Steal a little, but don't loot- Indian minister sparks outcry

Published: August 12, 2012
Email
Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav told officials that they can steal a little of public money if they work hard but they should not behave like dacoits. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE.

Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav told officials that they can steal a little of public money if they work hard but they should not behave like dacoits. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE.

LUCKNOW: A minister in India’s most populous and politically crucial state, Uttar Pradesh, has said bureaucrats can steal a little as long as they work hard – sparking national outcry in a country whose ruling class has long been mired in corruption scandals.

“If you work hard, and put your heart and soul into it … then you are allowed to steal some,” Shivpal Singh Yadav told a gathering of local officials in comments caught on camera. “But don’t be a bandit.”

The comments on Thursday were caught by a local TV camera and then played on newscasts across the country. Yadav, a minister for public works who belongs to the state’s ruling Samajwadi Party, quickly sought to control the damage, calling a news conference to explain that the comments had been taken out of context and that he had been discussing how to combat corruption.

“In that event the media was not allowed in, I don’t know how they sneaked in. And if they had sneaked in, the whole discussion should have come out in the press, not just part of it,” he said on Friday.

Uttar Pradesh, which is bigger than Brazil by population, was earlier governed by ‘Dalit Queen’ Mayawati. She has been criticized for spending millions of rupees on building statues of herself and buying diamond jewelry despite widespread malnutrition and poverty in her state.

Yadav’s nephew is Akhilesh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister, who came to power earlier this year proclaiming an end to corruption in the state.

Foreign-educated Akhilesh Yadav, who is state’s youngest chief minister, had projected himself as an agent of change, even though members of his party have been involved in criminal investigations.

Last year, millions of middle-class urban Indians protested against corruption swirling around the government. But even though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government has been mired in massive graft scandals the anti-corruption protests have now lost momentum.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (17)

  • Khan101
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:08PM

    * its happens only in india *

    Recommend

  • Held-Kashmiri
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:04PM

    @Khan101
    Man I was going to write the exact same line!! :)

    Recommend

  • Zalim Singh
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:29PM

    lol

    Recommend

  • Sultan Khan
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:43PM

    The poor Indian Minister doesn’t realize that ‘a little’ is a vague term. For him 100 rupees may be ‘ a little’ but for the corrupt ones even 100,000 rupees may not be ‘ a little’. So he must quantify ‘ a little’.

    Recommend

  • GG
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:16PM

    @Zalim Singh: You can only laugh on such news! If someone from Pakistan would have said that the same thing you would have labeled him and Pakistan with as many rubbish nouns as you would find in the dictionary!

    Recommend

  • Truth
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:32PM

    It reminds me one of Pakistan Ex. minister Abdul Qayyum Jatoi as well that all parties should get their fair share in corruption.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtTRA_h3DA0

    Recommend

  • Southasian
    Aug 12, 2012 - 8:19PM

    He is Abdul Quam Jatoi of India claiming corruption as right :)

    Recommend

  • Aug 13, 2012 - 12:02AM

    Only solution is to acquire the MASTER KEY as desired by Baba Sahib Dr.Ambedkar and hand over to BSP for equal distribution of wealth of the nation and to have proportional reservation in all the sectors including the private sector and all the trades for the happiness and welfare of the entire people.

    Recommend

  • zK
    Aug 13, 2012 - 2:04AM

    Ooops…the PPP Virus has reached India as well! Lol

    Recommend

  • Super Star
    Aug 13, 2012 - 9:07PM

    Well corruption is infectious !

    Recommend

  • realist
    Aug 14, 2012 - 12:10AM

    @zK:
    “Ooops…the PPP Virus has reached India as well! Lol”

    Maybe that’s why Zardari made a visit to India! Whatever be the differences between South Asian countries, corruption is one thing that unites them.

    Recommend

  • buraq
    Aug 14, 2012 - 8:31PM

    No Indians found hereRecommend

  • Pak1
    Aug 14, 2012 - 9:17PM

    What India need is a chief of Justice.

    Recommend

  • Aug 14, 2012 - 10:02PM

    This “THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE with the International Herald Tribune” VIEWS PAPER was right in publishing the news “Steal a little, but don’t loot- Indian minister sparks outcry “. At the same time it was wrong to justify and glorify the action of the UP government by equating the former CM who has been criticized for spending millions of rupees on building statues of herself and buying diamond jewelry and who is now out of power. These Views are of the traditional touchables with hatred and anger against the untouchables which is nothing but madness and justifying to steal a little by the touchables and ofcourse the VIEWS PAPERS. And glorifying the present CM as Foreign-educated and state’s youngest chief minister, had projected himself as an agent of change.

    Recommend

  • unbeliever
    Aug 14, 2012 - 10:13PM

    @Jagatheesan Chandrasekharan:

    we already saw the transformation that MAYAWATI did in UP.

    no doubt, lucknow has improved(i live here), but it did so at the cost of other districts.

    she, in my opinion was better than the present regime in two respects: law and order, renaming district. all her policies have only angered the masses, and her loss in over 80% of seats reserved for dalits show that amply.

    so, before you peddle you theory of voting bsp back into power, you must give an answer to it.

    Recommend

  • unbeliever
    Aug 14, 2012 - 10:17PM

    sp came to power on the pretence of providing unemployment benefits to youth, and now like other socialist policies, it would become an albatross around it’s neck, because of endemic corruption.

    Recommend

  • Joe Khan
    Aug 16, 2012 - 9:43PM

    @Sultan Khan:
    so you say qualify the “little” that he meant. Would it be so bad if they don´t steal at all. Plain simple no stealing while in government. When u give room to stealing it won´t end there.

    Recommend

More in Life & Style