Why Uncle Sam is still dear to
almost every free-thinking and development loving soul in the world - we got a
symbolic answer for it today.
The favourite global Indian kid
on the block, ex Goldman Sachs, ex Proctor & Gamble, ex McKinsey, top
honcho, Mr. Rajat Gupta, was sentenced by a district US court today (yesterday,
US timeline), on insider trading charges.
Now around 400 luminaries
including Bill Gates and Kofi Annan had written letters requesting leniency for
Mr. Gupta citing his luminous career and philanthropic acts.
The US government in a prosecution led
by an Indian Preet Bharara had asked for 8-10 years of prison term adjusting it
to the mathematical computation of the loss that Mr. Gupta’s insider
revelations caused. The judge in this case (Jed Rakoff) has had a reputation of
going lenient in such cases and that was a point of hope for Mr. Gupta’s side.
But a prison sentence of two
years and a fine of $5 million tell us he is not lenient at all but a balanced
mind sitting at a responsible chair that decides swing of many lives by writing
about a single one.
Rajat Gupta has been an out and
out achiever before this and this sentence is enough to dent that lifelong
achievement. Therefore, it is certainly not about length of prison term in such
And it could happen only in a
country like the US.
There are some other countries as well but India doesn’t figure there, not at
all. At least this I can say while sitting in India writing this write-up.
We have plenty to write about the
lawlessness of the elite in India,
right from the very first Independency Day, but even a glance at the present scenario
is more than enough to validate this fact.
We saw three high-profile
revelations and corruption allegations in the past one month involving the law
minister of the country, Salman Khurshid, son-in-law of India’s most powerful
political family, Robert Vadra and president of India’s main opposition party,
Nitin Gadkari of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
Final conviction and sentencing of
people sitting at high positions has been a rarity in India and I,
like every other Indian on the street (as some politicians like to call it),
was not expecting even a probe sort of thing.
And lo! Exactly same has
happened, exacting the debased political fluid once again on the dilapidated
democratic texture of India.
Politicians, direct representative of the Indians, have weakened our democratic
institution to such great lengths that we have come to accept that a Rajat
Gupta like conviction is an anomaly or an impossible event.
Sample this! There has been no
probe except the routine probe by the Uttar Pradesh government in Khurshid’s
case. The ministry that raised the issue of fund misuse is now solidly
supporting Khurshid like his government and the Congress party. The IAS officer
who cancelled a controversial Vadra-DLF land deal has been transferred and his
orders are being probed in place of the controversial land deal.
In both the cases, their have
been more than enough evidence on record to lodge criminal complaint and start
a probe. But how can that be when these both names come from the ruling party?
In the other case mentioned above,
the Income Tax Department probe ordered in Nitin Gadkari’s case is nothing more
but a political move as the BJP was constantly getting upper hand due to
one-after-the-other corruption allegations on the Congress party and now it
would work to dampen that noise a bit when the important Gujarat election is
just around the corner.
But, even then, expecting a
conviction and final sentencing of Nitin Gadkari would be a foolhardy
proposition and we Indians know it very well.
Now, Mr. Gupta, if you can try
and request if your big friends could write about shifting your case to India
under the Indian system for the next appeal, you certainly stand a chance.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/