The cons, cheats & frauds lording over Karnataka


RAVI KRISHNA REDDY writes from Bangalore: It is truly a sad state of politics in Karnataka.

Charlatans and confidence artists, with none of the qualifications desired by a good and mature democracy, have taken over the polity in the State in general and the ruling BJP in particular.

Fraudulent actions like forging documents and providing false affidavits to swindle the State’s (and the public’s) money is second nature to some of the ruling party ministers, MPs and MLAs.

As can be seen in the case of heavy industries minister Murugesh Nirani, and in the case in which the chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa and his erstwhile colleague S.N. Krishniah Shetty are in judicial custody (reported by Praja Vani), people in power have thrown all laws to the wind and behaved like professional cons.

Our elected representatives and their families are putting Frank Abagnale Jr. to shame.

The sad state of the BJP does not end with its senior ministers and career politicians. It extends to greenhorn politicians like Yediyurappa’s son B.Y. Raghavendra, the Chitradurga MP Janardhana Swamy and others.

Instead of using the people’s mandate to steer and shape their own, their party’s (and the State’s) long-term future, they used their election as a godsent opportunity to secure their personal fortunes in double quick time.

These people were granted large 50′x80′ BDA sites worth Rs 3-4 crore for a meagre sum of Rs 8 lakh within months of taking oath, on the basis of false affidavits that carried outright lies in some cases and misleading information in some others.

And all this, in the era of the right to information (RTI).

It may be true that the politicians are the true reflection of our society, and perhaps it is not just politics that has gone wrong in Karnataka. After all, supporting a family’s corruption and protecting errant sons and sons-in-laws is not unknown in our society.

To give just one example, D. Javare Gowda, the former vice-chancellor of Mysore University—a well known Kannada writer who translated Tolstoy to Kannada and a one-time disciple of Kuvempu— went on a fast to save his son from corruption charges.

Octagenarian Gowda’s son is not a child. He himself is probably a grandfather in his late sixties; yet his father went on a fast to influence and threaten the State to scuttle the ongoing investigation on the irregularities he had committed while he was the VC of the same Univeristy his father had served.

A father going to jail for his son’s crimes and a son making use of the father’s influence and power to stay out of it, shows that something is truly rotten here.

Everyone, it seems, has come around to believe that corrupt practices are somehow OK if it involves members of their family.

Everyone, it seems, has come around to believe that corrupt practices are somehow OK if it involves members of their caste.

Everyone, it seems, has come around to believe that corrupt practices are somehow OK if it involves members of their party or ideology.

I know “everyone” is not the right word here, but “majority” is also not the right word as it may imply that 49.9% do not support corruption, as it is not true in this context.

The onus on exposing the corrupt and setting Karnataka back on track lies with our journalists, but they are not very different either, it seems.

I happened to visit Mudhol couple of weeks back. I was shocked to see a palatial bungalow on the town’s outskirts. It belonged to a serving minister. I am not qualified to assess monetary worth of this palace, but it was spread over acres and the people over there were saying that it had lifts inside.

It may be worth half a billion rupees, if not a billion.

The work and expansion of the sugar factory was in full swing. I had gone with a friend to the sugar mill run by the minister as he had not been paid for his sugar cane for the last six months.

So this factory has dues, but the expansion work and the bungalow next door tells the money is flowing. Where is this money coming from?

What are our journalists doing?

Can ministers or elected representatives like MLAs and MPs run private businesses or occupy offices-of-profit when they are serving a public office? I think the laws in our country are vague on this subject but the Reddy brothers’ phenomenon and that of other elected representatives underlines Karnataka’s current rot.

If Nandan Nilekani had to resign from all the posts of Infosys Technologies when he took charge of the UID position, shouldn’t the same rule be applied to our elected representatives to prevent public office from being used, abused and misused for private good?

Why are our journalists not raising this issue?

The media in Karnataka, especially the electronic news media, is now largely controlled by politicians, with four out of the five Kannada news channels being owned by active politicans. Minister Nirani also owns a channel and apparently he does not like bad press.

The BJP leader L.K. Advani said his party “can’t win the confidence of the people if its own house is bedevilled with similar weaknesses.” Kannada journalists merely—and merrily—reported it.

Now is the time for journalists in Karnataka to rid their house of corruption, fear, injustice and insecurity. In that process, maybe the cheats and frauds in the disguise of public representatives would also be controlled and be brought to book.

