Right Angle: Indian Media and Ethics

BY PRAKASH NANDA

Having made lateral entry into the field of journalism, I must admit that I was not “polished” by the daily grind of hard work of reporting and sub-editing to move up in the professional ladder. Nor for that matter had I gone to a media school to learn the basics of journalism, though many years later I did become a director and head of a media school. But then, my work there was essentially administrative. The point that I want to make is that though I am a journalist by profession, I do not possess theoretical knowledge of journalism. If I am what I am, that is because of my other educational backgrounds. And yet, as a member of the news management committee of a premier Indian daily and later as an editor elsewhere, I have always believed in the importance of ethics in the media. I have had strong views, but that has never affected my editorial judgment. I have always provided opportunities for “other viewpoints”. I have always made a distinction between news and views. I have always made it a point to ask my reporters to crosscheck facts and not to twist them. I have always protected the “reliable sources”, but I have never exploited this factor to concoct stories. And I have always considered it sacred that one must not betray the sources by publishing or airing their views that they make “off the record”.

Regrettably, I am finding myself to be in a dwindling minority these days in the Delhi-based media. I want to cite in this column this time the number of stories or instances of how ethics is ceasing to be a factor in the functioning of India’s national media (TV, print and social). The media is getting increasingly partisan, its main focus shifting from pointing out facts to building perceptions. As I have always argued, the national media, the Delhi-based media to be precise, has always been more ideological than professional, overwhelmingly dominated as it has been by the “left” and so-called secular elements at the top. Naturally, therefore, the media is intrinsically hostile to the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (assumed to be a rightist party, though actually it is not) in general and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in particular.

Just see how the national media went to the town the other day claiming that junior union minister Giriraj Singh was given such a dressing down by Modi over his controversial remark on Congress President Sonia Gandhi that the former virtually broke down into tears. Though Singh has contested the claim, just see the sequence of the story. It so happened that few days ago Singh was having some official engagements in Vaishali town in the state of Bihar. After completing his work, he checked into a local circuit house nearby to rest. He then decided to hold a press conference. After the formal press conference was over, some reporters had sat with him for a casual informal chat. “Interestingly as the conversation began, Giriraj sounded a request cum warning: ‘switch off all your cameras and other recording devices. It’s a totally informal chat, not to be quoted, not to be printed or broadcast.’ Giriraj was naïve enough to believe that his words would be taken as a command. Little did he realise that at least one of them had kept his camera running. It’s a different matter though that the minister was assured that his ‘trust would not be breached at any cost’. The minister then loosened up and committed a cardinal mistake – which was making a racist, sexist remark against Congress President Sonia Gandhi. “If Rajiv Gandhi would have married a Nigerian and Sonia Gandhi (form Italy) wasn’t white-skinned, would Congress have accepted her?”

If the above report appearing in website “Firstpost” is right then I am ashamed of today’s journalists. As journalists, we have been party to so many informal chats by ministers and political leaders. But the journalistic ethics never permitted us to “break news”. Will be it be ok if our bed-room talks (critical of Modi, Sonia, or anybody else) are revealed to the public as breaking news? I think that this is a question worth pondering over.

Secondly, at the risk of being the butt of hate mails, let me say that I agree completely with what Singh said. A black foreigner would not have been accepted by Indians as a leader, given our colour prejudice in favour of fair coloured persons. In fact, the Africans should make Singh a hero because he was speaking the bitter Indian truth in their favour. In fact, as my fried Bala Chandran, a veteran journalist, says, “If the whole of US could discuss the winnability of Obama on his colour why not us on Sonia. And here’s a bonus question: would Indira have accepted Sonia if she were Black or still trickier a Pakistani? Journalists are excluded from this quiz, for the minimum qualification is a sound common sense…Coming back to Sonia as Black, a la Giriraj Singh, I wonder whether these frauds would have so much as squeaked if Ramachandra Guha or Gopal Krishna Gandhi ( both are country’s leading “secular” and “liberal” columnists) had posed this question in an edit page piece. Or a Western writer, say Noam Chomsky? I am sure they would hold a seminar on the subject.”

