CONFLICT OF INTEREST? RETIREMENT POSTINGS OF SOME FORMER CBI DIRECTORS

AP SINGH

CBI DIRECTOR, NOVEMBER 2010 TO NOVEMBER 2012

UPA GOVERNMENT APPOINTED HIM MEMBER, UNION PUBLIC SERVICE COMISSION (UPSC) IN 2013 AFTER HIS RETIREMENT

RESIGNED IN JANUARY 2015 AFTER HE WAS ALLEGED TO HAVE LINKS WITH CONTROVERSIAL MEAT EXPORTER MOIN QURESHI

ACCUSED IN A CORRUPTION CASE, THE MEAT EXPORTER WAS ALLEGEDLY GIVEN UNDUE FAVOURS BY AP SINGH

CBI REGISTERED CASE AGAINST HIM, MOIN QURESHI AND OTHERS IN FEBRUARY 2017

ASHWANI KUMAR

IPS OFFICER, CBI DIRECTOR, AUGUST 2008 TO NOVEMBER 2010

AMIT SHAH WAS ARRESTED IN SOHRABUDDIN SHEIKH FAKE ENCOUNTER CASE DURING HIS TENURE

APPOINTED GOVERNOR OF NAGALAND IN MARCH 2013, RESIGNED IN JUNE 2014

P C SHARMA

IPS OFFICER, CBI DIRECTOR, APRIL 2001 TO DECEMBER 2003

AFTER REITREMENT FROM CBI, WAS APPOINTED MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (NHRC) BY THE THEN NDA GOVERNMENT IN MARCH 2004

VIJAY SHANKER

1969 BATCH IPS OFFICER, CBI DIRECTOR, DECEMBER 2005 TO JULY 2008

AFTER RETIREMENT FROM CBI, HE WAS MADE MEMBER OF THE COMMISSION ON CENTRE-STATE RELATIONS

M L SHARMA

IPS OFFICER FROM RAJASTHAN CADRE, WAS SPECIAL DIRECTOR IN CBI, RETIRED IN 2009

HE WAS CONTENDER FOR CBI DIRECTOR POST

BUT WAS APPOINTED CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION (CIC) MEMBER AFTER RETIREMENT

RK RAGHAVAN

TAMIL NADU CADRE IPS OFFICER, CBI DIRECTOR, JANUARY 1999 TO APRIL 2001

HEADED THE PROBE WHICH CLEARED NARENDRA MODI IN 2002 GUJARAT RIOTS

SC APPOINTED SIT UNDER RAGHAVAN IN 2008 – ITS REPORT CAME IN 2012 GIVING CLEAN CHIT TO MODI

APPOINTED INDIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER TO CYPRUS IN AUGUST 2017

©SantoshChaubey

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CONFLICT OF INTEREST? PEOPLE WHO GOT PLUM RETIREMENT POSTINGS

VINDO RAI

11TH COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL (CAG) OF INDIA, JANUARY 2008 TO MAY 2013, AN IAS OF 1972 BATCH

WAS CHOSEN TO HEAD THE FIRST BANK BOARD BUREAU (BBB) IN FEBRUARY 2016

BBB IS SUPPOSED TO BE AN AUTONOMOUS BODY LOOKING INTO GOVERNANCE RELATED MATTERS OF PUBLIC SECTOR BANKS AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

THE BBB MANDATE ALSO INCLUDES THE ALL POWERFUL DECISION ON APPOINTING CHIEFS OF PUBLIC SECTOR BANKS AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

THE MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS MADE HIM ITS ADVISOR IN JANUARY 2015, HIS HELP WAS SOUGHT TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY AND INCREASE TRANSPARENCY IN THE SYSTEM

AT THE CENTRE OF 2G SPECTRUM ALLOCATION CONTROVERSY AFTER COURT ACQUITTAL OF ALL ACCUSED

THE COURT VERDICT VITUALLY REJECTED HIS 1.76 LAKH CRORE LOSS CLAIM IN 2G SPECTRUM ALLOCATION

CONGRESS AND OTHER PARTIES NAMED IN THE SCAM ARE CALLING HIM TO FACE QUESTIONS IN THE PARLIAMENT, ARE DEMANDING HIS APOLOGY, CALLING HIM A BJP AGENT

