Sunday, 25 September 2016



I have been asked to write about the state of corruption in India. It is indeed a difficult topic indeed, perhaps one of the most difficult ones that I ever have been asked to write. I do not know from where to start and to end where. Corruption and civic societies have unfortunately become synonym for each other. I was sure that it is a world-wide syndrome and my perception became conviction when I researched the subject.

In the context of India, like perhaps elsewhere, it is one of the two oldest professions. Yes I call corruption, a profession like prostitution, one arising out of the ‘greed’ and the other arising out of the ‘need’. Both are individualistic concepts, arising out of human psychology. I, personally, have some regard for a prostitute but certainly not for a corrupt ‘individual’. Yes I have deliberately used the word ‘individual’ because both of the human sexes are essentially the same, the moot point being the ‘opportunity.

Coming back to the findings of my study, I located a one conducted by ‘Transparency International’ in year 2005 which stated that ‘more than 62% of Indians had first-hand experience of paying bribes or influence peddling to get jobs done in public offices’. Their 2008 report stated that about ‘40% of Indians had first-hand experience of paying bribes or using a contact to get a job done in public office. Though the report claimed that the largest sources of corruption in India are entitlement programmes and social spending schemes enacted by the Indian government, but the fact remains that hardly any field of governance, be in government of private sector, is untouched by corruption. It is, however more in the government sector. Bigger the budget, greater the corruption and it encompasses all fields, from defense to urban and rural development to sundry civic departments. In ‘closed ‘departments like customs, revenue, income tax etc., where both parties are gainer, it remains closeted where as in other departments like police, where there are multiple parties; complainant, accused and the official authority, it comes more into the fore.

Corruption has become the bane of the Indian democracy. It remains the topic of discussion everywhere but without any tangible results. For me, the true index of a system’s ‘uprightness’ is the perception of a lay man walking up and down the street, a person sitting under ‘baba bohr’ (bohr, in Punjabi means, An old banyan tree in a village under which people sit in shade and chit chat, called ‘khund charcha’ (general talk, in Punjabi). For me, that is the real index of the sentiments in rural India. In case of urban India, my ‘pulse index’ is the view point of lay men who ‘loiter’ all around in the streets, in parks and normal ‘chai shops’. I place least credence on the views of the so-called intellectuals who participate in the prime time ‘discussions’. More often than not, I find them tainted by various extraneous factors. For them the scale matters. Corruption involving comparatively lower amounts is, ‘CORRUPTION’ and those involving massive and even astronomical amounts is ’SCAM’. Former is out rightly condemnable and the latter is reserved either for ‘late evening social drawing room talks over drinks’ or for ‘high-fi primetime panel discussions on mightier TV channels being anchored by gorgeous looking ladies and hunks.
For them a fatal accident by a bus, a two wheeler and an inexpensive car is out rightly condemnable but a worse accident be expensive SUVs and sedans is just ‘unfortunate.

Organ of state power are out rightly corrupt in India. We have already referred to the executive. Now let’s talk about the legislature. Available figures indicate that the present top legislative body, the parliament of ‘India that is Bharat’, elected in 2014 has the highest number of ‘politician – criminal ratio’. Association for Democratic Reforms, in their report, stated that about 34 per cent of members of this august house had criminal cases registered against them. In the previous Lok Sabha the percentage was about 30 per cent.

Then a further random search on the net gave following results;

“Almost 34% ministers from State Assemblies have criminal cases ... › India › India News
Aug 5, 2016 - The states with highest percentage of ministers with serious criminal ... The average assets per minister from State Assemblies is Rs 8.59 crore.
Criminals in politics: India - Indpaedia
4 Trials against MPs in serious cases continue for 7 years on an average ... About 1,258 (31%) out of the 4,032 sitting MLAs from all state assemblies have .... and official figures on crime in India show that the proportion of people facing such ...
Corruption pan-India: With average asset of Rs 8.59 crores, 34 percent ... › Corruption
Aug 5, 2016 - Corruption pan-India: With average asset of Rs 8.59 crores, 34 percent State Assembly Ministers also have criminal cases against them.
Survey shows 1460 criminal MPs and MLAs in the country - › News
Jul 10, 2013 - The judgement is important considering the fact that India has 1460 sitting ... 15 per cent of the current MLAs from all state assemblies have declared ... The Jharkhand 2009 assembly has the highest percentage of elected ...”

I am semi-literate. But a question looms over my rational faculty. Can a legislature which itself is under scrutiny, pave way for a corruption free civic society?

Let’s shamefully accept that we Indians are living in a system which is thoroughly inefficient and corrupt. Our so-called leaders only indulge in ‘Jumla Bazi’ and the times gone by for what we are today. They just enjoy the perks of their seats.

Only our own thought, our shame, our guilt, our passivity may be able to bring a teeny weeny hope.

Otherwise this county may be on its way to a total revolution which may not be very peaceful…

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