Indian Express

Graft issue blown out of proportion: Pitroda

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Sam Pitroda Sam Pitroda

The UPA government spent $2 billion on knowledge network, $7 billion on connecting panchayats and $20 billion on moderninsing courts, police and other institutions but people are not recognizing the work, the chairman of national innovation council Sam Pitroda said here Saturday.

“Corruption is blown out of proportion, corruption is a way of life. Everybody is corrupt, US is corrupt, China is corrupt, Japan is corrupt. We can’t stop everything because of corruption,” Pitroda said in the course of a media interaction.

The chairman of the innovation council criticised the lack of response from civil society to the banning of Wendy Doniger’s book, The Hindus – An alternative history. “We need freedom of information, when nobody speaks, I worry,” he said. He questioned why Indians cannot take criticism of Hinduism when the religion is powerful and centuries old.

Commenting on the forthcoming elections he said that the UPA would come back to power. He said that many people had written off the Congress in 2004 as well. To a question on BJP’s confidence going into the 2014 elections he said: “A good media campaign does not translate to votes.”

He also said that India need not aim to be a superpower when there are 300 million hungry people. The country needs water and infrastructure more than the status of superpower, he said.

In 1760, India was the largest economy in the world and had a share of 27% of the world economy from which it fell to 2% of the world economy after British left the nation in tatters in 1947, he said.

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