In several instances recently, it appears that the Government has lied to the people. The most recent cases include the press conference of the Finance Minister on black money and the Government’s affidavit in the Supreme on the appointment of the CVC.


The Government seems to be attempting to justify its indefensible actions and inaction. It is inexplicable why the Prime Minister and the Home Minister insisted on the appointment of Mr. P J Thomas, as CVC, and this, in the face of protestations by the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha.  Even assuming that they were unaware of the case pending against Mr. Thomas, prudence demands that the PM and HM give some reason of why they continued with the appointment when adverse opinion was placed before them. Equally intriguing is the fact, as informed by the Government to the Apex court that the minutes of the meeting to appoint the CVC do not have any details of what transpired.


In the ‘Black money’ press conference, the FM was at pains to justify the refusal of the Government to disclose names of Indians with black money, given to it by the German Government. His justification was that such disclosure would violate the ‘Double taxation avoidance agreements’ [DTAA].


In both cases, Government spokespersons went to great lengths to defend these actions. An editor of a leading newspaper was seen on ‘Times Now’ TV channel broadcast on 27 Jan 2011, questioning the airing of the program on the grounds that it amounts to attempt to influence the Supreme Court.


The Devil has been called ‘The Father of Lies’. He has also been described as, cunning. It requires cunning intelligence to tell lies and get away with it. More often than not, one’s bluff is called, when the liar is exposed. It only the foolish and the foolhardy that would attempt to tell lies all the time. They are foolish enough to imagine that everyone could be fooled all the time. Nothing else explains the conduct of the personalities mentioned here.


If the PM and the HM were not aware of the case pending against the CVC, they show themselves as incompetent. If they were aware, they come out as lying to the people and the Apex court.


The DTAA is a poor defence for non-disclosure of black money account holders’ names. DTAA is meant for avoidance of tax in one country if tax is paid in another by the same party having business or earning income in both countries. It does not apply to income obtained by crime. If the FM knew this, he was trying to fool the people. If he knew it, and still used DTAA, as the justification, then that was a blatant lie.


This Government and an ex-corporate chief are promoting an identification scheme, the UID project, as one intended to benefit the poor. They pretend that the lack of identity is the reason why they do not receive welfare benefits. They claim that UID would prevent leakages of subsidies, by things like, de-duplicating ration cards. This too is a lie. As is now clear, from the murder of the government official who raided a kerosene dealer, there is a Mafia operating in PDS. It does not require much acumen to realise that UID would not prevent Mafia activity.  


Next, why do the spokespersons and some in the media, like the editor mentioned here, indulge in the same game? One reason could be ignorance. If so, they would be well advised to seek to update their knowledge before continuing in their current vocations. If not they too suffer from the malady of lying behavior.


The motivations could be different, but the end result is the same. Lying does not pay, except in the very short term and that too is doubtful.


Would it be too much to request those in public life to stop imitating the Devil?