Thursday, May 26, 2022
Outlook.com

“I Fear For My Life, But I’ll Go On”

Long pushing for protection of whistle-blowers, Shehla Masood might have made her point most forcefully in death.

“I Fear For My Life, But I’ll Go On”

Long pushing for protection of whistle-blowers, Shehla Masood might have made her point most forcefully in death. She had long learned to live with threats to her life, as she revealed in the last interview before she died. Excerpts:

How difficult is it for a whistle-blower to function?

I was threatened by local MLA Vishwas Sarang because I exposed corruption relating to forest produce. He sent me a court notice just to put me under pressure. I exposed Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s expenditure on household entertainment which ran into lakhs every month. The money was spent on chaat, sweets, lunches, bouquets, telephone bills and mobile bills. I was threatened by principal information officer (general administrative department) Aruna Gupta. She wrote a letter to the information commissioner saying I had stolen some records and lodged an FIR against me. It was a blatant lie because when she was asked to furnish details of the records stolen from her office, she failed to give anything. She was served with a showcause notice. I was also threatened by the protocol officer of the CM’s house, Sanjay Chauhan, because I exposed how lakhs were spent on sitting judges of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The money was spent on their stay in luxury hotels and travel. I also drew attention towards the 12 serving judges who were involved in corruption. These judges came to the wedding of the son of principal secretary (law) in December 2010 and the expenses were borne by the state government. I draw strength from these threats. But at the same time, I realise that the government is not serious in protecting whistle-blowers. I believe this is because of political pressure. There is no political will to fight corruption. And I am sorry to say that there is very little unity among the activists as they also have vested interests.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement