June 26, 2002, marked the 27th anniversary of the imposition of a ‘state of Emergency’ by the Congress. It was on that very day that the NDA government instructed the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) to raid the Tehelka office, where I was a journalist, and my residence. The CBI, in an effort to be more loyal than the king, barged in and ransacked my house and the Tehelka office to gather evidence for alleged poaching. Even after standing trial for eight years (it’s still in the pre-trial stage), no incriminating evidence has been found.
Eight years later, the constituents of the same NDA government are crying hoarse accusing the present UPA government of misusing the CBI. BJP leaders have even demanded a joint parliamentary committee probe on the CBI’s misuse. If this isn’t deeply ironic, I don’t know what is.
The problem with the BJP, the country’s main Opposition party, is its moral hollowness. It’s quick to accuse the Congress for the anti-Sikh 1984 riots but doesn’t consider the 2002 Gujarat riots to be in the same league. It accuses the Congress of the Bofors scandal, but it has a ready defence for the BJP’s involvement in corruption in acquiring defence contracts. It is vociferous in accusing the Congress of shielding Union Carbide’s Warren Anderson, but it did nothing to extradite him when it was in power.
As for the CBI, its impartiality and independence won’t stand the test of fair play. Its officers never state ‘who gave the orders’ but go blindly where they are directed. Later, the same people who have used it to their advantage, accuse it of being a ‘hound’. In the process, the CBI has lost the very foundation on which it stands: public trust.
(Kumar Baadal is the editor of www.indiainvestigates.com The views expressed by the author are personal)