Why is corruption not an issue in Karnataka poll?

Photo Caption

As the election scene hots up in Karnataka, the commentariat is swinging into action.

Prithvi Datta Chandra Shobhi writes in the Indian Express:

“Over the past decade, Karnataka has acquired the dubious distinction of being among the most corrupt states, competing with the likes of Jharkhand. Yet, discomfort over the issue of corruption has been restricted largely to the English media, and possibly some upper-class activists. Why, then, has corruption not become a core electoral issue, despite the nationwide anti-corruption campaign in recent times.

“Consider this: corruption is no longer a visible act, like bribe-taking or collecting commission on state projects. Rather, it has become broad-based manipulation of public policy for private profit and hence, invisible. Notions of the public good are absent from policymaking, as the politician-entrepreneur has taken centrestage.

“Perhaps this was true even two decades ago, when politicians began establishing capitation-fee-paying medical and technical institutions, or started mining granite. But now the scale of profits, especially from mining (iron ore in Bellary and surrounding districts), as well as the real estate industry in Bangalore, has transformed political culture and policymaking.

“Note that the beneficiaries of this new corruption aren’t the old elite from the landowning castes, but upstarts from all caste and economic backgrounds. Invariably, they have entered politics to consolidate their burgeoning business interests and mould public policy for their benefit. Janardhana Reddy is perhaps the best known example of this new breed of politician.

“If there hasn’t been vocal opposition to such manipulation of public policy, the reason is simple: this new corruption is often justified as a victimless crime, since only the natural resources owned by the state are being exploited, and no single individual is victimised. More significantly, the spoils of this new corruption are generously shared and percolate to different sections of society. Sharing the wealth of these illicit activities has become the basis for a new political populism in Karnataka.”

Samar Halarnkar in the Hindustan Times:

“If there is to be a barometer of India’s soaring aspirations — and its grim political and administrative realities — look no further than Karnataka, a microcosm of emerging India, which goes to the polls next month and could serve as a precursor to next year’s national elections.

“If corruption was institutionalised by successive Congress governments, the state’s first BJP government made it a way of life, with more heart than it did Hindutva, its Hindu-first ideology. So it is that B.S. Yediyurappa, the former BJP chief minister who handed out crores to Hindu religious institutions (the latest budget sets aside more than Rs. 182 crore) and shut out minorities from his Cabinet, declares that his new outfit, the Karnataka Praja (People’s) Party, is strictly secular.

“If Narendra Modi showcases his administrative acumen, his party in Karnataka represents a baser, corrupted, caste-ridden avatar. Even if Modi, who is popular in urban Karnataka, campaigns for the BJP, the state may dump his party.”

Photograph: A dry borewell opposite the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore (Karnataka Photo News)

Also read: How BJP pushed Karnataka into cesspool of caste

How BJP turned Karnataka politics into a cartoon

How BJP completely lost the plot in Karnataka

‘BJP’s lotus grows in the muck; so do BJP people’

How China changed the politics of Karnataka

CHURUMURI POLL: Karnataka, Bihar of the South?

CHURUMURI POLL: India’s most corrupt CM?

Those who live by the Reddys shall die by them

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8 Responses to “Why is corruption not an issue in Karnataka poll?”

  1. Srinivasamurthy Says:

    Prithvi is skating on thin ice like Prof Nandy. Apart from corruption becoming a way of life not only in Karnataka, but throughout the length and bredth of our country, soe clever politicians have turned the whole issue into a struggle between the upper casts and the lower casts – it like a tribal war. God bless India

  2. VS Says:

    The English media itself has become corrupt; not only on monetarily but ideologically too. Still people have not forgotten the Radia/Burka tape issue. Recently one TV news anchor also was jailed for roll calling. How can it expect to be doing a moral policing & can make a corruption a public issue? May be we need more Annas, Arvinds & Santosh Hegdes…

  3. harihara Says:

    This is a foolish question; the asker needs to remember that the whole country is corruption sick as such this is no folly anywhwrere. especiually when all elections are games of ill gotten mopney , it is better to focus people on real issues

  4. jayashree Says:

    It is flowing faster then Caveri!

  5. Yella Ok Says:

    Because the media chooses to focus on caste arithmetic and chooses to not make corruption an issue (unless its hands are forced by Anna and Arvind Kejriwals of the world). Will wait to watch to see how many national magazines bring out cover stories on “corruption” in the 12 month runup to LS elections

  6. Sanjeeva Says:

    1) people have realized that corruption is not limited to any one party – for that matter any one organization or Body.
    2) People have realized that they can hardly do anything about it and thus are frustrated and resigned to their fate.
    3) Why is not the media (which is perhaps the only source strong and knowledgeable enough) creating awareness among the people by bringing out the facts and figures of huge corruption cases (not big scams, which are taken care of by political parties themselves) that came out in the last five years and what is the status of them?

  7. harkol Says:

    If you have ‘bx’ and ‘cx’, the ‘x’ can be cancelled. So, only ‘a’ and ‘b’ remain.

    Corruption is the common factor, that is cancelled out in both congress and bjp. Thus neither can use that as a issue in State elections.

    So, what is remaining is identities other than corruption. It is either caste, personality etc.

    Sad state of affairs.

  8. Yogesh Devaraj Says:

    Corruption is definitely an issue everywhere including Karnataka. On the ground, there is desperation for options and that is where I have realized that desperation needs a hope and that is why I have decided to contest the upcoming elections after two years of fighting the system from outside under IAC, Corruption Saaku and AAP banners.

    Idannella nodi besattu e baruva chunavaneyalli Bommanahalli kshetradinda spardisuthiddene … nimma bembalavannu nanage needi

    Please support my candidature. More details at http://www.vote4yogesh.org and http://www.facebook.com/YogeshDevarajForMLA

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