14 February, 2015


[In reply to a FB Comment for Cops say Teesta pocketed crores, bought booze, shoes; she denies – The Times of India

There is no doubt that Guiarat police is heavily biased and thoroughly communalized. Anyone espousing the cause of Muslims is therefore persona non grata for them. If they have stooped to kill, they can do anything to please their political masters.

Having said that I am reluctant to comment on this current case. Indeed, I declined to appear on Arnab’s show yesterday precisely because I do not have facts with me. Teesta, unfortunately, does not maintain very cordial relations with fellow activists. And that also widens the information gap. Nor are the activists properly networked and well-knit.

But charges such as these are rather grave. I hope that they are false and fabricated. Even if true, I hope, they are merely acts of bad accounting and administrative indiscretion. But most certainly they are unpardonable if true.

Financial integrity is sine qua non for organizations and activists that raise money from people. Sadly some of us do fall prey to this indiscretion. Indeed, I distanced from a famous activist who once was very close to me, almost solely because of her financial bungling, which resulted into our famous separation.

Teesta’s detractor and bete noire is her one time lieutenant, a Muslim, she empowered and trusted, Raees Khan. After they fell apart, he is the one who has been creating hell for her. He has been playing in the hands of BJP

In a day’s life passionate people and activists do many things in a hurry. They own up their organizations and missions so much that they give up their all, and so often fail to maintain administrative and accounting distinction in good faith.

They do so much work, often with so little staff, that sophisticated accounting and transfers become practically difficult. Plus our god-dam laws are so impractical that violation becomes more of a norm. It is very easy for authorities bent upon harassing an activist to do so. And in her case Modi himself has scores to settle.

My own financial probity, procedure and transparency are legendary and often a cause of pain for my staff. Yet if you are hell bent upon painting me a fraud I am sure a hundred instances can be found out – from overwriting to minor wrong accounting. And if my own aides work against me they can actually get me trapped into technical irregularities and then report them against me. How much can you ensure in a busy day? And a supplicant media picks up such tit-bits out of context and screams: ACTIVIST CAUGHT RED HANDED.. NGO COMMITS FRAUDS.. But if you are honest and consider the totality of the situation one might laugh off such ridiculous charges. But who will?

I earnestly wish that this lady who deserves the nation’s salute for her courage and convictions, for her untiring efforts, for her secularism and compassion.. comes clean out of this mess. I so wish she does.

And yes, regardless of the truth of these allegations you bet the Gujarat cops are acting sheerly out of vendetta. Their unseemly haste, unprecedented efficiency and inexplicable focus are hard to miss.

Notice that simultaneously in Gujarat fake encounter and other communally-charged cops are being released, major financial fraud and scamsters are going Scot free but hapless NGOs are being mercilessly harassed.

I understand that they have also seized the computer ofCedric Prakash, a fellow activist and trustee on Teesta Setalvad‘s board. They will do every thing to ‘punish’ all Modi detractors.

My turn some day!

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