‘Mr C & AG, where is the Rs 1.76 lakh crore?’

As I am no admirer of Mr CAG Rai, I would like to suggest that the government seriously consider impeaching him for misleading the country and in doing so causing serious, irreparable damage to the economy.

What worries me about senior officials who these days crawl routinely out of the woodwork of officialdom to make serious charges against their own government, is that they seem to be ideologically inspired. Like the leftists who lead the anti-corruption movement, they are happy to fling mud at businessmen and big corporations. But, never find anything wrong with the much bigger corruption that is caused by gigantic and very leaky government welfare schemes like the national rural employment guarantee scheme. Or the vaunted integrated child welfare scheme that boasts of being the biggest in the world. We should ask why half of India's children are officially malnourished after nearly forty years of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).

To come back, though, to the supposed '2G scam' is it not time to admit that although A Raja may most certainly have helped some of his friends get licences, he did not cause anywhere near the losses that the CAG report charged him with? Is it not time to admit that it is entirely because of market forces coming into play that nearly every Indian today owns a cell phone? For someone who grew up in those times when most of India remained untouched by telecommunications, I consider this a huge achievement.

I remember those times as being particularly bleak because I have seen pregnant women lose their babies just because of not being able to telephone a doctor. And, I have seen small children die of preventable diseases for the same reason. This is why I believe that whatever harm A. Raja did it is balanced out by the enormous benefits that came from a policy that made mobile phones available to the poorest Indians.

... contd.

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