there lived an old and pious man, renowned for his honesty. day his
neighbor, a rich merchant comes to him with a request. The merchant was
leaving on a voyage and wants the old man to safeguard his wealth, until
his return. The old man agrees and with God as witness promises to protect and safeguard the merchant’s wealth.
old man then entrusts the safe keep of the merchant’s wealth to his
son, from whom he takes an oath of propriety and honesty. Slowly the son
starts dipping into the merchants wealth, people notice this and warn
the old man of the son’s misdeeds. The old man calls his son & asks
him to explain, he also reminds him of his oath on following the right
path. The son rubbishes the accusations as rumors and the idle gossip of
jealous people, who could not bear to see his prosperity. The old man
accepts the son’s explanation and things go on as before.
merchant returns and demands his wealth. The old man calls his son, who
hands over a quarter of the merchant’s wealth saying that is all there
was. The merchant realizing that he has been cheated approaches the
King. The King listens to the merchant’s complaint and summons the old
man. The old man comes to the court with his son and handing him over to
the King says “your majesty, the merchant is right. My son has
confessed to the crime. Please punish him.”
The king has the son flogged and imprisoned. He then praises the old man's honesty and dismisses the case.
the merchant demands punishment for the old man saying, “I have still
not received justice. I had entrusted my wealth to the old man which he
swore by God to safeguard. The old man’s integrity is intact, but what
of me, I have been robbed of my life’s savings and made a pauper. It was
the old man’s decision to entrust my wealth to his son for safekeeping.
As far as I am concerned the old man is the culprit, and should be
old man, was neither a party to the theft nor did he benefit from it.
In fact, he had sent his son to jail. Yet, the merchant was asking for
the old man’s punishment.
The Betal asks Vikramaditya, “What should the Kings decision be?”
replies, “Though the old man is innocent of the actual theft, he is
guilty of dereliction of duty. The son’s crime was a straight forward
one, the old man’s was a graver crime. He did nothing to protect the
merchant’s wealth. Far from being vigilant he failed to take action even
when he was warned of his son’s misdeeds. Because of his laxity the
merchant is condemned to a life of penury. He should be punished.”
2010, Dr. Manmohan Singh, esteemed economist, former Governor of RBI,
Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, former Finance Minister, a man
whose personal ethics and integrity are unblemished, takes oath to
protect and safeguard the Nation and its assets. He appoints Raja, as
his Cabinet Minister for IT & Telecom.
the story, this heist of a precious national asset is carried out in
full view of Dr. Manmohan Singh and his cabinet colleagues. Newspapers
across the country cry out at this outrage in front page headlines.
Indian Constitution grants the Prime Minister absolute power in running
the country. As per the Transaction of Business Rules the Prime
Minister has the unrestricted right to demand and get any file, any
record from any Ministry. Dr. Man Mohan Singh could have at any time
stopped this heist of a National asset, yet he chose to remain silent.
The Minister’s failure to exercise his constitutional rights has caused
irreparable loss to the Nation.
Singh did not profit personally from Raja’s shenigans, but his failure
to act, to honor the oath of office, to protect and safeguard the nation
and its wealth is unforgivable. Like the old man, he has sacked Raja
from his ministerial berth, but does his culpability end there.
people of India had entrusted their faith and the future of the Nation
in Dr. Singh, believing him to be a man of integrity and honesty, and
not to Raja. Does dismissing Raja absolve Dr. Singh or like the old man
is he guilty of dereliction of duty and failure to safeguard the Nation
and its citizens. Does he deserve punishment?
To the 2G one can add the CWG, the Coalgate, the Railgate, the Vadragate and many more! It is for the Indian citizen to decide.