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Six Years Of B&E: Six Defining Trends
SUTANU GURU
 
Issue Date - 21/07/2011
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Judicial Paralysis: Sure, there are islands of hope in the judiciary. But they are too few. The reality is that the judicial system in India is in virtual paralysis. Every crook in the country knows this very well. And that is why crooks and criminals operate with impunity in the country. They know they will get away no matter what the evidence against them; they can ensure that the cases against them drag on for decades. Even when they are convicted, they can file appeals till kingdom come. If corruption is a cancer that is gnawing away at the Indian economy, a paralysed judiciary is the malignant factor that adds ferocity to that cancer. Just to remind you; the last six years have seen serious allegations made against two chief justices of the Supreme Court. Were the contempt of court laws in India not so formidably frightening, the chorus of allegations would have been louder. When Caesar's wife is looked upon with mistrust by the citizen, then surely the fate of the Roman Empire is sealed. I wish I had the space to document the numerous concrete ways in which a paralysed judiciary is hollowing out the Indian Republic, but I guess you already know about it.

Crony Capitalism: Everybody talks and writes about how corrupt Indian politicians are. Hardly anybody talks about the fountainhead of that corruption. Yes, I am talking about corporate India which seems to have become a darling of the middle-class and the media. The ugly truth is: many industrialists happily, willingly and unabashedly connive with the politicians, bribe them to corner licenses, permissions or resources and then make a killing that is many, many times the bribe paid to the politician. From mining rights to land acquisition to SEZs to spectrum allocation to bidding for oil and gas fields, India is a vast crony capitalist state. There is not shadow of doubt that the trend has become even more disturbing and frightening in the last six years. Barring some notable exceptions, it is classic case of is hamaam mein hum sabhi nangey hain. When crony capitalism flourishes, the aam aadmi literally has no chance. Is it a wonder that Naxalite violence is most pronounced in regions of India where corporate houses are plundering the natural resources at the expense of local populations? Each time the media stumbles upon a scam like 2G, rest assured that even bigger scams continue to flourish. And this is one complaint I have about Indian media: while it does an admirable job of exposing corrupt politicians, it is too squeamish when it comes to exposing corporate fat cats. The result: a man of unimpeachable personal integrity running one of the most corrupt governments in India.

So where will we all be after six more years? I have no doubts about where Business & Economy will be; it will still walk the talk. But I am not so sure about India. I hope I turn out to be like those cynical hacks I mentioned in the beginning whose sniggers and pessimism were eventually silenced by millions of Indians who dared to dream!
 

 
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