The Case Against Manmohan Singh (aka Blue Turban) And His Merry Band of Treasure Hunters & Habitual Fibbers

Telenor sticks to India unit targets after corruption scandal

What a fascinating story. Indian billionaire, Ramesh Chandra, forays into the real-estate business  in India through Unitech. It is merely coincidental that real-estate development in India also offers great opportunities for laundering unaccounted incomes. The group then goes in for a somewhat surprising diversification and gets into Telecom - business synergy being no consideration - and manages to create such an impact in a very short time that Telenor ASA, a major Telecom services player, rushes in to invest!

A Congress rally in New Delhi.Image via Wikipedia
It is of course merely coincidental that somewhere down the line, Uninor, a fledgling Telecom services provider, is awarded spectrum way beyond its actual requirement for its present or even projected future customer base. And it is of course also coincidental that the spectrum awarded happens to be grossly undervalued, if one goes by rates it would have commanded in an open-market auction - there is no law against Ministers feeling charitable and taking ad-hoc 'benevolent' decisions, is there? Thoughts that large sums of 'unaccounted incomes', generated through the real-estate development business, were funnelled into various party coffers and to various personalities, said Minister included, to bring about this feeling of benevolence are well, just unfounded & malicious gossip, wouldn't you say?
Telenor Sweden headquarters at Katarinav├Ągen, ...Image via Wikipedia
Telenor HQ in Sweden
Enter Telenor, who suddenly spot a dynamic, visionary entrepreneur in Chandra and his fledgling Telecom company, Uninor and are keen to invest and gain a foothold in the Indian Telecom sector which, arguably, is one of the fastest developing telecom services market in the world. What better, they say, than to take over operational control of a visionary company like Uninor and then aggressively move to increase their market share of subscribers, utilizing all that surplus spectrum lying around with this visionary company. Uninor however proves to be eminently amenable in terms of selling majority stake in their
The Symbol of Indian Rupee approved by the Uni...Image via Wikipedia
organization for fairly modest and reasonable sums. And don't any of you even hint that large sums, generally again unaccounted for, had to be paid into numbered accounts in the Cayman Islands or Bahamas to make the principal shareholder of Uninor feel extremely modest & reasonable when it came to selling majority stake in his fledgling, visionary enterprise.

Just a few more points before I finish all this fancy storytelling. This story is possibly typical, repeated time & time again when such spectrums were being awarded to scores of similar fledgling, visionary telecom enterprises. The CAG was merely being myopic when it spun its little story about a potential loss of USD 40 billion to the national exchequer while spectrums were being doled out benevolently to these visionary organizations. Extending the fable a little more, if one were to add up the various transactions - accounted and unaccounted for - that such benevolence set in motion, wouldn't that figure of 40 billion, double or even treble? What a great fable sir-jee!
The Coat of arms of the Cayman IslandsImage via Wikipedia
Coat-of-arms of Cayman Islands

And finally, here's the fable to end all fables. While all this was going on right under his noses, over months and even years, the honest and upright Indian PM, Sardar Blue Turban, had no clue at all about such visionary enterprises or spurts of benevolence affecting the national exchequer and the interest of myriad foreign enterprises in plunging into India's high-potential telecom market, whatever it may take to ensure such participation. It is again merely coincidental that the man has been a bureaucrat most of his life and happens to be a past Governor of the RBI and a past Finance Minister, in which capacities, it would have been part of his job to oversee such instances of benevolence and exceptional interest from foreign investors among other things.

You see being an eminently upright and honest man, as the mainstream Indian media never tires of reminding anyone who might care to read or listen, he had parked his face, Blue Turban and all, deep in his nether regions, right since 2004 when he was 'appointed' to the top job so that he doesn't have to hear or see any evil at all anywhere in the kingdom he was tasked to run. And, by the way, as would be evident from all that you have read so far, there was nothing evil about it anyway, it was all a case of benevolence and
extraordinary vision.
Mini Train in 70th All India Industrial Exhibi...Image via Wikipedia
Mini-train in Industrial exhibition advertising Uninor

By virtue of the parking place he had chosen, right since 2004, for his cranium and other facial appendages, he refused to even look into and inquire why the budget for the Commonwealth Games kept going up by large multiples every year since 2003 when the initial estimate was first given. After all, the visionary in this case was a member of his own party and also the chief of the Congress Parliamentary Party, Shri Shri Suresh Kalmadi.

Kapil SibalImage by World Economic Forum via Flickr
Kapil Sibal, newly appointed
as Minister,Telecom

Now, here's the coup de grâce. Kapil Sibal, a foreign-educated lawyer who became the spokesperson for the Congress party quite some years back and is supposedly revolutionizing the education sector in his capacity as Education Minister in Blue Turban's second innings, recently came out and made some pretty startling statements in his newly anointed avatar as the Minister in charge of Telecom. Here's the link to that story, followed by M J Akbar's comments on the subject:
Kapil Sibal trashes CAG math on Rs. 1.76 lakh-cr ( USD 40 billion ) 2G loss

Before the Court of Public Opinion - M.J. Akbar

That Sibal is about as twisted and devious as they come in the Congress party is not quite the point here, though that happens to be an inalienable fact. Neither is the fact that as a lawyer he is rather accustomed to starting off with trashing the opposing party's arguments, howsoever specious and fabricated his own arguments may sound in the process, too pertinent here.
Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, United Progressive ...Image via Wikipedia
Congress chairperson, Sonia Gandhi
 What is relevant though is the inescapable fact that, given the prevailing culture in the Congress party, he would have certainly obtained prior clearance for that statement from his nominal boss, Blue Turban, and almost certainly from the mother-son team of Sonia G & Rahul G which oversees and controls party affairs.

Expectedly, the tainted and insubstantial Indian mainstream media failed to ask him the questions which were begging to be asked. Some of the key ones would be:
  1. If the CAG has been so far off-the-mark while making such serious observations about the 2G Spectrum auction, why has no action being taken against its chief and the team which was responsible for preparing the report about the 2G spectrum auction?
  2. If, therefore, Andimuthu Raja, the previous Minister-in-charge, is presumably innocent of the serious charges levelled against him, why was he shown the door and subjected to such widespread negative coverage even before the complete facts could be investigated & ascertained? Isn't that the worst kind of witch-hunting & scapegoating?
  3. When the previous Minister had presumably done no wrong, where was the need to replace him hurriedly with a devious prick like Kapil Sibal and why wasn't he being reinstated in a hurry with a formal apology which is due to him in such a case?
I am reminded of another fable, one where visionaries like Andimuthu Raja & Suresh Kalmadi are transformed into scapegoats by the fairy mother. We will save narrating that though for another day, shall we?