Annie Besant was born in England and at the age of 19 married a young author Christian Rev Frank Besant and came to be known throughout Anne Besant. Soon she found the women in Britain were discriminated and were not considered equal to men. So she became non believer in god and in due course in Christianity and started trying independently to alleviate the conditions of women in UK as she came to believe that as her Parish husbands wife she could not do much for ending women’s suffering. So differences grew with her husband so fast that first they went their own ways but as her husband turned her out of home and then got legal separation keeping the son with him allowing his wife to keep little daughter with her. Thus Annie came to London and 1874 joined the secular society .Annie Besant could not sit idle and started working for a paper of radical views called National Reformer. Editor of the paper was Bradlaugh equally secular and he and Annie wrote a book on Birth control which agitated the orthodox government of UK so much that both were imprisoned for six months. Though on appeal their sentence was overturned but Annie was determined to continue advocacy of her views and wrote a book independently on birth control in her book ‘ The laws of population ‘. Her husband got further annoyed and got custody for her daughter too so she was left alone. But all this did not deter the secular minded Annie and a free thinker and activist. She continued to work now writing about unhealthy working conditions for women, industrial workers and their low wages in comparison to men industrial workers . Annie Besant came to India in early 1880’s and at once joined and commenced enthusiastically her secular activities. She was, it is said, one of the founder of Indian National Congress in 1885.
1) Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Annie Besant, were virtually contemporary. Gandhi was born in India, got bar at law degree from UK while Annie Besant was born and brought up in UK. For first 30 years of his life did not devote his young life for the benefit of Indians, the country to which he owed everything. As he was a failure as advocate in the very first and the only case MK Gandhi bar at law could not defend the case as he fumbled did not speak a word in support of his client before the British Magistrate. He apologized and left the court almost heart broken. Then Gandhi managed to get an assignment in South Africa from an Indian businessman and left for South Africa where he spent 21 years without his wife and children. Though Gandhi, the barrister from India made many friends, British, South Africans and Indian and fought for equality of Indians and Africans with British ruler of South Africa. Gandhi and Indians in South Africa cannot forget the humiliation that he suffered when, with valid 1st class ticket he was virtually thrown out of train by Britishers. Thus when the First World War started in 1914 Gandhi left for India. Indians thought now experienced Gandhi who was about 45 year old will lead the Indian campaign against the British rulers. But instead Gandhi supported the British in their war to the extent that Gandhi in his home state Gujarat went from village to village for four years to recruit soldier from India for British Army. Which on the other hand Annie Besant a British citizen spent 5 years in jail as she was supporting Indian independence from British rule which was not only Annie Besant but many Indians were demanding , if not independence, Home Rule.
It was only after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of unarmed India’s peaceful men and women who had just gathered there to hear their leaders, killing more that 500 men and women that Gandhi became to an extent anti British or anti imperialist and joined Independence movement and soon became its leader and Father of the Nation.
It is known worldwide that, leaving some African countries aside, about 30 percent Indians are below poverty line. Though in the latest census there is marginal improvement but Indian poor, uneducated, living in slums or begging are found everywhere in villages in towns and in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata . On the other hand rich have become richer and even living standard of middle class has improved much more than the decline in poverty or uplifting of poor in villages and cities. That is, in brief, the status of the rich and well to do and conditions of Indians poor, even after almost 65 years of Independence. How can poverty in India be eradicated or reduced significantly? India is one of three or four highly developed Industrial power and one of the most highly developed country in information technology and software development. It is the reason that countries like USA have more technologies from India than they have their own.
About the decline in number, percentage of poor or below poverty line during last 60 years upto 2004-2005, the authentic figure and percentage is as outlined by the Elevant Five year plan 2007-2012 (Documented) has almost double the total number of poor in India remains the same.
‘India is nation of over 300 million poor people, a number that has barely declined over the last three decades ‘ Plan document has very significantly pointed out. All growth benefit the poor, but the appropriate definition of pro poor growth should be that it benefit them disproportionately. It is clear that rapid growth will be essential but for growth to benefit the poor disproportionately, it will have to be accompanied by more rapid employment expansion that hitherto, greater investment in health , education, water sanitation and child nutrition than so far and directly targeted poverty reduction programme.
