For the first time ever, leading luminaries from India have joined hands and issued an open appeal to the leaders of our country to speak out against the culture of corruption which has all but swamped our nation
The voice of outrage was only getting louder and louder, but this has to be one of the biggest blows to the UPA government.
Some of the most respected voices in India have spoken up against rampant corruption now, and have urged the government to bring a fast and effective end to widespread corruption in the country.
Renowned corporate personalities and public figures have addressed an open letter to political leaders and government authorities.
The signatories include Mr Jamshyd Godrej, Justice Sam Variava, Prof M Narasimham; Mr Yezdi Malegam; Ms Anu Aga; Dr A Vaidyanathan, Dr Bimal Jalan, Mr Keshub Mahindra, Mr Deepak Parekh, Mr N Vaghul, Mr Azim Premji, Mr Nachiket Mor, Justice B N Srikrishna and Dr Ashok Ganguly, as a small group of like-minded citizens who are concerned with the general deterioration in the overall value system of the nation, have released an Open Letter to the Leaders of the Country.
Identifying themselves as "a fraction of a very large number of Indians" who are concerned with the "general deterioration in the overall value system of the nation", these eminent personalities have urged the government to address two prevalent malaises-governance deficit and corruption-which has led to the chaos that prevails today in public life.
The letter says, "Our aim is to try and rise above the present clamour and seek a more confident and purposeful national environment. We should not allow India's huge growth potential and poverty alleviation challenges to be diluted or digressed from; otherwise it would be a great loss, especially to the poor and the dispossessed."
The letter says that "lack of governance" has affected "every sphere of national activity"; and decisions have become increasingly influenced by unwanted influences.
While the Judiciary has given people hope, it is also necessary to create "genuinely independent and constitutionally-constituted regulatory bodies, manned by persons who are judicially trained in the concerned field."
On the issue of corruption, the letter says, "The institution of Lok Ayuktas, vested with adequate powers, would go a long way in effecting the needed correction, as is evident from the example of Karnataka. There is a need for every State to have effective and fully empowered Lok Ayuktas and indeed for early introduction of the Lok Pal Bill at the national level, for the purpose of highlighting, pursuing and dealing with corruption issues and corrupt individuals. Apart from speedily installing independent Lok Ayuktas, it is essential that their investigative agencies and law-enforcing bodies should be made independent of the Executive."
The letter adds, "(The) time is overdue for India's elected representatives to distinguish between dissent and disruption," and "elected legislators and leaders must acknowledge and demonstrate their collective role in restoring a sense of purpose in national institutions." The letter also mentions that the benefits of growth are not reaching the poor, and Centre-state conflicts on serious environmental concerns have impeded economic development, which has proven counterproductive for the nation. "We believe that through urgent, concerted action in which we are ready to lend a hand, positive change can be achieved", the signatories have said.
The defence strategy of the scam-tainted government, as usual, has been to shift the blame on others and point fingers at the protestors. But when the questions come from some of the most respected figures who have established their reputation through commendable public work, it will be difficult for our politicians to challenge their integrity or shirk their responsibility.
Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) reported a jump of 10.78% in net profit for the December quarter at Rs840.63 crore.
The infrastructure major had a net profit of Rs758.82 crore in the October-December quarter last fiscal, L&T said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
Total income also rose to Rs11,413.08 crore in the third quarter ended 31 December 2010 against Rs8,145.61 crore in the corresponding quarter last fiscal, it added.
On Monday, L&T ended 1.65% down at Rs1,681.15 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex closed 0.12% up at 18,882.25 points.
Private lender Axis Bank Ltd on Monday said its net profit jumped 35.88% to Rs891.36 crore for the quarter ended 31 December 2010.
The Bank had a profit of Rs655.98 crore in the corresponding period of the 2009-10 fiscal, Axis Bank said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
During the October-December period, the Bank's total income stood at Rs4,986.02 crore, up from Rs3,871.74 crore in the same period of 2009.
On Monday, Axis Bank ended 2.18% up at Rs1,227.55 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex closed 0.12% up at 18,882.25 points.