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  Message 26194 of 26194  |  Previous | Next  [ Up Thread ] Message Index
 
 Msg #
From:  marswalker108
Date:  Tue Sep 3, 2002  7:36 pm
Subject:  The Politicians In His Backyard: A Sequel


To All devotees,

In March of 2001 I wrote about the Indian news Web site Tehelka.com
exposing gross corruption at the highest levels of government in
India and thus nearly bringing Prime Minister Vajpayee's coalition
down. (Please read my post #13506 including extracts from the DALLAS
MORNING NEWS.) The importnat and widely read financial newspaper, the
WALL STREET JOURNAL (Aug 28, p b10) recently ran an article regarding
the persecution by the Indian govt. leveled against Tehelka.com and
other journalists criticizing the government.

This is extremely significant as many high officials of the Indian
govt have been at Sathya Sai Baba's feet many times. Furthermore, SSB
has indicated that as the "Golden Age" begins, India will lead the
other nations of the world in positive change and transformation.

Extracts from the WALL STREET JOURNAL article by Scott Newman follows:

NEW DELHI-A news team that nearly bought down India's government last
year with an explosive expose' of corruption in politics is now
itself on the verge of collapse-a victim, some media watchdogs and
journalists say, of a new eagerness of Indian authorities to stifle
critical journalism.

In march last year, the Indian news Web site Tehelka.com blew the lid
off corruption at the very top levels of government in India with a
hidden camera sting operation. The Web site's journalists posed as
arms dealers who were ready to pay for help in securing military
contracts. Numerous senior army officers, top politicians and
government bureaucrats were caught on tape either accepting bribes or
discussing the details of payment.

Amid the pulic outrage that ensued, senior members of the government
of Prime Minister Atal Biharj Bajpayee and its coalition parties
resigned. Among them: Defense Minister George Fernandes and the chief
of Mr. Fernandes' Samata party, Jaya Jaitley.

But a lot has changed in a year: Mr. Fernandes has his old job back,
and Ms. Jaitley remains a senior leader of the Samata Party.
Meanwhile, two of Tehlka's journalists have been arrested, and police
and other authorities have raided its offices and those of its
financial backers several times. The first raid, by income-tax
agents, came 10 days after Tehelka released its story.

One of the Tehelka journalists, who is still being held, has been
charged with illegal poaching of animals. Tehlka denies the charges
and says the reporter was working on an investigative report into the
illegal trade in animal skins.............

Tehelka's editor, Tarun Tejpal, characterizes the actions taken
against his group and its backers as "a massive vendetta campaign"
that has hit them hard financially. He says the Web site's staff has
shrunk to about 20 people from 120. "Of those [who] are left, not one
has been paid a salary in six months." he says.

No doubt, the bursting of the Internet bubble may have contributed to
Tehelka's financial troubles, but many fellow journalists see more to
it than that.

"It's gotten to the stage where no journalist in this coungtry can
sit back and allow them to do what they're doing to Tehelka," says
Vir Sanghvi, editor of the leading English-language daily, the
Hindustan Times. "The level of persecution is phenomenal."

This major scandal in India and now the persecution of investigative
journalists should be a red flag for us all. When is SSB going to
clean up his own back yard? Hasn't SSB left a legacy of many broken
promises? Isn't it pass time to realize our delusion?

Best wishes, Dennis


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