Although I focus on the corruption endemic in my homeland – the Banana Republic of the United States – I have been clear to point out that crony capitalism and the rule of oligarchs is a global phenomenon that we all must deal with together as a species. In this report from Al Jazeera, we meet Arvind Kejriwal, a former mechanical engineer fighting the local cronies. Here’s a bit of what the man dubbed as “India’s Julian Assange” is up to:
In the last fortnight, he has released details and leveled charges four times against top Indian politicians and the country’s biggest business conglomerate.
“We want to turn the power structure upside-down and make the powerful accountable,” Kejriwal, 44, a thin man with a moustache and piercing eyes, said.
On October 5, Kejriwal made a public accusation against Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress party president Sonia Gandhi. He claimed that Vadra had purchased property worth millions of dollars with “interest free unsecured free loan” by DLF, India’s major construction company. DLF’s market value dropped in a single day to the tune of $580m following the accusation.
Then, on October 17, Kejriwal targeted the opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He accused party president Nitin Gadkari of land grabbing by colluding with the ruling party in the western state of Maharashtra, and exploiting poor farmers to further his business interests in real estate.
Critics say that Kejriwal has been acting like a political novice by releasing a slew of allegations that may not come to much. Khurshid, for once, has said that Kejriwal was “an ant taking on the might of an elephant”.
To his credit, Kejriwal’s accusations seem to have emboldened the people, created awareness, and incited the press to pursue and investigate the allegations.
Hmmm…elite oligarchs buying assets with government sanctioned interest free loans. Sound familiar?
Full article here.