Similarly, take the series of reports in recent weeks that India’s national media highlighted on the so-called attacks on Churches by Hindu fanatics in the wake Narendra Modi assuming India’s most important office. As I had argued a fortnight ago, in their display of intense animosity against Modi, many media outlets went to the town of overplaying such stories, without bothering to check out whether these unfortunate incidents were planned communal attacks or usual criminal deeds. And as it has been found out, almost all these incidents belonged to the latter category. In fact, to get a proper perspective, these criminal deeds needed to be compared with the much higher number of thefts or vandalisation of Hindu temples and Mosques. But then when these facts were revealed, they were totally underplayed. Here I must admit that as I write this, I see a leading daily at least mentioning on its front page today (April 24) that the church attack in Agra city in the state of Uttar Pradesh on April 16 (the daily had carried this story as its lead item a few days ago) has taken a “strange turn” with the arrest of a Muslim youth who has reportedly admitted that he vandalized the place of worship because his love for a Christian girl went unrequited!

Is this news planted to save “devil” Modi and the “fascist” RSS who are hell bent upon driving Christians away from India? But the Police in this case belongs to the government of Mulayam Singh Yadav, arguably “the most secular” leader of India. As far as the publication is concerned, it, as well as its sister concern, a leading television news channel, have excelled always in demonising Modi. This is the publication which had reported Modi’s much-publicised misquote of Newton’s third law, justifying the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 – “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” As it was found out later by the Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT), Modi, then chief minister of the state, had never said such a thing. What Modi had said was “A chain of action and reaction is going on. We want that neither should there be action, nor reaction.” But see the twist by the paper and the message it conveyed, which, seen in retrospect, added fuel to the fire.

Similarly, the same paper in 2013 had ridiculed Modi in front-paged report that Modi’s was a “Rambo Act” as he claimed to have evacuated 15000 Gujuratis in the state of Uttarakhand, where at least 1,000 people were killed and 90,000 trapped from flash floods and landslides. But then Modi had never made such a claim; the reporter concerned had filed the story on the basis of what a local BJP worker had told him! Modi became a villain for the whole media and political class for quite some time as he had “politicised a natural disaster”. Subsequently, when facts were revealed, the paper issued a clarification regretting the way the story was put up. But that was three weeks-later. By then the misleading information had triggered a large-scale national debate over Modi’s character.

For last few days, one sees the social media dominated by posts that Kerala Governor Justice P Sathasivam, a former Chief Justice of India, is being further rewarded by Modi as the next chairman of National Human Rights Commission. The government has not decided on the subject, but the anti-Modi brigade has gone hyper on the “probable” appointment of Justice Sathasivam, who again, has been misreported to be the person who as Chief justice gave bail to the BJP President Amit Shah, then accused of masterminding two Police encounters that took away the lives of two notorious criminals unlawfully. The fact remains that the bail was given by another bench involving Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai. On the contrary, Justice Sathasivam was the one who shifted the trial of Shah to Mumbai from Gujarat as per the request of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). But then the myth, his helping Amit Shah, that too when the Congress was ruling at the centre and Shah was a junior politician in Gujarat not dreaming of even becoming the BJP national president one day, continues to charm the anti-Modi brigade in the media.

Such instances are illustrative, not exhaustive. It is not that the national media distorts or twists stories only against Modi, though it is a fact that such twists are more centered against Modi and BJP than against others. See the way it twisted the remarks of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, suggesting that he praised Pakistan for the recent peaceful elections in the state. Sayeed’s real sin for our media is that he, a Muslim leader hailing from the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley, leads a coalition government with the BJP.

Similarly, few days back, the story on an “imposter IAS officer” in the country’s premier training institute for civil service officers at Mussoorie dominated the headlines. Most in the media did not bother to check how the lady concerned could be an “imposter IAS officer” if she was staying in a rented room belonging to the security guard and working in the library. If she was an IAS officer, why was she searching for a permanent job in the library? Then, how was she an IAS officer if her alleged identity card as a sub divisional magistrate was issued by Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission? No editor worth the salt bothered to find the veracity of the charge.

Of course, negative news always sells. And it is selling well against the Modi government these days. That is why it is often said that “no news is good news and good news is no news”. True, there are many issues on which one can criticise the Modi government – its failures in not filling up governmental posts, not initiating administrative reforms, not doing anything substantial in education and health sectors and so on. But then our national media has other priorities. It has built up perceptions that nothing is happening in India and that the country is literally burning along ethnic and religious fault-lines. And it has made it obvious that there can never be good news in India until and unless Modi and the BJP are thrown into the Indian Ocean.

