Battling Corruption – Some Thoughts

With increasing cases of corruption and scams that we read in newspapers daily, everyone talks about corruption and the so-called remedies to end corruption. The latest effort is by a group of NRIs in the USA, who propose to undertake a 240 mile dandi march, on the lines of Mahatma Gandhi’s famous Dandi March while fighting for freedom for India.This march, named Dandi March II will be held during the same days, viz, March 12 to 26″. The first Dandi March was, relating to imposition of tax on salt by the British, and could thus be described ‘simply salted’, while the present Dandi March II could be called a ‘mirch masala’ one, What would come out of this will be anybody’s guess. Another important point here is that such a march will only spread bad news about our country in terms of exposing weakness in our governance to the outside world, and India’s rating in the eyes of the world will further deteriorate.

Ending corruption altogether is perhaps a futile exercise, as can be seen from the new revelations coming up each time. Why I am saying this is because in a mail I received today from Mr. N. Vittal, on the subject of corruption, he says: ‘another thought just occurred to me: ‘God and corruption are comparable, both are everywhere, but nobody is able to catch either’. How true! To me it could be easier for one to hunt for God and succeed in the effort to ‘catch HIM”, perhaps as easy as breaking open a pillar!

In a book entitled ‘The Joy of Becoming God’, by A, Vishwanath, he narrates a beautiful story in which he tells that in order to see God, it is essential to leave aside insecurity, fear and doubt. The same formula should perhaps apply also to seek the corrupt, for at least in their minds they (the corrupt) might also be thinking themselves as GOD (what with their illegally amassed wealth). Similarly, as in quest of God, Government should also shed their insecurity, fear of losing power and doubt as to whether they would succeed in their mission. Then they could also hear, as if from nowhere, ‘though shalt see the corrupt’.

While efforts to end corruption continues, don’t expect that the corrupt will be sitting idle. They may be engaged in writing code of conduct for the corrupt, detailing various steps to sidetrack those watching their actions, and giving right tips on each move.
They would also be believing that if at all finally they are caught, they would still be in
lime light, since newspapers and media channels will flash their photos and stories.

When the ruling party rules, it is the opposition’s chance to point fingers at them and accuse: Govt. has failed in tackling corruption. When the opposition comes to power, the present ruling party will put on their garb and indulge in the same acrimony. Supposing the ruling party is ready to hand over the reins to the opposition and dare them to end corruption, would they be in a better position to achieve something?

Taking note of these factors, perhaps in future elections all have to identify minimum three main issues including corruption, and each party has to spell out in their manifestos specific action points aimed at positive results within a year. It should be for the public to then elect the one party whose action points appear workable and select that party to rule for just one year; why one year because, they have to show results within that period. If they fail they should immediately quit the government and hand over the reins to the next best. This approach could be a real test for the party’s claims.

Next, how to punish the guilty, if finally caught. Each one of such corrupt person should be made to walk the same 240 miles ( within the country itself) , with a placard hanging on him which should read: I have brought shame to my country and it’s people. I am ashamed of my act. I would correct myself and be a good citizen. During the march, perhaps no food should be served to them, except some drinking water, if necessary.

One another point: corruption, sexual abuse, inflation control etc. should be seen as national agenda, and talent groups of eminent people, forgetting party affiliations should be constituted to took into such problems and bring out remedies. And more important, act with speed on the workable solutions.

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About cvsubramaniam

Former Director, Department of Electronics & Informatiin Technology, Government of India.. Authored Book on Human Resource Management. Published 80 plus articles on HR, Management, S&T, general topics.
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