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The Radia Tapes

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I'm sure a lot of Praja users have read about and listened to The Radia Tapes and derived a lot of joy and/or sorrow out of them. Others may not be aware of where to access them since the media has virtually blacked out the news, except for some old fogies like The Hindu, Outlook magazine, and DH today and disrespectful upstarts like Open magazine. Pioneer was the first to bring the issue out in public according to Outlook. Well, not to worry. The tapes are available on the websites of Outlook and Open. I would recommend Outlook since it seems to have the full bunch of tapes. Of course, the IT dept which tapped the phones has a bigger collection, but only a part of them has been leaked.The Links : 

All Lines Are Busy;  Go here to read the synopsis.  There are links to the tapes too (at the bottom half), but the next link has a neater set of links. : Go here to browse and hear our masters' voices.  Don't be misled by the title - there is much more than 2G in there.  One also gets to hear that AI was ravished by Mr Patel, that Mr Mittal wanted Mr Maran to be Telecom Min, while Mr Tata had set his heart on Mr Raja, that Ms Radia wanted to bring ET (Economic Times for the lay person) 'in line', that the brave new Media is completely subserviant to corporate houses.  There are also light moments.  For instance, we learn that Mr Raja had a badly concealed crush on someone (at least Ms Radia thought so) etc..

Very interesting.  Of course, it only confirms a certain world-view. 



Public Agenda's picture

public oversight on amercian style lobbying required?

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these tapes have been known about for some time and now  Mr R tata wants to move the Hon Ble S C on the leaks of the same

with lobbyists galore coming out of the woodworks who are currently better known as P R Agencies influencing all kinds of appointments of ministers, and policies before and after the Union budget so waht are the lessons learnt by the public we all know that eternal vigilance is the price.

but with a CAG and PAC and maybe even a JPC what is the role of the public?

idontspam's picture


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 There are so many conversations which have nothing to do with either 2G or Income tax (who recorded the tapes). What are they doing in the public domain? It may be fair that they have been recorded by govt authorities but if they are not relevant they need to be destroyed. Otherwise we need to punish those who publicised irrelevant portions of the tapes, plain carelessness and disregard for privacy bordering on slander. Obviously the smokescreen has now taken the focus entirely off Raja's misdeeds.

Just like how this thread has no relevance directly to a local issue, there is very little relevant information to the out of turn spectrum allocations in those tapes or even income tax evasions. I must admit I was intrigued listening to these conversations but I would attribute the intrigue to gossip bordering on voyuerism.

Another such voyuerism is wikileaks. Unfairly being a fly on the wall bordering on spying & piracy.

Buggles 2G remix will probably be called "Telephone killed the Radia star"

silkboard's picture

Fascinating issue and debate

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Thanks PDK for starting on this, the debate/issue is fascinating. May not be local, but touches topic of the year - large scale corruption, and privacy.

Spent some time yesterday reading up on Radia tapes and linkages to 2G spectrum or ministerial berth allotments. Very interesting debate, which basically is

  • What takes precedence here, privacy or public interest
  • Mr Tata's privacy was breached first, and only then the public interest angle (which is being argued) emerged. Was that right?
  • Even if public interest is the valid legal angle here, was the media right in mass circulating the private conversations, arguably with some bias (Barkha Datt, Vir Sanghvi blacked out?)

The good lesson to take perhaps is that if you trace the money (income tax in this case?), you can touch a lot of issues around public interest as well. It will be a bit risky thing to try, but I would be interested in filing an RTI to get out all conversations recorded by Income Tax dept in 2009 that they have decided not to delete themselves (which means that those conversations are deemed to have some public interest angle). If court rules against Tata (privacy), then we should get it all out from Income tax dept's drawers, shouldn't we!?

One part of me says that may be, for say 2 years, let us forego some privacy to bring out corruption that corporates and media also indulge in. Since things will get ugly, Courts could stop taking in defamation suits as well for next 2 years. Past the 2 year period of moratorium and invasions of privacy, we could return to being a mature democracy.

Mr Tata fell from grace (at least for me) when he made that anonymous remark (15 Crore bribe). Perhaps, that was a sign of things to come.

pdk's picture

About relevance

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@idontspam wrote:  

Just like how this thread has no relevance directly to a local issue...

I admit to thinking twice about posting this. Then I remembered reading quite a few posts on non-local issues on Praja and decided to post it. Some of them can be found in the 'Similar Posts' section to this thread, on the left pane.  So that's my defence.  

Then there are the other points which you make, as to the tapes (and the wikileaks documents) being just gossip,  not belonging in the public sphere, and catering to one's voyeuristic tendencies more than anything else.  It boggles my mind to think anyone could say that.   But then, as I said in the original post, it boils down to one's world-view.  In any case, I'll let others point out the significance of the tapes and Wikileaks.   The synopsis (which I linked to in the original post) itself and other commentary on Outlook and Open Magazine is a good starting point. 

Then the following editorial/comments from The Hindu :

Readers' letters to the editor in today's Hindu:

Of course, silkboard's reply too, which has just appeared.



pdk's picture


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As some people are saying, 'sunlight is the best disinfectant'.  This is what I don't understand about the appeal to the SC made by Ratan Tata seeking punishment for the people who leaked the tapes.  The tapes are already out.  They don't reveal anything personal about him other than the fact that he hates social gatherings that require black-ties.  So why the hue and cry about privacy?  Doesn't he realise that these wheeling-dealings coming out is good for the country?   Or is it because he is trying to ensure that nothing like this happens in the future?


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