Libertatem Magazine

Lalu Yadav: Scamming the Nation Since 1990

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Ours is a country where freedom fighters and framers of Modern India, both are treated as Gods, but their virtues should also be put to the same sanctity.  there are quite a few illustrations for the same. The pillars of our preamble; sovereignty being turned to nothing more than a group of oligarchs who work on the basis of self-interest; socialism, which is left on papers  to justify false promises; secularity in  caste politics and communal riots turning it into secular, Democratic republican system in the people’s unawareness about their power and tolerance towards the cruelty by the government and their scams.

When it comes to politics one of the brimming personalities in the list of politicians is Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav. Many accusations have been made about him, citing him as a promotor misdemeanour and ‘Gunda Raj’ in Bihar. This is captured in blazing prose by Sankarshan Thakur: “What do we say of Bihar? What do we say of a state itself so punched and blown, it is not even supposed to feel pain? What do we say of a state so inured to wretchedness it refuses now to convey it or complain? … “Yeh Bihar hai. Yahan sub kuchh chalta hai.”

We have always had leaders with differing ideologies and modus operandi (a specific way of doing something) in our system, as Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose stood at opposites ends when it came to ideas, but the moment Bose gave Gandhi the title of “Father of the nation”, Mahatma Gandhi titled him as “Netaji”. yet we see no such fraternity, all we see is cut throat competition for power, fame and money.

Lalu Ji’s Nepotism and The LaRa Scam

Lalu Ji’s nepotism is no big secret in the country, in fact it is more like an open book to the whole nation. When he realises that he can’t fight elections in the light of his conviction in the Fodder Scam, he procures means to keep power to him by simply making his wife and children fight elections where the real power is exercised by him. Recently, it has been unveiled that Rashtriya Janata Dal’s chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his minister-son Tej Pratap Yadav had their hands dirty in a soil purchase scam, supposedly worth INR90 Lakhs. it was after the allegation made by the opposition BJP, claiming it to be a scam actually worth INR 700 crores and also calling it a ’conflict of interest’, the RJD came under fire. The allegations included were regarding laundering of black money by the RJD minister through his shell company named Delight Marketing Pvt. Ltd. which Tej Pratap and other members of Lalu Yadav’s family were made directors of. shell companies are the ones which are mainly non-trading corporate entities, are inactive when it comes to business operations and insignificant assets. And all in all, are just used as a vehicle for various financial manoeuvres. The ultimate purpose behind this concept is to avoid taxes without attracting any kind of legal attention. The scam, named “LaRa Scam“, is named after Lalu Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi, by taking prefix from their names. According to the controversy, Lalu Yadav’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav violated the tender rules by selling soil worth INR 90 Lakhs from a mall which is under construction. This mall is being built on a land owned by his family. Documents as evidence have also been brought into picture, claiming Rabri devi and both his minister sons as partners in Delight marketing pvt. Ltd.

Bihar BJP has alleged that one of the innkeepers had given a piece of land to Lalu worth INR 100 crores, e in return for railway hotels. BJP claims that Lalu was given this piece of land during his tenure as the Railway Minister of Bihar i.e. a period ranging from 2004-2009. Lalu on the other hand blatantly denied such allegations and countered by claiming, that the railway hotels in Ranchi and Puri were allotted to the hotelier during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure as the Prime Minister of India, between 1998 & 2004.

The Fodder Scam

it’s been around 21 years, but the ghost of Fodder scam case has stirred up from time to time, haunting Lalu Yadav sporadically. technically the case talks about the large-scale pilferage of funds by the Bihar govt, fabricating forged bills for authentication of the payments which were never even made. The scam, popularly is also known as “Chaara Ghotala”, which involved fraudulent transactions made in the name of procuring cattle-feed over a period of 20 years, under successive regimes.

Who would have imagined that such petty forgeries and numerous fraudulent transactions on small scale, would go on to become a INR 100 crore scam, unseating an reigning chief minister? Eventually, these small-scale forged transactions flourished over the course of years, and snowballed into a whoppingINR 945-crore scam. This scam was first sniffed out in 1985 by the then Comptroller and Auditor General of India TN Chaturvedi. It was when he noticed a consistent delay in the monthly accounts submission from Bihar Treasury.

This brings us to his conviction for 6 years regarding the very same case. there is a serious need to upon this case because the scam took place in 1994 and the conviction process began exactly 10 years after that. Why a Gap of 10years? is our judiciary so weak and small, that it is not able to stand tall and strong against a minister? That is the question upon which we all need to ponder. It also sheds light upon the pendency of cases and delay in judgements caused due to it.

The “great” Bihar alliance also needs to think/contemplate that whether Mr. Nitesh can explain how a gangster threaten so many people of a riot if his demands are not met? Whether can he even continue to govern with such a party? And if this is all false, then   can Mr. Nitish come out in the open and say that Lalu does not support a Criminal named Shahabuddin even after hearing the call recording for the same?

Why do people of his constituency blindly support him despite his conviction and so many allegations of corruption against him?

The first possible reason could be that Mr. Yadav is widely known for his caste and communal politics. He is also behind a caste combination which he calls by the acronym RMY (Rajput, Muslim, Yadav) people belonging to which join his party and work as public pleasers and concurrently he tries to benefit them wherever possible, and also provides them with all kinds of exemptions for their wrongdoings.  use of muscle power and booth capturing during electoral voting becomes the second reason for the same. and the third and the final reason for the same being that, not everyone but a certain section of society is corrupt. We are all on a sale offer in today’s scenario it’s just a matter of ‘Paisa phek tamasha dekh.

if we trace back the origin of Lalu Prasad as a politician, he came up as a student leader and his wing was of a view to unseat the current arbitrarily functioning government. he was “blessed” to be born in a high caste family, due to which the votes turned in his favour. As power came to him, corruption followed.

Reasons for such scams and possible steps for a solution

We see that even if we go to this system with clean hands and good intentions, it tends to buy our virtues against power and money. Lalu Yadav being the railway minister is credited for bringing the Indian Railways in profit during his tenure. these were the times, despite suffering all the losses the railways recovered drastically and to study this many scholars came to our country. With such capabilities, there is no possible reason as to why Bihar state is on it’s all time low when we see the income.

The story of Laloo’s rise/ascend underlines the extent to which democracy has displaced traditional modes of elite formation based on education, ability and leadership qualities thereby creating a parallel avenue for the acquisition of power. If we look at it practically, obviously Lalu Prasad alone can operate these scams,

I believe everything boils down to one single thing, that is education. Our education system where we teach our children so that they can pay officials to pass. foundation should be strong enough that we keep only what we deserve, know our rights as well as duties and most importantly respect each other and each other’s rights, so that people with evil intentions do not get the environment to rely on scandalous means.

When we proudly boast about our country being the biggest democracy we should also ponder about the functionality part of it. the basic principle of democracy gives power to the citizens of this country, but on the contrary, they smash the whole purpose of the democracy by not using these powers. Thanks to the social media penetration, people can express their feelings and ideas to a wider audience, let us use these platforms to reconstruct our country because if this continues, then exodus of the jobless/unemployed and poor people to other states will continue till the immigration of job seekers will become clandestine.

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