Corruption scandals: Looting the people to enrich the capitalists

 A series of high profile corruption scandals have rocked the political establishment in recent weeks, engulfing both the ruling Congress and its allies, as well as the main opposition, the BJP.

 A series of high profile corruption scandals have rocked the political establishment in recent weeks, engulfing both the ruling Congress and its allies, as well as the main opposition, the BJP.

It is widely acknowledged that the Commonwealth Games have been a source of siphoning off public money into the hands of politicians and various capitalists linked to them. In the case of the Adarsh Housing scam, successive rulers of Maharashtra in connivance with the armed forces chiefs used their power to violate all laws to sanction a costly housing society in prime land of the Navy, and hand over costly apartments to the admirals and Generals, and ministers and bureaucrats and capitalists, in the name of "Kargil victims". In Karnataka, the Chief Minister is supposed to be involved in passing prime land for IT parks, and then getting some compensate for his family members for the favours done.

The biggest of them all has been the 2G spectrum scandal. According to the Government's own CAG report, the loss of money to the public exchequer as a result of the method followed by the Ministry in allocation of licenses could be as much as Rs.1,76,000 crores. Day after day, new aspects of the scam are coming into public purview, indicating the complacency of the entire government in this massive scandal.

What is the scandal all about? It is that in the issuing of licenses for mobile services, the Telecom Ministry deliberately pursued a policy firstly that favoured some and discriminated against others, and secondly led to the loss to the country's exchequer. This is not a new phenomenon. This is how the system in India has functioned ever since 1947. This is how the big capitalists in India have become even bigger, and this is how new players have emerged on the market using their connections with the politicians.

What do these corruption scandals reveal? They confirm what all conscious working people are aware of — that the ministries formed at the center and states, irrespective of which parties or coalitions constitute them — work to enrich the capitalist groups, old and new, and in the process, various ministers also enrich their parties and families and other close ones. They are all part of the ruling class.

The present scandals have emerged in the public eye because of infighting amongst the ruling class. Those who lose out over a particular deal to a rival, raise a stink and call for a "level playing field". The old players look at the relatively new entrants into the capitalist race with jealousy and carry out exposures.

The bourgeoisie and its parties and politicians look at such scandals as an opportunity to strengthen their positions vis a vis their rivals. At the same time, as a class, they are worried that "things should not get out of hand" that the system should not get totally discredited or exposed in the eyes of the working masses. When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says, referring to the scams, that the ruling class of our country have turned every crisis in the past into an opportunity, and will hopefully do so again, he is speaking on behalf of the class as a whole, as well as the Congress Party and his government.

The BJP and the parliamentary left are raising the issues of the scandal to weaken the Congress led UPA government. Neither the BJP nor the Left parties want to expose the system, neither of them dare to tell the working masses that the present system is designed to ensure the domination over political power of the economically powerful classes, and that use of the state machinery to advance the interests of this or that capitalist group is part of the system. They merely want to use the scandals to advance their own positions.

The working class must use the present crisis to challenge the right of the bourgeoisie and its political parties to run the affairs of the country. The Manmohan Singh Government has been declaring that there is no money to ensure a universal PDS. It has been declaring there is no money for expansion of health care services. In the case of universal PDS, it is quibbling about a figure of 20,000 crores that will have to be additionally spent and on this basis is refusing to agree to it. However, it is quiet clear that this very government is willing to hand out at least Rs.1,76,000 crores of public funds to capitalists, on just one set of licenses!

The political system serves the economic system of plunder of the land, labour and resources of our country by the most rapacious capitalists. It is a system where the land of the peasants is looted, where the tribals are dispossessed to take over mineral wealth. It is a system where in the name of martyrs, politicians, generals and capitalists enrich themselves at public expense.

The working class must use the present crisis to expose the capitalist system and raise the vision of an alternative political system wherein public wealth really belongs to the people and is used to fulfill the needs of the majority. It will be a system wherein all decisions will be taken by the working class and working people, in their own interests.

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