It will equally interesting and enlightening that in some states poverty reduction is noteworthy, as best as any other country of the world but, at the same time some states of India have lagged far behind in poverty reduction as quoted below.
“Some states have been particularly successful to reducing the head count ratio in 2004-2005. The states with lowest head count ratio of poverty are J & K (5.4%), Punjab (8.4%), Arunachal Pradesh (10%),Haryana(14%), Kerala(15%), Gujarat(16.7%). At the other end of spectrum are Orissa(46.3%), Bihar(41.3%), Madhya Pradesh(38.2%) and Uttar Pradesh(32.8%).
Entire 11th Plan document, is worth going through to acquaint oneself of what is happening to alleniate the poor marginally while rich are becoming much more richer and middle class people of India are doing very well.
It is reported by the Children Health Organization that every year 2 million children are still born world over mostly in poor countries of Africa and developing countries of South East Asia. In developed countries like USA, Britain, France and Russia there is regular health care for women in distress while in poor and underdeveloped countries there is not much health care particularly for poor mothers living in villages and slums in the towns. If the government cares for poor women the number of still born children can be substantially reduced. “Women accounted for 34 % of principal and 89% subsidiary workers in agriculture”.
Government at the centre and the concerned states must pay attention to Tea and Coffee plantations as it is an important sector which gives tea and coffee to Indian citizen but earns lot of foreign exchange. It is known that good quality of tea fetches 5 to 10 times as that, too, in foreign exchange, particular demand for good and splendid quality tea is known to be in good demand in countries like Japan. Government should provide interest relief to tea and coffee growers. Another important sphere which demand government attention is fisheries and fishing policy particularly the marine fishing that provides employment and livelihood to more than a million in coastal states like Kerala. By export of good quality fish government earn substantial foreign exchange .Thus government should take measures and provide stringent measure to develop marine fishing. It should have a special marine fishing policy to so that there is security for fisherman. There have been many incident where fisherman have perished. Government should support their families, compensate for lost fishing boats.
There has been often crises in agriculture and many farmers, particularly in part of Maharashtra commit suicide because of poor crop production. Eleventh Five year plan documents which refer to Agricultural sector as this sector employs nearly 60 percent of our labour force. The growth rate of agricultural sector is perhaps the lowest. It has been around 2% for decades. Government should adopt through another Green Revolution so that growth of GDP in agricultural sector rises to at least 4 % as Industrial GDP in India is between 8% to 10%.
Elevant Five years plan document has touched all aspects of growth in India. But only few aspects have been mentioned above which are crucial for the improvement of life and working condition of poor sectors. If government pays more attention to eradicate or substantial reduce poverty in India it is important not only it should pay attention to industrial sector, which to is important, but to agriculture and fishery sector as well as tea and coffee plantation sectors.
Gandhi fought for India’s independence, then considered, most important and many thought it will not last but Mahatma Gandhi was considered apostle of non violence and is known as such not only in India but throughout the colonies of British, Portugal and France, in South East Asia and Africa. Gandhi is remembered after 60 years, as pioneer of passive resistance and non violence. Even US President Barack Obama has Gandhi’s photo in his office. Ofcourse in India, then home of non-violence, Gandhi’s photos and statues are everywhere. In India, Gandhi’s lasting contribution was also boycott of British manufactured cotton textiles and clothes which led to industrialization of India and employment to millions of workers in Indian factories and handicrafts that was symbolized by the spinning wheel or Charkha, India benefitted a lot from Gandhi’s encouragement to Indian Industry and Indian handicrafts to this day. In contrast in Britain tens of thousands of workers, particularly in Lankashire became unemployed, most of them British women workers who were paid less wages for the same work than their men counterparts for the same work.
These are the lasting contributions of Gandhi the Mahatma to India and the world in the 20th century. Now about the likelihood of Anna Hazare becoming 21st century Gandhi or Mahatma, especially for India, if he succeeds in eliminating corruption in India in all spheres, industries, income- tax, police, civil servants and politicians.
