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Updated: 2G Spectrum Scam: What To Read And Listen To, And Where


(Updated with more links below) On November 18th 2010, Open magazine and Outlook published audio files and transcripts of conversations that Niira Radia, who runs several PR and consultancy companies, allegedly had with Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata, Telecom Minister A. Raja, and the DMK’s Kanimozhi, as well as with senior journalists Barkha Dutt (from NDTV) and Vir Sanghvi (Editorial Director, HT Media), around the appointment of the Telecom Minstry in India. This follows previous revelations published by Mail Today and The Pioneer, and broadcast by HeadlinesToday. For reference purposes, we’re putting together is a list of information related (and allegedly related) to the appointment, and the 2G Spectrum scam that preceded the appointment, that has been published online; if true, it is shocking commentary on how the Telecom sector is manipulative, and policies manipulated. We’re updating this list, so feel free to suggest more links in the comments below.

Introduction

Some of these are alleged to be recordings of conversations that Niira Radia had with several journalists, colleagues, senior executives of Reliance Industries and Tata Sons, in the aftermath of the Parliamentary elections that took place last year. The tapes contain discussions regarding the appointment of ministers from the DMK, a regional political party from Tamil Nadu, as well as appointments to India’s Cabinet of Ministers.

The context of these discussions is appointment of A. Raja as Telecom Minister, who allocated 2G mobile licenses in India, on a controversial first-come-first-served basis, by choosing an arbitrary cut-off date for allocation, and it was expected at the time that he would not head the ministry again. Other recordings involve discussions around a high pitched court battle between Mukesh and Anil Ambani over the pricing of natural gas. Outlook published around 100 files, while the CBI has said that it has 5851 recordings.

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Documents

– CAG Report on 2G Spectrum Scam – Tabled in Parliament. Download (pdf)

– Allegedly, scans of documents that were submitted by India’s Income Tax Department to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). View Here

IMPORTANT: you can help transcribe the audio files at Reading Radia.

Audio & Transcripts of Conversations allegedly between:

1. A. Raja and Niira Radia:

– By Open Magazine on November 18th 2010: Read and listen here.

– By Outlook on November 18th 2010: Read and listen here

– Headlines Today video uploaded on YouTube in May 2010. View here and here.

2. Kanimozhi and Niira Radia

– By Open Magazine on November 18th 2010: Read and listen here

– By Outlook on November 18th 2010: Read and listen here

– Headlines Today video uploaded on YouTube on May 6 2010: View here

3. Ratan Tata and Niira Radia

– By Open Magazine on November 18th 2010: Read and listen here

– By Outlook on November 18th 2010: Read and listen here

4. Vir Sanghvi and Niira Radia

– By Open Magazine on November 18th 2010: Read and listen here

– By Outlook on November 18th 2010: Read and listen here

5. Barkha Dutt and Niira Radia

– By Open Magazine on November 18th 2010: Read and listen here

– By Outlook on November 18th 2010: Listen here.

6. Niira Radia and Ratan Tata, Ranjan Bhattacharya, Barkha Dutt, Shankar Aiyer (then with the India Today Group), Tarun Dass, and others. Listen to the files here.

7. Lots of conversations, allegedly on Datacom, RCOM stake in AT&T etc. Lots of audio links here. This page also has links to conversations that suggest stories being negotiated between PR execs and mediapersons, and of source based tipoffs, with sources revealed. More importantly, it has information on lobbying with the media and the government around the RIL-RNRL gas issue.

Denials/Responses Issued

– Ratan Tata has moved the Supreme Court on the issues, reports NDTV. The audio files may be taken offline.

– Ratan Tata says the Radia tapes are a smokescreen: in Economic Times, Times of India, NDTV, Business Standard. Read the transcript of his interview with NDTV, here.

– Spot the difference: Prabhu Chawla, also featured in the tapes, on the Gas/Power battle between the Ambani’s earlier this year, has issued a clarification. Spot the difference between his transcript (the words “probe on”) and the Outlook transcript (forewarn) Outlook’s version. It’s clear in the audio

– Open Magazine’s Hartosh Singh Bal says “This Is Not Journalism as We Know It”. Published 27th November 2010. Read here.

– Open Magazine’s Editor Manu Joseph says “The Buck Stops Here Too”. Published 27th November 2010. Read here.

