India’s Telecom Scam: How Can a Corrupt System Be Cleaned? – Part 7

India is a democracy. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, the country has a “government of the people, for the people, and by the people.” But Indians have to understand that most of India’s maladies are a consequence of their abdication of the responsibility that necessarily accompanies the rights Indians have in a democratic system. Democracy is not just about voting but rather informed voting. Citizens have to act collectively against those who have brought ignominy and shame to the country. They have the responsibility to clean up the corruption. This they can do most effectively by refusing to vote for criminals.

The news is not all bad. Citizen groups are springing up that seek to address the problem of corruption. It is a collective problem that can only be solved through the mobilization of informed voters. Among many others, one such nascent group, called “United Voters of India,” is an association of people who agree to vote only for candidates who are capable and clean.

Our problems have to be solved within the system through the democratic process. The good news is that advances in information and telecommunications technologies have shifted the balance of power from the government to the people. People now have the means to inform themselves and collectively organize to force reform on the system. The telecom scam should serve as a wake-up call to all Indians that it is time to take action. If it does that, perhaps the scam will have served a positive purpose after all.

4 thoughts on “India’s Telecom Scam: How Can a Corrupt System Be Cleaned? – Part 7

  1. hi rajesh,
    i hope you caught kapil sibal’s interview with barkha dutt on ndtv last night. this was post sibal’s meeting with the captains of the telecom industry. i thought that it was the most lucid interview given by a politician in recent indian history, where sibal spoke at length about the telecom policy, the procedures followed in its implementation, and lastly, the issue of criminal culpability.

    india could do with more competent politicians like sibal, and i now have the feeling that the BJP certainly has an ulterior motive in insisting on a JPC probe, when there are other mechanisms to address the same issue.

    to not agree to openly debating the issues in the parliament, and to bring parliament functioning to a complete standstill is not the sign of a mature opposition. ever since i started to reading your posts related to the BJP, i too felt the need for a center right party, but the BJP is currently not behaving like one!

    sibal also addressed a more critical point related to corruption, and said that it cuts across all parties, and in many ways is a reflection of the low moral values currently prevailing in our society. to fix corruption requires politicians to stop playing politics, and for them to come together and jointly address the malaise. the BJP has no moral right to lecture any other party on the same, and needs to come together with other parties of it truly wants to fight corruption.

    sibal also gave examples of how he has been taking steps to address corruption in the education sector (in his capacity as the HRD minister).

  2. Rajesh,

    I agree with Vinod to some extent on BJP being just like another party. I had great trust in the BJP, but after i have witnessed what is happening in Karnataka i am afraid it is turning out to be another Congress. A Party with a difference has become a Party with differences. Congress was always known for it’s corruption and people with time thought BJP is an alternative to provide clean and corruption free administration. But they proved people wrong. However, Gujarat continues to be an exception, the best administered state and credit goes to Modi for providing a clean and corruption free governance.

    Vinod, i don’t think we can take whatever Sibal says @ face value. Coz don’t forget he is not a mass man and is @ the mercy of the first family of Congress. Whatever he says shud be taken with a pinch of salt. Questioning CAG estimate without providing alternate way of estimating is like a “Hit and Run” case…His strategy is to attack CAG estimate and divert attention and create confusion. Does he mean to say that there has been no scam even if there is an iota of truth in that?

  3. I also came across the CAG report and it has calculated the loss in 4 different ways and the minimum being 1,20,000 crores. I also heard Dr.Subramanian Swamy say that even he has done calculations and has submitted it to the PMO and his estimates also surpass 1,00,000 Crores.

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