Thursday, January 28, 2010

[rti_india] Sant Chatwal’s right to Padma Bhushan challenged


Sant Chatwal's right to Padma Bhushan challenged


Mediapersons Pritish Nandy and Vir Sanghvi initiate an RTI with regard to the inclusion of Chatwal's name for the coveted awards



   Sant Singh Chatwal lives in the urban Indian consciousness as a rich NRI hotelier who hob nobs with the powerful in the USA, and who famously stated a few years ago at his son Vikram Chatwal's multi-city wedding bonanza, that he had promised Vikram a party that the world would remember only if he wed an Indian girl.

Vikram married model Priya Sachdev at the time. Their marriage is on the rocks, and it seems so is the possibility of Sant Chatwal's name making it to the league of the rarefied in the country. The micro-blogging site twitter was all abuzz on Wednesday with senior j o u r n a l i s t s P r i t i s h N a n d y and Vir Sanghvi messaging each other to initiate an RTI with the Central Information Commission on the inclusion of Sant Singh Chatwal for a Padma Bhushan this year.

 "There is an outrage among people on Sant Chatwal's name figuring in the list of Padma Bhushan awards. Here is a man against whom there have been many CBI cases. He has been charged for bank frauds both in India and the US. That such a man should even be considered for such an award is outrageous," said Pritish Nandy. On a calmer note, his colleague in the media, Vir Sanghvi, maintained,


"This is not about Mr Chatwal on a personal capacity; it is about the lack of transparency within the government (the Home Ministry, in this case) on shortlisting the names for such a revered award. We are informed that there is a committee instituted to list the names. How often does this committee meet? Who are there on the committee? We need to know all that."

"I have done much to strengthen the ties between India and America," said Sant Chatwal, from San Francisco. "I had Bill Clinton visit the country. No American premier had visited the country in 24 years. I even managed to raise funds through the Clinton Foundation for the victims of the Gujarat earthquake. My contribution cannot be negated."

Meanwhile, even as Nandy and Sanghvi continued to tweet the progress of their RTI application, which will be sent on Thursday, to one another, the Home Ministry issued an official press drawing attention to Sant Chatwal's many initiatives in India's interest.

 "He has been a tireless advocate of India's interests in USA and has been working tirelessly for strengthening bilateral relationships between India and the United States," it says, further drawing attention to his trusteeship of William J Clinton Foundation which focuses on critical global issues such as healthcare, climate change and economic empowerment of the underprivileged in the world community.

"It's all rubbish," said an agitated Nandy. "Chatwal had no relations with the much maligned Bush, under whose premiership the Indo-American ties looked up. He only sucked up to Clinton, who was not very friendly to India during his time. Chatwal has had no role to play in strengthening Indo-American ties."



No comments:

Post a Comment