Monday, August 27, 2012

Corruption in India: In Vinod we trust

Corruption in India: In Vinod we trust | The Economist:

Paul H Appleby wasn't very enamoured with the Auditors. He felt that auditors, by finding fault with Govt spending, create road blocks for development administration. But Appleby expressed such views when Bihar was considered the best administered state in India and not many heads of govts - at the union or state levels - were considered corrupt. But then came Mrs Indira Gandhi's era. The Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra, when accused of corruption, asserted that it was an all-India phenomenon, to which Mrs Gandhi retorted that it was a universal phenomenon. Prior to Mrs Gandhi period neither Pt Nehru nor L B Shastree was accused of personal pecuniary corruption. Although Nehru was accused of looking the other way when his close confidantes were pinned down for corruption as in Jeep scandal, Mundhra case, Kairon case etc. Shastree's honesty and integrity were exemplary. Although L N Mishra's assassination was linked to the corruption in govt ( Mishra was said to have known too much), except Nagarwala case Mrs Gandhi was not held personally responsible for governmental corruption. Morarji Desai wasn't personally accused of corruption, but his son Kanti Desai's dealings gave some the opportunity to point finger at Morarjibhai. Things changed after Rajeev Gandhi became d PM. Early period of his tenure was a period of hope, but Bofors changed every thing. Indian polity has never been able to come out of the shadow of Bofors. When the fence begins to eat crop guarding it becomes very difficult. The Constitution of India provided for a Comptroller and Auditor General to keep an eye on the spending of the Govts - union and state. The CAG can't look at scams like Cash for Vote when MPs were offered money to save a minority Govt in a trust vote. Earlier also, during P V Narsimha Rao's premiership votes were purchased (JMM Bribery) and schemes like MP-LAD initiated to keep minority govt going, but Cash for Vote was different as MPs produced wads of notes in the Lok Sabha. But the confidence of the people was shattered when these who gave the bribe and those who benefited from were spared and the whistle blowers were put behind bars. In such a scenario any body who shows the courage to stand up to the Govt becomes a hero to the hero-worshiping people of India. Mr Vinod Rai, the CAG, is one such hero .  

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