Already after for couple of days of his fast in Jantar Mantar area of Delhi adjoining Connaught place and hardly 1 km from Parliament House, more than 500 people mostly young joined Anna in his fast unto death against corruption. On 5th April, two former Chief Ministers, Chautala of Haryan and Uma Bharati of Rajasthan who tried to get some limelight and came to meet Anna Hazare were booed and ‘shooed off’ virtually pushed out by Anna’s followers, particularly by those who had joined the fast. Sharad Pawar, a politician, now also known for Corruption was criticized and dishonoured so much that he quit from chairmanship of the organization he headed.
Watching for a week unprecedented response to Anna Hazare by millions of Indian citizens against corruption, the UPA, infact the Congress, got so worried that it virtually, after 3 days government sent for negotiations Sibal and two other with Parshant Bhushan. Government surrendered to Anna Hazare’s basic demands. Anna’s followers all over India felt jubilant as they had won the first battle in 2nd war of Independence, now against corruption. Wars, wether these are World Wars or for Independence of country or Independence from corruption can not be won in a day or week. The first battle against corruption launched by Anna Hazare has been won. Anna Hazare has already announced 15th August 2011 the date for winning war against corruption. If the UPA II fails to surrender or concede victory to Anna Hazare’s war against corruption then it is likely that there will be no end to peaceful demonstrations all over India to demonstrate solidarity and determination to win the war against corruption for whole of India.
The second war of Independence is against nationwide, corruption, which during last seven years under UPA II touched sky because of 2G scam, corruption in CWG and appointment of Thomas as CVI. However after accepting the demand of Anna Hazare during 4 days fast and nation wide agitation, the government virtually accepted defeat and agreed to Anna Hazare’s demand to pass the Lokpal bill as comprehensive as Anna’s adviser Shantibhushan and other suggest by 15th August. Central government of India, to save its prestige and possible fall went half way in accepting Anna’s demands. But halfway in tackling corruption is not at all acceptable just as halfway independence of India i.e. Home rule was not acceptable to Gandhiji. During 1st war of Independence, Gandhiji’s non-violent agitation continued till 15th August 1947 when India got complete independence.
It is unprecedented that Lokpal bill remained untouched during last 42 years and no attempt was made to consider it or pass it. Out of 42 years Congress was in power for 37 years and only for 5 years BJP was in power, so it is mainly the Congress and now UPA who were sleeping over it. Even during 7 years when UPA II has been in power it did not think of taking into consideration, as UPA II was not serious about eliminating or even reducing corruption.
That is why the government did not ractify U N pact against graft during last six years though India signed UN convention against graft in 2005. During last six years India’s PM Manmohan Singh visited USA almost six times. If Indian government was serious, it could ratify the UN pact against graft in a year or two. But it is understood that Department of Personnel and training steadfastly opposed it. But why the government if convinced and serious about ending corruption, did not overrule DOPT and ratify it. Had the government ratified, it could get the black money of lakhs of crores in foreign banks and also take action against those who had cheated India to evade tax. As the government was not ready to disclose the names in public, despite repeated demand by opposition, in particular, as many politicians including ministers and high officials of government were involved. Government of India should have ratified the UN pact against graft immediately and got lakhs of crores of people’s money back.
It is apt to conclude this review with Anna Hazare’s own words. To a question: How hopeful are you that the government will accept your demands. Anna Hazare the great and determined replied as under:
“I have started the fight and I will not back off. The country has had enough. Just count the number of scams and the amount of money involved in it. The scamsters are not going to jail. The Lokpal Bill will send them to jail and they will be punished for their crimes. The government wants to keep everything secret.” After giving some details about governments negligence and failure in tracking corruption, Anna Hazare announced: “I am ready to sacrifice my life for this bill”. But neither people of India who had supported the nation-wide agitation for 4 days, nor the government of India could afford that Anna to become bed ridden, so all wished that Anna should live long. Here are some significant views expressed by Anna on government officials, particulars, ministers and also on Gandhiji.
