Are we truly a democracy? How long will we let Spectrum Raja’s continue to thrive?


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.

A Raja

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.

  1. […] close to 1.76 Lakh crore due to wrongful allocation of 2G spectrum. It is ridiculous that even now Spectrum Raja’s continue to thrive and take general public for a […]

  2. Pintu Banerjee says

    our great politician…………….

  3. Anonymous says

    I'd like to physically meet and debate every unthinking character who spouts this rubbish about the general electing public being at fault for the follies of our dear leaders. India has ceased to be a democracy since the early 1970's. We are a kakistocracy today where the entry criteria for politics is that you have to be the greediest, most corrupt and criminal minded.

    Elections today are a farce between one crook and another. Our system is too far gone, rotten and cancerous, to be cleaned up from within. Change can only come about from outside the system.

  4. Meena says

    hi krishna,

    would u plz giv me the information about 2G scam, bcoz i’m unable to get through the internet.

  5. Mahesh says

    I don’t get it! What’s democracy got to do with corruption by a minister? BTW, everyone should be considered “innocent till proven guilty.”

    Democracy is not “ordained” by God and people who participate and/or live in a democratic country are not ABOVE others. There are bad seeds everywhere. This is a totally baseless and pointless dribble. Please get some good authors to write for you.

  6. gilber thomas says

    Crores of peope here are without food…and with out basic necessities in life…
    Rs.1.76 lacs crores…
    it will take a long time even to write this figure
    this is our hard earned money
    best punishment for them
    is to make them eat the currencies and coins only
    and nothing should be made available for them to eat and drink
    take a video of this and telecast all over the country
    nobody will be dare enough to corrupt in future

  7. OldFart says

    The illegally acquired 2G licenses should be terminated.

    The best way to hit at corruption is to make it unprofitable to be corrupt ! That way at least some of these guys will learn a lesson.

  8. Navin says

    At least we are seeing changes. Things that remain hidden for long are now coming out, a positive change I count on that. But still need to be done at lower levels. The policies implemented for poor must have necessary actions & seen that the rights are properly distributed. For this is need to educate the rural people plus make a change in the approach these policies are distributed. Rather providing the assets to state & panch, a central body must be implemented against every policy that look after the distribution of assets & check that the policies are rightly implemented. Though it is somewhat cumbersome in a country like India but with proper organization & efficient planning & human resourse, it is very much possible.

  9. Viral says


    We celebrate our democracy but some poeple (read politicians elected by us) have taken it too seriously in observing their ‘Right to Earn Money’ in utter unscrupulous manner.

    But, we as ctitizens of the country should not forego our voting power, just because almost the whole of political community could be written off as being corrupted. At best, the voting powers could still serve as a ‘carrot-n-stick’ for the polticians, if not fully empowered watchdogs.

    This is what we can say – the corruption always existed in the system. But, with the emergence of India on the global deck and fast growing corporate India (private sector) taking over reigns of the economy, the incidence of corruption and unethical activities has narrowed down by trifle.

    However, the moolah at stake in every single corruption case these days, has been much higher than ever before. I still haven’t concluded my comment… as there is no end or solution to this problem of corruption involved in a democracy.

    The only way I can see corruption being controlled is the rising clout of the private sector or even PPP model; which will act as a screener for public indulgences.

  10. Ankit Singh says

    Dude! Who read this blog I bet 70%+ of them do not vote. The person who votes most are illiterates or poor for money. I saw with my eyes the last loksabha election how this Traitor Kalmadi won the election. Just by discussing or tweeting or blogging we cannot make a change until we become change to the system.
    And congress is always been curse to India. Congress always gives hope to people (which Indian people want – sahanbhuti). Where is our young dynamic leader Rahul Gandhi??? he is just F**king busy with increasing its vote bank…… dat’s it…..

  11. Krishna Shrinivas says

    Hi Madhav, no offense – but you sound naive .. optimistic at best. If a simple ministerial change can solve the corruption issue, which is bigger than the GDP of several countries, this blog post wasn’t necessary to begin with. While I like your optimism, I wonder how we channel it.

    1. Madhav Shivpuri says

      Hey Krishna,

      I didn’t imply it…. that would be idiotic ;-)

      Just like having Manmohan singh as PM does not make us a country of intellectuals, so also having Lalu as PM wouldn’t make us idiots.

      Raju or Sibal are what constitute ‘Tone at the top’ and ‘Governance’. If we didn’t believe that or we don’t care, we shouldn’t be discussing it.

      1. Krishna Shrinivas says

        Hi Madhav, I don’t believe having Sibal or the tone at the top will solve our issues – Manmohan Singh, is now rightly being questioned for his delaying Raja’s departure. This truly is the state of Indian politics, where we left guessing who may or may not be righteous.

        I think we care enough & hence, the discussion. The question is, do we care enough to participate in the change?

  12. Madhav Shivpuri says

    He’s gone. Sibal in. Sounds good. May be even some radical changes may happen in coming months.

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