Posts Tagged ‘corruption’
The Hindu Cartoonscope and Amul Butter cartoons continue to be a great way to capture news in India with humor and satire. This Year in Review presents a montage of cartoons from the two sources to present the highlights of what happened in India in 2011.
Reports of political scams and corruption continued to surface throughout 2011. 2G allocation, hoarding of balck money and illegal mining at Bellary were some prominent ones. Continue Reading
Much has been written and discussed about the recent ‘civil society’ protests against corruption in India. Social activist Anna Hazare’s four day fast in April compelled the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to re-consider the Lokpal Bill through a joint committee involving ministers and members of civil society. Yoga guru, christened as ‘Baba’ Ramdev, launched his hunger strike in protest against the black money stashed in foreign banks earlier this month. There has been some debate among the supporters of Anna Hazare and Ramdev regarding entrepreneurial recognition for the “fast-track” approach to combat corruption. The Government claims to have been responsive to the demands of civil society in both instances, though Ramdev’s uncompromising attitude necessitated use of force to disband his yoga-cum-protest camp.
Responses to this wave of civil society protests can be broadly classified into two categories. Supporters of the protests justify civil society’s unease on the basis of Government’s growing incompetence, excessive corruption and power induced arrogance. Critics, see the over-zealous members of civil society as a threat to the democratic law making process and institutional separation of powers. Both sides make valid arguments. Is it possible to accurately identify the villain and hero in this confrontation?
Palagummi Sainath a renowned journalist and rural affairs editor of The Hindu delivered the First Maharaj Kaul Memorial Lecture at University of Berkeley, California on April 11. Sainath has written extensively on farmer suicide and paid news, issues that have not been widely reported in the mainstream Indian media. At Berkeley, Sainath choose to speak on the issue of paid news prevalent in Indian media. He particularly highlighted the problem of political paid news (reported for the first time during Maharashtra State Assembly elections in 2009) described as the phenomenon where money is paid by candidates contesting elections to representatives of media companies for favorable coverage. P. Sainath’s views during the lecture and expressed elsewhere point to a grave crises confronting the state of Indian media.
[Photo Courtesy: The Hindu]
It is important to keep Gandhi untarnished. The Gandhian can be negotiated with.
Two developments in India during the past week convinced me of the above approach in Indian politics. American journalist Joseph Lelyveld’s book The Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India created furore in the country. The book has been banned in Gujarat and Maharashtra is considering a ban. The Central government has serious objections to the book.
Anna Hazare, a Gandhian and social activist, began his fast unto death on April 5 to pressurize the Government to legislate a rigorous anti-corruption bill.
Protest or advocacy, Gandhi continues to occupy the centre stage in India.
It would be an understatement to suggest that the Tahrir Square protests in Egypt have profound implications for the theory and practice of democracy. Commitment to democracy has assumed dramatically different connotations both in terms of adherence by national governments and support of the international community. Removal of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is only the short term result of the 18 day uprising, the long term outcome including the conception and growth of democratic norms shall emerge with time. However, the apparent ‘success’ of the uprising has fired the imagination of the people not only in autocratic regimes but in functional democracies as well. One such instance is that of India. Social and mainstream media in India has suggested the possibility of emulating Egypt type uprising in India to challenge the corruption and inefficiency of the Government. Many observers have even drawn parallels between the Tahrir uprising and public protests in Srinagar in the summer of 2010. Though Egypt like uprising is unlikely in India, yearnings for such ‘revolution’ shall remain strong among the Indian populace. Click to continue…
The issue of corruption received plenty of attention in India during 2010. IPL, financial irregularities in CWG, Ardash Housing society scam, 2G spectrum allocation scam, alleged nexus of media, corporate lobbying and politicians exposed in the Niira Radia tapes - these were some of the more widely discussed corruption cases during the past year. The media expressed much disappointment on the report that India had slipped three places in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2010. India is ranked at 87 among 178 countries. There is a spontaneous urge to suggest that India is a corrupt country. Or to state it more dramatically, India has become a corrupt country. However, the issue of corruption in India appears to be overtly generalized and ignores some important nuances which need to be highlighted if the problem of corruption is to be genuinely addressed. The concept of corruption is better understood if we make the following distinctions: 1) difference between perception and practice of corruption, 2) difference between corruption in society and government and 3) difference between corruption in the past and present. Click to continue…
A day after India celebrates the 141st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the man who led a non-violent struggle against the British rule, India will showcase her continued nominal ties with the British Empire by hosting the Commonwealth Games (CWG). However, the 2010 CWG have become more an arena of political wrangling and administrative corruption rather than a celebration of Imperial ties or sporting talent. India seems to have greater appetite for sports controversies than actual sports.