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Between horse traders and traitors who is left?

July 22, 2008

No one is surprised with the allegations of horse trading to buy MP’s for the trust vote on the nuclear deal…but if the Left is accusing the Congress, they have some dirt in their backyard too…even if it isn’t taking bribes. If there are some politicians who don’t sell their loyalty, they do other things. Like stab their country in the back. Frankly I am disillusioned with the BJP too as it’s clear that they are upset that it’s not them who is getting a chance to push the deal through. So like a petulant child they are opposing it and national interest can go jump.

There is so much corruption amongst politicians that some of our MP’s make petty money (Rs 30,000/- and above) from just raising questions in parliament and the BJP has such MP’s too. You can find out their names here and also see their pictures. But parties still point fingers at one another…even though more fingers are pointing at them!

The fact is that India is number one when it comes to money in Swiss bank accounts and we have no way of knowing who doesn’t have an account there. While people from all walks of life probably have accounts there, I am sure our politicians lead the pack. People who are there to make our country prosper are looting it!!

I came across this information (info sent to me by Priyank):

Swiss Banking Association report 2006 by Naman Sood

Deposits in Banks located in the territory of Switzerland by nationals of following countries
Top 5

  • India—- $1456 billion
  • Russia—– $470 billion
  • UK——– $390 billion
  • Ukraine $100 billion
  • China—— $96 billion

As it says in the article:

India with $1456 billion or $1.4 trillion has more money in Swiss banks than rest of the world COMBINED.

There is another country called Liechtenstein (between Austria and Switzerland) which is also a tax haven. The German government managed to get a list of account holders at Liechtenstein’s LTG Bank and was/is willing to give the names to the Indian government but there hasn’t been a response. The opposition parties aren’t crying foul. You can guess why.

As for the live proceedings of the Nuclear Deal Debate in the Lok Sabha on television (just before the Trust vote) that reality show should have got an “A” certificate. If children see this how do you think they will behave in class…! But this time there was no violence…throwing of chairs and pushing and shoving, all of which I have seen on live TV in parliament. I guess we should be grateful.

Update: The UPA has won the trust vote with them getting 275 votes over 256 votes of the opposition.

Related Reading: Indian Democracy – Is it Shining or is it a sham?
Politicians distrusted all over the world
Are rich countries less corrupt?
Mayawati’s corruption cases
Corruption in slum development project in Maharashtra
Fight against corruption takes a small step forward

50 Comments leave one →
  1. Vipul permalink
    July 22, 2008 3:58 pm

    Hi Nita – Just read this. Found the figures staggering. India has more than 1x of its (recorded) GDP or 0.1x US GDP in swiss bank accounts!!?

  2. July 22, 2008 3:58 pm

    aargh. There was a news item in CNN IBN about an MP getting red carpet welcome. He is coming all the way from Jail. And he is convicted for MURDER !. There are 3 such MPs returning to Parliament just to vote.
    aaragh !!!

    Classic example of how law breaker is our law maker.
    and its the other way round too.

    Also another MP complaining that he did not understand nuclear deal
    If he did not even try readinfg the documents or any newspaper editorial, why the HELL is he an MP.

    Oh I am sorry, he might not have cleared his tenth.

    and to make things worse he is leading us.

  3. vivek mittal permalink
    July 22, 2008 4:00 pm

    I’m disappointed by BJP (More specifically with Mr Advani ) in this case, they say “we are not against the deal but would like to renegotiate it ” when they know nobody would wait for them to renegotiate …i firmly believe had Mr Vajpayee been the Leader of opposition, the stand of BJP would have been different

    Today 100% political parties and 95% politicians dont care for the country…though i’ve developed some respect for congress,as they decided to go ahead with the deal endangering their government..this is a rare example

    I used to admire politicians like Chandrababu Naidu, But he too instead of supporting the deal, is busy endorsing Mayawati as future PM..not even he, our dear left parties and Telangana party to…i would hate anyone who wants her to be PM

  4. July 22, 2008 4:05 pm

    The Swiss bank stats are shocking!

  5. July 22, 2008 4:13 pm

    A MP who has 150 trials against him in court, was heard saying to a leading news channel of India, that “Parties know, if they will come to bribe me, I will take the money and even after taking the money I will vote against them.” He also said, if the UPA could explain him what the deal is, as he does not know about it.

    I have written an artcle about it, if you feel, please put a link ““,

  6. vivek mittal permalink
    July 22, 2008 4:26 pm

    It’s a bonanza for regional parties, DMK is blackmailing Govt to push through setu samundram project,Mr Ajit singh got Lucknow airport renaimed, Mr Shibu soren gets his lost ministry..

