Corruption as old as politics
Lest you get the impression that political corruption is a recent phenomenon, remember that it has always been with us. It being a human failing to glorify the past, you can be excused if you do not recall how in the late-1960s prime plots of land at Nariman Point and Cuffe Parade in Mumbai were given to a select few on purely discretionary grounds by then Chief Minister VP Naik and his mentor, the so-called progressive rake, Rajni Patel. Also, remember how plots of land for industry, cinema halls, hospitals, educational institutions, etc, were allocated purely on Ministerial discretion up until the late 1980s. Indeed, lists for imports and exports, for restricted and banned items, were most arbitrarily drawn to suit the convenience of moneybags close to the ruling politicians.
So, do not despair. Those days there was no RTI, no 24×7 television, not even a powerful print media. The writ of the Ministers was all-embracive and corruption was as endemic then as it is now. The only difference is people today are far more aware and far less deferential towards their political masters. Which is such a good thing, isn’t it?
Salman tried to stop Trustgate report
Contrary to his blood-curdling threats to Arvind Kejriwal and other civil society activists, Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid seemed to have tried his best to stop the broadcast of the report regarding the irregularities in his family-run trust for the disabled of Uttar Pradesh. A good fortnight before the television channel came up with the bombshell of an expose against the Khurshids, the Minister had approached the channel through a friendly scribe. However, his supercilious attitude and the fact that the channel had gathered solid, incontrovertible evidence of wrong-doing meant that the story was duly aired. And picked up for further amplification by Arvind Kejriwal and his India Against Corruption.
No rules for postings and transfers
Do you know that politicians have had a free hand in transfers, postings and promotions of senior Government officials since independence because they have refused to frame even rudimentary guidelines for such decisions? In the backdrop of the abrupt removal of the Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka, when he began investigating various land registrations of Robert Vadra, a petition filed in the Lucknow division of the Central Administrative Tribunal assumes great significance. The petitioner IPS officer, Amitabh Thakur, has sought clear directions for the framing of guidelines for promotion of IAS, IPS and IFS (Indian Forest Service) officers. Given that ruling politicians have used postings and transfers as a weapon to enforce their arbitrary will on bureaucrats, the plea before CAT, if successful, can go a long way in curbing Ministerial mischief.
Zameen sey judi rajniti
After the DLF-Robert Vadra scam, there is a ready acceptance in the political circles that the Congress’s first family is well and truly into grassroots politics, that is, Zameen sey judi hui hain. Samajh gaye na?