Sunday, December 6, 2009

Politics and the art of making money

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    • Politics and the art of making money
      By MV Kamath
    • Andhra Pradesh has been liberally spending government money for construction of churches and mosques and subsidies to Christian and Muslim pilgrimages and grants for marriages among the ‘minority communities. Reddy, it is necessary to say, was a Christian. Some Rs 10.8 lakh were given to 12 churches in Chittoor district, Rs 20 lakh to 20 churches in Kurnool district, Rs 29 lakh to 27 churches in Guntur district and in all over Rs one crore to 188 churches in the state. Is that secularism?
    • So much has been written about Madhu Koda. As Chief Minister of Jharkhand, a predominantly tribal state, he apparently made over Rs 4,000 crore which sounds unbelievable considering that Koda is a tribal, lacking financial sophistication and high education. How did he make his fortune?
    • Could a simple tribal have done that all on his own? One requires highly knowledgeable mentors to advise on how to make massive and worldwide financial commitments. Who are these mentors who guided Koda in indulging in questionable deals around the world? If a mere tribal who was once dismissed as a simpleton could amass over Rs 4,000 crores, one must take a fresh look at tribal leaders in all their professed innocence.
    • But Koda is not an exception. What comes as a shock-and a vastly greater shock-is the amount amassed by the late YS Rajasekhar Reddy during his five-year rule in Andhra Pradesh. The total value of his assets comes to nearly Rs 10,000 crore which makes Koda’s assets chicken feed.
    • the Government of Andhra Pradesh has been managing and administering temples and other places of Hindu worship, but not mosques and churches. Why this discrimination? A temple is a private institution. If its authorities misuse funds it is for the public to take action. Even more annoying is the fact that many of the government-appointed temple administrators are non-Hindus, as if Hindus cannot be trusted. According to Chowdary-and there is no reason to question his credibility-"some of the non-Hindus are colluding with the predators of Hindus, namely evangelists and missionaries, to alienated the properties of temples to facilitate evangelism in and around Hindu temples".

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