“The agitation is for the people of this country. It will get rid the nation of corrupt leaders. I am not associated with anybody. I am a follower of Gandhiji and he would not have liked today’s situation in the country. The corrupt leaders and officers are more dangerous than terrorists. People ask me being a Gandhian how could you advocate hanging corrupt people. My answer is that today times have changed. You need Shivaji’s sward to enface Gandhian principles.” About the corrupt leaders and officers Anna says what is apparently correct that “when they themselves are corrupt how strong will the Lokpal bill be that they pass. I am not against any government. I only want a corruption free nation”. Anna Hazare finally in the interview warns the government by giving example of his agitations in Maharashtra: “My earlier agitations have caused fall of two Maharashtra governments. I do not want the government at the centre to fall. But if they continue to be intoxicated by power, the public will teach them a lesson.” His interview, as above, is both an advice to the government and a warning. To the people of India Anna Hazare, 21st century Gandhi, has advised that they should be ready for long struggle with determination to win the second war of Independence against corruption in their nation. People should ignore dissenting remarks by Kapil Sibal and even Advani or any politician or political party and, if need be, carry on nation-wide agitation till they make India shine as absolutely free from corruption.
Japan, an island nation, in comparison to neighboring China which is 50 times or more in area and 10 times or so in population has been facing earthquakes followed by Tsunami for centuries. But the earthquake followed by Tsunami that devastated north Japan has been the worst ever. Moreover it has resulted in nuclear fall out because of explosions in nuclear plants and radiation which is threatening well being of millions. In earlier earthquakes and Tsunamis, though these were not so ferocious but caused lot of devastation, Japan rebuilt and became a shining example of recovery in the world. As Japan struggles to control radioactive leakage and “catastrophic and humanitarian and nuclear crisis, it hopes for a new dawn to deliver it from this darkness.”
Tsunami is a Japanese word adopted by the entire world, meaning high tides devastating the costal area of north eastern Japan. On 11th March 2011 Tsunami in Eastern part of Japan was upto 40 feet high engulfing the whole town, besides villages whatever came under tsunami. But the Japanese people in the face of such disastrous calamity, proved extremely resilient. Amongst the survivors there was no complaining, no looting and no running about and crying for the loss of their family members, homes and heaths.
Magnitude of earthquake accompanying Tsunami of 11th Mach is considered to be worst in Japanese recorded history, is said to be “equivalent in power to 30000 Hiroshima’s (atom bomb dropped by America at the end of II World War in 1945causing devastation of Hiroshima city in Japan). There have been quite frequent disasters due to Tsunami and earthquakes in Japan during last century and upto March 2011 but Japan and Japanese people have every time shown strong determination to rebuild their country without outside help and be stronger and better than before. For instance the 1923 earthquake did not dishearten Japan, instead it determined to be a strong military power and it did become by 1939-40, defeat in Second World War followed by dropping of two atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan instead of trying to militarize spent all its energies on economic and technological development and became worlds second or third economic power by the end 20th century. The latest Kabe earthquake disaster made Japan more determined to continue to be peaceful and devote all talent towards economic and technological development.
Eruption and fallout from Fukushima nuclear plant, in particular and eruption from other nuclear plants has caused radiation which has endangered the lives of millions because this radiation has contaminated water and vegetables. Such earthquake fallout is the first in the world. It has cautioned the world about the shortcomings, defects and drawbacks like that in Japan’s Fukushima reactor. Accordingly, Russia, Germany, France and USA have halted further construction of new nuclear plants till the existing ones are fully and finally checked up with latest technology so there is no explosion like that of Fukushima.
There are more than one hundred nuclear plants in the world which are under construction. In China alone 27 nuclear reactors are under construction. China, in view of Fukushima disaster in Japan, has already announced a pause in its ambitious plan of being the biggest nuclear power in all spheres and to produce maximum electricity through nuclear power, wind and solar energy. China being close to Japan is worried the most particularly when it has been disclosed that in Japan water and vegetables are contaminated because of radiation. Even the sea water upto 240 Km north of Tokyo, it is said because of, tests by nuclear safety agency, ‘has radioactive iodine 1,250 times higher than in normal sea water. It is a startling revealation for China, Russia that touches Chinese sea water and even USA particularly areas close to California: Accordingly many countries have banned import of milk and Japanese sea food. In India too, Jaitpur nuclear plant which was under construction has been put oh hold and all other nuclear plants are under strict scrutiny. India’s oldest Reactor which is like that of Fukushima, operating on boiling water and was built in Tarapur Maharashtra in 1969, is under close scrutiny. Though chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India, Srikumar Banerjee says that we are very careful and examine all the nuclear plants every alternate year or so, but the fact is that there have been minor accidents during past 20 years or so, which could easily be catastrophes. There was leakage in heavy water tanks of Kota nuclear plant and Tarapur plant in 1992 and a heavy water leak in Kalapakam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu. Thus India must wake up to possible disasters and take necessary measures. Requisite repairs and corrections have been undertaken by all the countries of the world where there are nuclear plants in existence or are under construction.
