The Indian Republic in 2011 witnessed unprecedented political corruption and scams involving billions of Indian Rupees within the ruling coalition, which could have been more profitably utilized for economic development or strengthening India’s war preparedness and improving our national security. Sadly the political leadership at the apex levels have remained silent on the issue. Crusading against this political corruption permissiveness and undeterred by the calumny and vicious attacks by India’s ruling party against their relentless crusade, Social Activist Anna Hazare, Comptroller & Auditor General Vinay Rai, and former Harvard Professor and eminent lawyer Subramaniam Swamy emerge as my heroes of 2011.
These three noble Indians chose three different paths for their crusade against India’s endemic political corruption. Anna Hazare chose the path of social activism. Vinay Rai as holder of a high Constitutional post chose to fight against political corruption to what can be called as fighting from within the system and not being politically coerced. Dr Subramaniam Swamy chose the legal path to move the majesty of the Indian Constitution and the majesty of India’s Supreme Court to obtain strictures and over-ruling of Government’s wrong policy decisions resulting in losses of billions of rupees to the national exchequer.
All these three Indians have distinguished themselves by their crusade against corruption and provide hope to the Indian Republic that a corrupt political system can be fought against as long as there is dedication to the cause.
Anna Hazare needs no introduction as I have eulogised him extensively in my Columns as a noble man who ignited Indians against political corruption especially under the UPA Government, and mobilized hundreds of thousands of ordinary Indians to join his protest demonstrations. That a social activist, humble and unpretentious could have galvanized virtually the whole Indian Republic indicates the contemptuousness of ordinary Indians and disgust with political corruption.
Comptroller & Auditor General Vinay Rai is one of those very rare and highly commendable former IAS officers who had the spine and guts to point out in extensive reports the massive corruption that took place in the telecommunications sector under the present Government. and elsewhere too. Vinay Rai’s assessment of political corruption in the 2G scam of Rs 1.76 lakhs knocked the wind out of the Congress Government sails. Yet, despite being hauled over the coals in the Congress-dominated Joint Parliamentary Committee proceedings by a Congress General Secretary and motives being imputed to him, Vinay Rai did not buckle down and as an upright noble Indian did not give in. Sadly the Congress Government unnecessarily castigated a holder of a high Constitutional post.
The Congress Party ruling combine imputes political motives to Subramaniam Swamy for his relentless legal crusade against the on-going corruption. The very fact that the Supreme Court last week ordered the cancellation of telecom licenses to 122 firms issued by the UPA Government led by a Congress Prime Minister is ample proof that something rotten exists in our governance and needs to be set right.
India’s political governance plagued by systemic political corruption of unprecedented proportions is a system which cannot be crusaded against so easily. The fact that Anna Hazare, Vinay Rai and Dr Subramaniam Swamy took upon themselves to cleanse the Indian political system without any organizational support, imbued with dedication and passion to eradicate political corruption deserves accolades from all right-thinking Indians and our respect. They have been the real heroes of the Indian Republic in 2011.