Thoughts on economics and liberty

Tag: Corruption in Indian politics

My personal challenge to Rahul Gandhi to disclose his black money assets

NOTE: 13 March 2011. I first came across a link to this Wikipedia entry (see below) on Rahul Gandhi a few days ago on my Facebook page, and when I found time to re-read the Wikipedia entry yesterday it still existed, so I assumed that Wiki editors had checked it.

I did not therefore check the references in detail; particularly given my understanding that the de facto head of Congress controls such kinds of money. One cannot possibly check everything, particularly after having formed a general view over the years that Wikipedia is broadly as reliable as the Britannica. 

Bhagwad Jal has investigated this in detail, however, and, upon making a determination, removed the entry from Wikipedia. I'm not sure if that was the wisest course to do, but so be it. This is a citizens' database and let Wiki and its editors work out how they deal with such entries. (Please read his comments below – as well as my comments after that.) 

In this case I am clearly guilty of having been misled by a bad source (Wikipedia). I do hope Wikipedia will do a better job in the future, lest its credibility be shot to pieces, at least with me. At the minimum, I'm now going to have to check all references carefully before "believing" what is written on Wiki. 

But I personally continue to believe that this claim of significant foreign assets is broadly correct and would like to lower this personal challenge from a precise figure (which was not really the substantive issue) to Rahul Gandhi's disclosing his (and his family's) black money assets clearly held in India and abroad.

That the Congress is a mafia organisation with deep connections to the underworld, rolling in black money, is my firm personal judgement. The current corruption scandals rocking India are merely the tip of the iceberg of corruption that is endemic within the Indian political system. It is simply not possible to enter 'real politics' in India without such significant control over black money. So let Rahul Gandhi prove he doesn't control HUGE amounts of black money.

And so I've now removed the figure of $14 billion from the title of this blog post but continue the personal challenge, as before. I'm SICK AND TIRED of  the corrupt leaders of India. Let them be challenged and interrogated. 

Under no circumstance can Rahul Gandhi (and his family) escape accountability just because a particular figure cited was erroneous. Let him publish the detailed accounts of electoral expenditure by the Congress party, prove that he has no foreign accounts, prove that he does not control black money. That is impossible. He is fully involved. The size of his involvement is irrelevant. Whether $2.5 million (too low) or $10 billion (more plausible) is irrelevant. 

Addendum 17 June 2011 (click for bigger image)


Nothing that is inaccurate lasts for very long on Wikipedia. Its aggressive editors expunge it out at once. However, they clearly believe that sufficient evidence exists to suggest that Rahul Gandhi's hidden wealth is in the range of $14 billion ($9.41 to 18.66 billion).

To me the figure is highly believable, given my DEEP AND PERSONAL understanding of how the Congress party works. It is also not a ridiculous figure of the sort that some people have earlier floated around in the India media.

I PERSONALLY CHALLENGE Rahul Gandhi to disprove this figure by publicly disclosing his Swiss bank account details. 

At the minimum I challenge him – IF HE HAS THE GUTS – to sue Wikipedia for the devastating damage it is doing to his reputation across the world.

He can pay off The Times of India (which called him an honest man!), but not Wikipedia.

To be doubly sure that Rahul Gandhi doesn't actually pay off even Wikipedia to erase this entry, I've copied this image today, 12 March 2011 for the public record. (Image below)

This entry in Wikipedia also explains, given the huge power of the blogsphere in spreading such BASIC truths, why Rahul Gandhi is likely to be personally behind the proposed Indian law to control Indian bloggers. Shame, Sonia and Rahul (and EVERYONE who has supported them, including MMS, and India's IT billionnaires).

When will India start believing the truth? When will we throw out these corrupt socialists? Please join or support the Freedom Team of India if you want India to not only do 10 times better economically, but to become an exemplar of ethical goverance.

Click for bigger image.

Click for bigger image.


Just to check where I'd seen this Wiki entry first, I searched my FB page and found that I'd seen it first on 9 March 2011 (Thursday). See image below (click for larger size). It was therefore posted at least on 9 March (if not earlier) and Wiki editors had sufficient time to check the credibility of the sources. The Wiki entry states clearly that these people have been cited as billionaires by "various other [non-Forbes] credible sources".


Continue Reading

FTI member Somnath Bharti represents Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal and Swami Agnivesh in CWG case against GOI

TOI news (19 February) about a major public interest case by Somnath Bharti, FTI member.

Somnath Bharti

(Somnath Bharti's law firm web link. Somnath's blog)

NEW DELHI: A trial court on Friday directed the CBI, anti-corruption branch of Delhi Police and police officials of Parliament Street to report on the action taken by them on 18 specific complaints of corruption in Commonwealth Games (CWG) made by several "eminent citizens" of the country last year.