JUSTICE P SATHASIVAM

WAS CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA FROM AUGUST 2013 TO APRIL 2014

MADE KERALA GOVERNOR IN SEPTEMBER 2014

JUSTICE K.G. BALAKRISHNAN

RETIRED AS CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA ON MAY 12, 2010

APPOINTED NHRC CHAIRMAIN IN JUNE 2010

NN VOHRA

HE WAS PERSONAL SECRETARY TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA (1997-98)

J&K INTERLOCUTOR FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA – SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR CARRYING OUT DIALOGUE (2003-2008)

WAS MADE J&K GOVERNOR IN 2008

HIS SECOND GUBERNATORIAL TERM IN J&K BEGAN IN APRIL 2013

MS GILL

CHIEF ELECTION COMMISSIONER, FROM DECEMBER 1996 TO JUNE 2001

WAS ELECTED TO RAJYA SABHA IN APRIL 2004 AND RE-ELECTED IN APRIL 2010

BECAME MINISTER OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE) IN THE MINISTRY OF YOUTH AFFAIRS & SPORTS IN MAY 2009

SUBSEQUENTLY HELD OTHER MINISTERIAL RESPONSIBILITES IN THE MANMOHAN SINGH CABINET

RAJIV MATHUR

A FORMER IB DIRECTOR, FROM 2008 TO 2010

BECAME CIC IN MARCH 2014

B.V. WANCHOO

A RETIRED IPS OFFICER, WAS CLOSE TO GANDHI FAMILY, HEADED SPG

MADE GOA GOVERNOR IN MAY 2012

RESIGNED IN JULY 2014 WHEN QUESTIONED AS A WITNESS IN AGUSTA CASE

ESL NARASIMHAN

RETIRED INTELLIGENCE BUREAU CHIEF

MADE CHHATTISGARH GOVERNOR IN JANUARY 2007

MADE ANDHRA PRADESH GOVERNOR IN JANUARY 2010, BEGAN SECOND TERM AS ANDHRA GOVERNOR IN MAY 2012

TOOK CHARGE AS TELANGANA GOVERNORN AS WELL WHEN THE STATE WAS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED ON 2 JUNE 2014

M.K. NARAYANAN

RETIRED INTELLIGENCE BUREAU CHIEF AND FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR

MADE WEST BENGAL GOVERNOR IN JANUARY 2010, RESIGNED IN JUNE 2014

WAS QUESTIONED AS WITNESS IN AGUSTA SCAM, WAS FIRST GOVERNOR TO BE INVESTIGATED IN THE VVIP CHOPPER SCAM

RAHUL KHULLAR

A FORMER IAS OFFICER

EX-COMMERCE SECRETARY AND PERSONAL SECRETARY TO PRIME MINISTER MANMOHAN SINGH

WAS APPOINTED TRAI CHAIRMAN IN MAY 2012

ASHWANI KUMAR

IPS OFFICER AND FORMER CBI DIRECTOR

AMIT SHAH WAS ARRESTED IN SOHRABUDDIN SHEIKH FAKE ENCOUNTER CASE DURING HIS TENURE

APPOINTED GOVERNOR OF NAGALAND IN MARCH 2013, RESIGNED IN JUNE 2014

NIKHIL KUMAR

FORMER DELHI POLICE COMMISSIONER AND EX NATIONAL SECURITY GUARDS CHIEF

WAS MADE NAGALAND GOVERNOR IN OCTOBER 2015, TRANSFERRED TO KERALA IN MARCH 2013

RESIGNED IN MARCH 2014 TO CONTEST LOK SABHA ELECTIONS, HAD ALSO CONTESTED 2009 LS ELECTION BUT LOST

BL JOSHI

A FORMER IPS OFFICER, NEHRU-GANDHI FAMILY LOYALIST – LOOKED AFTER THEIR SECURITY RIGHT FROM JAWAHAR LAL NEHRU

WAS APPOINTED LT. GOVERNOR OF DELHI IN JUNE 2004

RESIGNED AND MADE MEGHALAYA GOVERNOR IN APRIL 2007

APPOINTED UTTARAKHAND GOVERNOR IN OCT 2007 AND UTTAR PRADESH GOVERNOR IN JULY 2009

GOT SECOND UP TERM IN MARCH 2014 BUT RESIGNED IN JUNE THAT YEAR

AND THE LIST IS CERTAINLY NOT EXHAUSTIVE! 

