`Not surprised about defence personnel in scams`

Kiran Bedi says Opposition is right in demanding a JPC in 2G scam.

Corruption has been haunting the nation in the recent months. Whether it was the Commonwealth Games, Adarsh Housing Society scam, Food Scam in Uttar Pradesh and above all 2G spectrum, which has left UPA government in tizzy. Every scam had big names involved, ranging from politicians to defence personnel.

Kiran Bedi India’s first woman cop and a social activist shared her views with Zeenews’ Biplob Ghosal on government’s inefficiency in fighting corruption and opposition’s demand for joint parliamentary probe, which almost washed out the entire winter session of Parliament.

Biplob: How do you view the role of investigative agencies, such as CBI and CVC, in probing the recent corruption scams?

Kiran Bedi: They have not been above board. Hence they do not enjoy public trust. As these agencies have been vulnerable to political influence, they have been reportedly been abused in public perception.

They may have capable people, but not courageous enough to stand up to political mismanagement.

Biplob:What is your take on the Opposition’s demand of Joint Parliamentary Probe in 2G spectrum scam and the stalling of almost the entire winter session of Parliament? How do you view central government’s role in this whole process?

Kiran Bedi: Well, it had never been worse than now. And the Opposition is well within its rights and charter to demand a JPC. They will spare no efforts in letting the country know what really happened and who did what. And then ensure it is taken to the logical end.

Biplob: How would you rate UPA government’s role in tackling corruption, especially with regards to the corporate-politicians nexus?

Kiran Bedi: The government responded only when cornered. It did nothing to prevent and detect it on its own. The bureaucrat and the corporate, led by scheming and self serving politicians, were all in it together.

Biplob:You have been a part of India’s police service. How do you feel when defence personnel’s names emerge in scams like the Adarsh Housing Society?

Kiran Bedi: Not surprised. What was under the carpet over the years got exposed.
The problem had set in some ways earlier, but it could not surface and was finally exposed in this manner.

Biplob: Politicians involved in scams just get away with resigning from their designations. So what is the best solution to bring them to justice?

Kiran Bedi: White collar crime in India is most paying for the shameless and thick skinned. This is because the systems and structures to deal with it are grossly weak. It’s the most unaddressed crime in India. Bigger the crime, higher the chance of walking free with the loot. We as a group of activists initiated by Arvind Kejriwal and Shanti Bhushan and others have offered a draft of an effective law to combat this. We are now organising ourselves to become a nationwide movement against corruption. Please visit www.indiaagainstcorruption.org.

Biplob: When a commons man tries to raise his voice against influential tainted persons, his voice is being killed as in the case of RTI activist Amit Jethwa. So what steps should a common man take in order to expose the corrupt?

Kiran Bedi: We have to fight back, join hands and mobilise for the movement. One should vote for only that person who assures us of a determined will to fight corruption.

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