News

    New Corruption Allegations Rock Indian Government

    Indian Army Chief Gen. V.K. Singh smiles during a ceremony on the occasion of the Indian Army Day in New Delhi, India, FILE January 15, 2012.
    Indian Army Chief Gen. V.K. Singh smiles during a ceremony on the occasion of the Indian Army Day in New Delhi, India, FILE January 15, 2012.

    In India, authorities will investigate new allegations of corruption after the head of the army said he was offered a bribe by a defense equipment lobbyist. Meanwhile, an activist is trying to revive an anti-graft movement which received a huge outpouring of support last year.

    Allegations probe

    Parliament erupted in furor because of the allegations by army chief V.K. Singh that he was offered a bribe to clear the purchase of 600 substandard vehicles. Defense Minister A.K. Antony quickly ordered a probe. “It’s a serious allegation,” he stated.

    General Singh told the Hindu newspaper that a man had what he described as the “gumption" to walk up to the general and tell him he would be paid about $2.8 million, if he approved the contract. Singh did not name the lobbyist, but says the man had recently retired from the armed forces. Singh says the lobbyist claimed that people had taken money from him before. 

    The army chief told a television interviewer that he had reported the offer to the defense minister, who was stunned. He said both he and the minister have tried to ensure transparency in defense procurement. 

    But General Singh says it will take more drastic surgery to eliminate what has spread like a cancer through the Indian system.  

    Singh said the army already has 7,000 of the vehicles in question, which he says were purchased over the years at an exorbitant price.

    Damage control

    Some observers questioned the timing of the army chief’s revelation. General Singh was recently involved in a spat with the government about his retirement age.  

    The latest allegations will further dent the image of a government which is struggling to quell public anger about a series of bribery scandals. Fury caused by alleged kickbacks involving billions of dollars fueled huge public protests led by anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare seven months ago.

    Hazare is demanding the creation of an independent anti-corruption agency that would be known as Lokpal.

    But Hazare’s anti-corruption movement appeared to run out of steam in December, when his hunger strike because of the government’s failure to establish a Lokpal drew hardly any crowds.

    Hazare is now attempting to revive the movement. On Sunday, he staged another protest in New Delhi, saying he is ready "to fight again.” He says the government must enact a law to establish the anti-corruption agency by 2014, or face defeat in general elections.  

    Hazare says he wants the law for the sake of the nation and the public.   

    The government has drafted a Lokpal bill, but it has failed to win support from opposition parties and Hazare calls it toothless.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met leaders of political parties last week and said that he is committed to finding a consensus on the anti-corruption bill.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: sam
    March 30, 2012 10:30 AM
    Anti business policies by successive govts.have prompted many to seek their fortunes elsewhere .Local and foreign investers are frustrated by the red tape and willy nilly policies drafted by arm chair officials .UPA govt. is weak,being a coalition of goups with their own agenda.Retroactive taxation will certainly put off investment and hinder progress and increase powerty and unrest in the country.

    by: rkgoel
    March 26, 2012 8:56 PM
    route cause of corruption in India is politics and politicians , we have prefabricated corrupt politicians and buerocrate

    by: patel
    March 26, 2012 8:14 AM
    corruption is a big problem in India. starting from the airport & having having something done you have to pay witch never gets to the government. that is way India works.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora