Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why single out Sun TV?

Kalanidhi Maran, the promoter of Sun TV, has raised a salient question in his letter to I & B Minister, Arun Jaitley. Criminal cases are pending against many channels and their promoters like disproportionate assets (Jaya TV) and 2G scam (Kalaignar TV) apart from Sun TV. It is interesting that Marans do not mind making an inconvenient reference to their uncle's channel. Blood is not thicker than water when commercial interests are at stake. Why should the government think of withdrawing licence only from Sun TV? Is this not arbitrary discrimination?

This is a fair question raised by an unfair party. Dayanidhi Maran as a minister enabled his brother's channel to enjoy an unfair advantage over other channels by wholesale misuse of BSNL connections. Serial entrepreneur, C.Sivasankaran was arm-twisted to sell his stake to a Malaysian company which invested in Sun TV. These allegations are now tested in courts of law and CBI is presently convinced of the veracity of these charges. (CBI is  chameleonic and therefore its views are politics-dependent.)

A murderer cannot claim that he should not be arrested before all murderers in all murder cases are also arrested. Government infrastructure is too weak to take simultaneous action against all offenders. Nonetheless, a beginning has to be made.

Arun Jaitley is known to be accommodative with politicians of all hues. So he is opposed to Home ministry's move to withdraw security clearance of Sun TV. There is substance in Ram Jethmalani's assertion that no concrete steps will be taken against economic offenders as long as Jaitley continues as minister. Economic crime and commercial success will go together thanks to political patronage. What Manmohan Singh tolerated in his cabinet, Arun Jaitley is tolerating in the entire economy. Acche din door ast.

Added on 12th June:

Subramanian Swamy has written to the prime minister regarding the suspected role of Arun Jaitley in appointment to Vigilance Commission. Swamy has alleged that Jaitley was unauthorisedly allowed to attend the meeting of the committee of P.M., Home Minister and Leader of Opposition which recommended appointment as of T.M.Bhasin, former CMD of Indian Bank as Vigilance Commissioner. There is a stray allegation against Bhasin that he manipulated the CR of one GM of Indian Bank to favour another GM for promotion. The allegation may or may not be credible. But Jaitley's role is receiving adverse notice of persons like Ram Jethmalani and Swamy. Is Arun Jaitley a devil's advocate?

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