As we all know, today the CBI made the much-awaited raids at the residence of Nira Radia and many others. The matter has been under circulation and huge public debate for long but for various reasons it could not come to the forefront of mainstream media because of many reasons. One important reason could be that a few very big names like Prabhu Chawla, Vir Sanghvi and Barkha Dutt found their names getting associated with Ms Radia for improper reasons.
I must say the credit for pursuing this matter to its present position must go to smaller newspapers, magazines and particularly the web media. The Open magazine, Outlook, DNA, Bhadas4media and many others incessantly kept the matter pursuing. Initially no one took these people seriously. Even when the Radia-Vir-Prabhu-Barkha tapes came initially, each three of them denied it blatantly. The tone was a bit haughty which meant to say-“how dare you little guys make such wild-headed allegations.”
But these little guys along with all the Facebook, linkedin, Orkut users would not let the matter die down. Day after day they came up with newer tapes, newer revelations and newer information- all of very grave nature. Now for the last three days, raids have also formally started on many of those associated with these scams. This musty have put up some pressure on the above mentioned persons whose sound seems to have got tapered town over this period. I would present here only two instances from the NDTV’s website which would make it clear that in just one month, how much water has flown down the river Yamuna in the power city of New Delhi.
The first one is a part of the response to the Open Magazine cover story dated 20th November, 2010. It said- “NDTV would like to object in the strongest terms to the clear misrepresentation of conversations between Barkha Dutt and Ms. Nira Radia, that took place in May 2009. In the pursuit of news and information, journalists talk to an array of people from all professional backgrounds; this case being an an unfolding political story on cabinet formation, after the general elections. To caricature the professional sourcing of information as “lobbying” is not just baseless, but preposterous. At every stage effective journalism involves engagement with a multitude of characters in the process of gathering news and information. To call this process “lobbying” is a serious and defamatory distortion of journalistic practices. These are unsubstantiated, baseless and defamatory allegations and we reserve the right to take appropriate action.”
But at the same NDTV site, on 15th December I found the topic- Who is Nira Radia. It gave details about Nira Radia. Look at some the interesting notes- “Kenya-born and London-educated corporate lobbyist Niira Radia has become a household name ever since a news magazine published taped conversations from her phone over a six-month period in 2009. The 5,800 tapes have revealed, among other things, how key portfolios were allocated when the Union Cabinet was formed after the victory of the Congress-led UPA in May 2009, with the lobbyist, who counts the Tatas and Ambanis among her clients, in the thick of it. Even as more skeletons tumble out of the closet, there is very little known about Radia’s background and her meteoric rise to fame.”
“She was leveraging the power of her clients who are some of the most powerful businessmen in the country,” said Prashant Bhushan, a senior lawyer who filed a public interest litigation seeking the prosecution of Raja on the basis of the taped conversations of Radia. ”In 2009, she moved from corporate lobbying to allegedly fixing the lucrative telecom ministry, resulting in a scam that depleted the national exchequer by billions of rupees.”
This is what one calls moving a full circle. So here we have the NDTV readily announcing the alleged role of Nira Radia in Cabinet formation “allegedly fixing the lucrative telecom ministry, resulting in a scam that depleted the national exchequer by billions of rupees”.
Now it is open for one and all to look into and enquire the role of some of the above-mentioned journalists in the 2G scams and other related issues.
IPS officer from UP
currently at IIM Lucknow