The former U.S. House of Representatives majority leader Thomas DeLay has recently been convicted for money laundering by a Texas jury and can be jailed for up to 99 years. His crime was that he gave US$190,000 to three republican candidates for the Texas State Legislature out of corporate donations. In 23 states of the U.S., including Texas, corporate donations to candidates in the State election are banned.
Not an ordinary politician, DeLay was a powerful majority party whip in the U.S. House of Representatives and was rewarded for his good work in 2003 by the Republic Party with promotion as majority leader. He, however, fell from grace in 2005 on being charged for felony.
By Indian standards, DeLay had done no crime, there could not, therefore, be any punishment for him. In any case, what is US$190,000 for an Indian politician? Not even a crore of rupees! The standards here have gone up so high that anything below Rs.1.76 lac crore or US$39 billion is liable to be dismissed as small change.
So, the heading of this post is wrong, it is the U.S. that has to learn so much from us. Our per capita income may be one forty seventh of that country but the appetite of our politicians is scores of thousands times that of theirs.