As web-based media sites publish a woman's allegations of sexual harassment against CJI Ranjan Gogoi, the Supreme Court Secretariat denies all charges and Justice Gogoi recuses himself from passing orders. He says it is a larger conspiracy to destabilize the judiciary

News Snippets

  • Modi says the SP-BSP friendship is "farzi" and will end on may 23
  • Mamata Banerjee says Modi is suffering from haratanka, the phobia of losing and that is why he has turned pale
  • Modi says that Mamata Banerjee wants to impose her Tolabaji (extortion) Tax all over India
  • Hardik Patel slapped by a man at a rally as revenge for his wife's miscarriage in a car during Patel's road blockades in the 2015 quot stir
  • BCCI ombudsman fines Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul Rs 20 lakhs each for misogynistic comments on the chat show Koffee With Karan
  • Buzz around BJP fielding Sunny Deol from Amritsar as Amit Shah meets the actor
  • EC bans web series on Modi and asks the channel to take down all content
  • #MeToo reaches Supreme Court. Former junior research assistant levels sexual harassment charges against CJI Ranjan Gogoi
  • In West Bengal, official in charge of EVMs goes missing but EC says it is for personal reasons
  • Mulayam and Mayawati share the stage at Mainpuri to bury 24-year old enmity
  • After nation-wide outrage, Pragya apologizes and says Karkare was a martyr who was killed by enemy bullets
  • BJP says Pragya's statement are her personal views
  • Pragya Thakur, Malegaon blasts accused and BJP candidate from Bhopal, says police officer Hemant Karkare of anti-terror squad, tortured her in jail and was killed in the 26/11 operations due to her "curse"
  • PM Modi defends choice of Pragya Thakur as BJP's contestant from Bhopal
  • India suspends trade across the Line of Control with Pakistan
bucket-hole
There’s A Hole In The Bucket

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking before NRI’s, recounted what former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had said about only 15 percent of the money sent for development or welfare schemes from Delhi reaching the poor. Although Modi used this to point out that successive Congress governments looted the country and give rise to crony capitalism with the then Prime Minister even admitting it, this is something which has always existed, even during the times of the rajas and zamindars. Two anecdotes show how it works.

Emperor Akbar was once very worried about reports that not all money collected from the people as taxes was reaching the treasury. As usual, he called upon Birbal to find out the reason. After a few days, Birbal asked Akbar to summon the full court. Once the court assembled, Birbal asked the guards to bring a big slab of ice and place it at the entrance. When Akbar asked him the reason, Birbal told him to just watch as it will answer his question. Birbal then asked the guards to pass on the slab to the first courtier and asked each courtier to relay it to the person sitting next to him. As the slab made its journey, it got reduced in size. Finally, when it reached the royal throne, it was almost half in size. Birbal explained to the Emperor that a similar thing happened with the taxes. Although this is the opposite of what Rajiv Gandhi had said, if we reverse the journey of the ice slab, it will show that only half of what Akbar allotted for the poor reached them.

In a different anecdote, a few village sarpanches in Rajasthan once petitioned a block development officer for a rainwater pond. The officer caught on that they were angling for funds, not the pond. A deal was struck: the officer had the funds sanctioned, the booty was shared all around and files and maps recorded that the pond existed. Two years later, the officer needed money in a jiffy. He asked the sarpanches to submit a petition urging the government to fill up the pond as its water had been contaminated. Once again funds were sanctioned and ex-gratia payments made to the “victims”. The loot was again shared. For every big scam, a hundred such incidents take place, draining India’s resources but not adding to its infrastructure.

Direct subsidy transfer (DST), Jan Dhan accounts and Aadhar enrolments have gone a long way in reducing this leakage and have ensured that most of the money reaches the real beneficiaries. Previously, the beneficiary list used to contain fake names and the money was paid in cash citing lack of bank accounts of the beneficiary. Most of this money was siphoned off. The troika of DST, Jan Dhan accounts and Aadhar has put a stop to this. This is not to say that leakages have vanished, but they have been reduced and the government has been able to save a lot of money in the bargain. Scamsters devise newer ways to siphon out development funds and the government has to be on its toes to prevent this.

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