India: Corruption Scandal of the Day

October 14th, 2012
in econ_news, syndication

Written by Sanjeev Kulkarni

Econintersect: In an October 12, 2012 article "India: Mangoes in a Banana Salman-KhurshidRepublic?," this author had wondered: "The tired citizens of India wonder about when the next scam will hit them".

This has been answered:  Within a week.

The ink on story an alleged scam scam by Robert Vadra, son in law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, has yet to dry when another major scandal has rocked the nation.

Note: There is a video update on the Vadra story at the end of this article.

Follow up:

This time the Trust for the physically challenged controlled by Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid is involved.  Khurshid has been accused It is alleged that Kurshid has committed forgery to siphon off Government money to the tune of $ 178,000 [$1 = Rs 50].

In return, Salman Khurshid accused India Today Group of defamation, but India Today has refused to budge.

The news story "NGO headed by Salman Khurshid's Wife comes under scanner for forgery," published in India Today, cites a report by The Comptroller and Auditor General of India regarding the Dr. Zakir Hussein Memorial Trust to corroborate its claim.

According to India Today, the Government audit report says that the Trust has misappropriated $178,000 meant for the physically challenged.  It has recommended that the amount be recovered by the government from the Trust.

The story was broken on India Today's Hindi News Channel "Aaj Tak."  A sting operation was carried out to unearth the story.

In an interview to its sister publication India Today, Deepak Sharma, the Editor says:
" When my source told me that Salman Khurshid was involved I couldn't believe my ears."
Arvind Kejriwal, who had just accused Robert Vadra, son in law of Sonia Gandhi, and DLF Ltd. of crony dealings, has now taken protests to the street asking for Salman Khurshid's arrest and criminal prosecution.  He and other activists, including physically challenged people, were earlier jailed by the government for protesting yesterday. They were later released and today the protest has shifted to Parliament Street.

The media has been unrelenting in its attack on the two recent scams which have broken almost simultaneously.

The Times Of India, in an unusually sharp tone, criticizes the entire political class in its cover story: " The 'K' Factor:  New Kid on the Block."  It darkly alludes to the "Omerta Code Of Silence" (presumably followed by Mafia) among the Indian political elites.  It has ratcheted the ante further and called the corrupt politicians rats.
"Rookie politician Arvind Kejriwal did the unthinkable last week. He pointed an accusing finger at Gandhi family son-in-law Robert Vadra for amassing huge wealth in a short span of time through questionable deals with real estate giant DLF.
The new kid on the block had just broken the Omerta code of Indian politics: never rake muck about family members of top leaders in public"

It is ironic that Kejriwal's Vadra salvo should have hit both national parties equally hard, albeit in different ways. The Congress is extremely rattled, as is evident from its flip-flop defensive strategies, first sending out top ministers to defend Vadra and then withdrawing them when there was a backlash.

The opposition party BJP is equally rattled"

"There are some unwritten rules of our politics, " a senior BJP leader told TOI-Crest. (He did not want to be identified. )"

"Yes, Kejriwal has stolen our thunder. And rightly so. Last year, the BJP had in its possession the same documents Kejriwal waved at his press conference but after an intense discussion, the leadership decided not to rake up the issue in Parliament even after submitting a motion in each House asking for a discussion.

In an oblique reference to the Omerta code of silence, Sushma Swaraj of BJP is supposed to have insisted that children not be dragged into political controversy while Rajnath Singh apparently said that most political leader's offspring are involved in real estate deals."
Are these oppositions to the scandals just Banana Shakes for the Mango people giving an occasional ineffective energy booster against chronic depression brought about by the systemic corruption?

Or has the patience of the "mangoes" finally snapped?  To quote The Times of India article:
" Is Kejriwal the game-changer, India's moribund politics has been waiting for, the piped piper who will lead the rats to their destruction with sniper shot exposes of corruption?"
It is too early to say but one thing is certain... the Omerta code of silence of corrupt politicians has been exposed by Kejriwal.

The following video presents an update on the Robert Vadra story:


Notes and Sources:
  • India Today Group is a conglomerate having interests in magazines, news papers, television channels. It also has JV's, Licensing arrangements with Harvard Business Review, Scientific American, Readre's Digest and Cosmopolitan: India Today Group
  • Alleged Forgery:  NGO headed by Salman Khurshids Wife comes under scanner for forgery: The Story

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  1. about corruption says :

    This article on Corruption in India relies on a poor legal and a weak statistical base relying on mere opinions and impressions in the website Any one who visits this website can make out that neither there is accountability of the person who reports a bribe nor there is any sort of verification such as voter's ID or driving license number or ration card number or any such thing provided.

  2. Admin (Member) Email says :

    about corruption - - -

    Where was material used from the site you referenced? It is not listed in the sources. Are you suggesting that material was used from that site without citation? If so please identify that material and we will correct our article.



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