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   I noticed that the famous Bofors... (August 30, 1991)

I noticed that the famous Bofors case is to be repened. Since the case began a long time ago and since a lot of people may have forgotten what is was about, I will now give a brief summary of the case so gar.

It all began when Mr. V.P. Singh was a very upright and straight-forward finance minister and began investigations into the purchase of some sun-standard guns from a company called Bofors in Sweden. Neither the prime minister nor any members of his cabinet knew about the investigations. In fact, the only people who knew about it were, besides Mr. Singh, Mr. Bhure Lal, his paan-chewing secretary, Mr. Nusli Wadia, and a Mr. Hershman, an American investigator with offices in the suburbs of Washington.

When Rajiv Gandhi, who was then the prime minister, heard about this, he was furious and demoted Mr. Singh to the post of defence mnister (though today Mr. Sharad Pawar may say that being defence minister is no demotion).

However, to return to Mr. Singh, as defence minister he promptly started an investigation into the purchase of submarines from West Germany. The prime minister was even more furious, foreing Mr. Singh to resign from the government and the Congress. Mr. Singh announced his resignation and declared that henceforth he would never stand for elections, never hold a public office, never try to be anybody in life.

The investigations into Bofors continued. There were bedates in parliament and daily there were reports in newspapers on what came to be know as the Bofors Story. People stopped listening to AIR and started listening to the Swedish Radio.

In the next several years, many things happened, Mr. Arun Nehru was sacked, even as he was lying in his sick bed in Srinagar, Mr. Arun Singh left Delhi and reitred into the mountains about Khali Estate in Almora, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan left politics and returned to films, Ms. Chitra Subramanyam, a Banglore girl settled in Switserland, became India's premier investigative journalist, Mr. N. Ram was sacked from The Hindu by his favourite uncle, Mr. V.P. Singh became the prime minister.

The investigations into Bofors continued. Government and CBI officials continuously flew to Switzerland and Sweden; Svenska and Lotus were discovered, though the people behind the code names are still to be indentified; the Indian Express and The Hindu carried long copies of authenticated secret Bofors documents, which nobody understood; Mr. Maneck Davar posed as a mulit-national trader and purchased a small barrel of oil from some Bombay dealer, and landed a scoop, the purpose and contents which people understood even less.

By this time Mr. Chandra Shekhar became the prime minister and announced that Bofors was something for a police constable ininvestigate, not for the government of a country. So that was that. Now the Bofors case is being reopened. Happy reading.

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