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Radia tapes expose flaws in capitalism

The Radia tapes have come to expose the vulnerability of capitalism as a system which ideologically and practically ensures the prosperity of the ruling elites in general and the big corporate houses in particular at the cost of the masses. These days, very strangely, the ideologues of capitalism are on their defensive and trying to play down its failures. Capitalism has always and everywhere bluffed and pauperised the common people.

Niira Radia, the corporate lobbyist, has come on the world stage at a very suitable time as she symbolises the magical intricacies and complexities of the crony capitalism which has come to mesmerise our top military officers, Cabinet Ministers, powerful senior bureaucrats and judges also. The common people are puzzled as to who this powerful and mysterious Radia is.

The Radia tapes have blasted the hypocrisy in the media circles that they do stories for the common people. The secret of their eminence lies in their proximity to big industrialists and the ruling elite. No doubt, some of our journalists are honourable exceptions also as they refused to oblige Radia while doing their stories but many of them fell to her intriguing persuasion.

It is tragic and painful to learn that the corporate houses and their powerful agents have come to wield immense influence in the corridors of power. This dangerous development does not portend well for the future of democracy in India. And it is much more distressing to see many of our journalist-friends treating this issue casually and lightly as they seem to be angry and annoyed with the Opposition which justifiably raised the voice of the common people of India for constituting the Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the mega 2-G Spectrum scam.

But the Congress muzzled this democratic demand and a section of our Press supported the ruling party’s questionable stance. Earlier, there were very few black sheep in politics and journalism but now their strength is steadily going up.

Let us wake up from our slumber if we can, because this nation belongs to all of us and we cannot allow a few people to plunder its precious wealth for their personal prosperity and profits.



One cannot but agree with the views expressed in the editorial “Plugging phone tap ‘leaks”: But corporates must also introspect” (Dec 16) that the media has no obligation “to keep documents under wraps if they throw light on murky going on between lobbyists on the one hand and politicians, bureaucrats and business on the other.” 

But I do not agree with Ratan Tata expressing the fear of India turning into banana republic just because of the recording and leaks of his tele-conversation with lobbyist Niira Radia. There are a host of other more serious and glaring grounds which justify India being called a banana republic.  

Ironically it is only in a banana republic where unscrupulous elements from all walks of life survive and thrive. Otherwise how is it possible for a mere lobbyist like Radia to rake in crores of rupees just in a few years as was reported by the media? It is another matter that Mr Tata may not have used unethical means to promote his corporate interests and hence felt hurt and wronged by insinuations for no malfeasance on his part.

Going by the nature of adjudication in similar scams in the past, most of the racketeers will remain out of the reach of the so-called long arms of the law of the land because of our snail-paced judiciary and lack of political will on the part of the powers that be. Of course, the government has no right to intrude into the private lives of people by tapping their private phone conversation. But in the case of Radia, her conversations were recorded by the authorities concerned only because of her alleged suspicious activities. How will they know that what they are recording is purely personal and not for some sinister purpose? Anyway only a rich person like Radia has the luxury of making thousands of calls for a tête-à-tête in few months.  

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has smoothened the businessmen’s ruffled feathers by promising to stop the unauthorised recording and leaks of their telephonic conversation in future. Now it is up to the corporate sector to respond to the PM’s action on their complaint by restraining themselves from indulging in any skulduggery and shenanigans through lobbyists or otherwise. They too have black sheep among themselves.

HEMA, Langeri, Hoshiarpur

Unwanted frisking

The recent news of the Indian Ambassador to the US being frisked at an airport has created a furore in India while the rest of the world is amused. This façade of security protocol is definitely a serious issue and must be dealt with. Time and again we are being insulted by the US officials and they expect us to accept such gross lapses. If such an incident would have happened with a US Ambassador to India or any US celebrity, the US would have sent a strong message to India.

India has suffered more at the hands of terrorism but we have never frisked US dignitaries. If such a protocol has to be followed then let India give the US a befitting reply and let them know that they have crossed the limit of our patience.

GEHNA VAISHNAVI, Advocate, Punjab & Haryana High Court, Chandigarh


Consumer culture

I read Oped Youth (Dec 15) with intent and interest. Ashima Thakur used three meaningful words “conscious consumerism”, “innate nature” and “real fountain within” in a half-hearted manner without echoing their full import. No wonder, an Army officer gets caught stealing. With consumer culture spreading its tentacles far and wide, one can expect corruption graph rising in every walk of life.

Dr HARI GOPAL, Barnala


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