A Refreshing Breath of Fresh Air from Maharashtra

With the approval of the Bill to replace POTO by the joint session of Parliament, one of the most contentious chapters in our legislative history comes to a close. Now the ball will be in the law courts. Judiciary is the last bastion of defence against abuse of authority and arbitrary exercise of powers. We need a competent and clean judiciary, particularly in subordinate courts, to render justice and protect our liberties.

Campaign Finance Reform - Civil Society Should Act

For a few fleeting days after the Tehelka revelations, our somnolent political class actually raised some hopes of reform. There were early signs of responding to people’s urges to cleanse the system.  With a few resignations and some withdrawals of support the government seemed shaky.  The prime minister characterized the episode as a wake-up call. He pleaded for electoral and other reforms.   And then, as suddenly as it all began, the issue got sidetracked. Our politicians promptly went back to what they are good at – petty power games.

The Real Lessons of Tehelka Exposes

Tarun Tejpal, Aniruddha Bahal and Matthew Samuel of Tehelka.com have done a great national service by exposing the pervasive corruption in the establishment. But it will be a great national tragedy if these exposes are regarded as a juicy scandal to embarrass the ruling combine or promote the prospects of the opposition. That was how the political establishment responded to the Bofors revelations in 1987. Fourteen years later the system reeks of corruption, and none of the culprits have been brought to book. Jain Hawala and other scandals followed the same pattern.

Election Expenditure and Corruption

The problem of corruption enters every citizen’s daily life. Almost every interaction with the government — be it for a birth certificate or ration card, electricity connection or water supply, for filing a police complaint or approval of a building plan – requires a bribe. All the eloquent sermons on the scourge of corruption by every party seeking power have provided no real relief to citizens. If anything, both the scale and spread have escalated.

Semantics and Politics


Often I am troubled by the lackadaisical deployment of certain words. Recently, I attended a small get together and as the discussion veered around to state of politics and corruption, the language that was used to explain various corrupt practices surprised me. For instance, many found Telgi, the kingpin of stamp scam, a very intelligent person! To my surprise I found quite a few using similar language to describe various corrupt practices.