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The corrupt who got away lightly

Although Anna Hazare is well-known in Maharashtra, I had not heard of him till early this year. Now I hear it all the time. Khushwant Singh writes.

columns Updated: Sep 04, 2011 02:16 IST
Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh
Hindustan Times

Although Anna Hazare is well-known in Maharashtra, I had not heard of him till early this year. Now I hear it all the time. Never in my life had I seen so much waving of our national flag and so many people punching the air with clenched fists and shouting their determination to root out corruption from the country for times to come. It is easier said than done. You can take it from me that it will not be done by passing the Lokpal Bill in Parliament whether or not the Prime Minister is or is not included in it.

My reasons for being sceptic about the way Anna Hazare is going about and the government’s response is simple. There are people who were found indulging in corrupt practices but have not been censured by Anna Hazare. Their names come to mind — Natwar Singh and Buta Singh — both cabinet ministers in the central government. Natwar Singh was foreign minister. He made a deal with Iraqi government to give food in exchange for oil. His son made a pile in the bargain. Natwar lost his job. Undaunted he offered his expertise in handling foreign affairs to the BJP provided it put him in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP leaders took no notice of his offer. Natwar, now turned 80, is back in his home town Bharatpur. And sulking that no one shared his self-esteem except people like young Varun Gandhi who went all the way from Delhi to greet Natwar on his birthday.

Buta Singh’s son made a voluntary confession of his misdeeds and was only censured without any penalty. If Anna Hazare means business, he should first deal with these ex-ministers before he deals with the rampant corruption today or in future. Why have neither Natwar not Buta been hauled in court and punished ? The answer is simple. No one has bothered to find appropriate sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code which would apply to the misdeeds of these two men and prosecute them.

I have come to the conclusion that we are a nation of boasters and braggarts. We were rated as the best cricketers in the world. Every Indian Test player is a crorepati many times over. When our team left for England, everyone assumed that our boys would teach the English how the game should be played. What actually transpired was a drubbing the English gave us and taught our boys a lesson in humility. I being a malicious man thoroughly enjoyed the humiliation our boys earned — brought down from being toppers to a bunch of nicoompoops.

Anna or Anathema
My name is Anna Hazare
And I am crusader with a cause,
The effect of which has given,
My government a very big toss.
I started my protest with a fast,
To continue as long as I can last.
My reservations are against
Corruption, anarchy and bribe
And I resolve to lead this diatribe.
Unless I can have my final say
And Indian finally sees that day.
When every Indian proudly declares
To catch the corrupt unawares.
I am Anna for the masses
But an anathema for our elected
(Contributed by Sandeep Dewan, Delhi)

What time ?
A lady is not wearing a watch, so she asks a Sardar in an American accent: “Wot’s dah tayme ?” The Sardar hates desis who put on a foreign accent. He replies accent: ‘Bra-panties’.
Confused the lady asks again, ‘No: No: Wot’s Dah Tayme?’ The Sardar again answers back, in the same accent, ‘Bra-panties’.
Seeing the confusion, another Sardar comes to the rescue ‘O Papaji, tusi samajh nahin paaye ? Kudi twade ko puuch rahii hai, kina time hua’
Sardar shouts, ‘Paji, tow main bhi to oonoo time hee bata rahan hu… barah payntis (12.35)’

A lot of men don’t realise the true worth of their wives, until a judge decides the alimony.

(Contributed by Vipin Buckshey, Delhi)

Views expressed by the author are personal.

First Published: Sep 03, 2011 22:27 IST