An attempt to know, understand (and ultimately, transform) that which occurs on the fields of play - India (her politics, media, music) and beyond ...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Operation Duryodhana: MP expulsions - good news for the UPA

As predicted earlier, Parliament expels the 10 Lok Sabha MPs caught in the sting operation conducted by AajTak and Cobrapost.

Parliament expels tainted MPs

This expulsion helps the ruling UPA government in at least a couple of ways: 1) removal of 5 opposition BJP MPs, 2) public relations - they can fool the people that they have promptly and sternly addressed corruption (although their handling of the Natwar Singh episode, and the continued prominence of stalwarts like Laloo in the Cabinet would scream otherwise).

In a related report Government will not control media: I&B minister, Dasmunshi of the Congress(I) pontificates

Dasmunshi, who took over the reins of the I&B ministry recently from Jaipal Reddy, said, "Any regulation and control is contrary to fundamental rights of the media."

"Any kind of operations which can expose the politicians is welcome," he added.

Perhaps realising he has given too much leeway, Dasmunshi backtracks ...

However, he made clear that if any attempts were made to breach sensitive security zones, the government could consider taking action.

Delightfully vague "sensitive security zones" - which can be used to prevent any attempt that might bring the government itself under scrutiny.

I will ask these questions again:

  • Given that those in power in governments are more likely to indulge in corruption, how come we dont see these media-driven "sting operations" targetting the ministers and MPs of the UPA - the Congress and the Communists, for starters?
  • Aren't there guidelines as to who can conduct such sting operations?
  • Isn't offering of bribes punishable under law?

What if a government bankrolls a compliant media to conduct "sting operations" targetting the opposition? Can we have Parliament conducting its own investigations into the "sting operations" and OK-ing the findings, so long as they serve their purpose? For what purpose do we have law enforcers and the judiciary?

Isn't it surprising that during the NDA rule, the media was conducting stings on the ruling NDA, while during the UPA rule, the media is conducting stings on the opposition NDA?

Further, compare how quickly this issue has been "resolved" by the UPA with the long drawn-out treatment of the oil vouchers scam that implicates the Congress and Natwar Singh! The latter issue is practically buried now.


  • At 9:08 PM, Blogger Atanu said…

    Any political party can bankroll any sting operation. Only those who are smart enough to mount a successful sting operation win. The BJP got caught both times -- tehelka and now Cobrapost. They should learn by now.


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