Corruption : Persons, Practices & System

     “The only way to rid the country of corruption is to hang a few of you from the lamp post. The law does not permit us to do it but otherwise we would prefer to hang people like you from the lamp post,” said a bench of justices S. B. Sinha and Markandeya Katju said while hearing the bail petition of an accused in the Rs. 1,000/- crore fodder scam.  –  HT date 08.03.2007.

     There is no denial of the fact that corruption in India is all pervasive. There is no activity in public domain which is totally free from this malaise. Corruption is getting worse, and one hears about sordid tales of corruption, nepotism and abuse of power everyday. Existence of corruption implies that there are corrupt persons, corrupt practices, and there is a corrupt system. All the three have to be fought simultaneously to eliminate the vice of corruption.  

     A large number of our countrymen think that corruption cannot be eliminated in India – at least not in their lifetime but corruption can be curbed significantly by establishing dedicated, strong, well equipped anti-corruption agencies which will prevent not only violations of law but also prevent corruption and conflict of interests by ensuring better implementation of duties and responsibilities. For sustained reduction of corruption, wider involvement of the civil society is a must if we are to see tangible improvements in a finite time frame.

     The edifice of Good Governance according to Transparency International is supported by elements of Legislature, Judiciary, and Beuracracy including Police and the administrators, and the civil society. Judiciary for all its high sounding pronouncements cannot escape blame for the present conditions prevalent in the society. Apathy on the part of Civil Society is not conducive to the improvement of  existing conditions.

     Good and responsive governance assumes greater significance for being the anti-thesis of corruption Let us, as concerned members of Civil Society, show our determination and commitment; let us join hands for promotion of responsive governance.

           J. R. Lal

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