(Prakash Nanda is Editor of Uday India, a niche monthly devoted to defence, security and diplomacy. The blog has been reproduced from the website of Uday India. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)

Subhash Chandra Bose got us Independence

BY RSN SINGH

Since some papers of the Intelligence Bureau on Subhash Chandra Bose and his family have come into the public domain, there has been a concerted campaign by a section of the media to vilify the national hero. An article in a prominent English news daily went to the extent of declaring that Subhash was of the strong opinion that post-independence, India should be under a dictatorial rule for 20 years. In a way, the article sought to justify the incarceration and subsequent killing of Subhash. The pro-British, pro-Nehru and anti-Subhash constituency still exists. From the tenor of this anti-Subhash lobby it can be extrapolated that how vicious must have been the British and Congress intrigues against Subhash during World War II and subsequent to his disappearance, considering the fact that it was only Subhash who was fighting for overthrow of the British , all the top Congress leaders were in jail during that period.

What political philosophy Subhash desired or would have pursued is a matter of conjecture. The moot question that the IB documents pose is as to why the family of Subhash was kept under surveillance for two decades after independence, and most deploringly, why was the surveillance report being shared with the British intelligence agency, the MI5. What common interest did the MI5 and Nehru have? If Nehru did know about the real truth about Subhash, i.e. about his alleged incarceration or alleged murder, how did he live with the murderous guilt?

The sharing of intelligence with a foreign intelligence agency, rather former colonial master on a revered freedom fighter, who was also the Congress President at one time, lends some credence to the insinuations about certain leaders in the Congress of pre-independence era having links with MI5, primarily to marginalize the extremists. The hatred for Subhash in the Gandhi-Nehru camp is a historical fact. This hostility compelled Subhash to resign as Congress President in 1939, despite being democratically elected. Hence the question as to who were fascists and who were liberal democrats in the pre-independence Congress will always remain.

Subhash’s resignation as Congress President nearly coincided with the outbreak of World War II. In fact, during that period the war clouds in Europe were already hovering. Was his resignation, therefore, engineered by external agencies? No sooner after the outbreak of World War II, the Congress ministries in the eight provinces resigned in 1939. Jinnah described this as ‘day of deliverance’. Thus the onset of the World War II made the gulf between Congress and Muslim League unbridgeable. In the same year, in the Wardha session, the Congress Working Committee supported the fight against fascism, but did not countenance India joining the war effort. Gandhi did not support Britain as he was not reconciled to war, but later supported the same on the plea that he did not seek to raise a ‘free India from ashes of Britain’. Apparently, the Congress leaders decried the employment of Indian soldiers in the war without their consent and guarantee of Independence, but did nothing to deter the British. This was despite the fact that between 1940 and 1943 Bengal faced one of the worst famines in Indian history. Indians starved while tons of Indian food were being supplied to sustain British forces. Public sentiments against the Congress leaders was turning hostile.

Belatedly, and guided purely for imperatives of political relevance, on 8th August 1942, Gandhi launched ‘Quit India Movement’. Immediately the entire top leadership of Congress was taken into custody. Leaderless and rudderless the movement died in a years’ time, but the Congress leaders remained in prison till the rest of the war. This served the interest of the British and as well as the reputation, prestige and political prestige of Congress leaders. Some Congress leaders like Jaiprakash Narain who genuinely fought the British during the movement never made a political career post-Independence. What was the sacrifice of the top Congress leaders therefore? Mass movements by the Congress between 1920 when Gandhi arrived on the scene and 1947 were niggardly, and hardly upset the British.

The ‘Quit India Movement’ failed to galvanize India to efficacious magnitude and intensity. Those arrayed against it included Viceroy’s Council (majority Indians), Jinnah (Muslim League), Communist Party of India (supported when Russia entered war), and Princely States. There were many Congress leaders too who had advised against the movement. How could Jinnah’s support to the British gone unrewarded! He ultimately did get his reward in form of Pakistan!