World can not do without nuclear energy for peaceful purposes like electricity and will have to build more nuclear plants in 21st century and even thereafter, as the need of energy will be increasing tremendously in this century. Besides harnessing solar energy, wind power energy. Accordingly, it is important to emphasize that all the countries of the world should do their best to undertake speedily improvements because of modern techniques in all the existing nuclear plants and the plants under construction at various stages and plants that are yet to be built. The world is, because of warming of Globe, likely to get more earthquakes and Tsunamis. There has been earthquake in Pakistan and north India close to Delhi recently and earthquake of 7.1 intensity in Japan on 6th April 2011. Japan got worried that it would cause another Tsunami and cautioned the entire country. Luckily for Japan there was no Tsunami and soon Japanese government withdrew cautions.
In the introduction Sanjeev Bhaskar has spoken about his childhood in London and how his family lived in one room tenement over the launderette managed by his father for livelihood. His parents along with his grandparents and other relatives had to leave Lahore, their residence with all their belongings and crossed over to India and lived in Delhi as refugees. In his own words after hearing the violent events about Partition of India from his parents: “Partition was the violent and bloody separation of Old India which took place in 1947- All that I knew about partition from my parents was that it was horrendous, that the family somehow survived and that my fathers family lost everything and came to Delhi as refugees.” However Sanjeev as a young boy in London was easy going but was confused as and when he thought of his roots in ancestral homeland India. Thus he was anxious to visit India and reached New Delhi along with BBC Team and Stephen Fry in 2006.
First chapter is “Bombay Dreams.” He call Bombay city of dreams, showing in the opposite page picture of Bombay’s skyscrapers brilliantly illuminated and thereafter showing over local train as well as taxis he calls ‘lethargic bees’ in the traffic jams. No doubt Bhaskar is exited to visit Bombay. See textile factories like of Raymonds and go to Bollywood to see Shilpa Shetty dancing. He also mentions about the localities of poor workers living by daily work mostly without any modern facilities. He describes with enthusiasm Bombay’s Ganpati festival with bewitching photos of Hindu God Hanuman sitting on the decorated chair and standing symbolically carrying something like heavy tray and being followed by crowds. He mentions the thinking of the elite of Bombay to make their Bombay, Los Angeles of India and mentions on the same page potteries with open dung fires and their children shabbily dressed in Asias largest slums.
Bhaskar had come to India to find his roots and see the country where his parents in 1947 were refugees. As explained in previous para, his visit to various states of India is without political, diplomatic or religious comments. He tells what he saw, though his description of places is splendid or spellbound even. After visiting Bombay he visits South India and describes Allepy near Cochin. He is impressed by more than 20 women rowers in big boat practicing to participate in Nehru Race. His presentation of photograph, too, is very impressive. Then he pays visit to shrines on Ganga river as he is, though a British Indian was born in a Hindu family. Then he visits Delhi and is equally impressed by Jamma Masjid of Delhi full of thousands of Muslim devotees praying as Muslim do in their Namaz. He captures this scene with the help of BBC team accompanying him in a befitting photograph. Before culminating his first tour of India he visits Golden Temple Amritsar and calls it appropriately, “the pool of the Immortal Nector reflecting the Sikh’s holiest shrine.” This photograph and another of Golden Temple are very impressive, like, other photographs mentioned above. Finally, before concluding the visit of his motherland Bhaskar visits Lahore now in Pakistan where his parents were born and lived happily and comfortably before they had to migrate to India after partition of India.
