By Sanjay Jha
As Ratan Tata , Chairman of the Tata Group makes a strong trenchant countercharge to Rajeev Chandrasekhar, former telecom entrepreneur ( BPL Mobile) and Rajya Sabha MP’s detailed accusations on the 2 G scam , linking the latter’s cozy equation with the BJP, this telecom controversy has now thankfully even if belatedly assumed its true complexion; outright corporate war, which was always fought tacitly but is at last out in broad wintry sunshine . In fact, even the over-rated wily corrupt politician is actually himself just a manipulated pawn , a willing sacrificial goat ( for the hefty pay-off, of course ) in the shadow-boxing between India’s super-rich money-bags. This has been happening since the good ole days , but escalated during the times of Dhirubhai Ambani and Nusli Wadia. The rest is history. The silent bureaucrat , in fact, is the more deadly ( relative to the much-abused neta) enduring force who works in close connivance with the sugar daddies.
I quote from my article titled Corporate India, Your RTI Time Has Come in Tehelka dated 27th November 2010:
“As the media rightfully gets into a corruption exposure over-drive, you will find self-righteous corporate spokespeople pontificate with measured perfection about why the government of India is a nasty monster, while they are contrastingly puritan .Yet, they lobby extensively as an industry forum ( have you wondered why CII/FICCI/Assocham are continuously running helter-skelter to have at least some politician as their keynote speaker) and also hire “expert” PR conduits for those suspicious transactions. Deal-making and ROI is an art that a politician usually learns from a savvy business-man. Raja and a certain Radia would know.”
Tata categorically mentions CII as a platform exploited for promoting vested business interests by Chandrasekhar and he has hit the bull’s eye on that one. These industry bodies are essentially “ organized lobbies”( unlike individuals like Niira Radia and Suhel Seth ) and are paid for by the large consortium of like-minded corporates with a common group agenda. The other numerous small-fry members of CII are mere Economy class passengers going on a big-ride and simply thrilled to be part of “ corporate networking” and shaking hands with the supposed “ biggies”. Tarun Das, former CII boss ( and on the Radia tapes) was quickly lapped up by several companies in their board-rooms for his unique contacts; many in CII saw him as a “ power broker”.
The role played by these industry associations with a “non-profit objective” needs to be also closely looked at. It is about time the private sector came under RTI provisions if we want a comprehensive wholesale purge.
More over the week-end perhaps.