to believe that Mr Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Mrs Sonia Gandhi was beneficiary of a generous business transaction by DLF Properties, perhaps in return for favourable land allotments to DLF by Congress state governments of Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan. The allegations, which were backed by some documents released by IAC were lapped up by the media, and all news channels were broadcasting the corruption story all evening. It was also being pointed out that there was a news story published in economic times in March this year that Robert Vadra had entered into business transactions with DLF. No allegations were made during that time that there was any kind of quid pro quo involved. But the IAC allegation today has brought the old story back to the headlines. It seems that for today and this weekend at least, 'reforms' will not be attracting any media coverage.

India Against Corruption is now a political party, so their allegation on the verge of state elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh are to hurt the Congress party in the elections. The ghost of corruption still haunts Indian politics, and Anna's movement last year has managed to make it the most important issue in the minds of the citizen of our country. However it also leaves the age old question unanswered as to which political leader or political party can we safely say is above board on the issue of political corruption. Many Indian voters have in past either resigned to the fact, that some amount of public money will be looted no matter which party or politician we elect, and hence corruption, never was a big issue in elections; or they were so dismayed, that they did not participate in the voting process itself. The present discourse does not seem to  be helping solve the issue of corruption, it is merely revealing the fact to the voters that any party or politician will not spare a chance to point finger at their political opponents, while leaving their friends unchallenged.

Unrelenting media focus on corruption will certainly keep the issue alive for the voter, but this monster cannot be tamed by exposure alone. What needs to be followed is that the CBI, the police and the courts get the guilty to book. I don't see any reason why an independent minded police officer cannot register a complaint on these issues of corruption, investigate them and let the judiciary punish the guilty. Courage and independence is needed from the people within an institution which is meant to fight crime in this country. If they take an initiative they will get support from the people, if not from the governments. Without their initiative this issue will remain just an issue used by politicians to detract voters from their opponents.

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