– Barkha Dutt on the Allegations Against Her. Read here

– Open’s publisher R. Rajmohan has contested NDTV’s response to Open’s coverage. Read it here on Facebook

– From Vir Sanghvi on his blog: says the transcripts do not appear to be entirely accurate, and there is nothing in the transcripts that he lobbied for Raja. Read here. Published November 18th.

- From NDTV, calling Open’s story on conversations between Radia and Dutt “misrepresentation” – Read here. Published November 18th 2010

– From Barkha Dutt on Twitter- here, here, here, here, here and here (many, many, many other tweets)

– From the Income Tax Department, denying recording telephonic conversations between Influential Businessmen, Politicians and advertising professionals: Read here. Published April 28th 2010

– A. Raja’s fairly detailed defense of the 2G spectrum allocation – published by The Hindu, November 14th 2010, prior to his resignation. Read here.

Niira Radia Profiles

– Outlook profiles Niira Radia. Read here.

– An encounter with Niira Radia by Kingshuk Nag, on November 22nd 2010. Read here.

Context, And The Aftermath

Another scam

Public sector banks gave loans to five 2G Scam tainted companies, reports The Pioneer on November 29th 2010. Read here

On the nexus between Media, Business & Politics, and the power brokers

–  Rajiv Desai, from a few months ago, on the role of the PR industry, and the influencing of public policy. He spoke at the Exchange4Media PR Summit in May 2010. Read the speech here.

– Shivnath Thukral in Outlook: Move it to the main hall. Read here.

– Important Lobbyists; Published by Outlook on May 17th; Read here

- The Hoot on “Merging Estates“, on Media, Businesses and Politicians. Published on November 19th 2010. Read here

Welcome to the Matrix of the Indian state, Siddharth Vardarajan. Published November 29th 2010. Read here

– WSJ presents points and counterpoints in “Oh Vir, What Can the Matter Be?”. Read here

Affixing Responsibility

– R Jagannathan in DNA Mumbai writes that the buck stops with Sonia and Manmohan. Published November 18th. Read here

On Media, Media Blackout & New Media as a savior

– Santosh Desai on the Twitter outrage and media silence. Read here

– S. Nihal Singh says ‘The Past isn’t Perfect. But.” Read here.

– The Hoot on the Media blackout. Published November 26th, 2010. Read here

- Santosh Desai on The Silence Of The Hacks. Published 23rd November 2010. Read here.

– Amit Varma on ‘The Thunderous Silence’. Published November 25th 2010. Read here.

– Anant Rangaswamy of Campaign India on Open Magazine daring to be different. November 23, 2010. Read here.
– Outlook Magazine. Read here
– Discussion with Karan Thapar, N. Ram, Dilip Cherian, Manu Joseph. Watch the video here.
– G. Sampath on Journalism in a Radiaactive media. Published November 29th, 2010. Read here
- Retributions on why Barkha Dutt became the face of the Radia Tapes issue. Published 27th November 2010. Read here.
– G. Sampath on When Radia killed the media star. Published November 20th, 2010. Read here
– Why we are quiet on the Open magazine story – R. Sukumar, Editor, Mint; Published November 18th 2010.Read here. Update: Sukumar writes in “When Objective observers turn players in the game”, that Mint will write about the issue. Published November 26th 2010. Read here
– Aditya Sinha, Editor in Chief of the New Indian Express, alleges, on Twitter, that India Today’s Aroon Purie veto’ed the cover story on the Radia Tapes. View his tweet here.

On Corruption

– The New Indian Express on – The Spectrum of Corruption. Published November 20, 2010. Read here
Vir Sanghvi on “How does Raja get away with defying the Prime Minister and the public mood?”; Published November 12th 2010. Read here

Political Developments

– Kapil Sibal Gets “Additional” Charge Of Telecom Ministry. Published by MediaNama on November 16th, 2010. Read here.
– Telecom Minister Andimuthu Raja Resigns. Published by MediaNama on November 15th, 2010. Read here.
– Telecom Secretary PJ Thomas Made Central Vigilance Commissioner; Published by MediaNama on September 8th 2010. Read here.

