A Global Phenomenon
“Corruption is a kind of allurement, that psychologically encourages a human being to do or not to do anything in order to make personal gains, whether in kind, cash or otherwise”.
Corruption is a global phenomenon, found everywhere, in one shape or the other, whether the country is a democracy, kingship, socialist or communist, whether a developing or a developed country. Only a few countries are free from the clutches of the devil of corruption. The subject of corruption figures in as every international summit, as almost all countries are under its grip.
The 2010, Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) from the Berlin—based watchdog, rated Somalia, with a score of 1.1 out of 10, as the world’s most corrupt nation, closely followed by Afghanistan and Myanmar with scores of 1.4, and Iraq on 1.5. The least corrupt countries were New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark, on 9.3. India ranks 95th amongst the 200 most corrupt countries in the world as per the latest report published in 2011.
“Unstable governments with a history of conflict dominate the bottom rungs of the list,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.
Dr John Moran, a reader in security in Leicester University’s Department of Politics and International Relations, said “We should not be surprised that war-torn states dominate the list.” The recent histories of both Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate the link between war and corruption.
“In Iraq, sanctions after the first Gulf War, combined with the existing corruption of Saddam Hussain’s regime created a siege economy in which corruption became endemic,” Moran said.
“Smuggling and black markets became important for everyone from the ordinary citizen to the elites. This is a legacy that is still evident today in the way the Iraqi Government runs.”
The peculiarity of corruption in most of these countries is summarized in the following points
- Corruption begins at the top and so distorts the decision on developmental programmes and priorities.
- Money earned through corruption is smuggled abroad in safe havens and not ploughed back into the domestic economy.
- Corruption generally leads to promotion, not prison and the sharks, unless they belong to opposition are rarely caught. If caught, they manage to escape in due course of time, as judicial system takes unreasonably long time to dispose of the cases.
In India, corruption has become a way of life. In the words of Nitin Chakravarty, the columnist, “As much as 70% of all developmental budgets are estimated to be cornered by politicians, bureaucrats and contractors”.
The corruption in so rampant in India that India is regarded as a land which abounds in political opportunism, avarice, crime, and where everything is possible, but with money and bribe.
It is not only shocking but, also disgusting that the legacy of honesty dedication, austerity, public service and patriotism, the ethical and moral values which the leaders of the past like Gandhi, Nehru, Subhash, Patel and others cherished so dearly, are being squandered away by the corrupt and power-hungry political leaders. It becomes a matter of introspection as to why and how the politics and politicians even as popular representatives should acquiesce, pejorative connotations, questions the TN Chaturvedi, the former CAG of India.
It is assigned that with progress and advancement, corruption in inevitable and permissible, that it is found everywhere even in the developed countries and that one should first mind only the efficiency and performance of the system and not of its ethics. It is true, corruption has become a global phenomenon, found everywhere, but there the common man is not so harshly affected by it, as in India. Efficiency is important, but efficiency at the cost of ethics, is self destroying.
Gandhiji, once said, “To check corruption, we require a high code of morals, extreme vigilance on the part of those, who are free from the corrupt practices.”
Even today, idealism in common men, all over the world is not totally dead. The corrupt leaders are in many cases, discarded by the people in elections or whenever they got such an opportunity. Even today, we find personalities like Joginder Singh, Ex CBI chief, Anna Hazare, TN Sheshan, and so many, who didn’t bow to the wishes and whims of the politicians and worked fearlessly.
The Rigveda says that only ethically pure and intellectually capable persons should be allowed to administer the country. The Atharvaveda consider it, the duty of the citizens to see, that only the competent are at the helm and that those in power remain ethical and conscientious lest their inherent greed should harm the country.
Various measures can be suggested to kill the devil of corruption like transparency in public life, stringent laws to deal with the corruption cases, electoral reforms to check the misuse of money and muscle powers, reform in judiciary system, to quicken the process of disposal of cases of corruption etc., but the foremost duty and responsibility lies with the common masses. It has become customary to indict the politicians, bureaucrats, police and corporate businessmen, for the flourishing of corruption in the society. Undoubtedly, it is they who have made the corruption creep into every fibre and fabric of body politic of our nation.
But, can we escape the criticism and responsibility, when we ourselves are part and parcel of the social paraphernalia that is actuated largely by materialistic considerations? How many of us, believe in the maxim of “simple living high thinking”? How many of us value ideals of honesty, dedication to work, and purity of spirit? To earn money is not a bad thing, but to earn by
unfair means, immoral acts, is condemnable. Lofty ideals look good on paper but to fight the menace of corruption prevailing throughout the world, a multipronged action plan is needed.
Corruption can be checked when the rulers themselves set an example for the common men to follow. How can we expect the lower rungs of the society to tread path of righteousness, when the higher echelons are totally tainted? One should remember: “Lilies that fester smell for worse than weeds”, says William Shakespeare. People follow the elders, the leaders, the persons sitting in the position of authority. If the so called leaders are fully sunk in the ocean of corruption, then who can save the nation. To fight the demon of corruption, not only the politicians, but also the common men have to strive hard, sincerely, honestly and with determination. Vigilant and awakened people can prove to be a competent army under the leadership of an honest and dedicated leader to fight the evil and devil of corruption.