By Anush Garg:
Corruption is like a religion in our country. Everybody practices it. Even I do. I wasn’t wearing my seat belt the other day and a policeman fined me for it. The first question that came out of my mouth was, ‘Sir, kuch le de ke nahin ho sakta?’ This is how deep corruption runs in our blood. It is our first instinct.
However, corruption is not merely about giving money to any administrative person – public or private – for one’s own gain. A trend has been seen where whenever Congress came to power, be it the state or the centre, inflation rose to such an extent that nobody could help bring it down to a level that the common man could afford.
That said, protecting the corrupt is just as big a sin as being corrupt yourself. Keeping this point in mind, Sonia Gandhi accused Narendra Modi’s government in Gujarat of misusing funds allotted by the central government, especially as part of the MGNREGA scheme that was originally meant for rural development. A study led by Mr. V.V Giri also sheds light on the plight of the labourers who were being called to work for various building projects started by the government. They had only worked for a single day and their attendance was marked for 32 days. The wages for the remaining 31 days were actually re-routed to foreign bank accounts and landed straight into the pockets of the ministers and MPs. In return, all that the labourers got was an order to keep their mouth shut.
This might be appalling but is not an isolated example. Over the years, Narendra Modi has knowingly given priorities to private organizations in land acquisition cases. For example, for Tata to set up a NANO manufacturing plant, Modi allotted 1100 acres of land to Tata, for Rs 900 per square meter, where the actual market value of the land was Rs 10,000 per square meter. In another case, 65,000 square meters of land meant for an agricultural university, which would have helped farmers and consequently the Indian economy, was given to a hotel only because the hoteliers would have been more beneficial to the state government.
These are only a few examples in a myriad of tens of hundreds of such cases. When we look at all of them, even in the last few years, we can come up with a total amount of billions of black money lying untouched in bank accounts all over the world.
Even though I think it is commendable that Sonia Gandhi is willing to bring other parties’ corrupt practices to light, it is common knowledge that Mrs Gandhi and her government are not flawless either. The 2G case is one major example where her government has been protecting the main accused. The Supreme Court gave its verdict against allotting 2G licenses to private telecom firms and sentenced A. Raja to prison. All 122 licenses which had been allotted to private companies were cancelled. Even then, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was in favour of the telecom minister and somehow A Raja was granted bail.
I think you would agree with me that the Commonwealth Games almost succeeded in making a joke out of India. Even though the Supreme Court took the pride of the Indian people into account and took quick action, the game’s organization committee head Mr. Suresh Kalmadi, was let free after only a year of being jailed.
This shows that there is a reason why the central government, led by Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh is not willing to pass the Lokpal bill and the same goes for the Lokayukta bill for the various state governments. If these are ever passed, no one will need to point fingers at any one else, as the accused will be out in the open for everyone to see.
Besides, pointing fingers at each other is merely a political gimmick sparked anew because of the current elections in Gujarat. Sonia Gandhi can well tell the Gujaratis that Narendra Modi is covering up the mess he made when held office but she still needs to clean up a lot within the Congress before she makes such statements.