An Essay: Corruption in India:
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
It is not easy to define corruption. But in a narrow sense, corruption is mostly concerned with â€˜briberyâ€™ and it takes several forms. Corruption is a global phenomenon and it is omnipresent. Corruption has progressively increased and is now rampant in our society.
Corruption in India is a consequence of the nexus between Bureaucracy, politics and criminals. India is now no longer considered a soft state. It has now become a consideration state where everything can be had for a consideration. Today, the number of ministers with an honest image can be counted on fingers. At one time, bribe was paid for getting wrong things done but now bribe is paid for getting right things done at right time.
Effects of corruption
Indian administration is tainted with scandals. India is among 55 of the 106 countries where corruption is rampant, according to the Corruption Perception Index 2004 Report released by Transparency International India. Corruption in India leads to promotion not prison. It is very difficult to catch â€˜big sharksâ€™. Corruption in India has wings not wheels. As nation grows, the corrupt also grow to invent new methods of cheating the government and public.
Causes of corruption
The causes of corruption are many and complex. Following are some of the causes of corruption.
Â· Emergence of political elite who believe in interest-oriented rather than nation-oriented programmes and policies.
Â· Artificial scarcity created by the people with malevolent intentions wrecks the fabric of the economy.
Â· Corruption is caused as well as increased because of the change in the value system and ethical qualities of men who administer. The old ideals of morality, service and honesty are regarded as an achronistic.
Â· Tolerance of people towards corruption, complete lack of intense public outcry against corruption and the absence of strong public forum to oppose corruption allow corruption to reign over people.
Â· Vast size of population coupled with widespread illiteracy and the poor economic infrastructure lead to endemic corruption in public life.
Â· In a highly inflationary economy, low salaries of government officials compel them to resort to the road of corruption. Graduates from IIMs with no experience draw a far handsome salary than what government secretaries draw.
Â· Complex laws and procedures alienate common people to ask for any help from government.
Â· 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 favour. 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 timesâ€™ meal.
Measures to combat corruption
Is it possible to contain corruption in our society? Corruption is a cancer, which every Indian must strive to cure. Many new leaders when come into power declare their determination to eradicate corruption but soon they themselves become corrupt and start amassing huge wealth.
There are many myths about corruption, which have to be exploded if we really want to combat it. Some of these myths are: Corruption is a way of life and nothing can be done about it. Only people from underdeveloped or developing countries are prone to corruption. We will have to guard against all these crude fallacies while planning measures to fight corruption.
Â· 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. Application of the evolved policies should be left in the hands of independent commission or authority in each area of public interest. Decision of the commission or authority should be challengeable only in the courts.
Â· 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.
Â· Funding of elections is at the core of political corruption. Electoral reforms are crucial in this regard. Several 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.
Â· Responsiveness, accountability and transparency are a must for a clean system. Bureaucracy, the backbone of good governance, should be made more citizen friendly, accountable, ethical and transparent.
Â· More and more courts should be opened for speedy & inexpensive justice so that cases donâ€™t linger in courts for years and justice is delivered on time.
Â· Local bodies, Independent of the government, like Lokpals, Lokadalats, CVCs and Vigilance Commissions should be formed to provide speedy justice with low expenses.
Â· A new Fundamental Right viz. Right to Information should be introduced, which will empower the citizens to ask for the information they want. Barring some confidential information, which concerns national and international security, other information should be made available to general public as and when required. Stringent actions against corrupt officials will certainly have a deterrent impact.
Corruption is an intractable problem. It is like diabetes, can only be controlled, but not totally eliminated. It may not be possible to root out corruption completely at all levels but it is possible to contain it within tolerable limits. Honest and dedicated persons in public life, control over electoral expenses could be the most important prescriptions to combat corruption. Corruption has a corrosive impact on our economy. It worsens our image in international market and leads to loss of overseas opportunities. Corruption is a global problem that all countries of the world have to confront, solutions, however, can only be home grown. We have tolerated corruption for so long. The time has now come to root it out from its roots.
Courtesy : rediff blogs
Corruption In India
All luxury corrupts either the morals or the state.
Corruption in the Indian society has prevailed from time immemorial in one form or the other. The basic inception of corruption started with our opportunistic leaders who have already done greater damage to our nation. People who work on right principles are unrecognized and considered to be foolish in the modern society. Corruption in India 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. Social corruption like less weighing of products, adulteration in edible items, and bribery of various kind have incessantly prevailed in the society.
In today's scenario, if a person wants a government job he has to pay lakhs of rupees to the higher officials irrespective of satisfying all the eligibility criteria. In every office one has either to give money to the employee concerned or arrange for some sources to get work done. There is adulteration and duplicate weighing of products in food and civil supplies department by unscrupulous workers who cheat the consumers by playing with the health and lives of the people. In the assessment of property tax the officers charge money even if the house is built properly according to the Government rules and regulations.
Political corruption is worst in India. The major cause of concern is that corruption is weakening the political body and damaging the supreme importance of the law governing the society. Nowadays politics is only for criminals and criminals are meant to be in politics. Elections in many parts of the country have become associated with a host of criminal activities. Threatening voters to vote for a particular candidate or physically prevent voters from going in to the polling booth – especially weaker sections of the society like tribals, dalits and rural woman occurs frequently in several parts of the country. Recently, the Government increased the salary of the M.P.'s from Rs.16, 000 to Rs.50, 000, that is 300% increase to the existing salary. But many of them are unhappy with rise and want the Government to increase the salary to a much more extent. This clearly shows how the politicians are in constant thirst for monetary benefits and not caring about the welfare of the people. Tax evasion is one of the most popular forms of corruption. It is mostly practiced by Government officials and politicians who lead to the accumulation of black money which in turn spoils the moral of the people.
Major Factors Responsible For Corruption:
- 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.
- The salary paid to employees is very less and as a result of which they are forced to earn money by illegal ways.
- The punishments imposed on the criminals are inadequate.
- The political leaders have spoiled the society completely. They lead a luxurious life and do not even care about the society.
- People of India are not awakened and enlightened. They fear to raise their voice against anti-social elements prevailing in the society.
Measures To Control Corruption:There are some specific measures to control increasing corruption.
- The Right to Information Act (RTI) gives one all the required information about the Government, such as what the Government is doing with our tax payments. Under this act, one has the right to ask the Government on any problem which one faces. There is a Public Information Officer (PIO) appointed in every Government department, who is responsible for collecting information wanted by the citizens and providing them with the relevant information on payment of a nominal fee to the PIO. If the PIO refuses to accept the application or if the applicant does not receive the required information on time then the applicant can make a complaint to the respective information commission, which has the power to impose a penalty up to Rs.25, 000 on the errant PIO.
- Another potent check on corruption is Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). It was setup by the Government to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the areas of vigilance. If there are any cases of corruption or any complaints thereof, then that can be reported to the CVC. CVC also shoulders the responsibility of creating more awareness among people regarding the consequences of giving and taking of bribes and corruption.
- Establishment of special courts for speedy justice can be a huge positive aspect. Much time should not elapse between the registration of a case and the delivery of judgment.
- Strong and stringent laws need to be enacted which gives no room for the guilty to escape.
- In many cases, the employees opt for corrupt means out of compulsion and not by choice. 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.
The one thing that needs to be ensured is 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. Firm and strong steps are needed to curb the menace and an atmosphere has to created where the good, patriotic, intellectuals come forward to serve the country with pride, virtue, and honesty for the welfare of the people of India.