It was during this period, when the Congress leaders were ineffective that Subhash Chandra Bose was exerting himself for India’s independence. He first escaped to Germany then to Japan and subsequently raised the Indian National Army (INA) and setup a provisional government of Free India in Singapore in July 1943. In October same year, he flew to Tokyo to participate in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere meet.

The Congress Party and some Indian commentators maintain that Subhash sided with the wrong side, i.e. the Axis powers, who were fascists. Well, all that Subhash did was to exploit the vulnerability of the British for gaining India’s independence. It was a perfectly nationalist and moral move. The British all through their rule had missed no opportunity in mutilating India’s history and creating religious and fissures in Indian society. Two instances in this regard are glaring:

  • The most diabolical attack on India’s cultural unity was by Lord Minto, who in 1906 encouraged the Aga Khan to submit a proposal for ‘separate electorate’ for Muslims. Durga Das in his book ‘India from Curzon to Nehru and After’ on page 50 writes, “On him (Aga Khan) had been conferred the status of ‘leader of the Muslims in India’”. Durga Das does not fail to point out that on independence Aga Khan forswore Indian citizenship even as 50 million of his co-religionists remained in the country after Pakistan had been created. Minto in accepting Aga Khan’s demands with alacrity, tried to drive a wedge in Hindi-Muslim unity by describing the Muslims of India as ‘the descendants of conquering and ruling race’. Durga Das reminds that ‘majority of Indian Muslims are converts from Hinduism and not descendants from Turks, Persians, Pathans or Mughals’.
  • The conspiracy by Lord Minto is best described by Arun Shourie in his book ‘Missionaries of India’ on page 196. He quotes an article by Lady Minto on Aga Khan’s demand for separate electorate, wherein she wrote: “This has been a very eventful day; as someone said to me, ‘an epoch in Indian History’. … A very big thing has happened today, a work of statesmanship that will affect India and Indian history for many a long year. It is nothing less than the pulling back of 62 millions of people from joining the ranks of the seditious opposition.”
  • Another attack on India’s cultural unity was through the vector of ‘census’. Again, Arun Shourie further quotes M Macauliffe’s lecture on the ‘Sikh Religion and its Advantages to the State’ in 1903: “At former (census) enumerations village Sikhs in their ignorance generally recorded themselves as Hindus, as indeed they virtually were. With the experienced gained by time, a sharp line of demarcation has now been drawn between Sikhs and Hindus…”. He further states that apart from census demarcations, ceremonies to instill and widen feelings of separateness amongst Sikhs in the Army were deliberately introduced.

Post-Independence too and till date, the British have harboured many Indian secessionists leaders and organisations on their soil. So what was wrong in Subhash Chandra Bose exploiting the then prevailing vulnerability of the British. Moreover, how was the Congress Party entitled to decide which of the two, i.e. Allied or Axis powers were a moral and righteous force to be sided with. Indians at that time were slaves of the British, and leaders of slaves if not in collusion with masters, should only be guided by the ‘objective of liberation’. Subhash was purely guided by this objective.

India’s most revered historian RC Mazumdar has written about the views ascribed to Clement Attlee on compulsions of the British for grant of Independence. As per the former British prime minister, apart from many reasons, the decision to grant independence to India was majorly influenced by the impact of Subhash Chandra Bose and his INA. The INA in fact had wrecked the precise instrument of the British rule, the armed forces. Its reverberations manifested in the naval mutiny in 1946 in which 20,000 sailors, 78 ships and 20 shore establishments were involved. There were also mutinies in an Army unit at Jabalpur and Air Force base at Karachi. During the period of World War II, when the Congress leaders were in jail, 26,000 INA men sacrificed their lives for liberation of India. It constitutes nearly half of INA.

Moreover, nearly 2.5 million Indian soldiers had been demobilized after World War II. This huge force too was restive, and inspired by Subhash, the INA and its nationalism. It became impossible for the British to hold India. It was also impossible for Nehru to rule India with Subhash around. It was impossible for the British to create Pakistan with Subhash at the helm.

