Karti Chidambaram case – arrest is vendetta?

The Karti Chidambaram (KC) case is hogging the headlines. CBI has arrested him, oddly the day he landed at the airport from an overseas trip. Courts seem to have gong along with CBI’s request taking much of the sting out of Congress “vendetta” attacks.

But is the arrest necessary?

Regardless of who is in power and which party the alleged corrupt person belongs to, in our opinion arrests should be made only upon court order so that justice is seen to be done and no “vendetta” claims are possible. In fact, the arrest is best made AFTER conviction in courts, especially if the person is a political bigwig whose escape, even if made successfully is far more politically damaging to the opposition than arrest.

Ideally, BJP government (if indeed it has instructed CBI to arrest) should have refrained from arresting, and challenged Rahul Gandhi to ensure Karti stays in India, is available for all reasonable questioning and fight the case on merits. If after all this, KC disappears like Mallya, that can be huge indicator of guilt, putting Congress in the dock.

Coming to the case itself,  it is sad testimony to the sort of influence peddling that goes in in Indian politics and the selective outrage/silence of the corrupt Lutyens media ecosystem.  Journalists that shout from rooftops about “fearless journalism” tweet pro-KC statements, practically repeat Congress statements verbatim and give the affair bare minimum coverage clearly showing where their sympathies lie.

It appears, for the most part, both KC as well as his dad former FM P. Chidambaram, don’t seem to question the fact that payments have been made to entities linked to KC.  Their argument appears to be that they are perfectly valid business expenses and income! After all a minister’s son can be a “consultant” can’t he?

If this indeed is the position taken by Congress, PC and KC, sad to say this will only work in India. In any other country with proper rule of law and standards, the son of a minister providing “consultancy”, for hundreds of thousands of dollars, to a company for facilitating or expediting bureaucratic approvals that his own dad, as minister, supervises, would be an open and shut case of corruption. It is very different from simply running a business (say, providing insurance, banking or other services) in a domain where the father is minister-in-charge. It is also very different from working for a reputed consulting company like IBM or Deloitte for whom this sort of money is peanuts.

Indeed the conflict of interest is so glaring and blatant, it should be questioned by media as well as every right thinking citizen.

But then the left media including Wire, which questioned a simple loan granted to Amit Shah’s son by a commercial bank, and drew inferences from it, keeps quiet. No Op-eds or articles filled with juicy details are to be found in any of the left-liberal media, online or offline.

This is the gist of the problem.

Just as there are “your terrorists”, “your fascists” there is also “your corruption” and “my corruption”.

Will India ever grow out of this? Or will one side or the other engage corrupt yellow media coolies and assorted fake intellectual charlatans to cry vendetta and obfuscate facts, brazenly continuing with the loot?