Admitting the petition filed by former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal and Swami Agnivesh, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Amit Bansal asked the various investigating agencies to submit a detailed report on their action taken so far by March 9, 2011.
In the petition filed before the court, the petitioners sought direction from the court to "direct the police officials concerned to lodge the FIRs and investigate the matter". The petitioners alleged that despite providing evidence of corruption in the 18 specific complaints in connection with the CWG, the government agencies registered only four FIRs so far.
Arguing before the court, petitioner's counsel Somnath Bharti said, "The petitioners have pursued with these agencies repeatedly but received no response." On November 14, last year many citizens including Swami Ramdev, Kiran Bedi, Anna Hazare, Swami Agnivesh, Archbishop Vincent M Concessao, Justice DS Tewatia and Arvind Kejriwal, among others, marched to the Parliament Street police station to file 18 complaints, meticulously drafted citing the offences, their analysis, associated evidences and details of the possible charges to be slapped against the erring officials.
Bharti further stated that the complainants, who were enabled and mandated by the law, filed all the 18 complaints with the Parliament Street police station as well as with the anti-corruption branch of Delhi Police and the CBI.
"Each of the 18 complaints discloses the commission of many cognizable offences of Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Prevention of Corruption Act but till date there has been no action, whatsoever, by the police or other authorities. Lack of action by the police on the reported crimes will go a long way in discouraging Indian citizens from taking pain to bring to the knowledge of the police such commission of criminal offences," the petition stated.
Continue Reading

How can Indians possibly believe that MMS is upright?

I have long argued that anyone who joins the corrupt gang commonly known as Congress Party (or, indeed, any other major political outfit in India), is to be deemed to be corrupt.

The idea that someone can be upright but actively support a gang of crooks is untenable. It boggles belief that, for instance, that MMS did not know at the time of joining Congress  that the entire Congress operation runs on black money, money stolen from government contracts, and from direct bribes for favours to be performed. This fact is common knowledge within the entire government apparatus.

As an ordinary bureaucrat privy to a number of conversations (and incidents which pointed straight to the top!) with politicians and their advisers, and others who had first hand knowledge of them, even I KNEW this to be the case. The circumstantial evidence was overwhelming. The logic why this is happening is also straight forward (electoral expenses being the key reason).

Had I, in 2000, decided to join a mainstream political party (and thus forgo all my self-respect) I would have almost certainly become a senior Cabinet minister by now. I might even have maintained an image as an upright man. But that would have been a FALSE image. I would have cheated no one but myself. But MMS, hungry for power and perks, did not have any reservations about joining this gang.

Too long I have heard that MMS is upright but that people around him are not.


How can that be! 

How can anyone claim to be upright as a Prime Minister and now know precisely what is going around him. By joining such Congress, by not speaking out against this gang of thugs (who have looted the country in a bigger way than anyone else in India's history), MMS is FULLY complicit in the crimes being conducted on a daily basis by the Congress party.

MMS was never particularly competent. He NEVER had a clear theory of the state nor of the significance of human freedom. A minor thinker, he had the fortune of taking certain 'decisions' that were forced upon India by the IMF. Not merely a minor thinker, he is spineless, and I would argue deeply involved since he has clearly been running after position and perk, not after India's interests, and not after truth.

Indians are very gullible. All kinds of petty magicians deceive them into thinking that they are 'God'. In this case MMS has made a BIG fool out of Indians, by pretending to be upright.

The same Indians keep 'hoping' that Rahul Gandhi will be honest. 

Forget it! Stop dreaming.

Please start THINKING. Stop believing.

The cause is bad policy that makes corruption inevitable. The bad policies must be eradicated. The Freedom Team of India is assembling leaders who will offer to do this for India. Then, and only then, will India know what honesty means. Read FTI's Code of Conduct.


Manmohan Singh is a Seriously Despicably Dishonest Spineless Toady Who Will Pay for his Crimes Against India (by Atanu Dey)

Continue Reading

Are Indians fraudulent, dishonest, corrupt, arrogant, boastful? Do they speak loudly and bother others in public places?

This article by Mohan Murti, which some of you have surely come across earlier, is worth being re-published every month.

Yesterday I noted on this blog post that "As a result of the incessant flow of bad news about India and Indians, the average image of India (and Indians) is very poor." Murti is far more blunt.

He writes:In the European mind, caricature of a typical Indian encompasses qualities of falsification, telling lies, being fraudulent, dishonest, corrupt, arrogant, boastful, speaking loudly and bothering others in public places or, while travelling, swindling when the slightest of opportunity arises and spreading rumours about others. 

I need to get in touch with Murti at once (could someone please send me his email ID?). It is not sufficient, in my view, to simply note these problems. We must change India. He must join the Freedom Team of India (or other such outfit to oust the corrupt incompetents who govern India), or just shut his mouth. What's the point in just complaining?

