It has to be said that Indian Parliament is a place where “spade is not called a spade”, for several reasons. In past two days, several things have been said about corruption during the debate on Lokpal bill. There was one very distinct consistency among several speakers both in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Almost all speakers talked about the most important part of the whole bill – CBI – towards the end of their speeches. Some MPs blithely declared
Sir and finally chairman sir, the question of CBI. CBI sir should be given some independence sir but it should not be completely autonomous sir
Few people took the issue of CBI seriously barring the main speakers of ruling party and main opposition. One of the people who talked about CBI in great detail was Ram Jethmalani. Ram Jethmalani while talking on CBI, also stressed on necessity to curb Black Monery laundered abroad. Ram Jethmalani’s speech will remain in people’s memory for this reason. For the first time in the Parliament (as far as I know) since 1991, the article published in Schweizer Illusrierte about Black Money laundered in Swiss bank was referred to while discussing Corruption. This is a very important incident. It is to be seen how far Indian Media will discuss this so that people know what the article actually talks about. Schweizer Illustrierte reported 15 top money launderers in Swiss Bank and Rajiv Gandhi was at 14th position. The article gave details of bank accounts and predicted money laundered in those accounts. Please find pdf of scanned copy of the complete report here. This is the original and is in German. Translation of this article can be of great help. Please do post a link or translation of the same in comments.
In his speech, Ram Jethmalani didnt even take Rajiv Gandhi’s name. He only said “…14th person named in this magazine was PM of the country”. The whole INC camp rose up defending Rajiv Gandhi. Starting with Noorani in 1990s, S Gurumurthy and Subramania Swamy have been writing articles citing this particular article while addressing Black Money issue. CNN IBN interviewed Ram Jethmalani after his speech and asked a very direct question – “why did you name Rajiv Gandhi?”. This means media people know about this article by Schweizer Illustrierte but never discussed in public debates. One then wonders “how is media in India non-partisan?”.
Please find a part of Ram Jethmalani’s speech here. [The file is mp4 file and can be plyed on VLC media player]. This speech is also available on Youtube.