THE RABBIT HOLE OF CORRUPTION
The Feast of Vultures by Josy Joseph is an apt commentary on the state of affairs in a seemingly ‘resurgent’ India. From start to finish, this work of non-fiction read like a thriller with its big exposes, and I finished it in a day. I read with relish the elaborate section on the middleman phenomenon. In the liberalized economy of India, the middleman is a regular in the everyday life of all Indians. We meet them everyday, everywhere. What differs is the level of work a citizen wants to get done—anything is possible for the right price. From the middleman at the street-corner – fixing up paper work in the town council or the village panchayat – to the defence arms middleman compromising willing politicians through kickbacks for awarding defence contracts, the rich and the poor are indebted to this ubiquitous fixer. It is also this fixer who sustains the apparatus of corruption—facilitating access to government decision-makers in the country—and the book explains how deep the rabbit hole goes.