(Ravi Krishna Reddy is a US-returned software engineer who contested the 2008 assembly elections from the Jayanagar constituency as an independent candidate)

File photograph: Former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa with his son B.Y. Raghavendra (extreme right) and the state BJP president K.S. Eshwarappa at the party’s state executive committee meeting in Hubli in July 2011 (Karnataka Photo News)

Also read: My dear IT brothers and sisters of Karnataka

Don’t laugh at the the joke of the year, decade, century

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24 Responses to “The cons, cheats & frauds lording over Karnataka”

  1. Dr KRS Murthy Says:

    Namaskaara Ravi Reddy avare:

    Firstly, let me congratulate you on your good writing. As I have known you for almost a decade, since you started attending our Sahitya Goshti, in Silicon Valley and later as a successful President of our local Kannada group, you write well in Kannada and English.

    I particularly like your non-partisan posture in this article.

    Can you or any reader point to ONE or a few honest and non-corrupt politician and minister / elected official, going back to Karnataka and Indian history? What about the party which gave you the nomination when you contested for election?

    You mentioned about another close and respected friend Janardhana Swamy who got elected from Chitradurga as an MP, whom you included in your article?

    Dr. KRS Murthy

  2. concerned man Says:

    My question to you would be, i sthis the first bda allotment to mlas or mps.
    If not, what were you doing last time? why you did not write about it? Even if you were not a writer at the time, why don’t you give the right context here, give me the data about all previous governments that have allotted bda sites to their legislators and all who have not, with numbers. Stop the ‘opinion journalism’, just give us facts. Your bias, is very visible when you say, “large” 50×80 site…I only know of a 50×80 site.

  3. Neutral Person Says:

    Some people who are jealous of Mr. Janardhana Swamy’s progress/success are venting their frustration through public forum. People reading this article should read it carefully and wisely and don’t be be carried away with others opinion, use your own judgement. I would have liked if you had written both sided story, i.e. highligting the good work also. This looks like one sided story. Why are you after Mr. Janardhana Swamy. You should be spending your valuable time/energy to get those 60(SIXTY) thousand crores that Dr. Subramanian Swamy is talking about. Let’s not harm some good people who have entered politics with good intention. Look at the high level picture and try to work towards  fixing the system as oppose to glorifying individual people mistakes.
    [pardon my spell mistakes, writing it from a smart-phone with a small screen :-)]

  4. Aravind Says:

    Hope Mr Reddy will be different forM janardhan Swamy. I remember Mr Swamy in a article how his prescence in India would make a difference. Now he i sthe owner of 3 waste sites ….

  5. Ahmed Says:

    Arvind, please read that article carefully. Those 3 sites, were bought long before he entered politics, perhaps from his own money,,, I don’t know it personally, I am just quoting the from the article that came last week.
    But that aside, I wish one of churumuri writers will do well, to write about whether Dharam Singh, Kumar Swamy, and Yeddyurappa all gave sites to people or only the latest govt. did it?

  6. Simple Says:

    Neutral

    Seems you are an NRI chamcha of Janardhan Swamy. This man has lied in his affidavit that he owns no site, while he actually had three sites worth crores. Using this lie he got a BDA site alloted to him at 1/10th the market price.

    Result: My state lost crores as revenue.

    This is a criminal conduct. Should an NRI MP who spoke of high morals deserve to be our MP? Or should we boot him out and make sure he rots in jail along with his other BJP jailmates?

  7. sisya Says:

    “Charlatans and confidence artists, with none of the qualifications desired by a good and mature democracy, have taken over the polity in the State in general and the ruling BJP in particular.”

    He loses all credibility when he says “…BJP in particular”. really? only “BJP in particular”?.. Not to mention his perverted, DMK-like casteist slant that manifests itself subtly in his various writings and videos.

    I’d vote for a fiscally corrupt leader any day over an intellectually corrupt and ideologically misguided one. Tamil Nadu, for example, may yet live to make good all the money that the tirukas and rajas have looted but it will take generations for the depraved and malicious tatva of a Periyar to wear off.

    Karnataka, despite the fiercely casteist nature of its politics, has for long been, for the most part, a picture of relative harmony when it comes to caste issues. While Gowdas and Lingayats may fight pitched battles in the political space, seldom do we see the kind of violent caste wars that are staple fare in TN and Andhra – not to mention the USP of their movies.

    The danger with the Ravi Krishna Reddys is the misguided and disingenuous way in which they seek to import lock, stock and barrel Periyar-inspired cynical and debauched philosophies into Karnataka politics and Kannadigas’ minds. I am sure the discerning voter can see through this.

    aside: before somebody pounces on me and calls me a BJP-phile, let me take contrive to take this opportunity to gleefully remind people of my views –

    ctrl+f “sisya” and chew on it.

    here — https://churumuri.wordpress.com/2007/11/19/churumuri-poll-karnataka-the-bihar-of-the-south/ ,

    here- https://churumuri.wordpress.com/2007/10/27/churumuri-poll-how-long-will-jds-bjp-pact-last/ ,

    here – https://churumuri.wordpress.com/2007/11/26/churumuri-poll-indias-most-corrupt-cm/

    and at various other times.