In the backdrop of  the fresh revelations, it is time to reflect whether the Gandhian method delivered or Subhash got us independence, whether the lawyers approach (most Congress leaders were Bar-at-Law) or Netaji’s jolt made the British leave. Post-independence, the same Congress used force to liberate Goa from another colonial power, Portugal. The lawyers approach probably did not succeed because there was no MI5 to collude with the Congress Party, which has ruled this country for most years. The party will obviously be nervous about any revelation of the fate of Subhash and his crucial role in securing India’s independence.

(RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research & Analysis Wing. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also a Guest Blogger with Canary Trap. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)

Arvind Kejriwal: From activist to ultimate don of Indian Politics

“Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power – Bertrand Russell

BY ARUN AGRAWAL

He did manage to fool all of us for a pretty long time, didn’t he? Here, then is first in the series unmasking this charlatan of Indian politics who is more corrupt than even the Ambani that he accuses of being corrupt!

Arvind Kejriwal (K hereinafter) transformation from a person asking embarrassing questions of the entrenched political establishment during the Anna movement to that of the inaccessible mafia Don attired in white inciting his goons to assault a 90-year-old upholder of democratic values, a former law Minister and the conscience of the party came as a shock to many. This transformation of K from a leader who started out as a social activist, then turned into a political activist only to betray the ideals of the movements by becoming a despot, in such a short time, is unprecedented in the history of movements.

What was Shanti Bhushan’s fault to have deserved this treatment from this K of Indian politics? Is trying to uphold the first principles of democracy (decision by majority) and opposing the degeneration of value based politics reason enough for this Don to incite his cronies to assault him?

This K was too young to have experienced that part of history in which Shanti Bhushan had become the symbol of opposing the dictatorship of Indira Gandhi. He ensured that the clauses of the Constitution upholding democracy remained intact. It all started with him proving in a Court of Law that the then PM had adopted corrupt means in winning her election, vigorously arguing the Habeas Corpus case, and ending with effectively repealing the 42nd amendment of the Constitution as Law Minister.

K, therefore could not comprehend that Shanti Bhushan by opposing his dictatorial ways in the Party was merely being consistent in his thoughts, words and actions. K could not expect him to sacrifice his democratic principles and be a mute spectator to K’s personal political ambition by adopting every unfair means.

K wanted dictatorial powers within the party. Shanti Bhushan opposed it. In a telling email in July 2014 Shanti Bhushan was prophetic in what he wrote to K:

Till some time back I had a lot of respect for you and always thought that you were inspired with lofty motives and were prepared to make any sacrifice for the country and its people. After watching your recent actions I am getting convinced that you are a totally selfish person only with a selfish personal agenda. You only believe in using and exploiting people only for your self-advancement I now believe that Aruna Roy (was) rightly believed that you only exploited her for your own ends and did not give her due credit for work in the Right to Information campaign. You have no belief in the concept of Swaraj. You have convinced yourself that any achievements in Anna Andolan or in the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party was solely your personal achievements which is nowhere near the truth.

Did you even have the capacity to draft the Jan Lokpal Bill? Could you have even launched the Anna Andolan without Anna or his Gandhian image. You did not have even the rudimentary knowledge of law much less constitutional law to be in a position to make any worthwhile contribution in the joint drafting committee.

XXX

All committees are only showpieces to defraud the people and throw dust into their eyes to create the illusion that our party is a great democratic party in which decisions are taken collectively.

K responded with the usual feigned old world sentimentality but Shanti Bhushan, the lawyer was not taken in. He wrote back:

Your email is looking like a carbon copy of your email to Anna and cannot be taken seriously unless your actions show that you actually continue to believe in the concept of a democratic party…..

You must remember that the main objective of the Aam Aadmi Party is to spread the message of clean and ideal politics all over India rather than winning an election and making somebody a Chief Minister. You must also agree to always abide by the majority views hereafter.

This is the proof (if proof was required) of the clash between K, the dictator and Shanti Bhushan, the democrat. The clash was between power by any means to using correct means and keeping the faith of the masses who had supported the party in large numbers.

The breaking point was complete at the time of the selection of candidates for the Delhi election. Moneybags, defectors and criminal elements were given tickets by K. 23 of the 70 candidates selected had criminal cases against them as against 21 selected by the Congress and 27 by the BJP. The rest was going through the motion of the formal breakup.