©SantoshChaubey

CBI’S DAMP SQUIBS: CASES THAT PROVED TOO DIFFICULT TO PROVE IN COURT

2G Spectrum Allocation Scam that kept the nation boiled for almost a decade but ultimately proved too difficult for investigators to prove in the court is not the first case that has dragged on for too long before turning into a damp squib. There are cases that directly question the sincerity and credibility of India’s central investigation agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the cases that have shaped the direction of Indian politics but ultimately failed to convince our judicial system, cases that tell us they were more about designs of political masters than about concerns on probity and integrity.

FODDER SCAM – OVER TWO DECADES AND STILL ONGOING

Reports of the scam appeared in January 1996. The Rs 900 crore fodder scam was about siphoning off government money in the name of companies that existed only on papers. The case was transferred to CBI in March 1996. After CBI raided then Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s residence in June 1996, he stepped down the next month but not before installing his wife Rabri Devi in the chief minister’s office. CBI subsequently slapped Lalu and Rabri with disproportionate assets case in August 1998.

The whole case since then since has seen Lalu being jailed, getting bail and even clean chits many times including clean chit in the DA case. Finally, Lalu was convicted in one of the fodder scam cases by a CBI court in Ranchi in September 2013 that disqualified him for six years from political office but he got bail in December 2013. In November 2014, the Jharkhand High Court ruled in his favour by removing conspiracy charges but in a jolt, the charges were reinstated by the Supreme Court in May 2017.

Since the trial is ongoing in the CBI court, Lalu and other convicted in the scam have avenues open in higher courts to challenge their conviction and it will be some time before the final conviction, or for that matter, acquittal, is upheld by the Supreme Court. Given that it is already over two decades in the case, no one can say for how long the case will drag on before any final conclusion.

BOFORS – 1986 TO 2011

The came case to public knowledge in April 1987 after the Swedish Radio claims that bribes worth Rs 64 crore were paid to Indian politicians and defence personnel in the Rs 1437 crore deal between Swedish manufacturer AB Bofors and Government of India for 400 155mm Howitzer guns signed in March 1986.

What followed was over two decades of labyrinthine probe that cost Rajiv Gandhi his government. CBI registered FIR in 1990 but it took nine years for the agency to file first chargesheet in the case when it did so against Win Chadha, an AB Bofors agent, in October 1999. Letter Rogatories were sent and Interpol Red Corner notice was issued. But nothing could help and CBI was forced to wind up its case against lone surviving accused, Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, in January 2011. Before it, CBI had tried to get Quattrocchi extradited to India for years but always failed. Quattrocchi died in 2013.

The case that dragged on for 25 years and created storm in Indian politics, saw no convictions and it fact the judge, while deliberating on CBI’s closure report, commented that the agency had already spent Rs 250 crore on investigating a kickback of Rs 64 crore and the whole exercise was a sheer wastage of public money.

DENEL ARMS DEAL SCAM – 2003 TO 2013

India signed deal with South Africa’s state owned firm Denel in 2003 to get 1,200 bunker-buster anti-material rifles through a British agent. But the deal was mired in controversy with kickback allegations of Rs 20 crore paid to gain confidential documents from the Ministry of Defence. Denel was supposed to provide 1,200 rifles but it ended up providing only 300.

CBI started its probe in July 2005 but couldn’t make much headway apart from sending routine Letter Rogatories and was forced to file closure report in September 2013 where it accepted it could not find any evidence to prove allegations of corruption in the deal.

COFFIN SCAM – 2002 TO 2015

The scam came under scanner in 2002. A CAG report found the coffins bought for the Kargil War martyrs too expensive and indeed they were, at $2500, each coffin was 15 times more than the price of $172 paid earlier.