  8. Neutral Person Says:

    Simple,

    Go to BDA office and try to find out the details of all G category sites allocated since this category was introduced and publish all those names instead of targeting some individuals. What are you after? Some individuals or the system that created this?

    BTW, please mind your language on public forums, your words shows your credibility.

  9. richardw Says:

    With regard to Janardhan Swamy’s site fiasco.. the thing that beats me is – Most of us were happy that here is someone who might not indulge in all these. But when he shows that he is no different than others (a la Shashi Tharoor may be?), then the public anger / frustration builds up.. and that is what is being shown here through the comments. Other previous ministers/parties have done it.. we know it.. But the premise on which the Janardhan Swamy types came into politics was that – “We will not be like the previous types”. So, when that does not happen, one cannot help but feel dejected.

  10. harkol Says:

    Concerned Man: A lot of nonsense has been going on Historically and not raising a voice earlier doesn’t preclude us from doing so now.

    This is the same argument forwarded by so many folks “Only those who haven’t paid bribes should oppose corruption”, or “Have you not done something wrong?” Kind of questions. Wonder when we will understand that we are all made of varying shades of gray.

    An alcohol addict need not only be advised by a person who never touched Alcohol. An occasional, light drinker counselling the drunkard against drinking is not hypocritical. It is recognition that drunkard’s addiction has become a disease.

    If such diversionary arguments are accepted then how can we accept Gandhi? After all he had supported their war efforts by enlisting 1,100 Indians for ‘British ambulance corps’, much before he started his protests against them?

    People raise their voice when they identify a problem, are fed up of injustice or when they find courage. Having kept quite before doesn’t make their opposition wrong.

    We are all part of a corrupt system, thus we are all corrupt in varying degrees. But, hoping to improve our system to make it more equitable, predictable and honest is equal to trying for self improvement.

  11. Chandra S Says:

    Churmuri is a biased anti-BJP site. All you read here is about “hate BJP”. And if I am not mistaken this Ravi Reddy guy is a big time leftist. So ignore this article all sane people ignore this and move on.

  12. White_Calf Says:

    Janardhana Swamy chelas are pretty active. I saw this “bogus affidavit” thing pop-up in the controversy section of his Wiki Entry; promotly to be deleted. People can check for themselves the Editing with IP address and the vehemence!

    Fanaticism has no barriers or boundaries; educated or uneducated. This is no different that Swami Nityananda’s disciples fighting the allegation.

  13. M Says:

    I wonder which way Right Honorable RAVI KRISHNA REDDY would go given that Softy Janardhana and UNy Tharoor too went the ‘cattle way’. Wait till this Reddy get’s into public and he will show his true red chaddi.

  14. harkol Says:

    Chandra S: Lets assume for a moment you are right. If so, does it take away from what is being said? Just because a biased person says a truth, the truth doesn’t stop being truth.

    Having said that, Churumuri at present perhaps finds more material against the ‘local’ BJP rather than the distant ‘congress’.

  15. Dr ramesh Says:

    Very true rk reddy, many of these bjp MP MLA ‘s got elected on the plank of being different and better than others, but sadly though bjp has given the most corrupt govt in the history of independent india .

  16. R K Says:

    On one line you talk of those in power, and on the other you quote only one political party. To be an unbiased, journalist, you have to be willing to bring out the truth and facts. You could have written, ‘those in power’, but your chose to write ‘particularly BJP’. For a naive reader, that sounds like all others are clean at worst, or others are better, at best. Neither might be true. The real uunbiased line would be ‘ those in power seem to benefit from corrupt practices’. You would have done well to write the numbers, i.e., under various govts, what was the state’s loss due to corruption. But a better number would be,  ‘loss due to corruption as a percentage of gdp’. Only then will the article be complete, what you have now, is calumny and bashing and a trip report of your north Karnataka sojourn.

  17. chanakya Says:

    True, most BJP ministers have thrown the trust kept on them and proved that they are nothing but conmen. But it is very sad that former CM and son of great great great HD Devegowda, HD Kumaraswamy seem to have escaped the jail. It is open secrete that HDK and his father amassed wealth in different forms just illegally. But they have done it smartly, left no prima facia evidence. But the day when Devegowda family goes to Parappana Agrahara will be the fortune day for Karnataka. Hope that day will soon arrive

  18. Goldstar Says:

    Mr. Ravi Krishna Reddy,

    Please work towards reducing the power of the Government.

