Scams, scams, scams: Has liberalisation worked?

It’s raining scams here, there, everywhere.

A. Raja and 2G, Suresh Kalmadi and CWG, Ashok Chavan and B.S. Yediyurappa and land allotment, Lalit Modi and IPL, Vikram Akula and microfinance, Madhu Koda and the Reddy brothers, and so on and so forth.

But this is only the favour of the current season. Last year, it was Pinrayi Vijayan and Lavlin, Ramalinga Raju and Satyam, and so on and so forth.

For nearly 20 years now, corruption has skyrocketed to stratospheric levels, cutting across States, party lines, ideologies, affecting not just the three estates of the legislature, executive and the judiciary, but also business, industry, stock exchanges, cinema, sport, media, academics, and almost everything else in Indian society.

Was it supposed to be this way?

Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr in DNA:

“The great hope of economic liberalisation was that government will be less intrusive and dominant and that this would end not just the vice-like grip of politicians and bureaucrats over the lives of people but also mean less corruption.

“But this is one great hope that has been betrayed. It looks like that politicians and bureaucrats are still enjoying their power to dole out favours, whether it is mining or telecom licences, and that business folk find it useful and even profitable to cultivate the politicians and their minions in the government.

“Right from the Enron episode in the 1990s to the 2G spectrum allotment just goes to show that business is deeply involved in the corrupt system.”

Read the full column: The role of business in governmental corruption