CBI was asked to probe the scam in June 2005 but could register a case only after a year, in June 2006, against George Fernandes, the Defence Minister in during the Kargil War in 1999, three army officers and the US supplier.

The agency filed its chargesheet in 2009 where it did not name George Fernandes giving him clean chit. The three army officers were also given clean chit by a Delhi court in December 2013 citing lack of evidence and in October 2015, the Supreme Court, too, gave the NDA government clean chit in the case under which the alleged scam had taken place.

BARAK MISSILE SCAM – 2001 TO 2013

The scam came to light in 2001 through Tehelka sting operation that alleged kickbacks in many defence deals signed by the government of India. The government had signed a deal worth Rs 1150 crore with Israel in 2000 for Barak missiles.

CBI took over the case and registered FIR in October 2006 accusing George Fernandes, former naval chief Sushil Kumar, Jaya Jaitley, Samata Party leader, RK Jain, Samata Party treasurer and businessman Suresh Nanda.

But while the case created political storm, CBI could not do much beyond sending letters of request to concerned countries from where it could not any worthy information. So the agency that had claimed huge bribes were paid and a conspiracy was hatched for the deal while registering the case, was forced to file closure report in December 2013.

©SantoshChaubey

WHEN IT COMES TO HUMANITY, AIIMS IS AS BAD AS ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL

VIPISM

VIPism is an inherent ingredient of India’s VIP culture that has come to define our routines. It has become so intrinsic to our day-to-day lives that we cannot imagine our social life without it.

And government hospitals including AIIMS are one of the best places to see this social curse live into action.

Now it is a well established fact that government hospitals and government health care services are den of corruption. Who can forget the killings and corruption in the National Rural Health Mission?

Corruption is at every level, from ward-boys to doctors. Local purchase of medicines, spurious suppliers, private practices by doctors and convenience fee are norms here. The rot has become so deep that it has left the government run healthcare system and officials mostly with incompetent or insensitive doctors for whom money is the only criteria (and mantra). For them patients are nothing but unwanted intruders whom they just somehow want to drive away.

Condition has deteriorated to the level that no one, who can afford private treatment, goes to a government hospital. Yes, the irony of the Indian masses is, though its private healthcare system provides a formidable alternative, it is still limited to metro and urban India, (and largely scavenges on its subjects’ hard earned money). So the vast swathes of our country are left to its insensitive, ineffective government run healthcare system.

Where AIIMS is different – is the quality of healthcare professionals and facilities it offers. They are unarguably the best in the country.

But the difference ends here.

The basic thing that is required in a doctor is his humanitarian approach – that how he treats his patient – irrespective of his caste and class. AIIMS is the same bad place like the other government run hospitals when it comes to this. Its doctors and nurses may be experts and efficient but when it comes to treating the human subjects, they leave humanity at bay. AIIMS is the perfect example to show how rude doctors, nurses and other hospital staff can become. And corruption, well, can we discredit AIIMS corruption unearthed by its chief vigilance officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi?

Yes, AIIMS now look neat and clean but there are different reasons for it. AIIMS is in Delhi and is in consistent focus of a state government, a national government, national media outfits and Delhi’s population that effectively reacts. Different sting operations done on AIIMS by different media outfits reveal where it falters.

There used to be a saying that doctors are next to God. Now doctors have twisted it to ‘doctors are next to devil’. And like doctors and other institutions, AIIMS, too, has contributed to it.

If we are talking about AIIMS, we all know that here either only super-VIPs including the President or Prime Minister would go or those who cannot afford the treatment anywhere else, including the patients with complicated cases. Yes, AIIMS does get a consistent inflow of patients who can afford treatment anywhere but if they do so, it is basically about its doctors and their expert opinion. But it doesn’t come easily. Senior professors and doctors of AIIMS behave as if they are super-elite and maintain their exclusivity. They remain incommunicado. Now if you have patience to waste your three-four days, there may be some chances that you can see a senior doctor there. And those who can afford this much time sure try their luck there.