To Shanti Bhushan, K had betrayed the movement and worse the principles of democracy. To K, Shanti Bhushan had betrayed the party by (honestly) ranking the three contenders for the post of Chief Minister of Delhi. According to K, he should have lied and rated him as the best. Only people who did not know the truth about K (as most did not), would disagree with that ranking. People may differ in their ideology but they know who is a gentleman politician and who is a rogue politician.

Shanti Bhushan did not endorse the rival party or the candidate. He refused to meet Kiran Bedi who thought that she could capitalise on it politically. Shanti Bhushan knows the proprieties of life while placing the truth in the public domain. The classic example was the manner in which he placed in public domain the issue of corruption at the highest level in the judiciary. The Supreme Court, Bar Association or the Bar Council did not expel him for it, did they!

For the Chadda’s of the world to accuse him of acting on behalf of the BJP is an example of how some of these upwardly mobile youngsters will sell their soul to ingratiate themselves with their Supremo. He does not know the history of Shanti Bhushan’s split with the BJP and does not deserve to be educated.

Another rehabilitated ex-spokesperson was used to blame Shanti Bhushan for the failure of the compromise formula by ratting on a single out of context private conversation (I do not know if it is even true) but failing to see the logic behind the kameena video of his Supremo as the deal breaker! Did K want a compromise? That video is what K is and is really stands for: The ultimate K of Indian politics!

As to the question raised by this K in his Don ka speech at the time of setting his goons on Shanti Bhushan: Why is he in the Party, the simple answer was: Did K consider him fit to be anything in the party?

Shanti Bhushan by accident continued to remain as one among the 350 odd members of the National Convention by virtue of being a founder member of the AAP party. K had anticipated that he would be a stumbling block to his future political ambition and had insured that he be kept away from all the committees by inserting a clause that only one member from a family could find representation in these committees.

Hence being a father of Prashant Bhushan was a handicap while the same handicap did not apply when his services were utilised for the drafting committee of the Lokpal Bill. It was not nepotism when he represented him and the party in court on at least 20 different occasions inspite of his age.

If individual merit exists between persons who are relatives it is never nepotism, favouring one’s old friends and henchmen to key posts in the party irrespective of merit is.

Shanti Bhushan was the ultimate benefactor for the Party. He gave credibility to K and the party. If he resisted the non-democratic manner in which the party was functioning then he was being true to his past. To set goons to assault is not how you treat elders who have had your goodwill at heart, had given you unstinted support, wrongly compared you with Obama, had drafted the Lokpal Bill, had negotiated with the government in the Lokpal drafting committee etc. The gesticulation of K in the video without his saying anything to restrain the advancing goons is the defining moment for the Don. He was after all the Don. To make the victim feel threatened that his life is in danger is what Don is all about. Mission accomplished, flunkies to clear the mess, time to move on. One must admit, this Don had style!

Mr K in his speech gloated over his victory in the elections. The swagger and the arrogance of victory was there for all to see. We have come to win and those who want to lose can join them, K thundered. End justifies the means and to hell with the means! Gloat not Mr K, that victory was obtained by promising the biggest bribe in the history of Indian elections. The bribe with interest will be paid by the future generation. We will see how the cookie crumbles on that. But more on it in the next article.

The sacking of the Lokpal

The people of this country are witness to the fact that K has no commitment towards Lokpal, that he conveniently used it to bolster his CV on being an anti-corruption crusader, that he used it to resign from power to fulfil a larger political ambition, that he did not even care to place the bill that was introduced in the Assembly in the public domain. K did not follow the only Lokpal (of the party) that came into existence while taking action against senior members of the party who differed with him on account of his dictatorial functioning by referring their disciplinary cases to the Lokpal. He prevented the Lokpal from attending the Party’s National Convention to witness his Don like performance. Ultimately K unceremoniously booted him out from the post in defiance of the rules relating to the appointment of the Lokpal.

And who was this Lokpal? He was a 90-year-old Admiral who had served the nation with distinction. His daughter while working with the Ford foundation had helped with funds for the unregistered NGO, of which K’s present deputy CM was a co- partner. Unfortunately how that money was spent and what was achieved is not in the public domain.

