Friday, April 15, 2011


I had taken a short break and gone to a resort at Jim Corbett, where there was no TV. Since I had also switched off my mobile phone, I completely missed out the exhilaration and the hysteria that marked the fast unto death against corruption led by Gandhian activist Anna Hazare. By the time I reached home late in the evening of April 8, it did appear as if history was being created. I forced myself to watch news channels – something I detest even more than reading Arundhati Roy (!) – and was actually spellbound by the spectacle unfolding at Jantar Mantar, India Gate and across India. Powerful visuals of the elderly mingling with the young were compelling and inspiring. Even a cynic like me was moved by the whole thing. I also enjoyed – like most middle class Indians – the spectacle of a diminutive and eccentric non-entity like Anna Hazare bringing the political establishment of Delhi down on its knees. But as I kept switching channels and heard a range of earnest people excoriating the political class and the bureaucracy, I couldn't help wondering at the complete absence of even one finger being pointed towards Corporate India while apportioning blame for the cancer of corruption.

In fact, I saw businessmen joining the politician and bureaucrat bashing exercise and was dumbfounded. I mean, have all of us collectively decided to put blinkers? Does any activist or concerned citizen seriously believe that the whole of corporate India is as much a victim of corruption as the aam aadmi? Are you in your senses when you tell me that numerous rogue businessmen and industrialists are not as responsible for corruption as politicians and bureaucrats? Think again – will you blame A. Raja and his advisors alone for the 2G scam? What about the corporate entities and individuals who actually benefited more than Raja when it comes to pecuniary gains.

Let's face it. If we are serious about tackling corruption, we have to be equally vocal against corporate corruption. Simply lionising all industrialists is plain stupid. Don't forget; the global crisis of 2008 that destroyed millions of livelihoods was primarily the result of rampant corporate corruption.


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