New Delhi: Former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India Vinod Rai launched his much-awaited book "Not Just an Accountant" at the India Habitat Centre here on Wednesday evening.
In his book, Rai has blown the cover of many of the scams that plagued the second United Progressive Alliance (UPA-II) government when it had been in power at the Centre, including the Commonwealth Games scam, the 2G scam and the coal-block allocation scam, commonly known as 'Coalgate'.
While releasing the book to a packed hall, Rai said, "When I retired in 2013, I had no intention of writing this book. Unfortunately, upon retirement, there were innuendoes about what transpired during my term.
For a few months I kept it in, but after that, I couldn't stay silent any longer, so I decided to write."
He also questioned why members of the Congress Party were criticising him in every sphere and were intent on "shooting the messenger rather than addressing the malice".
Former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian, who was present at the launch, praised Rai for writing it, saying, "More people should come out into the open and not under the threat of the CBI. There should be complete transparency, because public property is not the property of the parliament; it is the property of every one of us."
Strategic thinker and international geostrategic analyst Brahma Chellaney compared a corrupt India to raiders of the past, saying, "Corruption makes India lose its wealth and resources and makes it insensitive to the welfare of the underprivileged. In the US, millionaires enter politics; here people enter politics to become millionaires. In India, corruption has reached such heights, that it can't be called corruption. It is national loot. What is the difference between these politicians and centuries of conquerors and plunderers?"
Supreme Court advocate Karuna Nundy, crediting Rai with "bringing in the power of social accountability into the office of the CAG," said "The title of the book is quite unassuming, but what can be accountability without accounts?"
Rai, meanwhile, had only one thing to say about his book, "By such a massive turnout, this generation has confirmed that such a book was needed. Multiple shares on social media have warned those in power against corruption and to be transparent."