Poverty And Corruption – India’s Invincible Twins Patronized by a Burgeoning Populace

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  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Poverty And Corruption – India’s Invincible Twins Patronized by a Burgeoning Populace

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    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed,” (D. Eisenhower). Thus, every dollar a crook steals, in the Indian corrupt set-up, increases the hunger in India. India has been rocked this year by a series of corruption scandals that have embarrassed the ruling Congress party, rattled markets and delayed reform bills as the opposition stalls Parliament. It is an irony that an ancient civilization like India where highest human values like universal love, environmental worship, charity, kindness, bravery and forgiveness was taught has produced a self-centered and greed infested society. The most disquieting aspect of the widespread corruption in India is the fact that it is not anymore confined to politicians or the government machinery alone. It is prevalent amongst almost every section of the society at every level. There are layers after layers of corruption in every societal channel, which cannot be removed even if hundreds of individuals like Manmohan Singh try their best.

    “I have always believed that corruption is an integral part of Indian culture and ethos. To expect Indian power elite to be honest is to engage in a great effort at willing suspension of disbelief a la Coleridge,”(Kirpal Dhillon, former DGP-Punjab).

    Prasar Bharti CEO B.S. Lalli and former UP Chief Secretary Neera Yadav are the latest examples of the rot that has set in the civil service. According to former Central Vigilance Commissioner Pratyush Sinha, a list of 123 tainted IAS, IPS and IFS officers (from many states) has been hosted on the commission’s website. This shows the extent and magnitude of corruption in the higher bureaucracy. Greed has contributed to the growth of Con-artists like Harshad Mehta, Ramalinga Raju, Ketan Parekh, P,S Subramaniam of UTI scam, Bhansali, Sanjay Agrawal, Rastogi, Telgu, Dalmia and Goyal who plundered more than Rs16,000crore from Indian public. The 2G scam of Rs1.74 lakh crore sizes has paralyzed the winter session of Parliament. Central Bureaus of investigation has arrested eight top ranked bank officials or heads of financial institutions after nation wide raids in Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Chennai and Jalandhar. The arrest reflects the deep-rooted corruption in India’s state-run financial institutions and banks which provide loans that runs into millions. The craving to make money by illegal means which is seeping into everyday life and threatening our health and existence, is bordering on the evil. Some of the country’s highest ranked military officers are shown to have exploited their position for personal benefit. The Supreme Court of India questions the personal honesty of the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, the highest authority for ensuring probity in public bodies. According to a BBC poll, most respondents in India listed corruption in public life as the issue of greatest concern to them, superseding even the threat of terror. Transparency International grades India as one of the most corrupt nations in the world.

    The founder of Satyam Computer Services, one of India’s top software firms, resigned in January 2009 after admitting profits were falsely inflated for years. The fraud, estimated at $1 billion, was India’s largest corporate scandal and was dubbed “India’s Enron”. Who can forget the Securities scam of 1992, in which several Indian stockbrokers were accused of siphoning off over 35 billion rupees ($778 million) of funds, mostly from inter-bank transactions? It involved top officers of state-run and foreign banks and financial institutions, bureaucrats and politicians; and India’s purchase of artillery guns from Swedish firm Bofors in 1986. India’s Transparency Index is 87, up from 84, previously indicated, and is based on perceived levels of corruption. Thus, India is among the most corrupt societies in the world needs little reiteration.

    India’s burgeoning population is a great hindrance to the eradication of poverty and corruption. Sanjay Gandhi’s pragmatic idea of birth control could not work, because of the insensitive lower echelon enforcement of the government policy of sterilization for men with two children. One can change the century’s old die-hard customs and traditions through education and not by coercion. Jawahar Lal Nehru had to worry about the well-fare of 48 crore, Indira – 60 crore, but Manmohan Singh has to worry about the bread and butter for 120 crore Indians. PM, a man of impeccable honesty and integrity, is working against heavy odds.The land in India, for habitation, has not increased, in fact has decreased. There is no hope of another Green Revolution in Punjab, because Punjab, now, for all intents and purposes is a failed state. No wonder a United Nations-backed study by Oxford University revealed that “poverty in at least eight Indian States — Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand — was worse than in some of the poorest countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The study found 421 million really poor Indians against 410 million found in 26 top countries of Africa. India might be an aspirant superpower but the stark fact is that every second hungry person on earth is an Indian. And one out of two children in the country is undernourished. “A lack of toilets and poor hygiene practices in India cost Asia’s third largest economy almost $54 billion every year, says the World Bank. World Bank experts say “there are 450,000 deaths out of 575 million cases of diarrhea in every year in India, where millions of people in both rural and urban areas still have to defecate in the open, do not wash their hands and cope with poor drainage systems. Over 70,000 women die in India every year during childbirth”.

