Exposing corruption: Man who started it all (IANS Book Review)

October 18th, 2011 - 12:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Anna Hazare Book: “Bhrastachar, Atankvad aur Hawala Karobar”; Author: Vineet Narain; Publisher: Kalchakra Samachar Trust; Pages: 340 pages; Price: Rs.200

Even as the whole country seems gripped by Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption, one man who started it all in the 1990s, senior journalist Vineet Narain, is all but forgotten and the case itself has been refrigerated for good.

Narain is still struggling with his unfinished agenda to seek justice in the hawala racket. The CBI chargesheet is still there, but the case has virtually been closed for want of political will, though public uproar caused quite a few politicians named in the Jain diaries to resign.

In his latest book, “Bhrastachar, Atankvad aur Hawala Karobar”, Narain sequences the developments before and after the biggest scam was exposed. The list of beneficiaries, from the same sources from which the terrorists were being funded, includes virtually politicians from across the spectrum.

“The idea to publish this book was to ensure that the real faces of the politicians and the murky deeds they engage in are thoroughly exposed to cleanse the body-politic,” Narain told IANS.

Narain used the provisions of the existing legal framework to take corrupt politicians to task during his single-handed war against corruption from 1993 to 2000. The legal battle targeted dozens of central ministers, chief ministers of states, governors, opposition leaders and top honchos of big enterprises, and ensured that they were chargesheeted and forced to resign.

His book, Narain says, would help modern-day crusaders against corruption understand the dimensions of the problem and the clout the mighty and the powerful enjoyed to scuttle any move to make society corruption-free.

In 1993, Narain exposed the alleged links of 115 top people with terrorist outfits and channels that regularly funded anti-national activities of various groups.

“The interesting fact was not the amount of Rs.65 crore involved, but the names of all top leaders,” he says in the book.

In his first book, “Hawala ke Deshdrohi”, published in 1999, Narain first gave full details of the case and the intricate judicial process that stalled followup at every stage.

This book, Narain says, is dedicated to all crusaders fighting against corruption and to free the country of the cancer of corruption.

“The details given in a chronological order, describing all the complexities and hurdles, will be an eye opener and perhaps a guide to activists,” he hopes.

In his long struggle, when it appeared to him that the legal battle was not leading to any fruitful conclusion and that the judiciary itself was seen to be aligning with the accused, Narain turned deeply spiritual in utter desperation and shifted his base to Vrindavan and the Braj Mandal.

Through his Braj Foundation, Narain has been able to restore and reconstruct some of the holy ponds and relics of the Sri Krishna lore.

(Brij Khandelwal can be contacted at brij.k@ians.in)

-Indo-Asian News Service
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