“Every patch of Indian Society has become corrupt.”
The most distressing aspect of the widespread corruption in India is the fact that it is not anymore confined to politicians or the government machinery alone. It is prevalent amongst almost every section of society at every level.
As the practice of corruption is a dishonest act, one has to think that most of the Indians are dishonest, which could be different only in degree between the individuals. As the reason for the dishonesty is the lust of things at any cost one can think that most of the countrymen are greedy and do not think anymore that the means should justify the ends. This is not a flattering statement and many readers would desire that it would not be so and such a statement could have been avoided. But the fact is that most of the Indians are involved in corrupt practices in one way or the other, either due to greed or due to so-called compulsion. In any case, the willingness to sacrifice for the sake of not getting involved in corrupt dealings is conspicuous by its absence amongst the most.
The study of world phenomenon on corruption has repeatedly branded India in the list of one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Unfortunately, this view has not disturbed most of the Indians at all and they, do not seem to care as to what operation the world has about them; so long as the existing systems and practices would allow them to make money and get things done in one way or the other.
The irony is that India is still considered to be a very religious country and it is still widely believed that religion is the basis of Indian life, thoughts, and actions. This is obviously true, considering the fact that there are hundreds of temples, churches and mosques spread all over the country and they are all densely visited in and day out by the feverishly praying Indians.
Is not religious ethos contrary to corruption and dishonest practices? The unfortunate situation in India is that those who call themselves most religious are often found to have indulged themselves in dishonest practices on many occasions. Several of the religious centers of all religions are suspected to be steeped in nepotism, as such incidents have been repeatedly published in the press.
It does not shock Indians anymore to know that not only the politicians, ministers, and IAS and IPS officers are corrupt but even the judges, professors, doctors, and NGO organizations are not out in the race. Corruption is not only prevalent amongst the rich who are greedy in spite of possessing enough but also prevalent amongst poor may it be to earn their bread.
Now, what can be the future of the Indian polity in such conditions? There can be only frustration, chaos, unrest, and even bloodshed in the near future. This kind of corruption in the national polity and public and private life cannot go on forever, without disturbing the overall peace in the society. It is said that those who are governing the nation today do not appear to realize this and still are merrily going ahead with their dealings unconcerned about the harm that it would inevitably do to the larger national cause.
What is most alarming and extremely disturbing about this country is that Ministers are also suspected to have a hand in the murder. Chief Ministers of swindling crores of public money, senior police officers of molestation charges are all living in comforts and enjoying positions, thus effectively exposing the fact that the crusade against corruption has finally failed in India.
Even as the vicious cycle of corruption would continue with one swindling the other, there could be a number of persons who would be left out of this cycle due to inefficiency or commitment to the cause of truth and such persons would be driven down to despair.
The incidents of history indicate that some of such persons who are out of the corruption loop could take up the war against corruption at one time. But, they would find that in a corruption entrenched system, they would not be able to improve the conditions, and therefore, a few of them may finally take to a physical attack on corrupt and dishonest persons, leading to violence and bloodshed. Security, dogs, and mere police rifles will not be able to beat down such determined crusaders even if they are booked under the law could come out scot-free with the help of a corrupt judiciary.
The politicians and bureaucrats would call such crusaders arsonists or terrorists. But, history would judge them differently. There are a number of determined isolated war groups already existing in the country and they are generally branded as terrorist groups and treated brutally by the state machinery, without investigating the reasons for their existence. One would shudder to think as to what would happen to the peace of the society if such groups would enlarge their size and number for the sake of eradicating corruption.
Those holding the positions of President, Prime Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister of this country and Chief Ministers of the states should have the wisdom to realize the potential dangers facing this corrupt-ridden Indian society. They should not remain as small people who would compromise with the aspects of good governance for the sake of remaining in power for a few days more.
