Our constitution makes us the supreme source of power but the trust we are keeping in our leaders is repaid in the most treacherous terms.
Large amounts are siphoned off for personal gains, relatives and friends are favoured and the public is kept in dark while a late former prime minister stands accused in the Jharkhand mukti morche bribery case, a former chief minister’s involvement in the fodder scam has given our democracy a great jolt.
The cases that have surfaced and are entangled in judicial procedure continue for an infinite length of time, the Bofors pay off case and the Jain Hawala case have triggered a series of resignations and the cases are yet to be concluded.
The Rs. 950 crore fodder scam prompted CBI enquiry and led to the resignation and arrest of Laloo Prasad Yadav; the photograph of lathi brandishing Laloo Yadav, however, exposed the utter lack of responsibility towards his electorate.
Accountability and probity in public affairs have become more fossilised expressions; the major cases of corruption are listed below.
Recent Scams Amount Involved
(Rs. in crores) Coffin Scam —
Telecom Scam 34.68
Bofors Pay-off case 64.00
Letter of credit (Assam) Scam Urea Scam
Animal Husbandry Scam CRB Financial Scam Bank Securities Scam
Apart from this list the exposure of corruption in defence matters by Tahalka.com some prominent politician’s alleged involvements in U.N. sponsored Oil-for-Food Programme for Iraq is deplorable & give a big shock to the nation at large.
The Anti corruption laws their effectiveness. The enormity of disease seems to make all hopes of recovery rather bleak though there is no dearth of drugs and physicians.
The central Bureau of investigation was set up in 1963 which has been entrusted with the task of exposing the truth and various laws have been enacted to prevent the spreading this cancer.
Laws Institutions Years of formation
1. The Prevention of Corruption 1947 (improved in 1988)
2. The Santhanam Committee 1964
3. The Administrative Reforms Commiltee1966
4. Delhi Special Police Establishment 1941 (merged with CBI)
5. Central Bureau of Investigation 1963
Yet exists a yawning gap between the intention of law makers and its effective implementation, the Santhanam Committee had recommended the resignation of a minister if a prime facie case existed against him which is rarely heeded.
Will corruption ever be eliminated (the Statesmen June 1998) shifts the blame from ineffective laws to the appalling situation where government policy is to shelter the organised and criminal political leadership.
A respected columnist like A.G. Noorani questioned the validity of justice of S.P. Bharucha’s judgement in the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha case that MPs and MLAs despite being public servants cannot be prosecuted for accepting bribe.
He concluded his argument with a relevant quotation from Kaifi Azmi. “The last flower dropped off the branch asking how long the spring will take to arrive.”
However the despair and disgust would serve only to heighten the urgency to contain the menace and introspection along with analysis becomes imperative.
The Past Experience:
The withering though most prominent now, is not an entirely modern phenomenon, as early as 1000 B.C. Manu spoke of confiscating the property of the official taking bribes. However the picture of India under Buddhism and, Jainism shows a moral sublimity and Ashoka preached his dharma comprising satyam, Dana, daya and sangam.
The itching palm has made the official from low to highest turn a deaf ear to these ideals as they chase to overlook Hiuen Tsangs’ praise that Indians are of pure moral principal, the utier inhumanity which Ala-ud-din Khilji displayed in bribing the Afghan noble for support after his murdering his old uncle in 1296 marks the gradual contamination of the body polity.
The East India Company used Chankya’s art of using bribe to weaken the enemy against the Indians themselves and Clive, who enlarged the companies coffers and also he could not help lamenting the anarchy, confusion, bribery corruption and extortion.
The mad rush towards a more comfortable life and a higher socioeconomic status may be seen as the basic source behind the frequent adoption of the short cut way.
The corrupt official with a diseased mind is more a patient than a criminal because corruption literally denotes decomposition; we can eradicate the disease only after its thorough diagnosis.
A psychologically vulnerable man claims an indifference to morality under the charm of wealth thereby sacrificing honesty. Honour and conscience begins sinking deeper in to the quagmire.
The deviation from ideal code of life and a refusal to adhere to the plain living, high thinking complicated our social existence. How anachronistic seems Sir Henry Wotton depiction of an ideally happy man:
“This man is free from servile bands of hope to rise, or fear to fall; lord of himself, though not of lands; and having nothing, he hath all.” Night’s worn. And the morn Rises from the slumberous mass.”
India has been shaken out of their complacency and winds of change can already be felt, confirming that Indian can gain total independence from the cursed disease.
In order to fight corrupt, apart from legal steps, the fight against the deadly assassin is being takes up by the media to spread the message far and wide.
There is a sharp contrast between the pre-independence and post independence era where every patch has become rotton and infected with the bacilli of corruption, the examples of Kiran Bedi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Chandra Babu Naidu have ignited a million hearts.
The message is loud and clear and the final pull in uprooting the fast- spreading weed is to be given by the individual who has been a prey and also by the former apostles of corruption.
The desire for a better life may be largely fulfilled by the recommendation of the Fifth Pay commission.
However the time has come to bridle the excessive greed apart from external checks like stringent laws in his typical mixture of idealism and practicality, Nehru, in his Discovery of India had declared that the western spirit of acquisitiveness remains alien to the innate Indian outlook.
‘The possessor of money may be envied but he is not particularly admired, “Admired with a synthetic approach to knowledge, we should resuscitate the true Indian idea of virtue, patience and morality and March forward in that ancient quest for truth: ‘Satyam Shivam Sundram’.
Indians have displayed the resilience to resist and overthrow all external and internal forms of tyranny. The enormity and depth of the problem of corruption undoubtedly makes its eradications challenging task but the purging has already begun.
Though our journey towards such era has begun but a more daunting task is the preservation of society by maintaining honesty and dignity of service which we will certainly achieve soon.