The series of reports over the past week affecting both principal political parties show that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It has been proven beyond doubt that whenever the issue of corruption is raised, all parties compete with each other in terms of the quantum of corruption.
While BJP president Nitin Gadkari has been accused of involvement in large-scale corruption in Maharashtra, rather than asking him to step down till such time as he proves his innocence, the BJP has extended support to him (“Advani lauds Gadkari but sidesteps resignation demand,” Oct. 25). One expected better from the party with a difference. Perhaps, Shiv Sena supremo Mr. Bal Thackeray is right in saying that India is a nation of cheats (Oct. 25).
The movements and agitations against corruption are taking surprising twists and turns similar to the game of snakes and ladders. The BJP and its allies have stalled Parliament, wasting precious money. Now what will it have to say about developments in the Nitin Gadkari case? One also has the Vadra-DLF and Virbhadra Singh cases. To add to this are suspicious land transactions involving members of India Against Corruption. It seems to be a free-for-all environment as far as corruption is concerned. Who knows how many more skeletons will come tumbling out of the cupboards of politicians? When we vote, we never seem to take corruption into account.
Corruption is a percentage of an amount paid by the private gainer to the facilitator to facilitate that private gainer to loot and usurp resources like coal, spectrum, steel and land. Developments show that there is a close relationship between corporates, politicians and bureaucrats. Our silence has only encouraged them to further the rot.
Recent exposés have suggested that irrespective of the party to which they belong, most politicians are corrupt. Politicians like Congress leader Digvijay Singh want their opponents investigated for misdeeds but are silent on alleged misdeeds by members within their own party. We have elected our representatives and have invested much hope in them. The Prime Minister should have the courage to dismiss all ministers involved in corrupt practices.
Irregularities being reported day after day are leaving us frustrated and confused. Who is clean? The outcome is like a tied cricket match. Which way is the country going? The thief seems to be ahead of the policeman and the politician ahead of checks. The intelligence and capabilities of our politicians seem to be used only for negative purposes. There seems to be no action. The heads of government are only talking about development. No funds will improve the growth rate unless investigations are conducted into the irregularities reported.
“Exposure is a risk that comes with secrecy” is relevant to almost all our political leaders. Every one of them is suspect whether he/she is in the Opposition or the ruling front. None of them has the moral courage or political will to be transparent. All their mantras are addressed to the now sacred vote bank.
Col. C.V. Venugopalan (retd.),
Serious charges have been levelled against a serving Central minister, a former minister and a family member of the party president. Those accused of corruption can deny the charges, but how long can they defy public opinion that is in favour of the charges being probed? The ruling elite do not have the luxury of claiming to be innocent till proved guilty because power and responsibility are two sides of the same coin. The Prime Minister is not expected to remain silent as if his government has nothing to do with the wrongdoings of individual ministers and relatives of party leaders. The Cabinet system of government rests on the fulcrum of collective responsibility. Inaction will not help to deflect the charges, notwithstanding the notoriously short nature of public memory. It is time to prove that equality before the law is not a mere constitutional rhetoric.