Scams, scams, scams: Has liberalisation worked?

It’s raining scams here, there, everywhere.

A. Raja and 2G, Suresh Kalmadi and CWG, Ashok Chavan and B.S. Yediyurappa and land allotment, Lalit Modi and IPL, Vikram Akula and microfinance, Madhu Koda and the Reddy brothers, and so on and so forth.

But this is only the favour of the current season. Last year, it was Pinrayi Vijayan and Lavlin, Ramalinga Raju and Satyam, and so on and so forth.

For nearly 20 years now, corruption has skyrocketed to stratospheric levels, cutting across States, party lines, ideologies, affecting not just the three estates of the legislature, executive and the judiciary, but also business, industry, stock exchanges, cinema, sport, media, academics, and almost everything else in Indian society.

Was it supposed to be this way?

Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr in DNA:

“The great hope of economic liberalisation was that government will be less intrusive and dominant and that this would end not just the vice-like grip of politicians and bureaucrats over the lives of people but also mean less corruption.

“But this is one great hope that has been betrayed. It looks like that politicians and bureaucrats are still enjoying their power to dole out favours, whether it is mining or telecom licences, and that business folk find it useful and even profitable to cultivate the politicians and their minions in the government.

“Right from the Enron episode in the 1990s to the 2G spectrum allotment just goes to show that business is deeply involved in the corrupt system.”

Read the full column: The role of business in governmental corruption

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22 Responses to “Scams, scams, scams: Has liberalisation worked?”

  1. prasad Says:

    Next step!
    Why all this. Already A bed has been kept ready for Mr Raja at three hospitals in Chennai, Myot, Malar and Ramachandra. He can go to the nearest hospital once his arrest warrant is issued as he will get Cheat Pain and will need hospitalization.

  2. Hanumae Gowda Says:

    While it is a well accepted fact that all previous Govt’s of the Cong-I as well as the Gowda clan lead by Kumaraswamy, ruthlessly looted the Karnataka State of 1000s of crores, the latest land scams (among many other scams) of the so-called clean RSS or BJP leaders like B S Yeddyurappa, KS Eshwarappa, R. Ashok, Katta Subramanya Naidu and many others in the state whose loot is supposed to be around Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 crores must be making everyone from out-of-luck Cong-I leaders to Madhu Koda to Suresh Kalmadi to Ashok Chavan and A Raja cry on their own golden opportunities lost!

    While the arrogant Yeddyurappa is turning out to have got extraordinarily and shamelessly greedy, his youthful, ‘talented personal friend’ and now energy minister Shobha Karandlaje is the latest to have come under the Lokayukta scanner. Incidentally, the ‘trusted lieutenant’ of the selfish ‘god-fearing’ Yeddi recently claimed she got by only on her monthly salary of Rs 15,000! Amazing indeed.

    The Lokayukta has now revealed that poor Shoba Akka bought 166 acres of prime coffee estate near Madikeri in the name of her apparel company that also has her brother Lokesh Karandlaje and a shaddy mallu called Sebastian Anthony as partners!

    The Lokayukta has also mentioned that the poor ‘power minister’ has failed to provide a convincing reply on massive loans, interest and other obscene investments she had made in shares, bonds, debentures, gold and silver!

    The unfolding tragedy and shame on kannadiga’s has just started…. There are major players a.k.a crooks who are in the sidelines, what with the likes of Renukacharya, Reddy bros..etc still not yet into the limelight of scams.

  3. Insider Says:

    Shoba Akka is said to have got a posh house built in Mysore, thanks to some top bereaucrats. It may not be in her name, but his mother or brother. Lok Ayukta should investigate and tell public whether it is true.

  4. abhirama Says:

    Totally wrong analysis. It is not the problem with liberalization, it is the net effect of pseudo Nehurivian socialism of the past 50 years.

  5. Karavali Says:

    It’s not the failure of liberalisation. It is the failure of us collectively as a society. I don’t know the sociological reasons behind it but most of us are corrupt to varying degrees. There was a time when we gullibly thought that defence forces, media and judiciary atleast are above board and are our pillars of clean and transparent democracy. But over the time we have realised that there are no institutions left which are untouched by corruption. Most of us lead religious life but not a noble one. I think it is a collective failure of our parents, teachers, thinkers and role models.

