By Irfan Iqbal Gheta on November 16, 2012
Clean chits, these days, are flying thick and fast. Some clean chits are accepted and other are viewed with suspicion. It all depends on who is issuing clean chits and to whom. Clean chits have never been in such a huge demand before.
And the people who issue these clean chits? The less said about them the better.
S Gurumurthy, the CA and finance expert, has been in the news for issuing a clean chit to Nitin Gadkari. The kind of euphoria his clean chit has generated borders on cacophony. The purpose seems simply to attack both the accused and his hapless defender at any cost.
It is appalling to see the media running a kangaroo court and being least bothered with checking the authenticity of the charges. Once it pronounces someone guilty, the media never takes back its judgement even though evidence against the accused may suggest otherwise.
S Gurumurthy is a thoroughly harassed man nowadays. In the eyes of some, he has committed the grave sin of coming to the rescue of BJP’s party president Nitin Gadkari. When accused of corruption and shoddy dealings involving his Purti Group, Gadkari expressed his willingness to undergo any fair probe so that his innocence may be proved beyond doubt.
S Gurumurthy, therefore, was brought in to investigate Gadkari and his Purti Group. After a professional probe, Gurumurthy concluded that there was no evidence to substantiate the corruption charges against the man in the dock.
Little did Gurumurthy know that this conclusion will be termed a ‘clean chit’ and will end up giving him sleepless nights. Gadkari’s detractors are busy hauling Gurumurthy over the coals. They have been subjecting him and his clean chit to various cross examinations. What they intend to prove is that this clean chit given to Nitin Gadkari is not fair, partial and not transparent enough.
Vindictiveness crossed all limits when Gurumurthy’s tweet landed him in a soup and he was forced to delete it since some mischief mongers (read mediapersons) chose to misinterpret it and tried to rake up a whole new controversy. The beleaguered CA found himself pushed to the wall with no one coming to his rescue.
Recently, the Haryana Government also issued a clean chit — Robert Vadra was declared innocent of all the charges against him that had followed the unearthing of an illegal land-grabbing scam. The Haryana Government went one step further and ordered the transfer of an honest IAS officer Ashok Khemka for doing nothing more than performing his duty. Khemka was punished for standing up to the powers that be.
This particular clean chit, curiously enough, never came under scrutiny. Quite the opposite in fact, there was a palpable sense of relief when the clean chit arrived. Everybody accepted and welcomed this clean chit with open arms as if everything were hunky-dory between DLF and Robert Vadra from the start.
How short the public memory is! The amnesia is surprising given the fact that these so-called conscience keepers turn a blind eye to one clean chit while at the same time subjecting the other clean chit to this much ‘scrutiny’ (read witch-hunting).
It is abundantly clear that as far as Gurumurthy’s clean chit to Gadkari is concerned, the media is asking for a clean chit on Gurumurthy’s ability, expertise and position to issue a clean chit? This is theatre of the absurd at its best where instead of going after the real issues, the artificial ones are manufactured and the manufacturers themselves go after these so-called important issues with missionary zeal.
Even as people watch S Gurumurthy issuing denials and clarifications right and left with growing dismay and cynicism, the fact that is emerging clearly is if this is what media gets up to time and again, in the days to come it will be the media itself that will be in dire need of clean chits. Maybe at that time very few will be around to issue clean chits to it as the term ‘clean chit’ has become a cliche and sadly lost all its meaning.