`Working to improve rotten system`

Rahul Gandhi reacted to Justice Krishna Iyer`s letter accusing him of being `silent` on corruption.

Kochi: Rahul Gandhi has reacted sharply
to former Supreme Court judge VR Krishna Iyer`s letter
accusing him of being "silent" on corruption, saying he is
working to improve a "rotten system" instead of just
complaining and has no intention of being glorified as a hero.

"..I work because I believe in working to improve a
system that is rotten and not to be glorified," he said in
response to a strongly worded letter from Iyer.

Gandhi also said, "As far as becoming a hero is
concerned, unfortunately, that is of absolutely no interest to

Referring to the agitation by Anna Hazare on Lokpal
Bill, 95-year-old Iyer in his April 9 letter said, "You
(Gandhi) will become the hero if you take up the great
challenge of transformation of India into an egalitarian
society, a Gandhian India, a Nehruvian India, not nuclear

"Why should the Hazare phenomenon occur at all? Only
because of so many evils and no actions from Delhi," he said
on the anti-corruption campaign following Hazare`s fast unto

Gandhi told Iyer that like most right-thinking
Indians, he feels exactly the same way "as you do".

"I spend a lot of waking hours thinking and working to
improve what I see as a rotten system. The difference is that
I cannot get away simply with writing letters and complaining
as you can. I am faced with the reality of changing things
which requires much more than periodic release of emotion."

Iyer in his letter also strongly criticised Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh, saying he is "known for inaction".
Gandhi`s reply is silent on this reference.

"Corruption is rampant. If you are sensitive about
people you must attack the big corrupt persons in power. Why
are you silent?", Iyer asked Gandhi.

The former judge said, "You (Gandhi) are a young man
and can rise to be a great nationalist, not by ambitiously
aspiring to be Prime Minister because you are of the Nehru
family. That would be anti-democratic and oligarchic".

Iyer said he respects Gandhi as he was the grandson of
Nehru and had a word of advice. "Read his autobiography. Then
you will realise what is socialism, patriotism and
imprisonment in the struggle against British colonialism".

Gandhi reacted saying he had read Nehru`s
autobiography and would do so again as suggested.

"You have not gone to jail or been detained for a day
for fighting socialist, secular causes in a country of
communalism. Feroze Gandhi was great in his own right. So was
your grandmother, the great Indira," Iyer said in his letter.

Iyer, in his reply today to Gandhi, said, "Forgive me
if I have been bitter in my letter to you. I am too old and
critical of parties CPI(M) and Congress for governmental

"When a former Chief Justice of India is freely
accused of `delinquent misconduct`, there is no action and no
response from the Prime Minister," Iyer said.

"You can call the rule as rotten government. A just
assessment," the former judge said and called for a `grand
jury` of the highest authority with power to take on
corruption of every public authority.

"Parliament is wasting time and people`s money. The
Executive multiplies its income by universal corruption and
bribery. The judicature, a sacred instrument with great powers
to punish corruption, is itself corrupt. Not a single corrupt
judge has been caught or punished," Iyer said.