Chidambaram in Tihar

 A palpable sense of fear is gripping the corrupt politicos across India; and it’s too early yet to say whether the feverishness of the season in terms of CBI outreach, vis-à-vis former minister P Chidambaram and others, would mean much. For, the escape routes for India’s corrupt politicians and bureaucrats are one too many. Lalu Prasad Yadav is among the few exceptions, having been made to serve a jail term in vis-à-vis the fodder scam. Chidambaram is by far a more influential and a legally well-endowed individual. To get him to face law is no easy task. Yet, something is happening right now, and its implications could be far-reaching. Read alongside is the arrest of senior Congressman and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath’s nephew, Ratul Puri, in relation to one of the huge scams in the UPA II period – the AgustaWestland VIP helicopter purchase scam. His arrest is in connection with a related money laundering case. Kamal Nath has, over the years, built up a huge business empire in central India. Often, accusing fingers had been raised against him and he is labeled the “percentage man,” while he was a Union minister for Urban Development. A former Karnataka minister and Congress heavyweight DK Shivakumar is also in the ED net now, in relation to a money laundering case. In all these, noticeably, the silence of the Congress party’s central leadership is somewhat deafening. These are bound to seriously affect the already sunk image of the Congress party.

Politics in India had sunk to its lowest depths in terms of corruption and utter disregard to established systems and well-documented laws. Corruption is high in politics and bureaucracy – which is both supplementary and complementary – because the establishment took little interest in booking or punishing the guilty ones. The gang-up of the corrupt is all too familiar. The result is that an army of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats have a finger in every deal and are laughing their way to the bank by acquiring unaccounted wealth, many in benami deals. Corruption has eaten into the vitals of the judiciary too, as some instances in recent times like the “crores for bail” scam in the Hyderabad high court eloquently showed. Prime Minister Modi, who rode to power on the anti-corruption plank in 2014, did very little to change the scenario. To say that he has no family to promote and hence not corrupt by itself meant very little. With all the power in his hands, the PM wasted five years.

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