BIG GUNS IN MEDIA HAVE A LOT TO EXPLAIN
By Shyam Khosla
Media deserves full credit for exposing three major scams – Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai, Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the worst of all, the dirt-cheap sale of second generation (2G) spectrums. But for the explosive disclosures by sections of the media, the looters of public funds would have gone scot free. Delayed action against those involved in these scams by the Prime Minister and the Congress President has besmirched India’s image. Resurgent India is now being perceived by the international community as a Republic of mega scams. The “clean” Prime Minister didn’t dare to move his little finger to bring the guilty in the 2G scam to justice till he was forced to act by the media’s dogged persistence and the BJP-led opposition’s determination not to allow the Parliament to function till the Government agreed to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to enquire into the scam. Mark Tully has put it quite bluntly, “As a man of action, the PM’s image has been not only battered but (also) damaged. Still in the people’s mind he is a clean man”. The Supreme Court of India was constrained to ask as to why the Prime Minister took so long to respond to the complaints about the scam lodged by former Union Minister Dr Subramanian Swamy. The Prime Minister’s inability to act in the second generation spectrum scam has justified L K Advani’s description of Dr. Manmohan Singh as a “weak” Prime Minister. Dr. Singh looked the other way as the corrupt minister, bureaucrats and greedy big business looted the nation of the startling sum of RS 1.74 lakh crore.