S Gurumurthy Express News Service First Published : 21 Apr 2011 11:07:00 PM IST
Indeed it is an exciting, explosive, website. It lists the scams of India since Independence — Bofors, 2G, CWG included — with colour photographs of alleged scamsters. It exposes the “hidden truth” about the “Congress party” and “the dynasty”. Most important for Indian discourse, it is unquestionably ‘secular’! Next, it is not even remotely BJP’s work, nor Lohiites’, or Subramanian Swamy’s, or the work of anyone who the media can dismiss as reckless, or of someone inimical to Sonia Gandhi or the UPA. On the contrary it belongs to those who Sonia Gandhi herself seems to respect a lot. Whose site is this then? Wait till the climax. Here is a telling catalogue of its explosive contents.
Its star content is a video slide presentation titled ‘India: a republic of scams’. It starts off with a Brahma Challaney quote that the scams are “not just corruption, but plunder of India”. The fourth slide titled ‘2G-spectrum allocation fraud Rs 1.76 lakh crores’ shows a photo gallery of nine alleged scamsters. Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh figure as the third and fourth in the row after A Raja and M Karunanidhi. The next slide contains a famous cartoon of Ravi Shankar in India Today (January 2, 2011) showing the 2G loot with the number ‘176’ followed by an unending zeros — zooming like 0000000000 — with Sonia and Singh jointly proclaiming “Zero Tolerance” to corruption. This slide ends saying, “According to Swamy, Sonia has taken a big share of the loot deposited under her sisters’ names (Anushka and Nadia)”.
The next slide fixes the CWG scam at Rs 60,000 crore, shows Sonia and Singh along with Suresh Kalmadi and Sheila Dikshit in the gallery of CWG scamsters. A later slide is on Hasan Ali, of hawala fame, with his photograph figuring alongside Sonia Gandhi’s. It shows the scam value as Rs 1,00,000-cr. It talks of the CID interrogation of Hasan Ali revealing involvement of the then Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi’s political adviser. A further slide talks of Rajiv Gandhi’s $2 billion in Swiss banks as it appeared in Schweizer Illustrierte, a popular Swiss magazine, in 1991 which, it says, was never challenged. Another is about the Bofors scam with photos of Quattrocchi, Sonia and Rajiv Gandhi as scamsters saying that ‘the major cut was believed to be taken by Rajiv and his party with Quattrocchi (Q) close Italian friend of Sonia Gandhi brokering the deal’. It also says that, in 2005, the Solicitor General of India had helped to defreeze the frozen account of Q; and that, in 2007, Argentina had detained Q, but the UPA government submitted forged papers which helped him to escape detention; further that recently the CBI withdrew the red corner notice on Q.
A subsequent slide says that ‘a tight control of the media is exercised so as not to expose specifically the Gandhi family’. It adds, ‘people are fooled with hundreds of Indian institutions named after Gandhi family in spite of overwhelming proof and allegations (Bofors, Quattrocchi, KGB payments, 2G) of looting the country’. It also says, ‘Rahul Gandhi was arrested by FBI in US for money laundering’. Another slide shows the billion-dollar home of Mukesh Ambani, contrasting it with the slum in Dharavi in Mumbai and says ‘Ambani gave a jet plane as a birthday gift to his wife, which, Swamy says, is used by Sonia Gandhi as private jet for secret Italy trips.’
The site also contains the video speeches of Swamy on ‘Sonia family’s smuggling’; and on ‘the truth about Sonia Gandhi declining the position of Prime Minister’. It also carries Swamy’s famous article ‘Know the truth about Sonia Gandhi’ where he talks on what he calls as her lies, including about her education, about the KGB payments to her family, the Schweizer Illustrierte expose of the $2.5 billion secret bank funds inherited by her, and more.
Whose website then is this? The climax begins to unfold now. This is the website of ‘India Against Corruption’ (IAC). The site authors say in the column ‘About Us’: “India Against Corruption movement is an expression of collective anger of people of India against corruption. We have all come together to force/request/persuade/pressurise the government to enact the Jan Lokpal Bill. We feel that if this Bill were enacted it would create an effective deterrence against corruption.” Who’s who of IAC is in the ‘About us’. Who heads the IAC? Hold your breath. It is Anna Hazare who, like most in the country, Sonia Gandhi too respects! Who are the others? This is what the site says: “The following eminent personalities started this movement: Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Mahamood Madani, Swami Agnivesh, Kiran Bedi, Syed Rizvi, Mufti Shamoon Qasmi, Mallika Sarabhai, Justice D S Tewatia, Pradeep Gupta, Arvind Kejriwal, Kamal Kant Jaswal, Sunita Godhra, B R Lalla, Davinder Sharma, Subhash Chandra Aggarwal, Vishwas Utagi, Archbishop Vincent M Concessao”.
Just Click here; the colour photos of the crusaders led by Anna Hazare spearheading the movement against corruption will appear. They are the hope for a corruption-free India today.
Click here and the scams detailed earlier, in which Sonia Gandhi and her family and personal and political friends figure prominently, will appear.
QED: Those who are campaigning against corruption call Sonia Gandhi corrupt; but Anna Hazare invites her to fight corruption! Two critical questions arise. One, what will be the response of Sonia Gandhi and the Congress to the IAC headed by Anna Hazare naming Sonia Gandhi and her family as scamsters? Two, what will be the response of Team Hazare to Anna’s repeated invite to Sonia Gandhi, whom their site lists among the scamsters, to fight corruption “together”?
(The writer is a well-known commentator on political and economic issues.)
What will be Sonia’s response now?
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