Editorial

Editorial: Another Scam, Not A Big Deal!

Unearthing of a scandal isn’t something to be surprised about in Indian politics now. Any scam of bribery or hawala transactions, even one running into hundreds of crores, is no matter of shock to us. Courtesy our dutifully corrupt ministers and public representatives. Over last two decades we’ve been assiduously trained, our ears tuned, eyes adapted, heart and mind made habitual of treating them as events very routine. So when country heard of former Jharkhan chief minister Madhu Koda’s alleged hawala transactions and illegal investment worth tens of hundreds of crores, no wave of shock assailed us. Though it’s too early to come to a conclusion about Koda’s criminality or innocence in the case, what many of us might have thought was that it’s like any other corruption case in which the investigating agency will look, prepare chargesheet, move to court and later, months or years later, the accused will be absolved of all the charges. In India, crime takes place but without evidence to support it in the court of law. The thing that promptly arrests our attention is that his assets grew from Rs 35 lakh in 2004 to over Rs 30 crore in 2009 as per his own declaration to the Election Commission.

Koda is the first politician of the stature of a state government head who has been accused of such a gigantic corruption and thus the axiom needs to be remembered in this case. The only big politician to be put behind the bars in a criminal case while being in power is Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s Sibu Soren,

Nonetheless, with elections due in Jharkhand next month, it’s predictable that Koda will try to use them for his mileage, terming all the CBI raids as a part of some political conspiracy by rivals at election time. What’s interesting is the fact that most politicians, who, by virtue of our system, continues to be holier-than-thou, have showed the willingness to move against Koda. That’s wonderful. But it will hardly change the trend of ‘bigger fish getting out of the trap’ about which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed concerns in an all India conference of police personnel and investigating agencies a few months ago. Koda is the first politician of the stature of a state government head who has been accused of such a gigantic corruption and thus the axiom needs to be remembered in this case.  The only big politician to be put behind the bars in a criminal case while being in power is Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s Sibu Soren, who was later acquitted due to prosecution’s failure to prove charge. Very recently, all cases against Italian businessman Ottavio Quatrocchi was dropped in Bofors gun deal scam by CBI following failure to seek his extradition twice.

Country is, in fact, fed up of hearing about such cases of corruption and their final disposal – which people may most often find unpleasant – achieved at snail’s pace. Therefore, whether any hawal transaction or bribery or embezzlement scam is unearthed by a police or an investigating agency genuinely on the ground of substantial cues is conspiratorial in the sense that if our agencies don’t have or cannot find defendable proof against some one accused of so serious charges, then why they conduct raids and file chargesheets. Whether motivated politically or not, such activities are no way genuine. Bringing in police reforms and making investigating agencies autonomous with certain riders to end political interferences in their working have been suggested as solution but no party, despite corruption being a big issue for decades, have shown the willingness to implement them.

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