A friend, now a senior professor in one of the country's most prestigious engineering institutes, with whom I re-established contact last year after almost three decades, has reportedly been implicated in a four year old scam in the conduct of an all-India admission test for engineering colleges. This friend has been my most ardent supporter in my campaign for fixing responsibility for the messy incompetence, corruption and leadership deficit in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games. Yet I felt I had no alternative to emailing to him the gist of the newspaper report about his alleged involvement in the admission test scam and asking him to clarify his position.
Since a day later I have yet to receive his reply there is a strong likelihood of my losing him as a friend. But this should not and will not disturb me. For fighting a war against corruption and lawlessness I need a core group of eight to ten persons of unimpeachable integrity, indomitable courage and total commitment to the cause and going by the newspaper report, not yet contradicted by him, my friend has has failed to make the grade. I shall look elsewhere, everywhere but there can not be any dilution of the eligibility criteria for the core group. Only if we are above all temptations we can launch a long and decisive offensive against corruption and establish the rule of law in our country.