Finally, it’s about the truth. Allegations without logical follow up action are a vacuous, self-serving exercise. It’s heartening to note that there is some action on Robert Vadra’s property deals in Haryana. The Allahabad High Court has taken up a Public Interest Litigation filed against Vadra on the basis of the allegations levelled by Arvind Kejriwal and asked the central government why the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi should not be investigated. It’s a welcome development.
We are still unsure of the extent of Kejriwal’s claims or Vadra’s full defence. The DLF and the Haryana government could be misleading us with fabricated papers or maybe not. The country needs to know the truth.
From the evidence available in the public domain so far, the property dealings of Vadra appear dubious. There are so many unanswered questions: why did DLF have to make an interest-free loan to him? Was there a quid pro arrangement between DLF and Vadra? Why was the Haryana government so differential in his treatment to him? Was he playing the role of a broker in the spurious land deals involving DLF and the state government? How did his fortune grow from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 300 crore in a matter of years?
But the questions by themselves mean little. There have been counters to these from the other side too. Both lead us up the blind alley and leave us heavy with doubts and suspicions but no real answers. That is why it is essential that the allegations are verified and wheat is separated from chaff. It would have been proper for Team Kejriwal to move court after making the charges.
It’s an open secret that nexuses of several kind have been plundering India over decades and politicians of all hues and the bureaucracy have been an essential part of all nexuses. Vadra’s case involves land. But sectors such as education and healthcare are a treasure trove of scandals. Any cleaning up of the system involves dismantling the unholy alliances between the power groups - people with access to resources and the power to manipulate. Allegations are a hopeless way to go about it.
Kejriwal and IAC have shown courage in attacking the powerful, yanking off the veneer of respectability on them. Since they arrived on the team we have politicians exposed like never before. The have brought to the public domain the conspiracy of silence among politicians. The media never had the courage to do this. But there job certainly does not end at throwing allegations. They must bring the truth out. The only place where they can do it is in court.
Yes, courts take years to decide cases. That’s is the reason the politicians have been asking Team Kejriwal to to take their allegations to court. That’s also the reason we have so many people with criminal antecedents in our representative institutions such as Parliament and assemblies. But that should not be a deterrent for the anti-corruption crusaders. A big guy in jail is strong enough message for the others of his ilk outside to be careful how they conduct themselves.
However, don’t expect much progress on the anti-corruption front without drastic reforms in the judiciary. The civil society groups should be demanding that aggressively instead of getting fixated on Lokpal. In fact, it should be their number one priority.
Finally, everything is about the truth. The country cannot survive in a climate of suspicion and unending mud-slinging.