Corruption : The Biggest Threat To Democracy

Democracy cannot survive for long unless it provides clean government. The greatest weakness of democracy is the vote bank politics. Voters demand a price for their votes and such demands more than often are unlawful. Governments are not able to provide many jobs directly as procedures govern recruitment to government services under the law. But government spends huge budgets of billions and more on contracts e.g. health care, education, defence procurements, imports, infrastructure, welfare schemes, elections, sports and hundred other activities. The law lays down perfect clean systems. However, they are rigged in implementation. What is duty is not done by public servants and what is prohibited is done after extracting illegal gratification or bribe in cash or kind. It can never happen in a transparent functioning of any government. There are enough legal powers in the hands of the competent authorities to discipline any delinquent public servant. The punishment can lead to even dismissal and jail in proven cases of corruption. If corruption goes on unabated, it is indicative of the failure of the competent authority to instill discipline in the public servants.

Unfortunately, corruption has not only grown to uncontrollable limits but has infected the highest levels in government, legislatures, courts, public service commissions, banks, military, navy, air force, coast guard, all police organizations, health care, education and almost every public service delivery wing of the government. The latest brutal injury has been exposed in the decision of the Court in Italy in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal.  The Chief of the Indian Air Force has come under the cloud in this corruption case of millions of Euro and has singed the then PM, Defence Minister, Air Chief, Defence Secretary, Joint Secretary (Air), Congress President and her aide and many more. It has created a political upheaval. The CBI and the ED are now investigating the money flow and identify the actual receivers, their bank accounts and other details. Irrespective of other issues, it validates the thesis that corruption has engulfed the highest in India. It is a matter of grave concern rather than shame because it seriously threatens democracy.

What these operators are stating with impunity is this: India may claim to be the world’s biggest democracy, it is rusted from within irredeemably. The AgustaWestland helicopter deal has exposed the real state of the health of the nation. Organized corruption of such a magnitude gains  the status of the Mafia, because of its international network and striking capabilities to silence the competent authorities into inaction against all kinds of corrupt activities under their charge. The persons may get involved voluntarily out of greed or simply walk into the trap laid out in an elaborate exercise. Structural changes like appointments or postings of upright officers are controlled deftly by the powers outside the legitimate government. Things are decided outside the government and no  records are kept. The official records contain material that can never lead to the concerned persons who took decisions or the grounds for their decisions as in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal.  It shows the impunity with which decision about supplies, make, machine, price etc were decided not on merit but for bribes running into a few hundred million Euros.

The then Defence Minister of India, Mr. AK Antony, has woken up now to admit in the parliament this week that he knew that corruption had taken place in the deal!  Antony supporters paint him as the paragon of honesty. What is this honesty when corruption of such a humongous proportions goes on for several years under his nose but he takes no action to stop it or punish the guilty, failing miserably to perform his legitimate duty ? This is one case accidentally exposed due to the court case in Italy, but several such cases will surface once the guilty in this case are punished. Then we would know how honest  AK Antony is. For the present, the people of India ought to take notice of the threats to their democracy and defence, economy and development, social harmony and unity as they are for real and should not be ignored unless our independence is no more dear to us.

Here is my post published on May 5, on the, which is the only website devoted to the governance & administrative matters in India  with  more than 30 million hits:

An Appeal to former Air Chief, SP Tyagi

Kindly wake up your conscience, muster courage, be bold enough to tell the people of India the whole truth in one go without any hesitation. You have been caught on the wrong foot. Chief of the Indian Air Force (or the Army or Navy) simply can’t do what you have done. It is very unfortunate that the Devil succeeded in overwhelming you. You have betrayed the trust of the people who sit for hours at the Rajpath and other places all over India to watch the parade on 26 January to have that unique feeling of being proud of our defence forces and be re-assured of our external security at their hands. Your moments of weakness have shaken that faith. You are aggravating the pain by still withholding the truth and contesting them to prove that you are not guilty. You have ruined the “Honour” of the armed forces, especially the Chief of the Indian Air Force. Is this the level of personal integrity of the Chief of the Indian Air Force? Can he be trusted to lead the Air Force to war and win? How do you assure that the Chief of Indian air Force won’t join hands with the enemy for a few million Euros? Sir, you have hurt us so deeply that it will continue to disturb us for many years until your successors prove to the people of India that no other Air Chief will prove to be another SP Tyagi. It is so painful for us to see you going to the CBI like an ordinary criminal- a Chief who is still entitled to a smart salute from his soldiers being touched/ shoved/ heckled like an inmate of Tihar jail? What has happened to your conscience, Chief? Is it dead? A man is already dead if his conscience is dead. Please stop this exercise, nothing can save you or your assets now. You are inviting the severest penalty under the law and ridicule globally. You shall be quoted as a prominent case law in all vigilance training programmes of airmen/ air officers /others. Therefore, Kindly Retrieve the Honour of the Chief of the Indian Air Force by revealing the whole truth before the people of India instead of undergoing daily grilling at the CBI & ED and other agencies and lastly in the Court. You are left with nothing to lose now, but only gain instantly your lost honour. Mistakes can be made in a moment of weakness and if admitted publicly, can also be forgiven. It is now not your individual dignity and integrity alone that you need to retrieve but that of the entire Force. The nation can, perhaps, sacrifice 100 ace bureaucrats but not even one Soldier in Command of the entire Force. It should not take you more than 30 minutes to reveal everything about the murky Agusta business, but you can save the ignominy of the former Air Chief appearing before the CBI/ED, a level much below the Chief of the Indian Air Force (remember at least the Warrant of Precedent). You can relieve the government, parliament and the people of the stress they are undergoing. Look, in morality, integrity and national honour, the Italians have scored many points over India, only because of you. You must undo it. Behave like a soldier. A soldier is respected only because he/she is not afraid of death. Get over the fear. Kill the Devil in you. Dispossess yourself of all evil ideas. Priya Air Chief, tumahari mukti ka bus yehi ek upaya hai. May God help you, Tyagi !

Tyagi is just a symbol. It covers all top public servants. It is a wake-up call to all those who consider India dear to them. The Mafia is for real. It has in its employ not only public servants & politicians but also media houses and journalists. They were not expecting the change of government at the centre under the mistaken belief that the Congress will rule forever. After Narendra Modi becoming PM of India, the Mafia pooled all their resources in Delhi elections and made a success of their plan. Now that the AgustaWestland corruption is bound to affect their patrons of several decades, they are jittery. They have activated their stooges to create an effective smoke screen of disinformation and misinformation, by attacking PM Modi for no action for two years. Can the Prime Minister order arrests or the law has to deal with the guilty? These politicians forget that they too had promised to arrest the then Delhi Chief Minister Mrs. Sheila Dixit for corruption in CommonwealthGames corruption scam, but have simply buried it. The TV channels are wasting precious airtime by giving disproportionate coverage for hours to such spurious demonstrations. The fear is that now Narendra Modi is not going to spare any culprit. The Mafia is used to paying blood money to settle all such corruption cases. We will see if it succeeds  in settling it with Modi. But if it fails, dozens will go to jail, notwithstanding their game of Supreme Court  monitored probe. Is the Supreme Court meant to chase such cases? It is the normal duty of the government (Executive) to book the culprits and get them punished by the courts. The Mafia fears its exposure, which will ruin its game plan to capture India once more and destroy its national pride, integrity and stature; to convert the masses politically, economically, socially and religiously. How long will the Indian elite, intellectuals and investigative journalist remain in deep slumber? The Unholy Mafia is already in Delhi !

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