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Mainstream, VOL LIII No 26, New Delhi June 20, 2015

Is This Not Corruption?

Saturday 20 June 2015, by Humra Quraishi

MUSINGS

If Cabinet Ministers and Chief Ministers helping fugitives is not corruption then what is it? Nah, in this day and age there is nothing called humanitarian help! External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj helping out tainted Lalit Modi because of ‘family ties’ drags along the vital fact that he is a client of Swaraj’s lawyer daughter, Bansuri. Wouldn’t you call this a nexus of a definite kind? And before layers to this nexus could be peeled off, there comes another name with another nexus in place. Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhra Raje Scindia, who again talks of family ties with Lalit Modi’s clan and in between all those ties there erupts this vital business link, between Lalit Modi and Raje’s son, Dushyant Singh.

If a serious probe gets going, many more heads and tails together with tales are sure to tumble out... right out. After all, corruption doesn’t always mean looting cash in any of those traditional set ways. Today hoodwinking is on, grabbing with smart moves and counter moves.

Sitting safe in London, Lalit Modi seems in that mood to throw out many more names and surnames, heaping backgrounders to each such family tie or ties or call it by any other suitable term of your choice. What if the picture gets completely stark and clear, then what next? Would Sushma Swaraj and Raje and many more of the who’s who continue to sit or squat atop those high pedestals or will they be forced to resign?

Though I simply detest and hate the word ‘compulsory’ but if yoga can be made compulsory in a diverse country like ours, then surely resignations of the corrupt should be made compulsory! I know many more names of the big and mighty are sure to come out... tumble out, right there in the open, in this corruption scam. Force them all to resign! Make it compulsory. And make sure that this scam does not get shrouded in any of those bogus cover ups.

And next time you hear ‘Acche Din’ just about smirk! For there seems no trace of anything getting better... in fact, the situation is sliding from bad to worse.

This reminds me: I did attend Mani Shankar Aiyar’s book launch—‘Acche Din? Ha! Haa!’ As expected, it was very well attended, with the who’s who of the city there. And two panelists spoke out in that hard-hitting way—Yogendra Yadav and Asaduddin Owaisi spoke of Right-wing moves destroying this land, our very structure. They were well equipped with facts and figures and could not be bullied to dilute their views, their stark observations... they spoke of the grim realities and of hard times ahead.

Yet Another Book On India’s Children

Thursday—June 18—will see the launch of yet another book on India’s children. Titled—India’s Children: Essays on Social Policy (OUP), and edited by A.K. Shiva Kumar, Preet Rustagi and Ramya Subrahmanian, the essays in this book by 29 policy-advisers, scholars and researchers, focus on the children of this country. After all, children below 18 years of age—close to 440 million—constitute around 40 per cent of India’s population.

The essays deal with ‘different dimensions of child-sensitive social policies... Poverty and deprivations from a child’s perspective, identify elements of social exclusion that adversely impact their growth and development, explore the macro-context and policy-spaces for children, and discuss the consequences on children of gender differences, family structures and marriage.’

This data will be useful in framing long term plans and policies but the crisis is here ... right here. Children are sold and bought in the open, used and abused in various ways, babies are raped, and there is a growing number of children thrown into the ever expanding ‘missing slots’.

What are we doing to help save our children?

In fact, right now I was hearing a radio interview with one of the close aides of Kailash Satyarthi and he gave a Delhi telephone number (49211111) of Satyarthi’s organisation which, as you all know, plays a definite role in rescuing and rehabilitating hapless children.

 If you see a child in crisis and in need of immediate help you could call this Delhi number—49211111