Before Sanjeev Bhaskar’s book is reviewed, it is noteworthy to point out as to why the book is entitled ‘BBC India with Sanjeev Bhaskar’ and Stephen Frys’ comments on the cover page, ‘Sanjeev brings India alive.’ Also on the back of cover page is printed ‘Book is published with permission of BBC’ In the out set thus it is obvious that version of the book is what is approved by BBC and is without any adverse comments or views of Sanjeev Bhaskar, which criticize the British government’s encouragement to the formation of Muslim League and British help to Jinnah becoming its President and intensifying demand for and creation of Pakistan leading to partition of India and horrifying partition riots initiated by Pakistan under Jinnah as Governor General and a British C-in-C of Pakistan. Accordingly, with the approval of BBC, nothing in the book by Sanjeev Bhaskar’s about British conspiracy before and during the partition culminating in ruthless massacre of lakhs Sikhs and Hindus first, even which started before actual partition and thereafter by Muslims. In retaliation massacre of Muslims in Indian Punjab by Sikhs and Hindus. After the loss of million innocent lives and unprecented migration from both sides of more then ten million, who came empty handed as refugees. Why Kashmir is not mentioned? Mountbatten, independent India’s first Governor General mischievously added that will of the people ‘Will be taken into account afterwards,’ while accepting the instrument of accession of Kashmir to India. Had Mountbatten not added these few words, there would have been no Kashmir problem as in none of about 500 princely states that acceded to India such a clause had been added as conditional or temporary accession.
All said about Kashmir and his BBC’s permission to publish his book, it is to do justice to Bhaskar, who was an actor on BBC programs and made his name but he was not a writer or philosopher. Before concluding the brief review and comments it is befitting to add a para from his book para that summarizes his thinking about India.
“India remains a dizzying edifice. Goddesses are worshiped and the women have occupied the most powerful position in the land. It is the largest democracy in the world and yet a significant proportion of the population are illiterate. The wealth divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ is increasing dramatically as India becomes a global player. The destitute number 500 million- and that has hell of ‘have nots’. If the gulf becomes unbridgeable, then what will happen to this underclass? Revolution has traditionally come from this group of people and half a billion people can make heck of noise.”
This is what Bhaskar felt in 2006. But despite corruption having touched the heights because 2G and other scams, as per latest census, literacy in increasing and the percentage of Indians below poverty line has also declined during last decade. In addition with significant decline in corruption with the help of Supreme Court, JPC and India, being basically a democracy will not face a revolution as Bhaskar imagined but would shine in the world as one of the three global powers because of technological and industrial development which are going ahead.
It is well known that corruption during UP II regime, particularly during 2010 exceeded all limits and is worst ever-CWG’s Suresh Kalmadi and his associates, 2G’s A Raja and his collaborators. The CVC’s Thomas though tainted but adamant, Hassan Ali for money laundering along with his henchmen. As their corrupt practices were shielded by government of India for months and even years, it has brought bad name to India. A well known foreign magazine Economist of UK referred to India as “Rotten state” that too in headline of an article on India’s corruption what can be worse than this headline?
Former Communication Minister of India was found to be corrupt a year back and even six months ago, he was asked to resign but bring congress associate DMK’s nominee Karunanidhi did not agree for months. Ultimately when demand for JPC against A Raja having been resisted and entire winter session of Parliament lost, UPA II releasing that Budget session of Parliament may meet the fate of winter session, conceded to the demand of opposition and agreed to JPC. Soon A Raja of 2G was found guilty after interrogation and convicted and sent to jail. As A Raja’s aide and a key suspect in Spectrum case, Sadiq Batcha after interrogation by CBI found him guilty, to avoid jail and humiliation he committed Suicide by hanging in his home. A Raja through sale of licences almost at 10 year old prices has caused loss of more than “40 billion dollars” to the exchequer and people of India. The huge unprecedented graft is equivalent to lakhs of crores of rupees, most of it lying in foreign banks.
