What is wrong? What should be done?

What is the root cause of corruption?

I am afraid that people do not understand waht is the root cause of corruption. Obviously, since people do not know the root cause of the problem, the remedies that they propose to eradicate corruption are ineffective.

We had Sonia Gandhi come out with a 5 point programme to eradicate corruption. One of the measure suggested by her was that the chief ministers should give up their discretionary powers. President of an NGO fighting against corruption sent me an email suggesting the dismantling of all discretionary powers given to Ministers and bureaucrats and that all government processes must be standardized, computerized and made fully transparent.

I believe the demand of removal of discretionary powers has nothing to do with corruption. For instance, Raja didn’t have discretion powers to
accept incomplete, false and forged documents. Nobody had given
discretionary powers to the Delhi’s CMs to allow commercial activity
in residential areas or build extra floors. Nobody had any discretionary powers to allow this allow the above but it still happened and is still happening.

Also, how can you expect a CM to run a state unless the government has some discretionary powers? How do you expect a managing director to run a company without discretionary powers. In today’s fast changing world, we cannot institutionalize rules and procedures for everything. What we can institutionalize is how those discretionary powers have to be used. I am sure you must be aware that constitutions of most countries do not change often but the principles embodied in them are applied to changing circumstances. So, if the underlying principle on which all decisions (discretionary or otherwise) should to be made is “for the good of the owner of this country, that is, the citizens of this country,” and whoever takes decisions contrary to this principle is literally hanged the I don’t think anybody will dare to make decisions in which they have vested interest.” Discretionary power is given to CMs not to give land free to his relatives. He has the discretionary power to give land to people or organizations that will serve the interest of the country and the citizens of the country. Problem is that when people misuse the discretionary power given to them, they are not held accountable or hanged.

The problem in our country is that we do not obey laws. We pay to do an illegal act and get away with it. Also, even if one is caught flouting the law, you again escape by paying a bribe. The system is very simple. You pay a part of what you earn with an illegal act as bribe and you will avoid facing the consequences.

When you know you can avoid punishment and consequences of your illegal acts, you are not afraid to commit illegal acts and that is what is happening in the country. Raja almost got away. If Unitech and Swan would not have sold part of their share, this matter would not have come to light. Raja dared to do what he did because he knew that Congress needed DMK to survive and Congress would not take any drastic action. Whatever action has been taken by Congress is not of its own free will but has been forced to do so because of the Courts, media and opposition. It is still trying to protect Raja with Kapil Sibal leading the “Save Raja” campaign. Even Karunanidhi cannot drop Raja because everybody is involved. Do you think Raja could have done what he did without Karunanidhi knowing about it or having a finger in the till? Doubtful.

More next time.

avinash narula

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Comments (2)

SiddharthaMarch 17th, 2011 at 11:22 am

Most of the communities in India (such as Bengali), are succumbed in ‘Culture of Poverty’(a theory introduced by an American anthropologist Oscar Lewis), irrespective of class or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is at all ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-administrative system, weak mother language, continuous absorption of common space (mental as well as physical, both). We are becoming fathers & mothers only by self-procreation, mindlessly & blindfold. Simply depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a decent, caring society, fearless & dignified living. Do not ever look for any other positive alternative behaviour (values) to perform human way of parenthood, i.e. deliberately co-parenting of those children those are born out of ignorance, real poverty. All of us are being driven only by the very animal instinct. If the Bengali people ever be able to bring that genuine freedom (from vicious cycle of ‘poverty’) in their own life/attitude, involve themselves in ‘Production of Space’(Henri Lefebvre), at least initiate a movement by heart, decent & dedicated Politics will definitely come up.
- Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah-711101, India.


CharuMarch 27th, 2011 at 6:21 am

good article. yes corruption is a bane for our country. this is going on in our day to day life for years. you cannot figure out a single person for this heinous act on society. it is like “what you sow, so you reap”. the politicians, bureaucrats, individuals all are a part of this system. there must be a giver and a taker in this system. the role changes according to the need. there are laws laid down to caught the culprits. but it is there in the books. to eradicate the practice from our society, we have to take some bold steps together. together as a society. and that too in true spirit and sense. we must act together as a society and build a nation free from corruption. we have the power of casting votes to our politicians in times of elections. most of the candidates contesting in elections are millionaires or more than that. they with the help of money or muscle power contest the polls and win. then they will make laws according to their hidden agenda. so we have the power of casting vote to a candidate. without that no one cant win elections. so whenever we go to cast our vote think about our nation, our society and our future. think who will do better for our country. impartial opinion is requited. no fear no favour. we can teach the politicians and bureaucrats a lesson if we can stand united. boycott the corrupted from society. alienate them. think good. feel good. make the country prosper and stood as a light in the universe.


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