And since almost of the doctors are laggards when it comes to adopts the basics of humanity in the human behaviour, it reflects in the behaviours of every other staff member – nurses, lab-technicians, clerks, receptionists, ward-boys, guards and so on – and it the so-called systems they follow – the classic case-studies of how to harass and turn away people.

The basic thing is when you start addressing a 70 year old person in the same vein as you address a 20 year old – with no courtesy and politeness – instead with a rudeness that smacks of elitism and high handedness – you lose it all. They have forgotten that they are just doing their jobs for which they have been trained. They are living in a fallacy.

The basic problem with today’s doctors is – they are fast losing their humanity. And it has become chronic in government institutions. And AIIMS Delhi is no exception.

©SantoshChaubey

TALE OF TWO APPA RAOS

They both are from Andhra Pradesh (or Telangana).

They both are Appa Raos.

One is controversial because of his controversial tenure as the vice-chancellors of the University of Hyderabad.

The other has become controversial because of the raging controversy around his links with the controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

To continue..

CONSTITUTION AND CORRUPTION

No doubt, the Constitution of India won today, when the Supreme Court of India announced the results of the floor test it ordered to be conducted in the Uttarakhand assembly yesterday.

A democratically elected government that was forced out of the state assembly, thanks to the machinations of the BJP led NDA government, was forced in today with the Constitutional remedy effected by the top court of the country.

We all, who care for democratic norms and India’s federal structure, must be thankful for this moment in our contemporary political history.

But, what about the worrying symptoms that don’t leave even these moments of trust?

Judicial intervention to uphold the Constitutional sovereignty comes with its natural by-product in the prevailing political circumstances of the country – willingly or unwillingly acting as a shield to the corrupt practices going in the backdrop – like we all saw in these months – all that happened in Uttarakhand.

Obviously, whenever such a condition of political uncertainty prevails, horse-trading or selling or buying of legislators becomes the norms of the day. It’s an open secret that all know – be it Uttarkhand or Arunachal or even in case of a minority Union Government.

It went a step ahead in Uttarakhand.

The open secret became bare here.

Congress legislators were caught on camera involved in horse-trading attempt. The whole nation saw it – twice. Even then, Harish Rawat, whose Uttarakhand government has been facing allegations of corruption, looked taking high moral ground today after the apex court made the result of floor test public.

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

A LOGICAL RAIL BUDGET BUT WHAT ABOUT DEFUNCT WORK ETHOS OF INDIAN RAILWAYS?

Some headlines from the past hour on the Rail Budget 2016 are:

Rail Budget growth-oriented, but revenue target will be a challenge, says industry – Times of India
Rail Budget gets a thumbs down on D-Street for fourth consecutive time – Economic Times
Rail Budget 2016: PwC says investment to be a challenge for Railway amid flat traffic, high costs – Economic Times
Rail Budget 2016: Railway-related stocks fall up to 10% on Dalal Street – Business Today
Big proposals, no fare hike: How Suresh Prabhu avoided the bitter pill in Rail Budget 2016 – Firstpost
On Rail Budget day, Indian rupee hits new 30-month low at 68.72 vs US dollar – Financial Express

These are just few from the lot of analytical pieces written – taking sides based on the parameters taken into consideration – but overall, it is a mixed bag with the obvious question – that asks – how – a how that can unravel every good intention behind a Railway Budget that is otherwise logical and future oriented.

The Rail Budget 2016 started on a logical note – with no-nonsense announcements and proposals. In its initial run, as Suresh Prabhu, the Rail Minister started presenting it, it sounded the most logical Rail Budget in the recent times.

The budget began with more emphasis on improving passenger services and amenities this year – something long overdue – than announcing mindlessly new trains to appease votebanks – but in the end, it came out to be pretty ambitious – and that is the whole point behind raising questions – shadowing the positive senses.

The Rail Budget 2016 is passenger centric, policy change centric and future centric that also intends to be ‘work culture change’ centric. It, in fact, talks vehemently about it.

But given the sorry state of the affairs at Indian Railways, we need to be sceptical. In fact, we need cynical questions here.

