80. Essay Writing Format, structure and Examples. ‘CORRUPTION IN INDIAN PUBLIC LIFE’

By | July 6, 2019

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INTRODUCTION: Way back in 200 B.C. Kautilva meticulously described 4kiljffaent kin’s of corruption it his Arthashastra He remarked: “Just as it is impossible not to taste honey or poison when it is at the tip of the tongue, so it is impossible for a government servant not to eat up a bit of revenue. And just as it cannot be found out whether a fish swimming through water drinks or not so also Government servants cannot be found out while taking many for themselves. Thus the problem is of a serious nature.

DEVELOPMENT OF THOUGHT: Corruption is defined as moral depravity and influencing through bribery. It is a deep-rooted menace on the Indian society had soaked into every sphere of life. Even the highest offices of the political and judicial sphere have been tainted by the evil of corruption as is evidenced through the Bofors Gun deal, the Justice Ramaswami impeachment move and the multi-crore securities scam. The moral fabric of our society has been destroyed as even education and religion are not free from the cancer of corruption. Corruption breeds at the top and gradually filters down to the lower levels, eating into the vitals of society it is not easy to root out such a well-entrenched social and moral evil. Only a strongly motivated leadership and pressure from an agitating public can put an end to the menace of corruption.

CONCLUSION: What is needed a sustained, methodical weeding out of corrupt officials, reforming the administration so as not to generate corruption and carrying out economic policies that eventually ensure its people a reasonable standard of living.

Currently, many Asian countries are plagued with the cancer of corruption. In a society totally in the grip of corruption, everything that can be corrupted is tinder attack. The forms and manifestations of corruption are beyond description. New methods are continually being found. Each new law or rule dependent on government officials for enforcement creates new avenues of corruption.

India is ranked 90th out of 145 countries at were evaluated for levels of corruption by Transparency International in 2005 In countries like India, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, corruption — and t also of the most extortive type — now affects every walk of life: courts, the police, the revenue agencies, the health services, the professions, even the education system. In the entire development region of Asia, Singapore is the only government practically free of corruption, while the daily needs of the public can still be obtained without bribery in Malaysia. On the question of whether major corruption is more dangerous than minor corruption, it depends on the kind. Thousands of roadside hawkers or autorickshaw drivers are extorted of a significant part of their earnings by local police.

 When corruption has taken deep root the feeling is created that it is a way of life. The next step is to try to excuse it, or even to justify it. A society’s will to fight corruption is weakened, This weakening manifests itself in various forms —resignation to the climate of corruption attempts to relate it to institutional or cultural norms,- or to rapid economic developed itself.

The philosophy of corruption operates interestingly. So long as there are people to offer a bribe, there are also people to take it, directly or indirectly. We rationalise the situation and console ourselves that easy money is a human weakness difficult to overcome. The standard of living is constantly rising, soaring prices of essential commodities have broken the back and we indulge in corrupt ways for our children’s sake and since everyone else does it, why not us? Must we be the only angels on earth? Every man, it is said, has his price. When the entire economic and social set-up breathes of what is called ‘seed money’ to push things through, it is almost impossible to resist temptation.

 What exactly is corruption? Like all other complex social phenomena, corruption is difficult to define in a single sentence. Essentially, corruption is the – abuse of trust in the interest of private gain.

And it can be divided into five broad types: Transitive. Extortive, defensive, invective and nepotistic. The transitive type refers to the mutual arrangement tween donor and recipient to the advantage of, and actively pursued by, both parties. This normally involves businessmen and government. The extortive type is the kind where the donor is compelled to bribe in order to avoid harm being inflicted upon his person, his interest, or upon those persons or things dear to him.

Defensive corruption is the behaviour of the victim of extortive corruption. His corruption is in self-defence. Invective corruption involves the offer of goods or services without any direct link to a particular favourite but in anticipation of future occasions when the favour will be required. And nepotistic corruption, or, nepotism, is the unjustified appointment of relatives or friends to public office, or according to the favoured treatment, in pecuniary or other forms, violating the norms and rules of the organization.

Where procedures and practices in public office are cumbersome and dilatory, these give rise to “speed money” corruption. Here the bribe-giver does not wish to get anything unlawful but wants to speed up the process of decision-making. And then the facilitating payments, the payments made merely to facilitate the day-to-day running of the business—a common feature of a business functioning in many developing countries.

 Some Western writers ascribe the prevalence of corruption in Asian societies to their traditional and cultural mores. The solidarity of kinship is blamed for nepotism. And the traditional loyalties to family and clan than to nation or public for lack of clear demarcation between private gain and the public good. On closer scrutiny, however, this appears to be more of an oversimplification, even fallacious to some extent.

