Monday, January 3, 2011

NIIRA RADIA

NIIRA RADIA

I have never met her. I don’t know her. It is a bad miss. But I have heard her talk to top politicians, corporate, and sorry to add to the list, top journalists.

It comes out clearly that she was a doer. She would take all the trouble to get things done, somehow, anyhow.

She was doing well in key infrastructure sectors like civil aviation, gas, telecom. She was a force to reckon with. She was destroying business of her contemporaries. She was surely an eyesore. She was affecting the political dynamics of convenience. She was a friend with BJP and Congress. She put the insatiable greed to good use; this applies equally to the national parties as much as regional parties. Why single out DMK and A Raja?

She was not averse to giving and taking personal favours to get things done as some of her taped conversations suggest. I am dead against discussing private life in public spheres. But, what when people enter into personal relations for professional reasons, that would in some significant ways will end up compromising public interest? There are allegations of money laundering, investments abroad. There are allegations of cheat.

The most distressing, that is no more in the realm of mere allegation, is the use of English speaking suave journalist. People at large are conditioned over the years to trust these high profile journalists. they have breached this trust for ulterior ends. They would bat for Radia and her clients. And it is very clearly that these journalists in question did not bent over backwards for reasons of goodwill. Here is a clear case of exchange of favours. It is still not clear what these ‘serious’ journalists with a ‘reputation’ got in return for showering favours at Radia. It is stressed that these favours has a huge monetary value. I can say this with little hesistation: she did capture the imagination of people in the media. And as we know, perception and not facts make news these days. Her capturing of their imagination helped.

Big names were sullied. In the process, general people, the masses who are consumed fending for the basics of life, got a taste of how their trust is breached. They had no confusion that corruption is the popular work culture in the corridors of power. But they got to know the dynamics of it. Thanks to Radiagate. It was educative. Radia tapes are the stories of behind the curtain activities where characters are bare of their reputations. Here they act, in public life they only promise.

Radiagate to me is a dossier of how things have gone wrong in this country. To me it is a comprehensive report of how things work. And the kind of people one should hire to get things done in the government.

They say legalise lobbying. I second. So should they legalise prostitution. No government agency can stop lobbying and prostitution because there is so much demand for it. And the demand comes from people in power and with money. But having said that I would like to clarify: to me prostitution is much more noble then lobbying. And I am also acutely conscious that this is an unfair comparison.

Radia would now be sitting alone and wondering what went wrong. I think it was her unbridled success. She was therefore the target. She was the queen of backdoor maundering in various power and business centres. It is apt, for this reason, that of all it is the Income Tax department that has accused her of anti-national activities. The former, failed partners of Radia are settling scores in public when the chips are down for her. But she is not given up. It is too early to rule her out. Now much of her time is spend sending legal notices to media houses for carrying misleading reports about her. Was this not her modus operandi at one time?