Indian Railways is a mammoth organization employing maximum number of people in the world’s largest democracy and claiming a robust outreach network in almost every part of country barring the North-East. It is good that this strategically important last mile connectivity is now a priority of the government. And so, Indian Railways is the lifeline of the nation as the majority here still cannot afford air-travel.

But Indian Railways is a corrupt and defunct organization. Corruption, in fact, has percolated in every wing of its functioning – from tickets checkers or TTEs travelling in trains to booking clerks duping innocent people on ticket booking windows to its officials (in every hue) sitting in its zonal offices to its headquarters in Delhi.

And this corruption is vivid and variegated – from petty offences like TTEs illicitly pocketing money in trains to senior level officers cornering big convenience money in freight handling to big commission in projects.

Unless that culture is not corrected, any attempt to take Indian Railways on a futuristic journey of course correction is impossible.

So, whatever Mr. Suresh Prabhu intends to do with his reformative tools, with newly proposed three freight corridors, with no hike in passenger and freight fare to build on volume, with more and more use of technology in enabling Railways to act more passenger customer friendly, with ways to increase revenue, with plans to build infrastructure including private collaboration, we need to keep in mind that it is about mindset change – a mindset that travels through the floodgates of bribes and other modes of illicit money.

The chronic corruption that has infested every part and every appendage of the huge machinery that Indian Railways is.

A mindset change is a long and tedious process with no timeframe and with no guarantee of outcome. It may happen. It may not happen. It becomes even more complicated when the ‘mindset’ is shaped by corruption as is the case with Indian Railways.

And Mr. Suresh Prabhu is one of its most prime examples. He is very active on Twitter. In fact, his alertness on Twitter is an example for all other ministers to follow – but only as long as it pleases him. He doesn’t like to act on or respond to negative tweets.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

WHY DID WE FAIL TO TRAVEL FROM HYDERABAD TO VILLUPURAM? (II)

This time it was another research scholar and another central university. And he was not Dalit.

A research scholar from the Central University of Rajasthan committed suicide because, allegedly, he was under depression by pressure and harassment from his research advisor.

These are allegations – allegations that forced the nation to take note when Rohith Vemula committed suicide – because there were inbuilt elements of Dalit politics – and because, rightly there were elements of caste discrimination.

We have discussed why the Rohith’s case took the nation by storm and why the Villupuram case failed to do so.

Politics dear folks! Politics!

Stay assure that nothing is going to happen in this Central University of Rajasthan case – as nothing concrete in fact happened in Rohith Vemula’s case – in spite of media outrage and the subsequent national grief. No one, including anyone from the University of Hyderabad, has been held responsible in the case.

Suicide by three students of the SVS College of Naturopathy and Yoga in Tamil Nadu’s Villupuam (or spate of student suicides that were reported after Rohith Vemula incident or even this one from the Central University of Rajasthan) is sans scopes of political mileage and so we are not going to hear much about them.

Yes, it was about three girl students, who were Dalit, and they allegedly committed suicide because they were left in a hopeless state – and it happened within a week of Rohith Vemula incident (January 17 to January 23) – so it did get due media exposure. But politicians were not there. Likewise, there will be no outrage or scrutiny of this incident at the Central University of Rajasthan. If it has to get, it will get just routine coverage.

Because these incidents happen in one of those educational institution which are established to dupe and loot incidents. The quality of students (or professionals) who pass out from these outfits is poor. And most of the time, some politicians are found behind the projects – either directly or in patronizing positions.

These institutions are either in small towns or in peripheries of bigger, metro cities (in a clutter of clusters – with no differentiation) – busy in deceiving dreams.

So no one likes to talk about them, including media and society, even if it directly affects many families, sucking up their earnings of whole life – circumstances that force sincere students to the extremes of hopelessness.

Educational institutions in India are run with dictatorial mindset. Government run institutions including central and state universities and most professional colleges are fiefdoms of their administrative heads, teachers and officers. And almost private academic institution are like mercenary banks who operate on ‘no return’ policy.

The first that they do is – they kill the culture of healthy dissent – and in the process sacrifice universal values of humanity.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

CORRUPTION TAX

Now, that is the news of the day – in fact a human-connect story deserving special mention.

