Ch-08 Extracts: Socialism, Babudom & Corruption

Socialism, Babudom & Corruption


 S3: Save Society from Socialists.

SSCC: Save Society from Crony Capitalists.
– to paraphrase Raghuram Rajan’s book title 
Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists


The primary duty of any government is to provide justice to all, ensure internal and external security, and build infrastructure and institutions of good governance. Nehru dynasty did the reverse. While it miserably failed to deliver on all the primary counts, it arrogantly went into business, which is none of government’s business. It sought to be a trader and an industrialist—with no qualifications or expertise whatsoever. The politicians and the generalist IAS babus salivated at the opportunities for power and pelf. Primary responsibilities went for a toss.


Not all babus are bad—it is only 99 percent of babus, as someone said, who give the rest a bad name! Looking at the babudom, a parody on the “Metamorphosis” of Franz Kafka takes shape in your mind. What if Kafka was born in India and was witness to post-independence India; and what if he wrote “Metamorphosis”  in the current Indian context? Would it still have the undertone of absurdity and alienation, and of a random and chaotic universe with no governing system of order and justice? Would it still have Gregor, a travelling salesman, metamorphose into a gigantic insect? Or, would it rather have the undertone of a crass, callous, corrupt, rusted, unjust system—all man-made; with Gregor, a babu rather than a travelling salesman, metamorphose into a gigantic cockroach?


Prime Minister Nehru categorically ruled out any proposal for appointing a high power tribunal to enquire into and investigate charges of corruption against Ministers or persons in high authority, for the main reason that, in India, or for that matter any other country where there was a democratic set-up, he could not see how such a tribunal could function. The appointment of such a tribunal, Mr. Nehru felt, would produce an atmosphere of mutual recrimination, suspicion, condemnation, charges and counter-charges and pulling each other down, in a way that it would become impossible for normal administration to function. More than half the time of the Press conference was devoted by Mr. Nehru to deal with this question of appointing a tribunal to enquire into cases of corruption as recently urged by India’s former Finance Minister, Mr C.D.Deshmukh.

– The Hindu, 9 January 2010, reproducing what it reported over 50 years on 9 January 1960

That indeed must be a very innovative restriction of democracy! It’s like saying a Lokpal would subvert democracy and adversely affect administrative functioning. And Nehru suggests no alternative to curb corruption! If people like Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan and others were to read this, they would faint.


The question thus arises as to whether the chief minister is compelled to resign because of adverse findings on some questions of fact by Supreme Court. The ministers are collectively responsible to the legislature. Therefore, the matter was one which concerned the assembly. As a rule therefore, the question of removing a minister would not arise unless the legislature expressed its wish by a majority vote.

– Nehru on charges against Pratap Singh Kairon

So, even if a minister is corrupt he can’t be removed, unless voted out! So you can buy immunity by manipulating or managing votes.


In the case of the Jeep Scandal, the Nehru Government had been brazen enough to announce in the Parliament that the matter be treated as closed—something unthinkable in this age of alert media and 24x7 TV News.


Nehru, then a very powerful and unchallenged leader and being himself honest and above board, could have easily nipped the malaise of corruption in the bud. Sadly, he chose to tolerate it and failed to put in place suitable systems to check corruption.