  6. div Says:

    this argument doesn’t make much sense. In 1991, India was a beggar and there were scams, in 2010, India is emerging economically and still there are scams. Economic growth doesn’t automatically change the behavior of people overnight. The problem lies elsewhere: not in economic liberalization, but in value system that our society has. I would rather see a society well of and a few scams rather than an impoverished society with scams. Ideally, we would be rich as well as scam free. India has NEVER made a good attempt to bring down corruption. May be now is the time….

    Innocent until exposed guilty is the right description of Indian people!

  7. Narayana Says:

    Indian voter is squarely to be blamed for the mess he is in.

    Being illiterate he is not able to see connection between poverty and corruption.

    Corruption should not be treated as an issue of ethics.. It is more a hindrance to development and poverty eradication.

    India did not become liberalized in 1991 because of benevolence of the ruling elite, but because ruling elite looted everything available under license raj and just wanted to move to newer market to harness more wealth. Famous economist and statesman JK Galbriath had predicted fall of socialist India in 1991 much before. His statement was something like this.(I am quoting this from memory) “After stealing every penny from the development work and stalling the development work these scoundrels will declare socialism to be ineffective and move on to capitalism”

    It is similar to a crook stealing money in the name of one company and then filing for bankruptcy and continuing his old ways by starting another company.

    I had also studied a curious agreement of surrender by then government to worldbank (refer: That may be root of some of the evils.. specifically for the new emerging pattern of starting industry without license!!.

  8. Mysore Peshva Says:

    Liberalization has worked, but the UPA has not.

  9. Prashanth Says:

    Latest News!(18-NOV-2010)

    Indian have topped the list of black money depositors at the famous Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS).

    At the Union Bank of Swiss alone, India have topped the list.

    Top five:

    India—- $1,456 billion (Public loot since 1947) -> We topped the List, YAY!!!
    Russia —$ 470 billion
    UK ——-$390 billion
    Ukraine – $100 billion
    China —–$ 96 billion

    I am sure India must be topping the list of in other International Tax havens as well…….I feel so great about the fact that , for generations together, the Tax money of us has been eaten away to this extent and being safely deposited to International destinations…..contributing the growth and development of these destinations outside our Country!!!

    Hip Hip Hurrrrrrrrrrrrray!

  10. Shetty Says:

    8th Nov 2008:
    B.S. Yeddyurappa gifts a 30 Lakhs worth tusker to Rajarajeshwara temple at Taliparambu

    11th Nov 2010:
    B.S. Yeddyurappa gifts 1 crore to the Oppiliappan temple in Thanjavur District,

    18th Nov 2010:
    B.S. Yeddyurappa offers to gift back all his family’s illegally acquired premium land back to his own Govt!

    20h Nov 2010:
    B.S. Yeddyurappa gifts 50,000 sarees to woman in Ajjarakadu, Udupi district. The sarees bought from Gujarat for Rs 200 each, costing the Govt Rs. 600 each to distribute! The grand function costing 8 crores only was inaugurated by Balagangadharanatha Swamiji, seer of Adi Chunchanagiri Math, the remote control Vokkaliga religious leader in Karnataka

    29th Nov 2010:
    B.S. Yeddyurappa does Aghorastra Homa, Manushyukta Paaraayana, Aditya Hridaya, Narasimha Kawacha and Shatrusamhara ritual at the Hucchuraya Swamy temple in his hometown Shikaripura costing the public exchequer 20 crores only. He claims the rituals ward off evil forces, keep the state and his own chair safe. The CM’s dear sons accompanied by Shobha Akka, Renukacharya, Esswarappa, Ashok, Gali Janardhana Reddy, Katta Subramanya Naidu, chanted Manushyukta Paarayana and the Gayatri Mantra while RSS volunteers let by Suresh Soni and Suresh Joshi with the backing of B. Sriramulu’s personal friends from the Central Jail keep Cong-I and JDS goons from gate crashing.

