TWO high profile persons were convicted recently of financial impropriety. The aspiring potential chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Ms. Sasikala, was found guilty of corruption by the Indian Supreme Court and ordered to surrender and serve a four-year jail term. An even more high profile conviction was that of Vice Chairman of Samsung Group Jay Y. Lee. A few days ago video footage on a news channel of a factory owner mercilessly beating two children for petty larceny and then handing them over to the police got me thinking. I have never seen any crooks among the rich and powerful being hauled off to pay for their acts of omission and commission.
In our country, it is only the dispossessed, the poor and the weak who have to face justice as they are unable to buy their way out. Witnesses in cast iron cases develop amnesia, recant their testimony or simply disappear. Even apprehended murder culprits disappear to surface in other countries happy to host them and this nation’s robbed assets. To perpetuate corruption, a significant number of heads of important national institutions are selected purely on nepotism. Our elite particularly those in the corridors of power thrive on this system. It seems the system has been cultivated to serve and protect them. While they may snipe at each other, self-preservation and maintaining the status quo seem to be the order of the day.
Dr. Mervyn Hosein