Accusation against K of using and abusing people

K, you do not treat people with the dignity that they deserve. You use them to realise your personal ambitions. You feel that they should be grateful for having been given the opportunity to serve you. You do not respect their time, show no gratitude and ultimately abuse them. In fact your statement in that Don ka speech that there were plenty of people, doctors, chartered accountants and other professionals who are willing to serve you for free is an admission of that mind-set. That was also a not-too-subtle message to those professionals whom you were expelling from the party. It was also not a coincidence that the word lawyer was not mentioned in the various categories of professionals that you recounted. You would do well to remember that any professional who knows his subject matter and has self-respect will not join you. It is for this reason that no noteworthy person of repute is left in the party and all that you have is hangers on of nowhere people attracted by the political power that has come your way by betraying a movement.

Mr K, on a personal note, I too have been at the receiving end of the use and abuse approach of yours. You had me abused at IIM Bangalore. You used my write-up for the hugely successful press conference on Reliance/Mukesh Ambani on the KG gas pricing issue. Because of the success of the press conference, you requested me on three different occasions to shift to Delhi. Your agenda was to use me as an ongoing source of providing material on financial scams. I could see through that agenda and refused as you were not honest in exposing scams. You merely sensationalised corruption issues sourced from others. In fact you have no track record on exposing any type of financial scams. All you do is plagiarises material of others or material that has long been in the public domain and then boast that it is your own. Khemka exposure on Robert Vadra is a typical case in point. After using the expose you gave a ticket to the officer who did the cover up against Khemka and then resigned to fight the election! Incidentally, the gold plating of cost of KG gas basin had been taken up by Tapan Sen (MP) since 2008 and you have adopted it as your discovery for fighting Mukesh Ambani.

Myth about K being a crusader against corruption while serving in the Income tax Department:

K often refers in sundry speeches that he was a Commissioner of income tax and could have made any amount of money (black) had he continued serving there and there was no need for him to give up his job to take up the people’s crusade.

K knows that he is embellishing his bio-data to impress the ignorant. He was not even a joint Commissioner of income tax let alone a Commissioner and would require two more promotions to become one. But then that is a minor aberration in his series of tissues of convenient lies.

The larger point is that the Income Tax is perceived as the one of the most corrupt departments in the country. Some opt for it in preference for the IAS to make money. Yet, this paragon of honesty failed to name one income tax commissioners as corrupt either orally or in writing in the 10-15 years that he served in the Income Tax department. He also did not name anyone as corrupt when he left the Department. How many large income tax evasion cases did he unearth? How many corrupt subordinate income tax officers were charge sheeted by him? The frequent number of times an officer is transferred is an index of his honesty. How often was he transferred? Had remained in the NCR forever!

Contrast that with the track record of Shanti Bhushan who while practising in the Supreme Court gave in a sealed cover the names of past Chief Justices of India who had been corrupt? He went on to state that the majority of the Chief Justices during that period had been corrupt? That number was 9 CJI out of 16!

Mr K, you were a part of the corrupt system and did nothing to reform it. You played along. Shanti Bhushan did not.

Mr K you cannot get away by insulting and abusing the very same people that have helped you. These are icons of society who have fought corruption and cherished the values of democracy like none have. They have a track record.

You too have a track record: That of only making allegation, inciting the masses, bribing the electorate and using every low means that politicians use to acquire power.

Mr K, you have abused the trust of the civil society, the activists, the patriots, the electorate, the young and old idealists, NRI/PIO population abroad who trusted you and contributed funds in large measure.

There are costs to be paid and I assure you that these costs will be paid. You have fooled too many people for too long.

You have been challenging many a people for a one to one debate.

Having fought 9 cases against RIL in different courts, having authored a book ‘Reliance the Real Natwar’, I too challenge you to a debate on corruption. Anytime, anywhere! The topic is: Arvind Kejriwal is a far greater threat to Indian democracy than Mukesh Ambani/Reliance.

My next article will be a comparison of the two, as I know exactly what your strategy is and what you are up to.

Incidentally, K, those who have been busting scams were able to decipher you much in advance. Y P Singh, the ex-IPS officer as early as October 2012 in a well televised press conference compared you to Hitler, a fact that others have woken to two and a half years later!

I may not be a Don but I too bust scams. Even when it involved a stoolpigeon in the order of the Hon’ble Apex Court.

(Arun Agrawal is the author of the book Reliance: The Real Natwar. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)