    30th Nov 2010:
    Nitin Gadkari decides enough is enough.
    A new Alibaba CM and 40 thieves of the cabinet are sworn in.
    Sadly it is all too late for the ‘disciplined and clean party’ that is now as bad and shamelessly corrupt as the Cong-I and JDS.

  11. Faldo Says:

    Like Narayana mentions, it seen that there is a close connection between the quality of life and the level of corruption in a given society. India’s position on the both the quality of life index and the corruption perception index is in the seventies/eighties. One can hope that as the standard of living goes up, corruption levels would drop.

    While it is true that liberalization has increased the overall wealth of the country, it has not affected a large enough section of the people. Once living standards of most of the people increase, presumably they would rise above bread and butter issues and look at ways to stop corruption.

  12. lp Says:

    scams happened earlier too….just that it was never exposed.

    the relentless media intrusion is exposing most of the scams these days.

  13. twistleton Says:

    @Narayana -well said

    The Raj never came to an end, liberalisation was to give legitimacy for monopoly of a few.
    For LPG to work, social, cultural and political inequalities should be of manageable sizes.

  14. Kapil Says:

    Liberalization or license raj, corruption is in India’s vanes. Still due to liberalization we are able to see and know all this.

  15. Curry Hurry Says:

    And the media is also hand in glove in the loot. For a Padma these touts will do anything.

  16. Vinay Says:


    Sure, we know about the Swiss bank stuff, but what is the point of pasting a link from a Paki hate site? Are you aware that the particular website which you are so proudly displaying as a vindication of how badly India has done, is so completely anti-India and anti-Hindu, that it will make one puke?

    There are hundreds of sources where you can get genuine information, no need to paste links from a Paki Jingo site run by vile pigs!

  17. babuds Says:

    It should be all in our genes, either to tolerate or indulge in it.

  18. Prashanth Says:

    Oops…I didn’t noticed tht it’s a Paki Jingo site….Was just looking at the Contents of just this NEWS. Thx for raising your hands…:-)

    Kindly bear my ignorance just this time Sir

  19. Ramesh Raghuvanshi Says:

    Liberalisation is not responsible for scams it is Hindu`s psych which beased on ancient religion which highest aim is MOKSHA. In ethic of Hindu there is no punishment for wrong deeds Good and bad deed have no value for Moksha.In one of religious text [MUHRTACHITAMANI ]given auspicious day for marriage , opening shop, for travel as well as most auspicious time for stealing and dacoity .Hindu too much afraid to breaking norms of religion and not afraid to breaking law Hindu call.All law force authority thief. dacoit.From this we must learn people of India never abandon doing scams

  20. Super Nan Maga Says:

    Ayyoo yake hinge hucha patte tale kedskolthiri??
    Sumne Blog nalli figureu ,numberu ,analysisu, party, corruption anta kachadtira?
    Nam deshdalli esthe guru gotirbeku

    1) Elli Kasu eddone Baasu
    2) Kas madoke yav schemadre yenanthe
    3) Scam adre yenanthe? Yarado duddu yellammana jathre
    4) Elli kiladi agi gumpnalli govinda andkondu kaas mado govt schema hidiyone Jaana

    -Kiladi Manja

  21. Pseudo Pseudo Says:


    >>Liberalization has worked, but the UPA has not.

    Don’t lbe charitable and leave NDA out of the mix. Karnataka is not ruled by UPA. Nor were the likes of Pramod Mahajan, Sudhanshu Mittal, Ram Naik, Madan Lal Khurana ever part of it.

    DMK and other rogue parties from TN were once part of NDA and so were/are Lok Jan Shakti of Paswan and INLD of Mr. O P Chautala who had an exceedingly fine time during their rule.

  22. H.R.Bappu Satyanarayana Says:

    It is interesting that according to the news published by The Indian Express, the balckmoney deposits in Switzerland increased dramatically after liberalisation in 1991. It raises the question whether license-permit Raj was better or the liberalisation. Another intereting fact is, earlier the poor Darwans used to get the tips but now it is the Corporate giants that appropriate all money.

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