Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fratricide Most Foul

It’s scary, indeed it is: the hold of criminals over politicians, and vice versa; to kill adversaries and silence the policing authorities. The underbelly of this Indian phenomenon came fully into the open recently, and the reverberations in the press haven’t died down so far. It’s so awful it’s depressing, and takes away one’s cherished dreams of living in one of the world’s functioning democracies with some amount of fairness built into its systems. It’s something that would make most law-abiding, peace-loving citizen hang their heads in shame.

A prominent politician – a former minister of the state of Maharashtra – allegedly paid goons to kill his cousin, his own cousin brother – amounting to fratricide. Now, another fratricide happened recently in Maharashtra; a while ago another prominent politician was allegedly murdered in cold blood by his own blood brother. At the root of both these feuds is money, which has been unscrupulously accumulated from shady business deals. And in the annals of Indian politics it’s no surprise that a politician has resorted to help from goons to settle scores with a close associate. It shows the extent of corruption to which Indian politicians have descended without shame or hesitation, and it doesn't look like it's redeemable in any way. As an Indian, this blogger is so inured to events such as this, but is blogging about this incident nevertheless because it makes him nauseous.

It’s a curious case. This is an example of a law-maker allegedly giving money to a few law-breakers to kill his cousin brother, a member of a rival party, while at the same time keeping the policemen from investigating the murder. The killers who allegedly accepted money to do the killing have squealed to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI, the Indian FBI), but since it’s been three years since the police have been side-tracking the investigation, all evidence has been wiped out as the car used in executing the murder has been gutted, evidence destroyed. Does one smell complicity here? Even the competent CBI is at a loss to establish their case.

The politician allegedly not only hired goons to kill his own cousin, but also orchestrated the police machinery into not proceeding in the murder investigation, when the needle of suspicious pointed at him. Why? He is a prominent politician belonging to a party now in power, and he allegedly was also the right hand man of another power-wielder in the central coalition government. There’s something called the “old boy network” in these parties and they together decided that their “old boy” should not be investigated. All this happened despite the fact that the man he killed belonged to another party in the coalition dispensation in power.

Thanks to the slain man’s wife’s and son’s persistence the case was handed over to the CBI (the FBI of India) and the whole messy saga of skulduggery is now out in the open. One also wonders whether anything will really come of it as in another case a prominent politician was exonerated in a similar case because of the delay in investigation. He was implicated in the murder of a close associate – his private secretary.

Whoever said power corrupts absolutely was right on the mark!

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