    And regional parttis like Shiv sena who announced publically that they support the deal as it’s in national interest..but would vote against the deal (ie against the national interest)..they are the same party who went all the way to vote against their political compulsions to support congress in Presidential Elections because “they want a maharashtrian as president”

    they can go against their political compulsions to have a Maharashtrian as president but not for national interest

    Anyway, not to blame one, all are same

  7. vivek mittal permalink
    July 22, 2008 4:47 pm

    Mr sharad

    For “politicians” like Atiq Ahmed, politics is a means to safeguard them…….
    Interestingly Mr shibu soren of JMM had to resign when he was charged for again he will be getting his lost ministry….and sahabuddins and Pappu yadavs remind me of some of movies of Prakash Jha and Ramgopal verma.

  8. vivek mittal permalink
    July 22, 2008 5:12 pm

    @ Xylene

    Generally (but not always) i refrain from abusing the politicians that what kind of politicians are leading us…because we only elect them…if we elect them to lead us then why the hell are we complaining…

    it’s like running away from our responsibiity…on the day of voting most of the middle and upper class people dont go out to vote…mostly illetrate/less educated people go out for voting and they elect the politicians ……

    Also we cant complain that all the contestants are corrupt , there is a system of negative vote too in our democracy

  9. July 22, 2008 5:16 pm

    lol i think i should get one there too…
    well Where is our money going?

  10. July 22, 2008 5:21 pm

    A close friend working as an excise officer told us once that his department sends Rs. 15 crore daily to a certain politician (whom I will not name here) as commission of the bribes collected daily. I was aghast!
    I think the problem of corruption is bigger than all other problems, and it is linked to each of the other problems too. It is bigger than the BIG problem of the big population we have too, when we consider the rampant and huge (and sometimes even petty) corruption that exists within the family welfare program at every level.
    Your post should wake us up out of the complacency and nonchalance we take on when we hear of corruption.

  11. July 22, 2008 5:39 pm

    Nita, after the display of a crore of Rs in the Lok Sabha an hour before the trust vote what is left? It seems to be a battle between the two castetist parties of Uttar Pradesh. Mayawati and Amar Singh are the actors. I am ashamed and the BJP is definitely not above board. The timing is suspect and as a senior memeber of parliament Advani ji should have prevented this from happening in the Lok Sabha. If they wanted it to bring it to the public notice it should have taken place in the speakers chambers. Nobody is worried about the reputation of the Indian democracy. I am ashamed!

  12. vivek mittal permalink
    July 22, 2008 5:52 pm

    Politics in any country is the reflection of the society

    Indian society, is mainly less educated/illetrate, poor,more emotional, care less about country and care more about personal gains..

    so our politicians too are bound to do cheap politics…..Can any one imagine in US a party sweaping the elections by demolishing a structure?…but In India BJP swept Uttar Pradesh elections after demolshing babri masjid..

    In Tamlnadu, Karunanidhi and jayalalita are frequent inmates of jail but are still being selected as they are able to win elections by banking on regional sentiments of people

    Then there is cheap politics of Shiv sena/MNS in Maharashtra, and the “leaders” of the later are busy creating havoc in educational institutes, beating people, destroying property etc, because they are confident to get the support of people this way…Can we imagine this to happen in Japan?

    Lalu has converted Bihar into a hell but he will NEVER lose an election from there, as public there dont care for development

    Baseline- If politicians believe somehow that they will get support only by doing meaningful politics and not by doing cheap things….It will all change..Our society need to improve first

  13. wishtobeanon permalink
    July 22, 2008 6:07 pm

    Now, I know why the government ( or any of the political parties) does not try harder to make the country literate or educated or even prosper – they want to remain in power and if people are educated (in the real sense of the term), a corrupt political party would not have a chance.

  14. July 22, 2008 7:05 pm

    Hi Nita,

    A bit off topic.

    There is an apostophe in the link provided in the sentence “government _managed_ to get a list of account”.

    (Apostophe to be found at the end of the link)

  15. ram permalink
    July 22, 2008 7:47 pm

    It is the system that makes people corrupt
    there is no accountability and the state agencies who bow to their political masters have massive massive sweeping powers, they regularly use to their full personal advantage
    The DRI the ED, CBI and the ITdept etc are all tools of state control .Even parliamentarians are not spared – when they take an opposing stand. (not that they should be spared but they are untouchable )

    Why does corruption thrive ? overregulation that favors some over others – thanks to the discretionary powers of politicians and babus -remember we have the most repressive tax regime even in comparison to the us
    here an it officer can go back 7 yrs into ur records but can never do an assessment in a yrs time, there is 300% penalties and massive sweeping powers which give little to the state in terms of tax but more to the tax officers in terms of bribe. The it dept expects people to store documents for 10 yrs thanks to the ITR form.
    Acricultural rich are never taxed while they enjoy subsidy meant for the poor – and most politicians are agriculturists.

