It’s that time when messengers get shot.
Deven Sharma, chief of S&P was fired for having been CEO when the US was downgraded from AAA. While it’s strange to have the US – which can print dollars – downgraded on dollar debt, the US debt ceiling makes a default possible. (The only way you can print to pay back debt is by issuing new debt that the Fed purchases instead of the other party; but with a debt ceiling, the new debt cannot be issued if it is violated)
Yesterday, Stella-Savva Balfousia, a Greek Budget expert was fired for having said that Greece’s debt had run out of control.
Shehla Masood, an environmentalist, was shot in her car in Bhopal on Aug 16, after what is alleged was her RTI activism and revealing of mining irregularities.
Team Anna – not necessarily messengers but those that rose up against the government – were targeted. Kiran Bedi has a privilege motion against her for allegedly teasing politicians. Arvind Kejriwal has been asked to pay Rs. 9 lakh by the I-T department because of a bond he signed, saying he would work for three years after taking what seems to be a paid two year study leave from 2000 to 2002. He did stay for 3.5 years, but took a two year unpaid holiday in the middle, which muddies the waters.
However the merits of the above cases may be, it’s evident that the actions are vindictive in nature. They will serve the purpose of warning anyone who blows the whistle, that they *will* hurt you.
After all it is a greater crime to distrust than it is to do actions that invite that distrust in the first place.
My view: Look, I don’t agree with everything these people had to say, but I support their right to say it fearlessly. In the case of Team Anna, I even got the impression that they didn’t like dissent, and some “followers” told me that either you’re with us or corrupt. That attitude aside, the petty actions of the government are unacceptable. We must fight for every single instance, and especially so in the case of the RTI activist murders.
(Live post. Please give me more instances).