FOOLED: ALL THE PEOPLE; ALL THE TIME
Abraham Lincoln had famously said, 'You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time'. For the past two years, the nation has been debating corruption across all forums – in the Parliament and in the courts, at Jantar Mantar & Ramlila grounds, on Primetime TV, newspaper editorials and in the streets & drawing rooms. Scandals like 2G and Coal, Adarsh and Airport, CWG and Bellary, have consumed miles of footage and reams of paper. We have seen the birth of new supermen like Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Baba Ramdev and Subramanian Swamy leave alone the super villains like Raja, Kalmadi and the Reddy Brothers of Bellary. The CAG of India is now more popular than the PM even though many keep calling him ‘Controller’ and not Comptroller & Auditor General. But what have the people of India got in bargain? Two statements from our Government actually sums up the gains made after all this noise – ‘Zero Loss in 2G allocation’ a theory forwarded by Mr. Kapil Sibal and now ‘The Coal still lies under the Mother Earth’ stated by Mr. P. Chidambaram. This reminds me of some ads we see on TV. Where, we are ostensibly informed that ‘Kingfisher’ is a brand of bottled mineral water, ‘Mcdowell’ is a brand of Soda and ‘Bacardi’ is a music company. The viewer knows very well ‘Kingfisher’ kis chidiya ka naam hai and so does the advertiser. But the law makers and enforcers of our nation are helpless – these companies can and will prove in courts that their claims on TV are real and genuine as sanguine as the ‘Zero Loss’ claim in 2G and Coal-gate. In a country, where most believe that no Government contracts, be it a drain construction or a street light repair, can materialise without money exchanging hands. Where even a Driving Licence requires some palm greasing, we are now told that licences for prime and scarce resources like Spectrum, Mines and Land are...
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