Friday, February 3, 2012

Striking the roots of a poisonous tree

The greatest Maratha General, Baji Rao Peshava, had once commented that if you want to bring down a tree, cutting the branches is not of much use. What he advocated was striking the roots. “Strike, strike at the root and the branches will fall off themselves.” The verdict given by the Supreme Court of India, on 2nd February 2012, reminds me very much of this saying. For last several years, common people of India, like you and me, have been watching helplessly from the sidelines, the disappointing rise of the politico-industrial nexus, breeding on corruption and total disregard for the laws of the country. By canceling the licenses of the user companies, who had obtained the licenses, by illegal and corrupt means, Honourable Supreme court has undone the basic misdeed itself and has brought hope for all of us again.
Fortunately, there are still few people left around in our country, who feel that transparency and honesty are the basic requirements for any decision taken by a Government and had guts to file writ petitions against deeds of the Government, which they felt were dishonest. But for these people, this bending or breaking of laws, done on the grandest scale, would have never seen the light of the day.
The order of the Supreme court, acknowledges the efforts of the petitioners, which should encourage such kind of efforts in the future, to bring to light few more skeletons from the Government cupboards hereafter. In the order, Supreme court has explained beautifully the significance of natural resources and how a Government should deal with these. Holding, that radio wave spectrum was a natural resource, the court said that natural resources “are vested with the government as a matter of trust in the name of the people of India, and it is the solemn duty of the state to protect the national interest, and natural resources must always be used in the interests of the country and not private interests.”
Instead of trying to explain the full verdict of the Supreme court and its implications, I am giving here, this wonderful graphic, which I found on the internet (courtesy The Hindu) , and which explains in nutshell, the 2 G spectrum case and what happens in future.

Senior ministers of the Government are now restlessly trying to shift the blame entirely to the erstwhile Telecom Minister and emphasizing the fact that the prime minister was not involved at any level. People are well aware of the worth of statements coming from ministers , who had previously declared that there was no loss at all to the Government in 2G case and are now praising the court’s ruling and saying that it would be implemented . Common people are hardly going to believe these kind of blame shifting statements, which many not help the Government in any way.
What could be considered as the most important fall out of this Supreme court landmark judgment? According to me, it proves conclusively that for a corporate, bending or breaking of laws to rake in excess profits, does not pay in long term. In India, it has become a common practice for the unscrupulous corporates to use their nexus with elected political leaders to disregard laws of the country and make unlawful gains. This verdict might be for telecom sector, but aftereffects are bound to be felt in almost all sectors of the economy
Thank God, there is still a Supreme Court of India.
3 February 2012