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COUNTRY OF DEFICITS PART-II
To day as we look back, there has been a steep fall in moral standards and ethical values. In other words, apart from material deficits, we are engulfed by ethical and moral deficit that every one of us are turning selfish. Chetan Bhagat rightly said in his article in Times of India that we,as members of society are largely responsible for the fall in moral standards. He has rightly questioned as to how many of us have thought about the rights and plight of domestic helps? So long as it is convenient to us, we ignore moral turpitude. While supporting the whistleblower bill even a seemingly upright and honest man like Narayana murthi wanted the bribe giver to be let free. The low level bribe taking which he called speed money is not that much a crime as it is made out to be. This is what the then economic advisor to PM Mr.Kaushik Basu put up in ministry website as well.
During the freedom struggle, Gyanshyam Das Birla and Jamnalal Bajaj the their fifth and sixth sons of Mahatma Gandhi gave contributions to the congress party out of patriotic fervor expecting nothing in return. Tata however chose not to pay Congress party while doing immense social work. It is probably because Tata is a Parsi and could not readily identify himself with our freedom cause.
Industrialists befriending politicians in the post independent era quickened following the split in the Congress party in 1969 when Indira Gandhi outsmarted those who hoped her to be a doll and a handmaid. She nationalized Banking Industry, abolished privy purses and brought forth 42nd constitutional amendment adding to the preamble the words “socialist and secular “ before the word Republic. Socialism was always thought to be full of state control of industry and the industry had to befriend the politician . This also had an effect on private sector failure in Textile with many mills going bankrupt but swiftly nationalized to save jobs under an umbrella organization NTC. Until Justice Jagmohan Lal Sinha unseated her on flimsiest of charges – that of engaging the services of a government servant Yashpal Kapur for her campaign, Indira Gandhi strode like a colossus and there was no large scale corruption even though Nagarwala episode and Licence scandal involving LN Mishra happened. The major scandal of Indira regime was Maruti car project of Sanjay Gandhi- her dearest son for whom Bansi lal gifted away state lands for nothing or close to a pittance. During Janatha regime George Fernandez drove out Siemens and Coca Cola. There was an alternate swadeshi cola called 77 marketed by Parle Chauhan.
During her second stint in 1980, Pranab is alleged to have helped RIL supremo Dhirubai to circumvent rules in imports and in evasion of duties. To Dhirubai goes the credit of proving that one can attain phenomenal growth provided he has backing at the government level. No doubt he had his business acumen and also he was willing to take risks no other businessman had ever taken. But the political backing helped him to grow at a phenomenal rate.
State level parties came to power following the success of DMK in Tamil Nadu and these parties encouraged local businessmen to circumvent rules and regulations for a fee. The mining scams which are now out in the open is a classic example of politician businessmen nexus which has robbed the exchequer millions of money. Yeddyurappa, Kamaths, Krishnas, Devegowdas made money using their discretionary power. Until RTI came in to being all these allegations were whispered and no one was serious to unearth. Lokayukta Santhosh Hegde attempted to unearth massive fraud in Karnataka citing the rise of bellary brothers the benevolent donors of to the party with a difference- BJP. There were archaic land laws to the aid of the government to notify and take over possession of farm lands for a pittance and brutal force was used to curb resistance as it happened in Singur and Nandigram. But the mass uprising against forcible land acquisitions elsewhere has facilitated a new draft land legislation which after lot of resistance from vested interests is to see the light of the day thanks to some adamant stand by Sonia Gandhi.