    When there was a big bear hug on reliance shares in the 90s dhirubhai managed to get the bear cartel broke by taking share delivery – financed by some isle of mann (another carribian tax haven ) account – the Fm then was i think pranab mukharji and he had said on the parliament floor – the funds were legal !

    Lastly swiss banks are ready to release the list of Indians who have swiss accounts but why doesnt the govt oblige?
    Fun thing is the poor man who earns sal below 5 lakhs pays tax – while most rich use the mauritius or singapore route

  16. ram permalink
    July 22, 2008 7:49 pm

    or the much touted p n route

  17. Ravi permalink
    July 22, 2008 8:06 pm

    I have got an idea why don’t we just boycott politicians and therefore elections… I know its not pragmatic but I was just wondering that something like this must happen then only …. even then the politicians do not change… LOL … what I m day dreaming? Phew!!! Hey it just came to my mind people who do not have decency, decorum and human values get into politics. Even if you call them bast**** they dont care they will just laugh off… or try this spit in their food and on their face in front of their wife and kids…I don’t think they would feel shame….LOL.. I think people who prepared for this stuff get into politics…I don’t know how india survives in this world without illiterate politicians.

  18. vikramvgarg permalink
    July 22, 2008 8:18 pm

    Nita, our politicians may have a lot of money but surely it is not in the billions. It wouldnt surprise me if most of the money was big businessmen and their ilk but you did not so much so as mention them in this article.

    Btw the World Bank Governance Indicators indicate that India as a whole is much less corrupt than Russia and China, although it has many corrupt institutions.

    For all of you who say that the government is keeping us illiterate, yes thats why they have built the IITs , IIMs etc. Please take a more rational few of things.

  19. July 22, 2008 8:22 pm

    Can any one imagine in US a party sweaping (sic) the elections by demolishing a structure?

    Vivek, USA has a different system of governance than India’s parliamentary system, but yes, Bush was re-elected in 2004 even after the fiasco called the Iraq war, which is quite comparable to your example above. Stupid people exist all over the world, and USA is no exception.

  20. Ravi permalink
    July 22, 2008 8:34 pm

    I know it that India is poor but not the indian people especially Indian politicians are billionaires.

  21. July 22, 2008 8:50 pm

    Nobody is worried about the reputation of the Indian democracy.// The reputation of Indian Democracy or its leaders has never been high
    Contrarily this is good change – and nothing is more effective than showing people the money ! ask don king
    It is always better that truth be shown to the people and naked display of note bundles is always effective.

    vivek both sides of the coin here are dirty so be fair
    the ncp and the congress and the left are no different either
    The spanish reconverted so many mosques to churches and the kings both christian and muslim had put taxes on non believers – in india the majority hindus are way more tolerant or babri would have happened a long time ago cause the main case has been going on for more than 50 yrs and don’t forget Rajiv Gandhis role in the whole babri affair, if the vhp and sangh wanted it demolished so did the congress and for worse reasons.

    Nita – it’s not them who is getting a chance to push the deal through
    hey has the govt ever kept a single channel of communication open ? they were so busy pleasing karat and co that they treated them as a chief opposition party so much so that they sidelined the bjp
    When the bjp had asked for a JPC on the nuke deal they made their own lilttle left congress committee

    Agreed we need more power but more importantly we need to conserve power more effectively, and use alternative resources like solar and wind energy – increasing prices here is the best thing when people dont care and when cos like logan advertise – who cares about fuel you can go Delhi Ahmadabad on a full tank. even the people in us save fuel these days by riding cycles etc

    The timing and the way the deal has been pushed through is very suspect and i have posted on it – remember nuke power aint the cheapest power and one has to also deal with nuclear waste which is a big issue worldwide europe has a Greens party specifically opposed to nuke power. and uranium is at a multi yr high ! and the aussi govt may not be that obliging!

  22. July 22, 2008 8:55 pm

    xylene – u said it!

  23. July 22, 2008 9:12 pm

    Vipul, I was astounded too but I think they must be true!

    Xylene, no depth that our MP’s can’t reach!

    Vivek M, I too am pretty disillusioned with the BJP. I think they should have voted in favour. But as you said they are all bad…and we citizens need to be better before they can become better.

