Mr. Birla’s Real Guilt? by Rajinder Puri SignUp

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Mr. Birla’s Real Guilt?
by Dr. Rajinder Puri Bookmark and Share

The opposition with characteristic stupidity has jumped into the fray and demanded the Prime Minister’s resignation after the CBI filed a charge-sheet of criminal conspiracy and extending undue favours under the Prevention of Corruption Act. against Mr. Kumaramangalam Birla and Mr. PC Parakh, former Coal Secretary, for corruption in the allocation of coal blocks.

One hopes the media will be more sensible.

Mr. Parakh rubbished the charge of conspiracy to abet corruption. He said that if there was such a conspiracy then the PM was as much involved as he was. This remark was seized by the opposition to go to town with their resignation demand of the PM.

Without going into the details of the charge-sheet the case appears to be thin. CBI Director Mr. Ranjit Sinha justified the agency’s action. He said: “Nobody should doubt our intention or credibility or timing… The coal scam investigation is a Supreme Court-monitored probe and we are not answerable to anybody except the apex court in this matter.” However it is precisely the timing and the bold action that are questionable.

Even if the allegations are true the crime is miniscule compared to mega corruption cases that continue to languish without suitable action by the CBI. Mr. Sinha further raised suspicion of motivated timing by stating:

“The probe is in its initial stages. The accused persons named in it — Mr. Birla and Mr. Parakh — may turn out to be innocent at the end of the probe. We promise them a fair and thorough investigation.”

Dear me, when there are yet lingering doubts about guilt the CBI charge-sheets such a high profile individual?

If the timing is motivated what could be the reason for the CBI’s uncharacteristic action?

In the eyes of the government Mr. Birla’s guilt may in fact lie far away from the allocation of coal blocks. Not too long ago Mr. Birla bought ownership of a major media firm strong in both electronic and print media outlets. Unfortunately for the government the TV channel owned by the firm has been unusually critical about several of the government’s pet policies such as the Food Security Bill, the economy and other issues. Analysts cannot help but wonder if the charge-sheet filed against Mr. Birla is a dire warning for him to better behave.

If this suspicion is correct the lesson for industrialists should be clear. If they want to own media outlets they should either give up other businesses or be prepared to totally toe the government’s line. If they do own media outlets they must not allow journalists operating them to work independently and professionally but always breathe down their necks to make them toe the government line. Media persons too should take note of this charge-sheet and draw the right conclusions before rushing judgment as some opposition politicians have done. 

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Comments on this Article

Comment The news channels, the PMO and everyone took a 'U' turn from the afternoon of the day Mr. Birla met Chidambaram last week.

What did Mr. Birla and Chidambaram discuss that day ?

That Mr. Birla will ensure that his news channel will not criticize the UPA policies till next Lok Sabha elections ?

... Not too difficult to make it out, just watch & read the the particular channel & newspaper for a few days...

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
10/21/2013 07:32 AM

Comment What opposition MR puri is accusing off asking for MMS's resignation? The only significant opposition to this corrupt regime has been DrSwamy,, a one man army who has single handedly brought to the attention of aam aadmi like me the insidious hand of sonia and her shenanigans.without him, there is no way the vast number of Indians would have learnt what is going on..The others who should get credit by doing what is right are Mr VinoRai of CAG and Mr Gopikrishnan of Pioneer.The biggest hoax has been the cabal run by Advani who has single handedly ensured that such gigantic scams can take place without a murmur.What was he doing all these times? watching bollywood movies?No sir, the guys who looked the other way are guilty of as much crime as the crime committed by criminals.So I put this question back to Mr puri - Did DrSwamy or Mrrai or mrgopikrishnan ask for drMMS's resignation? Don't keep on peddling the stuff that the bunch headed by advani and the cabal surrownding him in BJ who hog all the news channels are an opposition.They are actually the "B" team of congress(i).The rest like MSP/SP/CPI(m),regionl parties like DMK/AIADMK,BJP,Akalidal or ShivSena are all collaborators in some form or other. we need a drastic change but then that is wishful thinking.At the moment the best bet is Modi , hopefully his regime will kick start a process of bringing in order,rule of law,transparency.May be in about 50 years time, when the unlettered unwashed millions get some education to think for themselves and vote on the basis of each candidate's clean background not on the basis of a quarter bottle, will this country get some decent administration.

10/20/2013 01:45 AM

Comment Who is what, is always a million dollar question. You have framed it appropriately. Opacity is a stigma, which mankind is experiencing.

Vasan K S S
10/18/2013 15:50 PM

Comment I am glad that you put trust in me. CBI et al are tools of ruling government.
Yes, media,congress and opposition waste government time. That is not their
right. But they do. That requires Character.Use the language that people understands.

There is nothing in rasking Government to resign when tomato and onion
food prices are rising day to day. Let Congress leave and BJP come. Not
wait for riots as they do else where.

pranlal sheth
10/17/2013 23:20 PM

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