Kickback Grandé

When it comes to the sheer scale of corruption, we Indians are nothing short of nanobots. Western nations exist at the scale of Diplodocus Giganticus! Poor Rajiv Gandhi got bludgeoned for a measly 64 crores of Indian Rupees and the ghost of the Bofors Scandal has never left the tail of the Congress party. Fortunately for them, corruption in India has risen like the inflation and the Dearness Allowance paid to Central Government employees. 600 crores of Lalloo\’s is a benchmark now. But the UP bureaucrat who got caught recently is insisting on putting all politicians to shame. I kinda feel happy that Indians have so much loose cash to grease palms. On the other hand I feel sad that majority of Indians are getting cheated out of some quality public utility.

International defence procurements and kickback-grandé go hand in hand. Since childhood I\’ve been shocked and very much amused at how governments pay off governments so that one government can order stuff from another government. Defence manufacturers world over, be it Bofors or BAE or Boeing, are privately held only for the name. They are government enterprises for all practical reasons. They get subsidies, research and technical support, and they even get commercial intelligence through commercial espionage by the country\’s spy agency. The embassies of their countries go whole-heartedly into promoting their cause. Their parliamentary representatives push their case whenever they visit the buying nation. Is this their weakness or their strength that they have to seek government support? And why this blatant acceptance of bribery in Defence deals the world over? Shouldn\’t business logic and economics triumph automatically?

Here is an article that puts several things into perspective. I really liked this insightful article into corruption in defence deals. It\’s a backgrounder on the ongoing Saudi-BAE corruption scandal. It\’s fun to see the Americans walking over red hot coals coz of this deal! 😉

Larry Elliott, economics editor
Monday December 18, 2006
The Guardian

Imagine that you are the French trade minister, keen to derail the global trade talks for fear that they will result in a wholesale dismantling of the Common Agricultural Policy. It\’s been an uphill struggle but at last help is at hand.

The next time Tony Blair calls Jacques Chirac to insist that he must face down protests from angry French farmers and stand up for free trade, there is a perfect one-word response: BAE.

Imagine you are the leader of a small, poor, African country with a troubled past and a cavalier approach to pluralism and democracy. Indeed, the crackdown on dissidents has become so blatant in recent months that the Department for International Development will cut off British aid unless the standard of governance is improved. As Hilary Benn repeats his prime minister\’s mantra – help for Africa is a deal for a deal, aid in return for a crackdown on corruption – you whisper one word: BAE. Read more..

The Tatas are planning to get into the Military-Industrial Complex in a big way. With their strict adherence to ethics, will they be able to survive?

Published by Anupam Choudhury

I'm a writer, editor, and blogger from New Delhi, India.

One thought on “Kickback Grandé

  1. I agree entirely, it’s a sad situation, but the root cause of it is not individual corruption, but systemic corruption that\’s the problem.


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