    Vishesh, Sharad, Nikhil, and Ravi, thanks for your response.

    wishtobeanon, yeah, the politicians are gaining because of the illiterate majority no doubt and have no interest in improving literacy rates.

    VBR, thanks, I’ve made the correction.

    Vikram, the money is more than we imagine and as for business houses at least, I suspect they are the paymasters! But yes I do believe the politicians are mostly the takers although middlemen and agents who broker deals also take a lot of money, but these are small as compared to big business houses.

    Nomad, I am not surprised at the figures. Our black market economy is far larger than our real one.

    Prerna, they are doing it because the the majority of the people who will vote don’t care and may not even see the live debate. They think they can do anything because people like us who protest are in the minority.

    Ram, thanks for that detailed comment. You have brought out important points.

    Prax, I know there are disadvantages to the deal but I am still for it. I feel that despite the advantages we will still benefit. The fact that China and Pakistan are agaisnt the nuclear deal itself is significant, both countries we have been to war with. I believe Pakistan is very very upset though China is coming to terms with it. Why, there are strong lobbies even in the developed world against the deal and that really upsets me!! No one wants India to have it and I want India to have it. And frankly I trust and admire ex-President Kalam a hundred percent. He’s given the nod and that is what I care about.

    Amit, thanks.

  24. July 22, 2008 10:00 pm

    U had said in your last weekly summary that u will go easy this week and 2 posts on one day!!! LOL 😀 😀 But i guess what happened today in Parliament would make any sensible Indian citizen speak his/her mind. As Honorable Speaker rightly said Black Day indeed. I wonder why they do mud slinging when they all are already dirty? I m sure one day will come when Congress and BJP will form a coalition 😀 😀

  25. July 22, 2008 10:12 pm

    Reema, I have decided not to post tomorrow! 🙂 I am going to control myself!! 😀 I swear!! 🙂
    and about the coalition, you never know!!
    uh…I might post after midnight…that will make it day after, right? 🙂

    p.s. you need to pray for me so I have the self control. Is there an anti-virus injection for a blogging addiction I wonder!

  26. snippetsnscribbles permalink
    July 22, 2008 11:08 pm

    Boy! My jaws dropped at the Swiss Bank figures! and it says ‘COMBINED’ at that too…unimaginable!

    …and about the level our MPs stoop to is equally unimaginable, to say the least. Also, I was watching the Trust Vote this morning (our time) on NDTV. Apprently, some MPs have NOT voted correctly (!!) even with just YES and NO buttons clearly indicated. Goes to show how simple a language they can understand and follow rules clearly. Unarguably, we ourselves voted them. So no point blaming them!
    And they do look worse than children in a preschool!

  27. July 22, 2008 11:21 pm

    I guess we should categorize this as Political Humor or Daily Politics. I heard that news too about politicians saving their money in small less known countries. When the asylum is run by inmates, well I guess you know what happens !

  28. July 22, 2008 11:24 pm

    Also, I wanted to add – We didn’t bring anything to this world and will not take with us even a single paisa when we die. I guess saving trillions of dollars away somewhere and not use it at all is pretty pointless and foolish.

  29. July 22, 2008 11:42 pm

    I feel that politicians are just making fun of us. They are telling us that – Look. We will fool you. We will waste your hard earned money and you won’t be able to do anything. Its the most disgusting act a Nation can be forced to watch.
    Everyone is in for the deal but then also we have to see and bear the drama in our Parliament where the politicians accuse each other over an issue which is beneficial to the country.

  30. July 23, 2008 3:30 am

    $1456 billion! Wow ! Unbelievable – Perhaps a broad (and unfair) presumptuous generalization here but me thinks a big % of that has to do with some sort embezzlement going on by many many people for a long time – otherwise this staggering figure doesnt seem to add up.

  31. July 23, 2008 7:21 am

    Someone like Chandrababu Naidu is also seen opposing this deal. Nita, I completely agree when you say, “Frankly I am disillusioned with the BJP too as it’s clear that they are upset that it’s not them who is getting a chance to push the deal through. So like a petulant child they are opposing it and national interest can go jump.”

    And regarding $1456 billion in the Swiss Bank, I can see that it is each one of our hard earned money that is piled up there 😦 Indians are rich but India is poor!!

  32. July 23, 2008 7:31 am

    snippetsnscribbles, and so we can understand that they have no understanding of global politics and the nuclear deal. I doubt the MP’s have any idea what this deal can do for India on the global stage.

