Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: shunglu committee

Sheila Dikshit and sanitary napkins

Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has said that Delhi government will distribute free sanitary napkins to school girls. May be the money she and her colleagues made during the run-up to Commonwealth Games has run out and other sources have dried up and sanitary napkins contract is a way to make money.

Sanitary napkins are not a necessity. Till few decades back women did not use sanitary napkins. Around 70% of women in India do not use sanitary napkins. It is not the job of the state to provide sanitary napkins. After sanitary napkins it may be the case of free distribution of fairness creams, talcum powders, lipsticks, scents, perfumes and such things.

Sheila Dikshit has shown no concern about the safety of women in Delhi. Some years back a female journalist was murdered during night and Sheila Dikshit said that it was adventurous for a girl to go out at night. She did not talk about making Delhi safe for women at all times. She did not say law and order in Delhi is under the jurisdiction of Union Home Ministry and the Union Home Ministry should do more to make Delhi a safe place.

After Commonwealth Games, the central government had appointed Shunglu Committee which submitted reports. The government acted swiftly after the first report which was against Prasar Bharati CEO B. S. Lalli. After that Shunglu Committee submitted reports against Sheila Dikshit, Tejendra Khanna and others but the government did not act against them. Union Home Ministry sent a report to Delhi government to get its reply. As expected Delhi government has refuted charges. Suresh Kalmadi said he was responsible for 1,600 crore rupees spent by IOA on Commonwealth Games and Delhi government spent 16,000 crore rupees. Suresh Kalmadi is in jail. Nothing has happened to Sheila Dikshit. Suresh Kalmadi was unpopular for the mess he made it. Sheila Dikshit was popular for the efforts she made to rescue the games. But that is a separate issue.

Shunglu Committee is an eyewash

On 15/10/2010 Shunglu Committee was appointed to probe into Commonwealth Games corruption. It was given 90 days time. Someone said it was cover-up. The corrupt people had two months for cover-up before Commonwealth Games and now they have three months. V. K. Shunglu was a CAG. He is out of country, no idea when he will return, may be after 90 days.

On 23/10/2010 on Big Fight on NDTV 24×7 a panellist said Shunglu Committee is an eyewash. It has no powers. Under what law it is appointed? Can it question Manmohan Singh? Can it question Sonia Gandhi? This is not the time for political correctness. Money has gone all the way to the top. Money has gone to Suresh Kalmadi, Sheila Dikshit, Jaipal Reddy. Money has gone to Manmohan Singh. Money has gone to Sonia Gandhi. A junior engineer will be punished. The panellist said that.

Commonwealth Games are over but OC continues. IOA officials continue in their positions. Nothing has changed. Now IOA officials want to bid for Asian Games 2019 and want approval from Sports Ministry. They say only two new stadia are to be built. When the bidding took place for Commonwealth Games the amount quoted was around 350 crore rupees. It went going up and according to one source around 1,02,000 crore rupees were spent for Commonwealth Games. The amount includes various projects for Delhi but the projects would not have been undertaken if there were no Commonwealth Games. Amount needed for Asian Games will keep going up. Money will be spent on renovation of existing stadia that will be 10 times the amount of building new stadia.

People in the media who should be exposing corruption are not doing their job. One editor defends Suresh Kalmadi. TV channels have not come out with details of thousands of crores of rupees siphoned off. We have details of few lakhs or few crores. Few people’s offices have been raided, one of them Sudhanshu Mittal, a BJP member.

Manmohan Singh is responsible for the files he signed for sanction of funds and escalation. Other ministers are responsible for the files they signed.

Delhi is back to normal after Commonwealth Games. Beggars, street vendors, stray dogs, blue line buses and traffic jams are back. Students were made to vacate hostels to accommodate visitors for Commonwealth Games but there were no visitors.

Someone said investigation into corruption in Asian Games 1982 is going on after 28 years. I had not heard of such investigation and perhaps the person was joking.

Some cite Hong Kong as an example of how corruption can be fought and eradicated. People of Hong Kong came out on streets and protested against corruption saying they will not tolerate corruption any more. Corrupt officials were removed. It will be great if people of India can do that.

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