Justice Arun Chaudhari of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court today observed that ‘corruption is a hydra-headed monster’ while hearing a fund embezzlement case. He said that time had arrived that we stop paying taxes if the government failed to curb corruption.

This observation is important – even if it is not going to be far reaching – because on the ground nothing is going to change.

Corruption is a malaise that has become chronic in our society – has become a way of life – so much so that we keep on hearing occasional debates on ‘legalizing convenience fee of bets’.

Yes, one way or the other, we all are corrupt, and we all are victims of corruption – but what is basic difference here – between a person who is habitually/chronically corrupt and someone who is forced to be corrupt/who is occasionally corrupt.

Well, most of us are occasional corrupts. We are forced to be part of the wheel based on circumstances and even then most of us don’t go beyond petty, harmless corrupt practices.

But those all of us do something serious that we don’t realize by doing so.

By doing so, we harden even more the souls of those who are chronic corrupts, those for whom corruption has become a way of life, a habitual necessity, a compulsive draw in.

Those some millions, who feed of hundreds of millions of us.

That is the basic difference – of conscience.

While we feel bad in doing something corrupt or unethical, those are hardened souls, enjoy indulging in all, butchery, all savagery, all trickery.

Observation by the High Court judge is important in that context that for the first time a high level member of a constitutional pillar of India has remarked so.

That, in a way, reflect the way our thinking is going – something that was reflected in the unprecedented support to the civil society movement of 2011 that was launched to force the government to take some concrete action on corruption – starting from the Jan Lokpal Bill – to establish an anti-corruption ombudsman.

That shows, hundreds of millions of us, who are forced/occasional corrupts, can take the corrective path based on our conscience – based on flow the society takes. The judge said according to a media report, “The miasma (unholy atmosphere) of corruption can be beaten if all work together. If it continues, taxpayers’ should refuse to pay taxes through a non-cooperation movement.”

Yes, it may seem farfetched but this ‘not paying taxes if the government fails to curb corruption’ is a good thought this sort of ‘corruption tax’ should be taken further.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

WHY DID WE FAIL TO TRAVEL FROM HYDERABAD TO VILLUPURAM? (I)

Rohith Vemula’s suicide took the nation by storm. A wave of outrage that began on January 17 when the news of his suicide broke along with his intellectually worded suicide note. Since then, the social media and the mainstream media have been all about the issue, giving due exposure any such story deserves.

And then, there were elements in place.

It was a prestigious central university – University of Hyderabad.

A Dalit research scholar had committed suicide in an educational institution where other eight Dalit students, alleging caste discrimination, had committed suicide in the past decade.

Rohith’s letters blamed his university and social institutions.

Then there were letters by a union minister from BJP and from a central government ministry, Human Resources Development, led by Smriti Irani, in the case pressurizing the university administration to take action against Rohith Vemula and some other students for their alleged assault on an Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad leader (ABVP).

So, there was this angle of student politics – touching the chords of national politics – in a metro city that is one of India’s Information-Technology capitals.

And above all, there was this angle of Dalit Vs non-Dalit angle.

So, even if was a horror, that a young student was forced to commit suicide due to administrative apathy, social disparity and political interference, all elements were in place for every stakeholder, including politicians, to squeeze the mileage that would suit them.

Yes, apart from social media and media outrage, and the subsequent social mobilization, it is pure politics.

And why it is pure politics becomes clear from yet another social horror.

Three students of an allied medial college in Villupuram, a Tamil Nadu district, committed suicide by jumping in a well because they had lost all hopes for their future as the college that had promised them a rosy future had duped them of their families’ savings. They alleged in their suicide note that the college administration had imparted no skills in almost first two years of their college and there were no facilities to train them. The college was busy in looting them, and at the same time, was killing the students by denying them their option to earn livelihood.

The students wrote in their suicide note that they were committing suicide hoping that it would draw attention to their plight. Another girt student from the same college committed suicide later.
These students were Dalit as well.

Yes, we cannot and we should not compare but it was another horror after Rohith Vemula’s suicide that should have rightly driven us mad on the sorry state of affairs in the our higher educational institutions.

But it didn’t happen after the initial social media and media fury – and why?

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/