28 August 2013

Corruption in India

Corruption is Social Evil
“Will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”   Mahatma Gandhi
All luxury corrupts either the morals or the state - Joubert
Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely - Lord Acton
Corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency – Unknown
Now-a-days corruption can be seen everywhere. It is like cancer in public life.  A country where leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Lai Bahadur Shastri and Kamraj have taken birth and led a value-based is now facing the problem of corruption
Corruption Definitions:
Corruption is spiritual or moral impurity or deviation from an ideal.
·       Corruption can be defined as an act done with intent to give some advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others. Corruption may include many activities. It includes bribery and embezzlement.  
·       Oxford dictionary defined it as an dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery:
·       Macmillan dictionary defined it as an dishonest or illegal behaviour by officials or people in positions of power, especially  when  they accept money in exchange for doing things for someone.
Corruption in India
Corruption in India is a major issue and adversely affects its economy. It is a result of the connection between bureaucrats, politicians and criminals. Earlier, bribes were paid for getting wrong things done, but now bribe is paid for getting right things done at right time. Further, corruption has become something respectable in India, because respectable people are involved in it.
In its 2008 study, Transparency International reports about 40% of Indians had firsthand experience of paying bribes or using a contact to get a job done in public office.
In 2012 India has ranked 94th out of 176 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, tied with Benin, Colombia, Djibouti, Greece, Moldova, Mongolia, and Senegal.
History of Corruption in India:
Corruption in the Indian society has prevailed from time immemorial in one form or the other. Famous Ancient Indian Political thought thinker Kautilya in his book Arhasastra discussed about Corruption and he suggested various means to eradicate and fight corruption. During the Moghal period and in 17th century, during India's colonial era, corruption had become a serious issue.. Numerous East-India Company officials were arrested and sent to the Tower of London on bribery charges.
 Political corruption is worst in India.  In 1960 Chakravarthula Rajagopalachari suggested License Raj was often at the core of corruption. The former Indian Union Home SecretaryN.N. Vohra, in October 1993, studied the problem of the criminalization of politics and of the nexus among criminals, politicians and bureaucrats in India.  The report contained several observations made by official agencies on the criminal network which was virtually running a parallel government.
As of December 2008, 120 of India's 523 parliament members were accused of crimes, under India's First Information Report procedure.  Many of the biggest scandals since 2010 have involved very high levels of government, including Cabinet Ministers and Chief Ministers, such as in the 2G spectrum scam, the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam and the Adarsh Housing Society scamCoal Mining Scam, mining scandal in Karnataka and cash for vote scam.
Types of Political Corruption
Corruption in politics can be classified as
·       Bribery
·       Trading in influence
·       Patronage
·       Nepotism and cronyism
·       Electoral Fraud
·       Embezzlement

·       Kickbacks

·       Unholy alliance

·       Involvement in organized Crime  


Major Factors Responsible For Corruption:
The causes of corruption are many and complex. The causes of corruption in India include excessive regulations, complicated taxes and licensing systems, numerous government departments each with opaque bureaucracy and discretionary powers, monopoly by government controlled institutions on certain goods and services delivery, and the lack of transparent laws and processes.
Most of the largest sources of corruption in India are entitlement programmes and social spending schemes enacted by the Indian government. Examples include Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and National Rural Health Mission.  Other daily sources of corruption include India's trucking industry which is forced to pay billions in bribes annually to numerous regulatory and police stops on its interstate highways. Indian media has widely published allegations of corrupt Indian citizens stashing trillions of dollars in Swiss banks.
Following are some of the causes of corruption.
·       Emergence of political elite who believe in interest-oriented rather than nation-oriented programmes and policies.
·       The most important factor is the nature of the human being. People in general, have a great thirst for luxuries and comforts and as a result of which they get themselves involved in all unscrupulous activities that result in monetary or material benefits.
·       Moral and spiritual values are not given utmost importance in educational system, which is highly responsible for the deterioration of the society.
·       Vast size of population coupled with widespread illiteracy and the poor economic infrastructure lead to endemic corruption in public life.
·       The salary paid to employees is very less and as a result of which they are forced to earn money by illegal ways.
·       Election time is a time when corruption is at its peak level. Big industrialist fund politicians to meet high cost of election and ultimately to seek personal favor. Bribery to politicians buys influence, and bribery by politicians buys votes. In order to get elected, politicians bribe poor illiterate people, who are slogging for two times’ meals.
·       Complex laws and procedures alienate common people to ask for any help from government.
·       The punishments imposed on the criminals are inadequate.
Measures to Control Corruption:
There are some specific measures to control increasing corruption.
·       The use of Right to The Information Act (RTI) - It gives one all the required information about the Government on time.
·       Local bodies, Independent of the government, like Lokpal, Lokayukthas, Lokadalats, CVCs and Vigilance Commissions, VC’s of various state governments should be formed to provide speedy justice with low expenses.
·       More and more courts like special courts and fast track courts should be opened for speedy & inexpensive justice so that cases don’t linger in courts for years and justice is delivered on time.
·       Some people are of the opinion that the wages paid are insufficient to feed their families. If they are paid better, they would not be forced to accept bribe.
·       Declarations of property and assets of the government employees and the legislators are made compulsory.
·       Proper, impartial, and unbiased use of various anti-social regulations to take strong, deterrent, and timely legal action against the offenders, irrespective of their political influences or money power.
·       An atmosphere has to create where the good, patriotic, intellectuals come forward to serve the country with pride, virtue, and honesty for the welfare of the people of India.
·       Foolproof laws should be made so that there is no room for discretion for politicians and bureaucrats.  The role of the politician should be minimized.
·       Cooperation of the people has to be obtained for successfully containing corruption.
·       People should have a right to recall the elected representatives if they see them becoming indifferent to the electorate.
·       Electoral reforms like State funding of election expenses for candidates; strict enforcement of statutory requirements like holding in-party elections, making political parties get their accounts audited regularly and filing income-tax returns; denying persons with criminal records a chance to contest elections, should be brought in.
·       Responsiveness, accountability and transparency are a must for a clean system.
·       Bureaucracy, the backbone of good governance, should be made more citizens friendly, accountable, ethical and transparent.
These steps should be taken to correct the situation overall.
Corruption is a cancer, which every Indian must strive to cure. “When democracy becomes corrupt, the best gravitates to the bottom, the worst floats to the top and the vice is replaced by more vice”. Though it looks very difficult to control corruption but it is not impossible. It is not only the responsibility of the government but ours too. We can eliminate corruption if there will be joint effort. We must have some high principles to follow so that we may be models for the coming generation. Let us take a view to create an atmosphere free from corruption. That will be our highest achievement as human beings.
Indian Ex- President Pratibha Patil Says Corruption is the enemy of development, and of good governance. It must be got rid of. Both the government and the people at large must come together to achieve this national objective.
A strong youth movement in the country only can remove corruption and each student should take a vow to begin this exercise courageously within the family-Former President Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam
Foot Notes:
1.     Good Reads- Quotes about Corruption
2.     Top 7 Corruption Quotes
3.     Corruption in India – Wikipedia
4.     Political Corruption in India – Wikipedia   
5.     Essay  on Corruption – Chetan
6.     Corruption in India – UPSC Portal
7.      Corruption in India –Civil Service India – Karthik Babu
8.     Causes and remedies of Corruption – Sanjeet
9.     Ex-Presidents’ views on Corruption  

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