Where do I seek justice?

Where do I seek justice?

The dark shadow of Modi

By

Faraz Ahmad

The Income tax Settlement Commission (ITSC) created a record by giving clean chit to Sahrara Shri Subrata Roy in days, something others have not managed to secure in years and dismissing its own findings of irregularities in Sahara India’s books including mention of bribery to a long list of politicians cutting across party lines, beginning with the then Gujarat chief minister and now our prime minister Narendra Mod, then the BJP’s PM candidate.

The income tax officers had searched Sahara India premises not to look for dirt on Modi or any other politician. They were merely looking at books, papers and other records in the normal course, to establish their apprehension that Sahara India had cheated the national exchequer of the tax it was liable to pay and thus was hoarding “black money.” They  merely chanced upon this invaluable piece of information which, since Modi and Sanghis were still not ruling the country, they did not deem fit to brush under the carpet.

The IT officers were not witch hunting Modi. For all you know some of them, like many of their ilk, may be admirers of Modi. For years nobody took any notice of this because people’s attention was focused on Sahara Shri battling the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and then the apex court for non-payment of dues worth Rs 20,000 crore to small investors in Sahara group and that he was sent to jail for dismissing with the shrug of his shoulder the repeated summons of the Supreme Court. Finally he was arrested and incarcerated in Tihar jail for his defiance of the apex court. But look at his bluster, he has remained defiant of the Supreme Court directives on SEBI scam to date. Yet in May last year he secured a parole ostensibly only for a fortnight on the plea that he had to perform the last rites of his dead mother. Since then Subrata Roy is prancing around. The court has been asking him to return to the jail, but he cares a damn. He even released a book about his great achievements attended by the who’s who of the country, including a noteworthy list of BJP politicians and high Government officials. But as for returning the money to the investors, he hasn’t budged and the apex court is pleading with him to at least deposit Rs 600 crore as bail bond but the man wears this Devil cares look on his carefully trimmed and dyed moustache wearing that Salman Khan Dabangg look all the while.

See what the bench of Justices Dipak Mishra, Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri told Roy’s counsel Kapil Sibal, “This court has given so much indulgence to you…this is the worst…” Before that on September 23 a bench led by the just retired chief justice T S Thakur had asked Roy to surrender by September 28 or face strict court proceedings. Nothing happened. Their honours appear hamstrung in the case of Sahara Shri, It is anybody’s guess why?

This man who has scant respect for law, This man who has properties and businesses, both known and benami,  across the globe, in London, New York and where all, but pinched the small investors of their hard earned savings to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore. The same last post for justice in India which kept him incarcerated for years, suddenly finds the same person above reproach to accede to even a decent probe on the earlier findings of the income tax department. And the irony is it says why it won’t order a probe into Sahara affairs: “If investigation is ordered on the basis of inadmissible evidence like this, constitutional functionaries can’t function and democracy will not be safe,” the court said.

It is evident therefore that Subrata Roy’s swagger is thanks to the fact that as long as the law and justice machinery of the country is reluctant to raise an eyebrow against Narendra Modi, Sahra Shri has nothing to fear. So much for the fraudluent fight against corruption, the rule of law or any hope of fair trial and justice, when the establishment is blatantly complicit in our country.

Compare this with the way the courts went after the 2G spectrum allocation and the coal mines allotment, wherein both cases the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was sought to be dragged by the same BJP and its legal luminaries like Mukul Rohtagi who were bent upon humiliating Dr Manmohan Singh somehow only because he was leading a government of a political coalition led by Sonia Gandhi. And that when none other than Rohtagi’s godfather the current Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has all along admitted that none could question Dr Manmohan Singh’s personal  integrity in money matters. Then our most revered custodians of law and justice on their own volition set up a Special Investigative Team (SIT) of the CBI to probe the involvement of the high and mighty starting with the then Communications minister A Raja (who was ordered to be arrested, spent time in Tihar jail and also DMK MP Kanimozhi) but sparing none including the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The entire political world knew that that Filmi guy Dasari Narayan Rao who handled the Coal ministry when Shibu Soren was put behind bars, implicated falsely in a murder case, was the real culprit. But catching Rao won’t have helped Modi, his BJP and RSS to discredit the UPA government, and smearthe leader’s name to create abhorrence in the minds of the people, to facilitate the Sanghis return to power after 10 years. It did.

Lalu Yadav is bearing the brunt of the sham of a fodder scam in which an unending probe taking the CBI team on a world tour, at the instance of Patna High Court, led the CBI to finally file a chargesheet in the year 2000 under the last NDA Government computing Lalu’s total assets, both movable and immovable for his entire political career at only Rs 41 lakh. But the man has been sent to jail umpteen times and pushed out of the political class by the courts.

Still further back there was a man called Abdul Rehman Antulay, the first and to date the only Muslim chief minister of the state of Maharashtra. His charisma, because of his dynamism and popularity was unparalleled after Y B Chavan. But charges of corruption were hurled at him and the courts immediately took cognizance. He battled these for decades. Nothing came of it. But politically Anutlay could never recover from this onslaught.

And what did we find in Bofors, which the BJP digs out from time to time? Nothing, even the courts admitted finally dismissing all the cases. But it helped the Rajiv Gandhi baiters to make the people believe that, “Gali, gali mein shor hai, Rajiv Gandhi chor hai” and win the 1989 elections which aided the BJP rise from the ashes of just 2 seats in the eighth Lok Sabha to 85 in the ninth.

What is the common strain in all these instances and what is the connection with the Sahara Shri case?

Whenever a non-Sanghi leader is perceived becoming popular with the masses for some evident and perceptible welfare measures taken in the interest of the people there is suddenly an outcry by the Sanghis, “Corrupt, corrupt” and the entire Indian establishment, which is becoming incr4eaingly blasé about its saffron tinge, joins in to ruin their political career.

Why target Sonia Gandhi? Because for one she is a Christian and more importantly she brought in the RTI, MNREGA and pushed for a host of other pro-poor and pro-people measures. Same for Lalu who gave a voice to the OBCs, Dalits and tribals and in his first stint 1990-94 was a dynamic leader taking immense interest in the welfare of the backwards, Dalits, Tribals and safety and security of Muslims. Ditto for Antulay.

By contrast for all the hue and cry there is no retribution for those who brought down historical Babri Masjid, none for those who sponsored the Gujarat pogrom and as for fake encounters, one dare not mention for fear of being branded anti-national.  And Corruption? How can a Sanghi be corrupt? The shocking Vyapam scam ruining the careers of lakhs of innocent students aspiring to be doctors in Madhya Pradesh is long forgotten. Those seeking to expose the mafia are either dead or taking refuge outside MP.

The same Ravi Shankar Prasad who mocked and hounded Lalu in fodder scam on the charge that the receipts for carrying fodder had car and scooter numbers and the court happily took cognizance of that, the same Ravi Shankar Prasad stood to defend indefensible Kirran Rijiju, when it is unimaginable for quarried stones to be carried on scooters and cars. The list is long even after Modi has come to power including his blatant promotion of credit card companies through this sham of reform pushing for cashless, digital economy. No need to mention each one right here. But it has now become so obvious that the Indian establishment becoming increasingly saffron, turns a blind eye to the acts of corruption of the Sanghis but is ever ready to hang all others at the slightest provocation as “Chors.”

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