    Abolish the BDA and G-Category sites system. Otherwise, this government will be replaced by another government but the corruption doesn’t reduce.

    Remove the RTI and make a new law for Mandatory Information Disclosure. For e.g. if a mining licence is to be given, the government has to publish the information a month in advance, and the public can then scrutinise the deal.

    Smaller governments is what we need.

  19. Raju Says:

    Simple, I have asked this question to both BM author as well as churumuri people, but so far have not got an answer, might be you can give me one, Here is the question,
    If the other sites that he owned were not in the purveiew of BDA, would it still be a false affidavit? No where in the article, is it mentioned whether it or they were bda/bmrda sites…Perhaps intentionally?

  20. Raju Says:

    With whatever flaws national parties have , one thing they gave is coherent policy across the country, with plenty of input from local state units. So, as a society, I feel we are really limited to two choices, So, it’s not like we have unlimited choice of political parties… Hence, the need for comparison for each issue between the them and choose beteween them…Ofcourse, we need to push either one who gets elected…

    We need to compare them on issues and policy..I can think of Inflation, education, development[infrastructure], economy, etc.
    One example, I can think of is,
    if you folks remember, back in 2003 or so, there was a big danger of food inflation…due to drought, ..Back then, what they did was, they picked up tons of food grains from FCI and just flooded the mkt grains…They increased the supply side and let market handle distributing it. Inflation came down significantly..However, today the govt., is talking about food security bill…We all know the efficency of PDS[Public Distribution System]
    Fight/Support them on policy basis, not on party basis.

  21. Faldo Says:

    @Goldstar – well said. We need to treat corruption as a systemic problem and not just an ethical problem. Too often the cries against corruption are reduced to name calling and the actual issue gets ignored. Sure, the law needs to take its course but the loopholes in the law also need to be plugged.

  22. Kamath Says:

    The waiting list to get inside jail, then swiftly get out on bail, finally enjoy a lifetimes of bliss, is becoming longer!

    Lok Sabha MP B.Y. Raghavendra and his brother B.Y. Vijayendra, Yeddi’s son in law Sohan Kumar, H.D. Kumaraswamy, and his MLA wife Anita, Kumaraswamy’s brother Balakrishne Gowda, Rajya Sabha MP Anil Lad, former mines minister V. Muniyappa, Janardhan Reddy’s brother and former revenue minister Karunakar, his associate and former health minister B. Sriramulu, current Housing Minister V. Somanna, C.P. Yogeshwar, R Ashoka, Yogeshwar, Murugesh Nirani, Renukacharaya, Ramachandra Gowda, Shobha, Danjayakumar, VS Acharya, Puttaswamy, DKS, HDG, Jaffer Sherriff, Bangarappa, Daram Singh, SM Krishna, Karge, Moily, Poojary, Oscar, Bache Gowda, Krishna Palimar, Varthur Prakash, Basavaraj Bommai, Zameer Khan, Gopalakrishna Belur, Anand Asnotikar, Balachandra Jarkiholi…et al. the scams of each one of these absolutely corrupt specimens irrespective of their party affiliations, runs into hundreds and thousands of crores!

    Of course, it is true that all records were shattered under the stewardship of the one and only Yeddi.

    It is absolutely shameful and a shocking insult if not a tragic reflection on Karnataka and our democracy today.

  23. Shreekar Says:

    @Kamath,

    RE: “scams….a tragic reflection on Karnataka and our democracy today.”

    On the contrary, the scams surfaced and the public came to know of them because of the vibrant democracy and a strong opposition.

    Look at the 20,000 crores of dollars amassed by the late Gaddafi. For 40 years he went on making money without anybody raising voice.

  24. 'mudi'malnad Says:

    This also shows how ‘naive’ this swamy is! Unlike this journalist(forgot his name) who sold his house to his son(that’s what he claimed in the court), then filed an affidavit stating he doesn’t have any BDA site and he gets a site allotted under G category. Even swamy should have SOLD his sites to his wife or brother then he would have been eligible.,then he could have been SACRED COW???
    On serious note, gov should ban G category once for all. No body is holy here(@simple,@drramesh,@neutralperson, all your favorite politicians are same when it comes to G category).(From our town somebody sent few cars(for canvassing) for reelection of a ex CM, even he got a site under G!)
    Swamy could have been different but….. (“Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”).
    (PS: Don’t allow RK Reddy to use Churumuri to shore up his flagging political carrier)

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