By Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam
The famous Narendra Modi said in Nanded on March 29 that “netas would be brought to justice” within one year of his taking charge of office of prime minister. By netas he meant tainted netas of non-BJP parties.
To begin with, one must laud this great idea of punishing powerful politicians for their corruption and other crimes of omission and commission. He said he would bring to justice former Maharashtra chief minster Ashok Chavan for his alleged involvement in the Adarsh Housing Society scam.
It is good as far as it goes. However, the point to remember here is that justice cannot be selective. The way Mr Modi presents it we get the impression that all corrupt persons are in the Congress Party only and his own BJP is above blame, like Ceaser’s wife. That, alas, is not the case.
The inimitable Laloo Prasad Yadav has a nice way of saying it. “The chalna (a seive with larger holes) tells the chalni (sieve with smaller holes) that it can hold a lot of water.” The truth remains that none of the sieves can hold water, even though the chalni can hold some water for a fraction of a second longer than the loud-mouthed chalna.
Mr Modi is any day more corrupt and vicious than Mr Chavan. The scale of use of black money in Mr Modi’s election campaign is a clear indicator of the level of corruption he is capable of. Being a chalna, Modi cannot boast to be more honest than Chavan.
So far Mr Modi has addressed over 50 rallies. Each rally costs Rs 200-250 crore. Where is all this money coming from? Nearly 185 such rallies have been scheduled. Who is paying such a mind-boggling amount? Naturally, it is funded with black money, earned with government patronage by way of corrupt practices. A comparable amount is being spent on other aspects of the campaign.
At the beginning of Mr Modi’s rule, Mr Adani was a nobody. Today, according to Forbes, his personal wealth is estimated at Rs 16,800 crore and his group’s revenue rose from $756 million in 2002 (Rs 4,500 crore in current value) to $ 8.8 billion (Rs 54,000 crore) in 2014. Such spectacular growth does not come without active government help.
Mr Modi’s party is inducting all kinds of violent criminals as well as people involved in financial corruption. He does not seem to be bothered about the corruption in Bhartiya Petrol Pump Party. He does not think it worthwhile to do anything about Reddy brothers who looted the country’s mineral wealth while the BJP ruled in Karnataka.
The BJP as a whole and Mr Modi in particular happen to be the foremost promoters of crony capitalism, one of the greatest sources of official corruption. Mr Modi is fooling nobody by promising to initiate legal action against Mr Chavan. Mr Chavan must be punished for his alleged involvement in Adarsh Cooperative Society scam if he is proven guilty. The principle should apply to the BJP and Mr Modi also.