The former ChiefVigilance Commissioner Mr. N. Vittal had suggested several times that a new fundamental right such as the Right to ‘Corruption Free Service’ be incorporated in our Constitution. If such a Fundamental Right is provided, it would confer on the citizens the right to take on the corrupt officials. But Mr. Vittal’s lonely crusade against corruption had remained a cry in the wilderness. During the British Regime, thousands of freedom fighters sacrificed their personal happiness and comfort, even their lives for the national cause. They considered selfless service as their great reward. And what do we see now? People fight tooth and nail to grab any political post from Panch, Sarpanch, Councillor, MLA, MP to Cabinet Minister, in order to Make fortune enough for generations. Politics has become the most lucrative business where money power and muscle power are the investments to earn money not only for your own generations but for your friends, relatives, and other associates. The following lines depict the thinking of present-day politicians :
“My aim is to serve the people
Who says this aim is sinister.
First elect me an MLA
I will surely become a Minister.
To amass wealth is not a sin,
Lakshmi is the Goddess, not a witch
After all Politics is my business.
What though I become very rich”.
An indefatigable T.N Sheshan, when he was the Chief Election Commissioner, tried to cleanse the election system in order to root out corruption from public life. He failed! The ruin of the Indian Political System is almost complete when the corrupt officers and the politicians contaminate the whole political arena. How can we expect the politicians having a criminal background to provide us pure governance?
With the appointment of Lok Ayukats, it was hoped that they will do something concrete to root out the evil of corruption from the Indian Society, but it couldn’t. The cancer of corruption has taken such an alarming shape in the body of Indian Society that, to remove it fully has become an impossible task. Several departments are well known for their corrupt ethics, like, Transport Deptt., Forest Deptt., Sales Tax, Income Tax Deptt. PWD, even now several cases from Judiciary are gradually coming into the picture. Corruption among politicians is well accepted by everyone. Despite more than 55 years of independence, India figures in the first 30 most corrupt countries, as per a survey report published by an Independent agency Transparency International Berlin. In January 2000, seventeen top IAS, IPS Officers including some of the Secretary rank, in Delhi, were among the bureaucrats against whom the Central Vigilance Commission recommended, criminal or departmental proceedings on corruption charges. The well-known case of Ravindra Pal Siddhu, Chairman of Punjab Service Commission, who created an empire of his own by selling every job against hefty payments is an example of organized corruption. One another case of organized corruption came to light recently.
The Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption 1962 revealed that the corrupts exercise their power and influence associated with their office in an improper and selfish manner. The bureaucrats are generally doing all such things in association or under the protection of their political bosses. A huge number of cases are pending against many politicians even the highest political ranking office of P.M has not been freed from the corruption charges. Mr. Narsimha Rao faced many flagrant charges of corruption. What to talk of Chief Ministers? The cases lodged against Ms. Jaylalita, Laloo Prasad Yadav, Mayawati are well-known examples. Cases of Sukhram, Kalpanath Rai, the then Ministers had made the people clearly believe that politics is the best business to mint money.
Is there any salvation for our country from this virtual poisoning of the entire system? The entire system is attacked by the cancer of corruption. We are at a loss as to how to exercise the devil of corruption. There are indeed a few honest leaders and officials everywhere because of whom the nation survives. A national leader admitted some time ago that corruption like diabetes can only be controlled but cannot totally be eliminated. The Ex. Central Vigilance Comrni stoner has termed obsolete laws and time-consuming bureaucratic procedures a breeding ground for corruption. He suggested that there should be no law on the statute book for more than five to ten years unless re-enacted after careful examination .
The government has recently announced the rules regarding the Right to Information Act and adopted the Transparency in Public Procurement Act. We have our CBI, CVC, Anti Corruption Department. These must be made autonomous, free from the grip of politicians. Well established, honest officials should be posted as heads in these departments. Their promotions and postings must be away from the hands of politicians. The Judicial system of our countries is also required to be further empowered. The delay injustice is a big reason for the spreading of corruption. Corrupt officials and politicians can delay justice as long as they wish. More Fast Trial courts must be established to try cases of corruption in every district. The penalty and fine to be imposed on the corrupt must be revised and suitably enhanced so that it has some deterrent effects.
The honest bureaucrats must be given due recognition and protection. We are living in a democratic country. We must be aware of our rights and power of voting. Dishonest, Corrupt Politicians must not be voted to come into power whether he or she belongs to our caste, creed, or religion. Unless the general mass is awakened, the evil of corruption can’t be rooted out from the Indian society. Every citizen has to take cudgels to fight this evil if we like to save our beloved country from the jaws of this monstrous animal.
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