The Economic Times today carries a report on page 4 titled “Do Kings of Sting Operations Face a Credit Deficit ?”
The essence of the story is that a significant number of websites have come up in recent years. Most of them specialize in sting operations. They do not have a financial model either for existence or for survival. They have now started registering themselves as societies and non – profit organizations in order to avoid transparency which accompanies a company registered under the Companies Act. A company has to maintain regular accounts, and submit the Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet to the Registrar of Companies every year. The same can be obtained by any person. The position of finances of the company therefore becomes transparent. This facility will not be available if the operator is not a company.
I have earlier commented that a large number of these websites have been used to target important Non-Congress leaders. Narendera Modi unquestionably has been their prime target. Recently, an investigation by one such was even targeted against the Aam Aadmi Party. In the absence of any financial model these websites depend on donations for their survival.
Invisible and non-transparent funding can render any organization a suspect. Such organizations can even be donor driven. The fact that the government and the Congress Party have ordinarily not been targeted by these websites raises an important issue of credibility deficit. Those who masquerade as crusaders must themselves be seem to be clean. They want transparency and openness with regard to others to the extent that they sting them to bring out certain facts in the public domain. However, their own survival depends on unknown sources. It is time that these websites made a full disclosure in public about the sources of their finances, their motivations and their selective targeting of only a few.
Otherwise a suspicion would continue that these are “sting cameras for hire”.