    Staggering 12.6 million “God’s Lesser Children” in India, some of them as young as five and six years, are shackled to child labour. It is estimated that there are 80-100 million children out of schools. They need protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. In spite of the “Right to Education”, starting from April 1, 2010, the rampant corruption and innate greed of business community will stand in the way of millions of children accessing this right. The future of a community is in the well being of its children. This is beautifully expressed by William Wordsworth in his famous lines, “Child is father of the man.” So it becomes imperative for the health of a nation to protect its children from inhumane treatment.

    “Even elections are being purchased; genuine people are ousted from the political system.

    Rising prices add to the number daily,” says SitaramYechury, who was critical of CWG and Adarsh Housing Society scam and illegal mining scams in several states, which have caused severe collateral damage to the environment. Adarsh Scam: a clear case of manipulation says Maharashtra HC, ‘everybody who was supposed to clear the file was gifted a flat’.

    While no society is free from corruption, what is worrying is that such behaviour appears normalized in India. Studies have documented that power and hypocrisy go hand in hand as the powerful feel a sense of entitlement; their sense of privilege become private law. The culture of entitlement results in double standards, one for themselves, their family and friends, and the other for the general population. Unless the cancer of corruption is removed from the system, India’s dream of being a 21st century superpower shall not even remain a topic of discussion let alone be a reality.

    “There is need to re-examine our culture, which has normalized corruption in its many different forms. We in India need to acknowledge the need for introspection on our acceptance of the abuse of power. The “Seven Nolan Principles of Public Life” — selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership by example — should form the standards for holding public office,” (K.S. Jacob}.


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  3. Rage

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    CBI Grills Ambani, Other honchos next

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    New Delhi: The CBI today questioned ADAG chairman Anil Ambani amid allegations that his group received favours from former Telecom Minister A Raja in getting dual technology and a role for Reliance Telecom in promoting Swan Telecom.


    Ambani, 51, arrived at the CBI headquarters much ahead of the scheduled time of 5 pm and waited at the reception before he was quizzed by the agency officials, CBI sources said.

    He did not speak to the media before entering the CBI headquarters for giving clarifications on the possible role of Reliance Telecom Limited (RTL), a subsidary of ADAG, in Swan.

    Swan Telecom, in which Tiger Traders Private Limited have 90.13 and RTL has 9.87 equity share capital, has been under the scanner over alleged diversion of funds to DMK-owned Kalaignar television.

    DB Realty group Managing Director Shahid Usman Balwa was arrested by the CBI earlier this month.

    After Ambani's, sources said other top brass of telecom companies including that of Tata Tele Services and Idea would be called for clarification.

    According to the CAG, four companies including Reliance Communications Ltd were provided CDMA-based mobile service under Unified Access Service licence.

    Based on the recommendations of TRAI, use of dual technology was permitted on October 17, 2007 and RCom is alleged to have applied even before the announcement of the policy.

    Reliance Communication Ltd. had complied with the requirements for permission to use dual technology on October 19, 2007 itself by depositing the non refundable entry fee of Rs 1645 crore for 20 service areas through Reliance Infocomm Ltd.

    The CAG had said that acceptance of bank draft from Reliance Infocomm Ltd (third party) on behalf of Reliance Communications Ltd was not in order and showed the hurry through which entry fee was deposited.

    In a statement here, ADAG said, "During the course of his weekly visit to New Delhi, Ambani met CBI officials today to clarify ongoing issues, relating to telecom matters for the years 2001 to 2010, and virtually every telecom operator in the country."

    It said no summons of any kind have been issued by CBI to Ambani.

    ADAG statement said, "Neither Reliance Telecom nor RCOM nor any Reliance ADA Group individual, company or affiliate held even a single share in Swan Telecom Ltd at the time of grant of the 2G licence to them in january, 2008, or at any time thereafter."

    Sources: MSN, PTI


    http://news.in.msn.com/national/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4927268
     

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