Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Volcker Stain: What Next?

It couldn't have been more ironical. The man responsible for handling India's relationship with the outside world is today charged with supping with the one of the most venal and unwholesome regimes the world has seen. And Natwar Singh's not going down alone. The Volcker report also indicts Congress for having supported Saddam for money. Congress may try hard to evade the implications of the report, but will find it impossible to deflect criticism from the findings of a committee set up by no less than the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and which names top-notch politicians from around the globe. First Mitrokhin and now Volcker. With what face can the party seek the Kashmiris' confidence as it instils its own CM on Wednesday?

The PM's immediate response should be the packing off of Natwar Singh. Knowing the public persona that is Manmohan Singh, I am sure he finds himself lost in this murky world of underhand dealings and blatant hypocrisies. There is unfortunately no magic solution to wipe this taint. Only some drastic political shakeup at the Centre can remedy it. The least the government can do is establish an independent inquiry to clarify the extent of dirty money which changed hands.

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