As experts and journalists grappled with the shockingly low figure of Rs 9,407 crore that the government could generate from the auction of 2G spectrum, and put their minds to discerning if it was due to a genuine mistake by the government (in setting the high reserve price of Rs 12,850 crore) or because of a cartelisation of telecom players who ganged up to foil the government’s money-churning plan; information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari and TV media’s favourite general secretary Digvijay Singh were back to the press areas with their wicked half-smiles taking potshots at the comptroller and auditor general Vinod Rai.
“Will the CAG Vinod Rai now reconsider his estimate of the loss,” said Singh. Tewari went a step further and asked the main opposition BJP to apologise to the nation for making such a big issue of the CAG’s estimated loss figure (Rai had said that if the auction route had been followed for allocation of the 2G spectrum then the national exchequer would have gained Rs 1.76 lakh crore).
These eager-beaver’s alacrity in taking on their rivals which they have honed to incisive deftness over years, their acerbity alchemised to a deadly perfection, have only weakened the case of an embattled Manmohan Singh government by failing to tell a constitutional authority from political opponents. Even if we assume the government did not deliberately spoil the auction, their wicked half-smiles and potshots at the CAG give surely credence to the suspicion.
So in case Manmohan Singh when he so famously talked about the “animal spirit” meant this predatory nature of governance, how sad it is! Instead of cleaning the muck, you take aim at those who have pointed it out or have a problem with it. And touchwood, if Singh is a saint and the 2G spectrum auction fiasco is just a genuine error, why does a saint need/allow goblins to do the talking? Unless you come to think of it, goblins are so handy: they can go around teasing anybody and everybody. Once they tease the wrong person, they can always be disowned and in case they tease the right person, we can always pat their backs.