Journalist Raising Funds to Expose Corruption in Modi Regime

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. Screen grab.
Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. Screen grab.

Now it is being observed that India has become a kakistocracy where the government is under the control of the worst, least qualified, and most unscrupulous people. ~ Rakesh Raman

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By Rakesh Raman

As corruption is now at its peak in India and the government is blatantly attacking freedom of the press, a journalist is soliciting donations from public for his forays aimed to expose the cases of bureaucratic and political corruption.

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, who was the editor of the Economic and Political Weekly, has started a fundraiser on a crowdfunding site with #WeDeserveToKnow hashtag.

The online initiative to raise funds is supposed to be in response to the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is suppressing the voice of the media and scuttling all corruption investigations in which BJP politicians are involved.

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Recently, for example, with the court’s help BJP targeted a news site The Wire which had reported about an alleged corruption scandal involving Jay Amit Shah, the son of BJP chief Amit Shah.

A former Indian minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said that his party has “lost the moral high ground” in the Shah case.

In an interview with a local TV channel NDTV, Sinha also said the defamation case that Jay Amit Shah has decided to file against The Wire is an attempt by the BJP to “suppress the voice of the media.”

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Despite Modi’s claims of weeding out corruption from the country, corruption is increasing rapidly in India. A new “Freedom in the World 2017” report – released by Freedom House, a Washington-based independent watchdog organization – highlights rampant political and bureaucratic corruption in India. It reveals that corruption has a negative effect on government efficiency and economic performance.

“Though politicians and civil servants at all levels are regularly caught accepting bribes or engaging in other corrupt behavior, a great deal of corruption goes unnoticed and unpunished,” the report said in its findings.

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As traditional media is totally controlled by the Modi government, most corruption cases do not get reported. “Most media houses now are either owned or controlled by those who are direct beneficiaries of this crony business culture,” Thakurta said in his message.

He has set a goal to raise Rs. 6,000,000 from the crowdfunding project, although it is not clear what he will do with this huge money. It will not be possible for him to make even an iota of impact on the increasing corruption because corruption has become the lifeblood of Indian bureaucrats and politicians.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a government’s National award-winning journalist and social activist. He has formed an environment-protection group called Green Group in Delhi. Earlier, he had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development. He also runs a free school for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

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In today’s media world controlled by corporates and politicians, it is extremely difficult for independent editorial voices to survive. Raman Media Network (RMN) News Service has been maintaining editorial freedom and offering objective content for the past more than 12 years despite enormous pressures and extreme threats. In order to serve you fearlessly in this cut-throat world, RMN News Service urges you to support us financially with your donations. You may please click here and choose the amount that you want to donate. Thank You. Rakesh Raman, Editor, RMN News Service.

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