Year of corruption
Transparency International’s latest corruption rankings which showed India as having slipped three ranks did nothing to move us. Nobody really understands these rankings. But when the outgoing Chief Vigilance Commissioner Pratyush Sinha said that almost one-third of Indians were “utterly corrupt “and half were “borderline”, we couldn’t but agree. His remarks came at a time when India was perhaps passing through the worst phase in its scandal-ridden history. The numbers – of scams and zeroes – continues to increase as we end this decade, forcing us to call 2010 the year of corruption.
While Indians know that their politicians can’t keep their laundary clean, what really hit us bad was that even the game of cricket, the country’s Army as well as journalists were not spared the blot. While the ownership patterns of the Indian Premier League’s teams was questioned and cost Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor their powerful posts, real estate scams in Maharashtra and Chandigarh seems to have sullied the image of the Army or at least those associated with it. The Niira Radia tapes have left many top journalists and business honchos red-faced for exposing an allegedly sinister nexus between politicians-business-media. This in turn is part of the mega 2G spectrum allocation scam attributed to former Telecom Minister A Raja, which has even raised questions on the PM’s authority as also his silence. Another fall out of the 2G juggernaut is that perhaps for the first time in our history, the credibility of the CVC too is under scanner.
The less said about Suresh Kalmadi and company, the better. If he did not get the point in the loud ‘boos’ he received from the angry spectators at Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing ceremonies, one hopes the Transparency International declaring that CWG scams tarnished India’s image abroad. The corruption bug also bit the mining industry in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and showed how influential people can run their writs on governments.