News / Asia

Indian PM Vows 'Serious' Action Against Corruption

In this, Feb. 1, 2011 file photo, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gestures during a conference on internal security, New Delhi, India.
In this, Feb. 1, 2011 file photo, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gestures during a conference on internal security, New Delhi, India.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is making a public outreach to get his country’s parliament moving again after months of gridlock.

In a nationally televised news conference, he vowed action against corruption and urged media organizations to steer away from coverage that lowers the nation’s self-image.

The prime minister chastised senior television journalists, mainly from domestic organizations, Wednesday, suggesting sensationalized coverage of scandals has lowered the nation’s self-esteem.

"An impression has gone around that we are a scam-driven country," he said. "In the process, willy-nilly.. we are weakening the self-confidence of the people of India."

Mr. Singh’s Congress party has faced withering public criticism in recent months for allegedly being lax on widespread corruption, particularly in connection with the sale of 2G mobile phone frequency licenses more than two years ago.

The Indian parliament has been deadlocked for months, with opposition parties demanding a joint probe by lawmakers into the 2G issue and other alleged mishandling of public funds. The stalemate may impede a budget session scheduled for next week.

Mr. Singh told chief editors of India’s main TV networks, he would be willing to appear before any committee and vowed his government will not tolerate corruption at any level.

"Our government is dead serious about bringing to book all the wrong-doers, regardless of their position... if there is corruption, whether it is in the judiciary, or in the executive, or other walks of life, we must get rid of that," he said.

Mr. Singh promised a reshuffle of his cabinet within a few months. He said the government deserves credit for improving India’s security situation, and promised impressive economic numbers next month.

"We will have a growth rate of 8.5% this fiscal year... the inflation rate should come down to no more than seven percent."

Separately, the prime minister expressed his support for pro-democracy activists in Egypt.

"They have our good wishes," he said. "Though it is not our business to advise other countries, we welcome the dawn of democracy everywhere."

At the same time, the he ruled out the likelihood of a similar mass movement in his own country.

"India is a functioning democracy. People already have a right to change government. We have a free press... and therefore, there is no question that things that have happened in Egypt or in other Arab countries can be replicated in India."

Prime Minister Singh, now 78 years old, dismissed speculation he may step aside before his government expires in 2014, saying he has a job to do and plans to stay the course.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America