Is the nation in a coma?

The Hindu Business Line, May 31, 2010.

Europeans believe that Indian leaders are too blinded by new wealth and deceit to comprehend that the day will come when the have-nots will hit the streets.

Mohan Murti

A few days ago I was in a panel discussion on mergers and acquisitions in Frankfurt, Germany, organised by Euroforum and The Handelsblatt, one of the most prestigious newspapers in German-speaking Europe.
The other panellists were senior officials of two of the largest carmakers and two top insurance companies — all German multinationals operating in India.
The panel discussion was moderated by a professor from the esteemed European Business School. The hall had an audience that exceeded a hundred well-known European CEOs. I was the only Indian.
After the panel discussion, the floor was open for questions. That was when my “moment of truth” turned into an hour of shame, embarrassment — when the participants fired questions and made remarks on their experiences with the evil of corruption in India.
The awkwardness and humiliation I went through reminded of The Moment of Truth, the popular Anglo-American game. The more questions I answered truthfully, the more the questions get tougher. Tougher here means more embarrassing.
European disquiet
Questions ranged from “Is your nation in a coma?”, the corruption in judiciary, the possible impeachment of a judge, the 2G scam and to the money parked illegally in tax havens.
It is a fact that the problem of corruption in India has assumed enormous and embarrassing proportions in recent years, although it has been with us for decades. The questions and the debate that followed in the panel discussion was indicative of the European disquiet. At the end of the Q&A session, I surmised Europeans perceive India to be at one of those junctures where tripping over the precipice cannot be ruled out.
Let me substantiate this further with what the European media has to say in recent days.
In a popular prime-time television discussion in Germany, the panellist, a member of the German Parliament quoting a blog said: “If all the scams of the last five years are added up, they are likely to rival and exceed the British colonial loot of India of about a trillion dollars.”
Banana Republic
One German business daily which wrote an editorial on India said: “India is becoming a Banana Republic instead of being an economic superpower. To get the cut motion designated out, assurances are made to political allays. Special treatment is promised at the expense of the people. So, Ms Mayawati who is Chief Minister of the most densely inhabited state, is calmed when an intelligence agency probe is scrapped. The multi-million dollars fodder scam by another former chief minister wielding enormous power is put in cold storage. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chairs over this kind of unparalleled loot.”
An article in a French newspaper titled “Playing the Game, Indian Style” wrote: “Investigations into the shadowy financial deals of the Indian cricket league have revealed a web of transactions across tax havens like Switzerland, the Virgin Islands, Mauritius and Cyprus.” In the same article, the name of one Hassan Ali of Pune is mentioned as operating with his wife a one-billion-dollar illegal Swiss account with “sanction of the Indian regime”.
A third story narrated in the damaging article is that of the former chief minister of Jharkhand, Madhu Koda, who was reported to have funds in various tax havens that were partly used to buy mines in Liberia. “Unfortunately, the Indian public do not know the status of that enquiry,” the article concluded.
“In the nastiest business scam in Indian records (Satyam) the government adroitly covered up the political aspects of the swindle — predominantly involving real estate,” wrote an Austrian newspaper. “If the Indian Prime Minister knows nothing about these scandals, he is ignorant of ground realities and does not deserve to be Prime Minister. If he does, is he a collaborator in crime?”
The Telegraph of the UK reported the 2G scam saying: “Naturally, India's elephantine legal system will ensure culpability, is delayed.”
Blinded by wealth
This seems true. In the European mind, caricature of a typical Indian encompasses qualities of falsification, telling lies, being fraudulent, dishonest, corrupt, arrogant, boastful, speaking loudly and bothering others in public places or, while travelling, swindling when the slightest of opportunity arises and spreading rumours about others. The list is truly incessant.
My father, who is 81 years old, is utterly frustrated, shocked and disgruntled with whatever is happening and said in a recent discussion that our country's motto should truly be Asatyameva Jayete.
Europeans believe that Indian leaders in politics and business are so blissfully blinded by the new, sometimes ill-gotten, wealth and deceit that they are living in defiance, insolence and denial to comprehend that the day will come, sooner than later, when the have-nots would hit the streets.
In a way, it seems to have already started with the monstrous and grotesque acts of the Maoists. And, when that rot occurs, not one political turncoat will escape being lynched.
The drumbeats for these rebellions are going to get louder and louder as our leaders refuse to listen to the voices of the people. Eventually, it will lead to a revolution that will spill to streets across the whole of India, I fear.
Perhaps we are the architects of our own misfortune. It is our sab chalta hai (everything goes) attitude that has allowed people to mislead us with impunity. No wonder Aesop said. “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to high office.”

(The author is former Europe Director, CII, and lives in Cologne, Germany.)

Continue Reading
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial