Shocked by the spate of deliberate mislay/destruction of Files related to scams under investigation, CBI, taking a cue from Tamil Nadu government’s ‘Cradle Baby Scheme’, had introduced the Cradle Scheme for Scam Related Files (SRF) to discourage practice of selective Fileocide (a new term coined by economists to describe the phenomenon of hard copies of important documents vanishing the minute investigations start).
SRF which would otherwise be prematurely burnt or shredded, were snatched up clandestinely and given up for adoption by the Media & or the A2P (Aam Admi Party) for selective leaks.
This piquant situation has arisen because, though India’s Information Technology industry, has gained a brand identity as a knowledge economy, IT has not really worked out in the Government – neither among ‘Babus’ nor the ‘Netas’ .
Babudom, that unique state of affairs where the Bureaucracy & Political combine to form an opaque relationship under the blessings of an Omnipotent Corporate Interests! Here, the Pen continues to be mightier than the Keyboard. So, we have innumerable Files, Notes, Notings, Drafts and of course Drafts with ‘grammatical corrections’. May be this out-datedness is a blessing in disguise; for they give birth to SRF.
Thus, in India there are ‘The Files’ and ‘The Files’, choc-a-block laden with notes & noting. Now, all is well as long as there are no scams. These Files, act as ‘Dust sinks’ like the ‘Carbon sinks’, collecting the dust around them while moving at a pace of inch per year – like the Himalayas @.
Anyways, to get back to the main story, How & How much is what (note, not India demands to know) many Indians would like to know. With the Judiciary throwing in their bit of activism, this question creates immense stress on the investigative agencies & Babudom.
In the process, the SRF, become the most unwanted in Babudom, where they are originally conceived. If the Scambag of Babudom, who conceived them, do not want them alive, neither do the Straight of Babudom who replace them, primed for scapegoat martyrdom; Because, SRF are like cuckoos chicks, someone else babies and can sing inappropriately at the most unexpected time and are impossible to stifle.
With so much of bias, it is not surprising that the SRF are destroyed or do not show up in the national statistic, being subject to Fileocide! This skewed survival ratio of SRF to Normal Files (or Dust Sinks) was beginning to alarm the RTI activists, Whistle Blowers, Media Houses Breaking News, A2P members and others keen on exposing corruption. Stirred by the uproar over the rampant Fileocide, the Judiciary had intervened and instructed CBI to introduce some scheme to stop this practice.
CBI, then introduced the ‘Cradle Scheme for SRF’ ; instead of resorting to Fileocide, Government Bodies/Depts./Undertakings, who were unwilling to keep their SRF could place them anonymously in cradles located in TV channel studios, Print Media press centres, AAP’s senior lawyer’s chambers etc. Subsequent to their placement in cradles, the Files would be auctioned placed for commercial voluntary adoption.
However, as some NGO’s activists had criticized the scheme on the grounds that it absolved the concerned Departments/Ministries of their responsibility towards their SRF, CBI had temporarily withdrawn the scheme.
Countering these criticisms, the Serious Fraud Office, FIU and other investigating agencies who were also charged with the well being of the SRF, argued that handing over SRF to the ‘Cradles’ is a more humane option than their sly destruction/deliberate loss.
Their stand was vindicated by the RUPEES (Research on Unresolved Projects of Embezzlement Executed by Scamdom) Project co-ordinator Shri Prashan Booklet research* in 2012 “We asked the Cradle centers to stop receiving Scam Files as innocent Babus were being witch hunted for these missing files.
Shortly after enforcing the ban, numerous instances were observed where some of the TV channels were bribing some of the lower government staff with as little as a bottle of booze to spirit away the SRF; some of these files also landed with Raddiwallahs and cropped up as recycled paper bags. Naturally such instances created even more of an uproar in the Media & necessitated Judicial intervention. We advised CBI to reopen the scheme. The Coalgate SRFs disappearance brings out once again the need to have a National Policy on Fileocide”.
@ Recent research indicates that if all government files both state & central where to be placed one on top of another, the height of this structure would rival Himalaya’s height! The amount of fine dust they have collected through the years can actually help the construction industry, serving as a fine substitute to the finer variety of river bed sand, but, that is another story!
*Shortly after four instances of crucial documents went missing in the Adarsh Society case (originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil war heroes and war widows, was converted into a 31-storey building, violating a number of laws. The flats were allotted to bureaucrats, politicians’ relatives and defence officers at artificially lower prices.