An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Selective Integrity or Real Anti-Corruption: The Security leak Case of IAS officer

IASofficer.jpgCorruption is a bad thing and it should never be tolerated. But the intolerance for corruption should be universal and not selective. When it is so then things get murkier.

An IAS officer is close to being arrested because he was going to “leak” sensitive information about a Telecom company’s application for security clearance from the Home Ministry with respect to the Mobile Number Portability. A Bengali businessman who was the “broker” for Ravi Inder Singh, the IAS officer, has been arrested.

The entire episode is almost characterized as if it was a national secret that this guy was leaking. Let us be clear it was the updates on security clearance or otherwise that he was working on and probably – I would like to believe – also helping that Telecom company out by using his “influence”.

Yes, its shameful that he was doing that, but it would have been so bad that he should have been portrayed as a “National Traitor” if such practices were rare in Indian corporate and bureaucratic circles.

The truth is that such a practice is a norm! You can anything done by anyone in this land. ANYTHING! And by ANYONE! Every politician and every businessman is like a product on the Walmart shelf. All you need is the right “consideration” for him/her. Even the hallowed Indian PM Dr. Singh is not a stranger to that. He may not need black dollars / Rupees – so his consideration may be to keep himself in position or please his Masters, but he too extracts a “consideration”.

In such a scenario, why pick out on one guy?

Anyone who has worked at a position of important in any company in India, will know that it is a must to keep the politicians and bureaucrats “in your pocket” to even survive! Legend goes that Dhirubhai Ambani would deliver a new car to the doorsteps of every new IRS officer joining in every year. That way he has undivided loyalty of the Tax Department for him.

For 3 consecutive years, Pranab Mukherjee came out with a budget as a Finance Minister, which was basically written for Reliance Industries! Short of mentioning Reliance by name, Mukherjee had placed every condition to help them.

All the scandals that have come out recently have favored someone or the other. Was anyone caught? Will the money ever be gotten back?

Yes, IAS officer Singh was stupid to have not played this game better, but make no mistake – he is NOT an exception and certainly not a traitor of the country. I wish the news journalists in India could have a little more integrity and not simply print copy sent to them by some vested interests in hitting on certain people! For no one in India is as corrupt and devoid of any professional ethics as the journalists.

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