Corruption: A to Z

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  • Friday, August 26, 2011
  • It may sound strange, but Independent India has at least one major scam for almost every alphabet of the English language…

    A for Adarsh

    Mumbai’s high rise Adarsh Housing Society was meant for Kargil war widows and veterans. However top Army brass, politicians and bureaucrats who had nothing to do with Kargil were allotted flats. Construction clearances were also suspect. A Maharashtra Chief Minister’s head rolled.

    B for Bofors

    In the 1980s, Rajiv Gandhi’s government was alleged to have received kickbacks in the Bofors Howitzer guns scandal. While there were no high-level convictions, Bofors became a scam brand name and Rajiv was booted out of power with a greatly reduced Lok Sabha share.

    B is also for Barak Missile scandal and Belikere Port scam.

    C for CWG

    The Commonwealth Games 2011 at New Delhi were marred by charges of corruption and favouritism through and through. Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi was sacked and even Delhi CM Sheila Dixit was pulled up.

    C is also for the Cycle Import scam of 1951, AR Antulay’s Cement scandal in the 1980s and Kargil’s Coffin scam.

    D for Devas

    An ISRO S Band deal with Devas Multimedia led to a newspaper report saying that the government would lose Rs 2 lakh crore to the exchequer. While this figure was scoffed at by the CAG, the deal caused a furore and the PM finally scrapped it.

    E for EMAAR-MGF

    The Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and EMAAR-MGF acquired land in Boulder Hills Hyderabad that led to charges of undervaluation. Multiple claimants to the land and other irregularities also came to light. EMAAR-MGF was also involved with C for CWG, as above.

    F for Fodder

    Former Bihar CM Laloo Prasad Yadav‘s 1990s fodder scam may have been to the tune of Rs 1000 crore. Reports said that the scam had been on for decades. Laloo was jailed and Indians saw that just about any department could bleed hundreds of crores easily.

    G for Gegong’s PDS

    The former CM of Arunachal Pradesh Gegong Apang was arrested in 2010 for a Public Distribution System scam valued at Rs 1000 crore. Fake transport subsidy bills were at the centre of the scam.

    H for Hawala

    Before Western Union money transfer, India had hawala. Hawala money is moved illegally and seamlessly across the world. In the 1990s it was alleged that certain politicians had received hawala money. While all were cleared, LK Advani missed his prime ministerial bus thanks to this.

    H is also for the HDW submarine scam.

    I for IPL

    There is no doubt that the Indian Premier League was a big success, but Lalit Modi was the biggest controversy. He had secret stakes in three franchisees and indulged in nepotism. Bidding irregularities jostled with match-fixing claims.

    J for JMM

    It was alleged that in 1993, during a confidence motion, the then PM PV Narasimha Raoindirectly paid bribes to members of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Rao was cleared of the charges, but he was also involved in the St Kitt’s forgery case.

    J is also for the 1948 Jeep scam.

    K for Koda

    Right after J for JMM comes K for (Madhu) Koda. In 2009, the ED found a whopping Rs 4000 crore in illegal assets owned by the former Jharkhand CM of the JMM. Need we say more?

    Copyright AFP. Any unauthorised reproduction is prohibited

    L for LIC

    Independent India’s first major scam: Businessman Haridas Mundhra got the Life Insurance Corporation of India to invest in six of his troubled companies. Feroze Gandhi fumed while his father-in-law Jawaharlal Nehru fretted. Finance Minister TT Krishnamachari had to resign.

    M for Mehta the Big Bull

    Harshad Mehta rigged the stock exchange in 1992. He had an illegal wealth comparable to the combined income-tax of middle class India. Mehta was charged with 72 criminal offences and died with a lot of unresolved issues in 2002.

    N for Nepotism

    Where would we be without it? It’s the root of many scams. Like the Mafia Family of Italy, the Corruption Family of India rules. A recent example is DMK head honcho M Karunanidhi, who finds both his daughter Kanimozhi and relative Dayanidhi Maran in grave trouble.

    O for Oil for Food

    Foreign Minister K Natwar Singh was sacked in 2005 when an enquiry revealed that he and his son were beneficiaries in the Iraqi UN Oil for Food programme.

    P for Pawar

    Sharad Pawar has seen many allegations against him in his long career: A land scam in the 1980s; Accusations by BMC Dy Commissioner GR Khairnar in the 1990s; IPL in the new millennium. Even Abdul Karim Telgi named him in the revenue scam, but Pawar continues to roll on.

    P is also for (Ketan) Parikh, the second Big Bull and Palmolein Oil Import Scam.

    Q for Qualifications and Certificates

    There’s nothing wrong with the Constitution or laws of India. But where the qualifications are required, the certificates can be forged. Fake certificates, question papers for sale and forged documents all form a flourishing multi-crore black industry.

    R for Ramalinga Raju

    With so much growth in the IT sector, could it be far behind? Falsified Satyam accounts came to light in 2009. Had it not been for Mahindra, this IT giant could have sunk without a trace.

    R is also for the Reddy Brothers’ mining scam of Karnataka.

    S for Sukh Ram

    In 1996, the CBI seized Rs 3.6 crores from the official residence of central minister Sukh Ram. Seems like small change today. S is also for Swiss Banks and the Scorpene submarine deal scam.

    Copyright AFP. Any unauthorised reproduction is prohibited

    T for Two G

    Rs 1.76 lakh crore-Two central ministers in jail and another being investigated-Hundreds of sensational Radia tapes-CEOs arrested-Bigwigs squirming-The government running for cover-It doesn’t get bigger than this!

    T is also for (Abdul Karim) Telgi, the Taj Corridor scandal and the Teja Loans scam of the 1960s.

    U for UP food grain scandal

    It is estimated that in the last decade in Uttar Pradesh, about Rs 35,000 crore worth of food grain meant for the poor was diverted to the open market. U is also for the Urea scam of the 1990s.

    V for Votes in lieu of cash

    It’s very common for allegations of parliamentary votes being bought. But in 2008, the Prime Minister became the central focus of a confidence motion which was embroiled with bribery charges.

    W for Wagers and Bets

    Betting is banned in India. Therefore we have a flourishing illegal betting industry replete with underworld links. Cricket’s match-fixing scandal of the 1990s has been the most high-profile to date.

    X for Xerox and X-ray

    About a decade back, Xerox announced that its Indian subsidiary had made ‘improper payments’ vis-a-vis sales of equipment to government bodies. Around the same time in a Mumbai hospital, 17,000 kg of used X-ray films were sold to scrap dealers on the side.

    Y is dedicated to the Yearly Multiple Unknown Scams

    Imagine if only a small fraction of scams has been unearthed so far! What about the thousands of mini-scams going on in every locality of India.

    Z for Zillions and Zilch

    Z is for the zillions and zillions of Rupees that have been siphoned off after Independence. Zilch is the amount of money recovered and the desired action taken against the offenders.

    Summary of all scams in India since 1947

    Here is a summary of all scams since independence. These may not be the only ones. These are the ones that were caught and brought to the notice of the public.

    In total, this is coming upto Rs. 910,603,234,300,000, which is equal to USD 20.23 trillion. With this huge amount, India will become a super-power overnight and can permanently kill all social problems mainly poverty and unemployment

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