The constituent elements of corruption are cheating and stealing. Where corruption takes the extortive form, it is stealing by force through compulsion of the victim. Where it concerns bribing a functionary, the latter is involved, in the theft. No society of culture condones stealing and cheating; actually, all cultures condemn these activities.

Take India. As early as 1000 BC, the Laws of Manu laid down that corrupt officials who accept bribes from the villagers are to be banished and have their property seizes0Condemnation of bribery, of greed. of misappropriation of the property has accompanied Hindu thought throughout the ages and yet corruption is deep-rooted in India today.

It is not difficult to locate the causes of corruption. Corruption breeds at the top and then gradually filters down to the lower levels. Gone are the days when people who joined politics were imbued with the spirit of serving the nation. Those who threw themselves in the fight for freedom knew that there were only sacrifices to be made; no return was expected. So only the most selfless people came forward. But the modem politicians are of an entirely different mould. They are not motivated by any lofty ideals. They win elections at a huge personal cost and then try to make the best of the opportunity they get. Powerful business magnates who are forced to give huge donations to political parties indulge in corrupt practices not only to make up their losses but even to consolidate their gains. When people in power indulge in corruption so unabashedly, the common man gets a kind of sanction. Ironically, instead of fighting against the menace of corruption, Guru political leaders declare it a worldwide phenomenon and accept it as something inevitable.

The system of elections also is so faulty that even if honest and capable persons want to become legislators or parliamentarians, it is not possible as they cannot compete with the money-bags which are on the run for such positions. Though there are limits for spending during elections, money flows like water and votes are openly purchased and elections won. People cannot elect persons of their own choice to represent them in the Legislatures and Parliament but they have to choose only from amongst those who can afford to stand in elections by spending huge amounts of money. Naturally, such corrupt elements would like to earn much more than what they had spent once they get elected. The MLAs and MPs are given so many perks and powers that they can indulge in corrupt practices and earn a lot of money. Those who are fortunate enough to get ministerial positions are in a more advantageous position for earning and wallowing in ill-gotten wealth. They use their power to their personal advantage and are in a hurry to make quick money when the sun shines.

 Corruption manifests itself in a num of forms and is not necessarily confined to accepting illegal gratification The ex-Prime Ministers refuse to pay for the use of the [AF aircraft for party purposes. Many ex-Ministers and ex-PMs refuse to vacate government accommodation allotted and lakhs of rupees are due from them to the government. Senior bureaucrats go on tours both outside the country and to other cities in India with no public interest involved and enjoy the hospitality of industrialists and other agencies who receive grants-in-aid from their Ministries.

Though a number of provisions are existing in the Conduct Rules governing the activities of the government servants belonging to the various groups, most of them are observed only in violation. The vigilance units in the various Ministries are not equipped to monitor such corrupt practices.

Those in charge of procuring goods and services get commissions on a percentage basis with impunity. As everyone in the hierarchy gets his share, there is no one to pull up the corrupt elements.

Today most of our Ministers and senior bureaucrats have mastered the art of misusing official machinery and earning crores of rupees through adopting corrupt practices. If the CAG’s reports about the various Ministries, departments and the public sector undertakings are examined thoroughly many of the senior bureaucrats would deserve to be unceremoniously kicked out of office.

Let us go deep into corrupt practices. Corruption is defined as moral depravity and influencing through bribery. Bribery is the inducement offered to procure dishonest or illegal service or favour to the giver. Corruption is not just accepting bribe alone. It has many forms: Accepting illegal gratification and showing favours where the recipients do not deserve them legally. Misusing official machinery, goods and other services for personal benefit causing loss to the exchequer by violating prescribed rules, regulations, guidelines etc. in order to get financial gains. Failing to exercise the same caution and prudence which normally an individual would do while spending his own money while expending public funds.

 Procuring goods or services at rates higher than those prevailing in the market with a view of getting commissions is one form of corruption which is prevalent in the entire governmental system. The staff cars are misused for undertaking trips connected with personal matters. Making long-distance calls at government expense to friends and relatives living in faraway places or abroad. Going on foreign or internal tours just for pleasure or in connection with personal affairs.

 The Bofors gun-deal exposed corruption at the highest level of political o and is shocking, for, corruption in defence deals could compromise the independence and security of the nation. The judiciary is mot untouched either. While functioning as the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice V. Ramaswami was accused by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India of procuring various items for his official residence at a cost of about Rs. six lakh. They included air-conditioners, carpets, curtains, table napkins, suitcases, pedestal fans, sofa-sets, etc. It was a sad reflection on the Indian judiciary that an impeachment motion, thus scuttled by the Congress, had to be brought against a sitting judge of the court.