Satire

– “This is All India Radia” by Noise Of India. Published November 19th 2010. Read here

– “Why we MUST blame it on Raja” by Onion Uttapam. Published November 13th 2010. Read here.

Also see:

Circlewise list of India’s Telecom Licensees

Disclaimer: Please note that MediaNama is unable to verify the authenticity and accuracy of many of these links; they are being made available for information and reference purposes, and should be viewed with scepticism. MediaNama shall bear no responsibility for content outside its domain (medianama.com), and reserves the right to delete, at its own discretion, outgoing links.

  • Arun

    Nikhil, an interesting opinion piece in DNA by R Jagannathan on why the buck just doesn't stop with Raja and why the media is unlikely to go after others likely to be involved or in the know, namely the PM, Sonia Gandhi, Karunanidhi, the businesses that benefitted, etc. Link below:
    http://www.dnaindia.com/opinion/report_not-just-r

  • http://www.gautamblogs.com Gautam Ghosh

    Hey Nikhil

    Great roundup of all this sordid mess

    Makes one sick thinking off all the mess behind the scenes

    And people think “buying facebook likes” is scandalous :-)

  • Kunal
  • Kunal

    Sorry, didn't notice that.

    But I was so eager to share it with everyone. I have been emailing it, putting it up in FB etc. all day.

    Basically, information is power. The more people know about things the better off we are. Else a dystopian Orwellian 1984 like scenario beckons for India, if we are not there already.

    • karnad

      INFORMATION IS POWER — 100% It should not stop here itself or as a news read & forgot . V MUST ACT ON IT.

  • K. Krishna

    Outlook story sums it up ; read "Niira Bhajan"-:)))))) http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?268071

  • Swathi Pradeep

    Great coverage.
    I have been following this news on twitter and fb since it broke out yesterday.
    Do read the COMPLETE COVERAGE here: http://bit.ly/a3mOG9

  • Sunny

    Hi Nikhil,

    Appreciate your efforts in making this a one-stop place on 2G scam topic.

    -Sunny

  • Rajesh

    Respect!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1050905119 Govind Kalaga

    we read and forget because by that time another scam will come to light and we will be busy with that discussing and writing

  • Balakrishnan

    Great coverage and an impartial one , to be fair. really, what a mess ! This ' tape- worm ' wont go away with medication, it needs a surgery to weed it out ! I dont think anyone who is a Barkha fan ( me included ) will ignore the verdict of the distinguished panel who discussed the entire episode in Healines Today . Personally, I have been disappointed that she refused the invitation from the said channel to participate in the discussions , though Vir Sanghvi was bold enough to attempt to talk to the panel long distance to try to clear some air ! It is a shame that reputed journalists go to any extent to hold their positions in the media ( if ,that indeed , is the case )

  • Rohan

    Just Joined Facebook " Nira Radia Tape" Community – Truth Exposed @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nira-Radia-Tapes/12

  • Bindiajain

    Few Days Back :

    Raj. Congress Minister have Exposed “Our Honorable President of India used to clean dishes and cook food for Indra Gandhi’ and because of it she become president of India..

    So now what could we expect in our country ? Where our Prime Minister is HELPLESS..

    To put it rather bluntly, and without any apologies, we are morally and culturally corrupt. From the ordinary cops, to the CM or the PM – we nurture corruption, nepotism and filth in our close proximity without battling an eyelid. Be it moral depravity, social callousness, or human brutality, nothing shocks us. We have accepted the “juggad” as the way of life. If there is “something in it for me” anything goes.

    We are tolerant because we are habituated to live on crumbs and proud of it – never caring to ask if we deserve the rewards that someone else worked for. We, our people, our institutions, are like street dogs – can be easily swayed from our goals by the scent of some easy crumbs that is put in out way.

    Seriously India is a BANANA Republic – Even our New Rupee Symbol , truly symbolize Corruption”

    RTI Activist Exposed Rupee Symbol Design Scam :

    for more information go to >>> http://saveindianrupeesymbol.org/2010/06/indian-rupee-symbol-scam-exposed-by-rti.html

    Spread this shocking News on twitter & Facebook, Orkut about “Rupee Symbol Design Scam’ as its shameful that our rupee symbol is created by corrupt selection process even..

    And if we we have to fight against corruption.. we need to take action instead of only commenting HERE !