Turning on the watchdog

BY darius| IN Opinion | 20/03/2006
The big boys who canøt resist a lamp-post didnøt even realize they had passed by a rather large one.


You don`t say!

Darius Nakhoonwala

The ways of editors are strange indeed. One would have expected them to be fuming with genteel exasperation last week over the findings and recommendations of the Lok Sabha committee probing the "victims" of Operation Chakravyuh.

Instead, the poor dears just couldn`t get their thumbs out in time. Only two newspapers commented on the matter - The Asian Age and the Deccan Herald. The big boys who can`t resist a lamp-post didn`t even realize they had passed by a rather large one.

And what has the Committee done that should have had the pack baying like wolves in a hunt? It has demanded that rules should be framed for sting operators.

Apart from the fact that this is like advertising to recruit spies, it is also punishing the policeman while the criminal rides off heroically into the sunset. Amazing cheek, and our editors simply missed the point. Then, one day, when the proposal becomes law they will scream blue murder.

Indeed, as Asian Age pointed out, "the UP Assembly has gone a step further and sought a blanket ban on sting operations by television channels that seek to "malign" honourable ministers and legislators. The Lok Sabha has let off the MPs caught in sting operations with a mild punishment -- suspension and a warning."

And what was the UP minister doing? Nothing much, fellows, just admitting to drug trafficking. And, as the Age pointed out "he has blamed the media for "trapping" the elected representatives on camera. Encouraged by this, UP MLAs are now demanding that all media reports concerning legislators should first be cleared by the Speaker."

The Deccan Herald makes the same points. "The probe panel has given the benefit of the doubt to the four MPs since there was no clinching evidence of their taking bribes… But while the MPs might not have been caught on camera actually accepting commissions, they were seen negotiating bribes for the contracts. This is damning enough."


It goes on to say "the special parliamentary committee appears to be more exercised by the conduct of the media and private NGOs. It has come down more sharply on them. It has said that through sting operations the media casts aspersions on all MPs, eroding the credibility of democratic institutions."


As Kishore Kumar famously sang once, "arre wahwahwah, arre wahwahwah!"




Contact: Darius.Nakhoonwala@gmail.com
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