    Dinesh Babu, 🙂

    Amit, I think the politicians have underestimated the intelligence of quite a few people. They will pay for it when the elections come! (I hope)

    Arunk, yeah it must be over many years. But just take a simple jaguar deal…and the millions of rupees commission taken! Foreign companies also bribe shamelessly.

    Manoj, they were doing this because they wanted the government to fall. Shame on them all!!

  33. July 23, 2008 10:34 am

    Gripping political drama reaches its climax…….or has it?

    We should now wait for the new bed fellows (Cong – SP) to show us their histrionics.

    For many of us staying in co-operative housing societies this parliament session must have been remarkably similar to our society annual general meetings.

    Parliament is the macro level representation of what we are at a micro level.

    Would it be right to say – “We are like this only.”

  34. Sakhi permalink
    July 23, 2008 11:24 am

    @ Reema
    * I m sure one day will come when Congress and BJP will form a coalition *

    We need stable government and if this occurs atleast, woh log ek dusre ki taang khinch ke niche nahi utarenge! 🙂 🙂

  35. July 23, 2008 4:34 pm

    what i suspected is comming true
    first it was the garibi hatao then nregs miracle potion for poverty alleviation now it is the nuclear program –

    just came back from churchgate and saw big banners with baba and madam near mps canteen literally hinting that the nuke deal is an end to all our problems – somehow this nation will never improve

    ps i think i had speculated right they are grooming the baba for the gaddi sooner than expected cause his face on the
    poster was way bigger than his mothers and the pm – a first here !

  36. July 23, 2008 6:02 pm

    I like the title of your post. Nice Title.

    Following is Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s comment in the editorial published in the party mouthpiece, Saamana on Wednesday

    “The Left parties would not mind India becoming a ‘slave of China’ but would not tolerate the country becoming friendly with America”

    I think that is a very accurate description of the treacherous mindset of the Left parties.

  37. July 23, 2008 6:16 pm

    Awww enough control. Its been like 2 days. Now post a new post. 😛 😀 😀

  38. July 23, 2008 6:17 pm

    @Sakhi LOL 😀

  39. July 23, 2008 6:58 pm

    Exellent information, Nita!
    Swiss banks are indeed a good refference for the corrupt money.

  40. July 23, 2008 9:44 pm

    One of the hyperlinks in this post took me to an EconomicTimes report on how ‘the German govt has managed……..”

    What surprises me the most is…. why there has been no hue & cry by the Indian TV news channels, on the matter of ‘lack of response’ on part of the Indian Govt!!


  41. July 23, 2008 10:36 pm

    Mavin, I would prefer to say we enjoy being like this only!

    Prax, its all propaganda for the aam admi! the next general election will tell us if its successful.

    RK, yes but its sad that the BJP forced the Sena to vote against the nuclear deal.

    Reema, I have followed your instructions ma’am!! 🙂

    Axinia, thanks.

    Rahul, even I thought of this, why its not been highlighted. I think the media could have been silenced or to be kinder to them, they knew nothign would come off their making a hue or cry of it. The govt. is not going to ever allow it.

  42. Saran permalink
    July 24, 2008 12:36 am

    How authentic is Swiss report? Are we getting misled?

  43. July 24, 2008 3:32 pm

    AW, I am still in shock and I keep coming back to this post. We are not a poor country, in fact all our money is in Swiss Banks.

  44. July 24, 2008 8:16 pm

    I think Corruption is becoming more like an addiction. First you take some money, you are not satisfied. You think, maybe ill be happier taking more. Take more, and still not happy. This never ending cycle follows you like liquor or smoking till the previous day of your death! Perhaps it takes a life time for everyone to understand the ‘other side’ of addictions like these. Instead of having a crude idea like ‘if i make more money, ill be more happier’, hope people get more sensible.

    Destination Infinity.

  45. July 24, 2008 9:53 pm

    Saran, your guess is as good as mine but actually I can believe the figures. Almost every deal in India is tainted. Also as vikram pointed out earlier there is money from other sources too, as a lot of people in India don’t pay all their taxes. even professionals don’t! also political funding in india is all under the table, the party funds are often in swiss banks. the black money in india they say far exceeds its gdp. but still, yes, the figures could be wrong, I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the news article.

    Nomad, our list of real billionnaires will all politicians!!

    Destination Infinity, i know what you mean. Also, its so common that people simply don’t think of it as wrong anymore! everyone is doing it and its as if that makes it right!

  46. September 17, 2008 3:31 pm

    The Swiss Bankers Association has never published such a report giving the statistics used by Mr. Naman Sood for his outrageous and irresponsible allegations. Please ask Mr. Sood to identify his source precisely.
    James Nason
    Head of International Communications
    Swiss Bankers Association


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