There are very few good ones but their existence in our political structure is like looking for a needle in a haystack. There might be a lot of claimants for the crown of corruption among our political parties but the UPA government led by the Congress party is undoubtedly the most deserving and without any prejudice, should be declared as the most corrupt government in the political history of India. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the UPA government is the gateway and also the ground zero of political corruption. The Congress party talking about political honesty is like holding a drink in one hand and giving a speech on prohibition.
Our country would forever be indebted to Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly of the Supreme Court who on Thursday cancelled 122 mobile network licenses issued after January 10, 2008. The case came before the Supreme Court as a result of a writ petition filed by Dr Subramanian Swamy. The companies affected include some of the country's biggest telecom players. Licenses had been issued by A Raja during his infamous tenure as Telecom Minister. This came to be known as 2G scam which resulted in a loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore to the public exchequer and led to the arrest of some people including A Raja. When the politicians are failing the country, the judiciary, once again, rose to the occasion and tried to set things right. I have said this so many times in the past and I feel that the Indian public has lost confidence in all government institutions except the Supreme Court. I have also expressed my confidence in the apex court in one of my articles Judicial Activism Saved India.
There is no doubt that the judgement has indicted the UPA government. The Supreme Court's decision to cancel 122 telecom licenses issued in 2008 by A Raja has shattered the entire credibility of the decision-making process of this government. The Supreme Court described the process followed by A Raja as unconstitutional and arbitrary. A Raja chose not to auction spectrum and licenses. Instead, he followed a first-come-first-serve policy. There is a fundamental flaw in the principle of first-come-first-served in as much as it involves an element of pure chance or accident. In matters involving award of contracts or grant of licence or permission to use public property, the invocation of first-come-first-served principle has inherently dangerous implications. Any person who has access to power corridor at the highest or the lowest level may be able to obtain information from the Government files or the files of the agency/instrumentality of the State that a particular public property or asset is likely to be disposed of or a contract is likely to be awarded or a licence or permission would be given. He would immediately make an application and would become entitled to stand first in the queue at the cost of all others who may have a better claim.
This time the Supreme Court of India came to the rescue of public money and cancelled the licences given out by A Raja and his cohorts. Even though we have the utmost regard, we cannot depend on the the apex court to fix things for us all the time. Our parliamentarians are failing the country and they are not doing things which they are elected to do and supposed to do. Why can’t the Indian political system attract 788 people to be members of both houses of parliament (543 for Lok Sabha and 245 for Rajya Sabha) who can do their work honestly, efficiently and diligently? Is this asking for too much? It is a miniscule fraction of our population of 1.3 billion people. When would this pathetic saga of our politicians sucking the oxygen out of the public good would end? Ours is not a democracy in its infancy…we are a 60+ year old democracy and any kind of irresponsible and corrupt behaviour on the part of the politicians should not only be criticised and discussed in private, it should be publicly condemned by us in no uncertain terms. They have to be told that it is a country of the people, for the people and by the people and not of the politicians, for the politicians and by the politicians. The molestation of our electorate and the rape of our democracy must stop. Our political leaders are suffering from the failure of imagination to take the country to the next level.
If it was left to our politicians, we would be having the same discussion even after another 20 years. The country is going through the Assembly election process in five states. According to ADR India, a watchdog for the election process, all the political parties have given tickets to people with criminal background. I wrote an article sometime back where I suggested that we should Support The Right Candidate And Not The Party. I feel that if all the elected candidates are good and if the product mix is intelligent, honest and efficient, the chances are very high that whatever they would decide to do would be good for the country. We the public, have to be proactive and control the destiny of our country ourselves. I am also in favour of capital punishment for the politicians involved in scams like 2G and CWG. Most of them are very thick skinned with not an iota of conscience and morality and fear of capital punishment would act as a deterrent.
As India moves towards global power status, it must undertake some very serious steps that would resolve this key dilemma and pave the way for the emergence of a parliament with integrity that would command the respect of people at home and abroad. The thinking of our elected representatives has to resonate with the thinking of the public. We do not have any other option.