12 December, 2005

cobrapost bites

Cobrapost, an independent Indian news portal, has shaken Indian politics by exposing a ‘bribes for questions’ scandal in India’s Parliament. Via India Uncut.:

The Times of India reports:

A sting operation by a television news channel has caught 11 MPs taking bribe purportedly for asking questions in Parliament.

These aren’t only the more down and out MPs either, they are from across party and ideological lines. While most belong to the BJP, there is healthy representation from in-power parties like the Congress and RJD. Mayawati’s BSP also finds a place in the line-up.


The Left parties, happily out of the mess, have demanded the immediate resignation of all the MPs.

For once, I’m emphatically with the Left on this. This instance also shows the importance of a free media in a democracy. Sting operations have got a bit of a bad name of late, but when they are in the public interest, as in this case, they provide an invaluable service. Kudos to Aaj Tak, the news channel in question.* More, more. This is just a shadow of the tip of a rather gigantic iceberg.

Update: The BJP has sacked those of its MPs who were caught taking bribes on camera. I presume the other parties will follow suit. I won’t be surprised, though, if the politicians concerned keep a low profile for a while and then return to active politics. In India, you can’t keep a good con down.

*Update 2: It turns out that the sting operation was actually conducted by Cobrapost, and more details will emerge there in the hours to come. Well done!

Well done indeed.

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by @ 10:20 pm. Filed under India, Asia, Media, South Asia

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