Everyone knows about the article by Arun Shourie
Ankur has documented it and many other facts on Pratibha Patil pretty much in detail on his blog…
On Moneycontrol they have posted the full text of the Interview of A B Burden by Karan Thapar
Here are a few excerpts that i found rather interesting :
Karan Thapar: I’m afraid it’s no mud. Let’s look more carefully at the charges. The Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank was set up as a co-operative to help empower poor women. At the very top of the list are her brothers, her sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces. A sum of Rs 2.25 crore was loaned to family members, and is now a non-performing asset. A further sum of Rs 41 lakh it’s alleged has been waived as interest to her family members. Isn’t this corruption and nepotism?
A B Bardhan: It’s neither corruption nor nepotism.
Karan Thapar: What is it then?
A B Bardhan: You see in a co-operative bank, if members of the family are there, what is there so surprising?
Karan Thapar: A co-operative bank that is meant to empower women has loans given to her brothers and her nephews.
A B Bardhan: Some of them have paid back as far as I know.
Karan Thapar: But today you are giving her strange promotion to Presidency.
A B Bardhan: And let me tell you that all those people who are guilty of that are now holding high posts. And not only from the Congress or our side, but many other sides too.
Karan Thapar: You are not answering my question. You are justifying her on the grounds of lower standards of other politicians. Karan Thapar: It’s a very interesting quibble that you are coming up with. I don’t think it fits well in the mouth of a former general secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress. But it’s your prerogative.
Let me draw your attention to some of the other charges, not just by the union this time, but endorsed by the liquidator appointed by the Reserve Bank. It’s alleged that Pratibha’s brother Dilip Singh Patil has acquired in his house a bank phone that he used for his personal stock market transactions, and he ran up a bill of Rs 20 lakh. It’s alleged that unsecured, and therefore, unlawful loans were given to her sugar factory, which later had to default. It’s alleged that her relatives were given jobs in the bank in disregard of SC and ST reservations.
A B Bardhan: You will have to prove that all she did was for her brother, and she is responsible for what her brother did. After all she is not her brother’s keeper. If her brother is guilty of any crimes, he should be prosecuted.
Let me put it a little differently. The money in the Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank was the deposit of poor women. It was their hard-earned earnings for a rainy day. Who took the loans and ran away with the money? Her brothers, nephews and nieces. Can you as a Communist support that a woman of this background becomes President?
A B Bardhan: I do not support any non-performing assets and any loans taken this way.
Karan Thapar: Then why don’t you reconsider her nomination?
A B Bardhan: But what has that got to do with her I want to know.
A B Bardhan: This of course is the latest statement by one BJP fellow.
Karan Thapar: This is not a BJP fellow. He is Vijay Kumar Kakade, President of the Pratibha Mahila Sahakari Bank Karamchari Sangh.
A B Bardhan: Which as I have said is a BJP unit.
Karan Thapar: You are prepared to take the risk?
A B Bardhan: The people who are leveling charges now never blinked an eye when one would-be prime minister was charged and tried in court.
Karan Thapar: Mr Bardhan, these charges are levied by P B Mathur, Executive Director of the Reserve Bank of India in a report on February 25, 2003, when he closed down the bank. He’s the one who says the bank has been mismanaged. It is his liquidator that has identified the non-performing assets and connected them to her family members.
A B Bardhan: It’s her family members. How does it indict her?
Karan Thapar: You see it as coincidence that while she ran the bank, her family members got loans and then defaulted?
A B Bardhan: My bother commits some crime, and I’m responsible for it? I’m not my brother’s keeper.
Karan Thapar: But it’s a different matter if you happen to be heading the bank at the time when the brother gets loans or if you’re effectively running the bank. That’s what I am pointing out.
A B Bardhan: She was the head only for sometime.
Karan Thapar: You refuse to accept the seriousness of charges or the fact that she owes a responsibility not to the country, but to herself.
A B Bardhan: I take no responsibility for whatever she might have done or her family might have done.
Karan Thapar: But you still nominate her to President?
A B Bardhan: I am only responsible for supporting her candidature.
Finally he was caught in his own trap and had to put up his disclaimer !
Karan Thapar: Mr Bardhan this is not just a wrong thing. To many people Pratibha Patil’s comments sound as if she is advocating something similar to Hitler’s 1933 ‘Law for the Prevention of Heriditary Diseased Offspring’. And that, as you know, was central to his plan for a master race. Pratibha Patil’s views sound uncannily similar. Should she not at least recant?
A B Bardhan: I admire the way you are trying to connect her with Hitler. If there’s anything to be connected with Hitler it is that lie factory of the BJP.
I dont know how people like him get elected so consistently? This interview shows the intellectual level of the mao praisers like him, in India.