Indian Decade

A Sad, Deafening Silence

India’s government is staying unhelpfully quiet about a stream of allegations over corruption.

Sometime towards the end of last year, it really did seem that all the whistleblowing and rabble rousing over the myriad corruption scandals our country faces would result in something constructive. We hoped that we were inching towards a tipping point and that some things might actually change.

But today, despite the much-delayed and almost tragic-comic investigation into the Commonwealth Games scam—and with a former union minister having cooled his heels in a state prison over the 2G spectrum scandal—our officials still don’t seem able to control themselves.

Sadly, if you believe inferences made in cables revealed in the recent WikiLeaks controversy over alleged vote buying by the ruling Congress Party, it's not just Indians that seem to think everyone can be bought off—other countries have noticed too.  

We might have one of the smartest politicians in the world leading our country, but to most of us he’s an absentee academic—more an abstract thought than a relevant theory we can live by. When it feels like you have nobody to lead you, dealing with the monumental problems that I’ve often talked about can seem an even more daunting task.

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.

Communication is essential in leadership, but has been sorely lacking in India. Despite the incessant attacks the ruling coalition has faced over allegations of corruption, there has been virtual silence on the part of its leaders. As senior journalist Barkha Dutt's noted so well in her recent column, the sound of the government’s silence is becoming deafening.