The cancer of corruption
THOUGH MANY ILLS BESET INDIA, BUT THIS ONE HAS REALLY EATEN THE VITALS. THE ROT IS TOO DEEP TO BE REMOVED SUPERFICIALLY, WRITES ABID HUSSAIN SADIQ BHAT
India is plagued with several pressing problems. But only one of them — political corruption — poses a grave threat to the state. This is a menace which has reduced it from a democratic country to a republic of mega-scandals. Corruption has become all pervasive, ingrained in our arteries in such a way that now we don’t even condemn it anymore. It hardly bothers us now. If India today is widely seen as a soft state, much of the blame must be pinned on the corrupt and the compromised that lead it. India now is witnessing not mere corruption but national plunder. Consequently this is weakening the whole country. Yet scandals remain so recurrent that public ire over any malfeasance is short-lived. Indeed, one strategy often employed to address public anger over revelations of a new mega-scandal is to start targeting second-tier corruption selectively. The misuse of government agencies remains rampant.
The past year will be remembered as year of mega scandals. The scandals and scams do not now run into crores but hundreds and thousands of crores. According to comptroller and auditor general’s interim report on 2G spectrum scam, the presumptive loss of revenue is around 1.76 lakh crore which is 14 percent of India’s Gross Domestic Product. Other major scams are the Common Wealth Games scam, Adarsh society, Karnatka land allotment, Bank loan scam to name a few.
Corruption affects a citizen directly. But it is the institutionalized corruption in high offices that is eviscerating the republic. Corruption stalls development, undermines social progress, snatches confidence from citizens, impedes good governance, erodes the rule of law, discourages a healthy competition in business transactions, reduces domestic and foreign investment, fosters a black market economy, and raises new security threats.
The cancer of corruption has alarmingly spread to armed forces. The rot in the media — the nation's supposed watchdog — stands exposed. As in other national security challenges, the principal causes of rampant corruption are leadership deficit and governance deficit. The only way corruption can be contained is through integrity of leadership; improved governance; measures to ensure fiscal transparency; strengthened anti-bribery enforcement; government accountability; and active public involvement. The investigative agencies have to be impartial in a democracy, what can be expected from head of supreme investigative agency tackling corruption when he himself is charge sheeted and whose appointment has been a fraud on Indian democratic system. Even CBI has been pulled up by the Supreme Court on 2G spectrum case and is now working under watchful eye of the highest judicial body of the state.
The most important deterring factor for political corruption will be the passing of Lokpal Bill which has been stalled eight times by the parliament for obvious reasons . Lokpal should be a constitutional institution or at least a statutory body headed by former Chief Justice of India investigating political corruption suo motto or on the basis of a complaint. In this regard the recommendations of second administrative reform commission should be adhered to as soon as possible to remove the rot at the top. Also, the other investigative agencies like the CBI or Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) should be made independent of the executive so that they can function impartially.
(Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM OP-ED
Srinagar, Jan 18: While the United Nations Rapporteur, Margaret Sekaggya is scheduled to visit Kashmir on Wednesday to assess the situation of human rights defenders, justice still eludes the families More
- Srinagar City
Police seeks parents’ co-operation
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Jan 18: After months of apparent silence over eve-teasing on the Airport Road, the police Tuesday woke up to check the menace in the hub of coaching centres there by detaining three of More
Visit Udhampur, interact with cross section of society
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, Jan 18: The three-member Interlocutors’ panel appointed by the Government of India (GoI) on Tuesday evening met the Governor N N Vohra at Raj Bhavan here and briefed him about their interactions More
- News in Brief
Srinagar, Jan 18: Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement incarcerated chairman Zaffar Akbar Bhat was presented before the court on Tuesday for hearing. “Zaffar is suffering from different ailments and More
60 lakh mandays created
Kupwara, Jan 18: Kupwara has secured top position in the implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) during the ongoing financial year in Kashmir. The district has created 60 More
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Jan 18: The much-talked about reshuffle and expansion of the Union Council of Ministers will take place at 5 PM tomorrow amidst indications that Salman Khurshid, Praful Patel and Jairam Ramesh More