CORRUPTION – A VARIEGATED STORY
Corruption has been taking the center stage for decades, still the contours remain unknown. At times one gets a feeling that given its cancerous growth in organizations, dispensations and levels, it is the most well-kept open secret in the country. The way people get aghast about it knowing it in news breaks, gives a feeling as if it is the discovery of a new asteroid, something being unheard of, for decades, if not centuries. It’s crazy in its expanse, taking money for asking money for asking questions in the legislature to the TRP has not left no space untouched. The other interesting facet, is of I scratch your back and you scratch mine, the number of agencies, certifying integrity, financial propriety and audit are endless and cover the whole spectrum of human existence, and still the menace runs unabated.
From getting comfort in a jail, what is legally termed as judicial custody, to saving a government on the floor of the House, it has its own pernicious way of making entry everywhere and then getting into deciding the rules of the game. Nina Radia tapes give us a clear indication of the wheeling dealing in recent times, in the government formation itself. What it later turned out to be, gives us a clear idea of the precursor being built up. The Radia Tapes as it infamously known has well known politicians, journalists on the others at the other end of the phone. It then proceeded into 2G and after a long and arduous legally mandated journey, ended in a whimper. From the audit to the investigation to the trial and then a naught, who pays for this blissfully costly drama.
Why do professionals fail and with them the search for justice? This might give us some idea of the nature of this whole game. An Ex. CAG’s unconditional apology in a defamation case filed by a political personality certainly gives us a true indication of how the hide and seek game runs. If it is a no holds barred power game, it can denigrate to any level, money might just be the most visible manifestation of it. The acceptability of this behavior is mind boggling, it does hit the consciousness any more, might it be treated as an operational cost. The battle at the top of India’s leading anti-corruption investigation agency, was itself mired in corruption allegations and cases.
Karnataka’s anti-corruption ombudsperson organization got mired in corruption a few years back. The head of the organization came from a judicial background. In such a scenario where does the hapless citizen go? Once an esteemed organization finally found itself stripped of anti-corruption case investigative powers. The anti-corruption agencies need to have crusader zeal and super investigators expertise. We have seen governments come and go in procurement deals, tenders, etc but the dinosaur remains in its original shape, maybe improving in its tenacity and strength. Who can ensure us the true election expenditure? Even the permitted amount, how many are ready to spend in any worthwhile venture for no returns. Governments are being defined in percentages. Money laundering, foreign accounts and shell companies complete this variegated corruption story. The Pandora papers has a name of 300 Indians including to businessmen, sports icon and film stars.
ANTI-CORRUPTION IS A WAR CRY WITHOUT A WAR.