Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Holi Cow! No punishment to stung MPs!

Happy Holi to all! Hope your life is colorful and you make up with your enemies :-).

And now to the main issue, I was shocked to read this article in TOI today telling how all the MPs in the MPLADS scam have gotten the benefit of doubt.[link to one-page version, cancel the print option when it comes]

Let us look at some snippets of this superb article.
While maintaining that the conduct of none of the four members "was above board and they need to be handed out appropriate punishment", it gave the benefit of doubt to the four lawmakers saying the "improper conduct" on their part "did not, strictly speaking, relate to their parliamentary duties and none of the said members was actually shown accepting the money".
"Alemao Churchill (Cong), Paras Nath Yadav (SP), Faggan Singh Kulaste and Ramswaroop Koli (both BJP) may be reprimanded. They may also be suspended from the membership of the House till 22 March 2006," recommended the Committee in its 51-page unanimous report tabled in the House today.

And how is this punishment "appropriate" ? Agreed, they did not accept the money on camera, but they did write those absolutely bogus letters! What about that?

The Committee recommended that the Government suitably revise guidelines governing MPLADs with a view to plugging various loopholes and lacunae.

A suggestion made by the Committee to the Government on implementation of the MPLADS scheme was that NGOs and private institutions be barred from getting any funds under the scheme.
This was because most of such NGOs are "merely facades for unscrupulous organisations formed to usurp funds" from MPLADS, which are meant for community development works.

Under the scheme, each MP is entitled to sanction developmental projects in their respective parliamentary constituency to the tune of Rs two crore annually.

So, what the committee is saying is that the money should not be given to NGOs, then who will do the work? The government organizations? I wonder how much it is going to affect the "good" MPs who want to use these funds to support actual projects. [or maybe there aren't any left]

It asked the Government to initiate steps for laying guidelines and norms for sting operators.

The Committee expressed concern that the media has been indulging in "sensationalism on a competitive basis" in a race to achieve viewership.

It noted that in this case, a television channel had implied that all MPs were susceptible to corruption.

"Carrying out such operations in an unregulated manner, which cast aspersions on MPs, erodes the credibility of our democratic institutions," the Committee said noting that "such motivated trial by the media needs to be regulated".

This surely takes the cake... instead of lauding the efforts of the media, the committee is busy reprimanding them. While agree that tainting a MP by sending a girl to her place and assailing his character may be below the belt [since it has no relation to his work as a parliamentarian], why should the media not find out their corrupt dealings?

And what would these norms look like -- please submit in tripilicate the names/addresses of your sting operatives and the target MP three months in advance, so that we[govt] can go after you[media]!

Funny how this is called operation "Duryodhana", and I was reading the "gambling scene" in the Mahabharata yesterday. It is said that when Dushasana finally got to disrobing Draupadi and fabric appeared magically to cover her, Dhritarashtra and others realised how everything was so wrong and that the end of the dynasty is near. Somehow, with the recent Jessica Lal case and now this, I see the proverbial cup of corruption running over in India.

Reminds me of..

"Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya. Glanirva Bhavathi Bharatha,.
Abhyuthanam Adharmaysya. Tadatmanam Srijami Aham'.

Bhagavad Gita (Chapter IV-7) [ref]

I think it's time -- so where art thou?


1 comment:

  1. A very apt reaction Pathak...and the committee findings/suggestions are ridiculous to say the least. But on the positive side, Government Committee recommendations are rarely implemented...and it wud be quite a task to 'regulate' stings.

    Anti-establishmentism is the staple of media and anyone trying to change or control that wud lose face first of all. To an extent, media is also responsible...by NOT publicising this news and showing rage or shock. Lalu's Holi was all that is running on TV since morning. How surreal!

    And Bhagwad Gita is all we can cling on in such times...