With the saga of Spectrum Raja coming to a final inglorious end, it is time for catharsis & reflection. It is unbelievable that such a scandal feels like a new story, every time. The DMK and the Congress have shown defiance and have yet to accept any guilt of wrong doing. It is sad that the Congress, reportedly denying a Joint Parliamentary committee’s enquiry, have, worse still, found a precedent in the Tehelka scam, when the BJP did not convene an enquiry either.
It appears that the fundamental rules of Indian politics is to plunder, deny any knowledge and defy any accusations by slinging mud, right back. It is indeed true that the memory of the Indian public is so short that they fail to remember past one election, the atrocities of the then incumbent.
It is laughable that Raja will share the dais with the PM & the President to unveil a stamp commemorating the 150 years of service of the Comptroller & Auditor general (CAG), who by the way led to his exposure!
The CAG estimates that Raja has caused a loss between Rs. 90,000 Crores and Rs 1.76 Lakh Crores to the Indian government. Granted, this money would have come indirectly from the Indian public and may be argued as slowing the growth of telecom. However, this could have been a significant life changer to many. A few more roads could have been laid and a few more streets lit and a few schools built. Thank you Mr. Raja, you have continued to reinforce the west’s notion of India being a third world country where corruption alone reigns supreme.
The sad state of affairs is that the saga of Spectrum Raja did not unfold over this past weekend, nor over this past month. It has taken a long time for it to unfold.
The other scams have followed a similar route – The on-going shameful CWG scam, the Reddy scam in Karnataka, the Tehelka scam, the swami scandal, the bofors scandal and one can go on. Karunanidhi who has mentored, praised & stood by Raja was likely a beneficiary and can certainly attest to prior experience in being accused of several scams, yet the tamilians keep electing him.
The choice in Tamil Nadu feels limited to Mr. Karunanidhi or Ms. Jayalalitha, who have repeatedly been elected & ousted from power by highlighting each other’s atrocities and personal profiteering. The same seems to happen all over India. In the 60+ years of Indian Independence, the Congress still leads the number of times it has been in power and has been ousted for wrongdoing multiple times as well. Rahul Gandhi, despite the promise isn’t quite on the scene here.
Who is at fault here? As the general electing public, we are!
Why do we keep electing folks such as these, whose only motive is personal profiteering. In the entire nation, there are likely but, a handful of public servants who are truly public focused. Is the idea of a democracy, as we know and follow, flawed? The imposition of a single leader from the party with the absolute majority, forces alliances of uneven ideas and then, the quest becomes more for power than to use it towards public service.
Is Indian politics truly a free for all, with survival of the fittest and the richest, the motto behind our working? or have we become so numb to corruption that we do not care? Should the west continue to think of us as the third world, where every decision can be obtained for the right price? or will we go register to vote, pick up public service and make a difference – I seem to only have questions, but am sure as hell going to register to vote!!
PS: Despite the passionate commentary, I am fully aware that Raja’s allocation can be disputed as being within some bounds. Despite, there is not a single soul amongst this 1.4 Billion Indians that will claim that Raja did not profit from his actions. I also recognize that corruption is a worldwide phenomenon. Yet, it isn’t as widespread as it is in India and I can still hope for a modern capitalistic democratic India where the rewards are truly proportional to effort and not to devious politics.