Corruption has become so much a way of Indian life that Harshad Mehta responsible for the multi-crore securities scam — is seen as some kind of a maverick genius and is projected as such by the media.

Shocking enough, our education system is also not free from corruption. Parents have to offer huge ‘donations’ to procure admission for their children. It is indeed shameful that meritorious students are denied admission in prestigious courses like engineering and medicine while those with large pockets find their way through. The power of money can be seen even at the places of worship were the ones with generous offerings manage to meet the Lord first.

When there is complete degeneration in the entire system it is very difficult to single out any individual and punish him. Corruption is spreading throughout the country in almost all spheres of national life like cancer and it is not going to be an easy task to remove this malady. But, if, not now, the problem would become more acute and beyond any solution.

 The President as the Head of State and the Prime Minister as the Head of Government should start the exercise of cleaning the Aegean stables by avoiding the use of official machinery for personal or party purposes. They should also ensure that the personal staff working with them are honest and not prone to temptations.

The Ministers should declare their assets before assuming office and their statements should be subjected to verification by an independent body. Only officers of proven honesty and integrity should be posted to work in their personal section.

 The Ministers in their turn should keep a close watch on the activities of the senior bureaucrats in their Ministry. The vigilance units should be strengthened and the periodical returns of assets and liabilities of the officers at various levels should be obtained and checked. Wherever. there is even an iota of doubt an enquiry should be instituted to get more details about the dealings of the officers and where necessary they should be brought to book if it is established that they are indulging in corrupt practices.

 One of the officers working in the department is designated as the chief vigilance officer with the concurrence of the Central Vigilance Commission. It is not possible for the departmental CVO to take strict action against his colleagues or superiors. Therefore, the Central Vigilance Commission should have a cadre of vigilance officers on its strength who should be posted to the various Ministries so that they could work fearlessly and independently as they would be directly under the Central Vigilance Commission.

 Similarly, the CBI should have a director-general and his removal should be on the lines of removing the Chief Election Commissioner, judges of the High Court etc. so that governmental pressure cannot be exercised on him when enquiries are in progress against politicians and senior bureaucrats. There should be separate wings for various types of offences in the CBI, each under the charge of a director.

The expenses during the elections should be strictly watched and wherever the expenditure exceeded the prescribed limits, the candidates should be debarred. The big industrial and business houses donate generously to ad the major political parties and individual candidates belonging to the various parties. Even before the election is over, a major portion of the funds is syphoned off to the pockets of the important members of political parties and individual candidates.

The elected members start their political careers with the first lie saying that they have spent only up to the permissible limits during their elections. Bureaucrats working in important positions in the economic Ministries also receive bribes liberally from those seeking their favour. A corrupt Minister will find it difficult to catch a corrupt bureaucrat. A corrupt bureaucrat cannot have the guts to, accuse his corrupt subordinates. The vicious Circle goes on and results in all-around corruption. Steps should be taken not only to stop corrupt practices in the government departments but all efforts should be made to ensure that the administration is cleansed by taking strict action against corrupt elements.

 Now revelling to the judicial system, every proposal for judicial appointment should be subjected to the strictest possible scrutiny. It is not enough if the judges selected are just brilliant but they should be men of personal integrity who must maintain utmost honesty in private and public life as only then they, can have public confidence. Only the poor quality of human material has failed, the honest political system.

 Unless the lawyers and judges are noble, high-minded and compassionate and on judicial appointments, political bias, personal likes and dislikes are avoided, the legal system would not be living and vibrant. Judges should, therefore, be selected on the basis of their qualities and fitness to discharge their responsibilities. Corruption amongst the subordinate judiciary is more rampant and therefore proper standards of recruitment and training are essential.

It is not going to be an easy task to root out corruption in the judiciary. Public services and other spheres of governmental activities. The intensity of corruption is so bad that, even according to the government’s own admission, out .of every rupee sanctioned for any welfare programme or developmental activity, hardly 15 paise reach the intended beneficiaries and the rest get absorbed in the pipeline by corrupt elements.

 Yet, once a government is determined to fight corruption and it has the time to do so, it is not difficult to change the situation, gradually but steadily. The planning has to be very sound. Merely a flash of publicity will not work. What is needed is a sustained, methodical weeding-out of corrupt officials, reforming the administration so as not to generate corruption, and carrying out economic policies that eventually ensure its people a reasonable standard of living.

Hence the first condition necessary to curb corruption is a strongly motivated leadership And then the pressure from the public, agitating against corrupt practices.

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