As the government of India was unable or ineffective to curb graft and corruption, Supreme Court of India came to the rescue of government and people of India. Government was not willing to dismiss Thomas CVC, who was adamant despite government’s advice to resign, SC ordered his dismissal. Thomas who had criminal case against him in Kerala still pending, said that there are more than 28% sitting Lok Sabha Members who had criminal charges or inquiries against them. SC even pointed finger on Sibal, the new Telecom Minister who tried to defend A Raja by saying that there was no loss to exchequer caused by A Raja. SC took serious note of money laundering by Hassan Ali and of black money kept by him in foreign banks : “ Some say that 450 billion dollars of illgotten gains or unearned savings are sitting in foreign banks” as outlined by Economist. Finally on 7th March 2011 SC charged Hassan Ali of depositing 8 billion dollars equivalent in Swiss banks, thus leading to immediate action against him.
Why and how corruption in India has increased in last decade particularly? There are hundreds of corruption and vigilance cases investigated by the government and its vigilance agencies, the cases linger on for years going from one court to another and then, only few cases go to SC for decision. In contrast in Haridas Mandhra scandal, retired justice MC Chagla was appointed to investigate and he gave his verdict after thorough examination in 24 days only. The then Finance Secy Haribhai Patel was indicted . Justice Chagla also had T.T Krishnamachari the then Finance Minister responsible for not taking supervisory action. As a result T T K resigned from the cabinet. In contrast A Raja Telecom Minister took years to resign while Thomas CVC with criminal records refused to resign finally SC intervened to dismiss him. It must be said if there is corruption allegation and is confirmed the corrupt person, in China get punishment within few days. Ofcourse India, unlike China is a democracy it takes time to convict and punish but example of conviction within 24 days by justice Chagla is the best example of Indian democracy. Singapore a small country in South east Asia populated by Chinese and Indian is considered to be least corrupt country of the world.
Even Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is facing more than 900 cases (964 to be exact) for anomalies. On the basis of IPC by one candidate in UPSC Exam 2010, the SC ordered UPSC to reveal the marks of all the candidates who appeared in preliminary examination of 2010. As there is evidently something fishy, UPSC has not till 20th March 2011 revealed the list. There are other cases relating to UPSC officials for which petitions have been filed and it is admitted that more than 105 crore rupees was incurred by UPSC in defense in last 5 years.
India’s judiciary too, is tainted. Former CJ of Karnataka High court P D Dinakaran is facing 16 charges including corruption and land grabbing. Vice President of India appointed a committee to probe the cases against him and it is yet to submit its report. This is unfortunate.
Another revelation of corruption is the issue of fake pilot licences by bribing from 1 to 2 lakh rupees or besides corruption is nepotism. Out of seven, five close relatives of DGCA officials have got fake pilot licences. So for 6 pilots have been found with fake licences and they have been indicted. Now full investigation is going on including that of a fake flying school. Such a corruption endangers the lives of hundreds of travelers by India’s Airlines including Indian Airlines and Spice jet. One DGA official Pradeep kumar and three touts have been arrested and more might be arrested in due course.
Suicide by Sadiq Batcha a close associate of A Raja of notorious 2 G scam is because he knew too much about A Raja’s method and extent of corruption and the lakhs of crores kept in foreign banks. As his wife Reha Banu has said after the Suicide: “My husband could not cope with the embarrassment caused by 2 G spectrum scam” Batcha was going to be grilled by CBI again on the day he committed.
Now Tata, Anil Ambani and Radia have been summoned to appear for interrogation. Though Tata has so far denied any links with A Raja or his 2 G scam. Radia along with Tata and Anil Ambani are expected to reveal the extent of benefits they made because of their links with Radia .On 29th March 2011, CBI informed Supreme Court that A Raja along with Swan and Loop would face charges of “ cheating, forgery and Corruption” CBI also undertook to file chargesheet on April 2.
As all this was not enough to tarnish the image of India and UPA II government and even the opposition party BJP, recent Wiki Leaks have fired two bombshells accusing Congress and BJP when it was in power in 2002.
To conclude vast amount of corruption, money laundering, lakhs of crores of rupees in foreign banks and incompetence of the government of India to tackle in time A Raja’s 2 G scam and failure to disclose the names available with government of those who have siphoned lakhs of crores in foreign banks can not be forgiven and can never be forgotten. Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi’s government of UPA II has still almost three years to be serious in tackling corruption, now with the help of Supreme Court of India and let India be a nation that shines once again.