Updated: Dec 21, 2019
By Sparkian Dr. Gazal Goyal Bansal
Contributing Author for Spark Igniting Minds
Every Indian mind seeks an answer to this question, but do we ever think why in the first place corruption exists?
Corruption is a malady that manifests in the mind first and then it comes into being. We tend to forget that everything begins from a thought, and if thoughts are corrupt, the whole being is corrupt.
Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon, well recognized, deeply rooted, and firmly entrenched facilitator, motivator, prompter and promoter. It oils the government machinery, provides speedy wheels and swift wings to the official files, and is termed as speed money. Corruption in public services is antithetical to integrity and probity.
In India, corruption levels have increased substantially with passing time, and its ramifications are so large and pervasive, that it has corroded the administrative machinery, and retarded efficiency and progress.
In the past 69 years, we have virtually nationalized and institutionalized corruption in the public life to such an extent, that it has indeed become a way of life.
Politics has become a deadly and nationally expensive joke.
The simple definition of corruption is improper or selfish exercise of power, and influence attached to a public office or to a special position in public life.
Politics being the seat of power, the manifestations of corrupt politics are observable at all levels of power hierarchy. Political corruption becomes a paramount evil in developing societies, because masses in general are illiterate and poverty stricken. Political corruption is regarded as the mother of all kind of corruptions, which can be vanquished only by the collective effort of people.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I would go to the length of giving the whole Congress a decent burial, rather than put up with the corruption, that is rampant”.
The disciples of Gandhi however ignored his concern over corruption in post independent India, when they came to power.
Apart from other social and economic compulsions, corruption has grown due to steep fall in the standards of political leadership and an overall decline in the normal and ethical standards in the society. Nowadays politics is the most lucrative business, where money power and muscle power are the best investments. Politics is the shortcut to sleaze, black money and fabulous wealth.
Corruption in elections and in legislative bodies reduces accountability and representation in policy making. Corruption in the judiciary suspends the rule of law, and corruption in public administration results in the unequal provisions of services.
Corruption erodes the institutional capacity of government, as procedures are disregarded, resources are siphoned off, and officials are hired or promoted without regard to democratic values such as trust and tolerance. People have lost faith in the integrity of public administration due to increased corrupt practices.
Recently, the public and private partnership system has been put under the microscope, and is found to be actively working in partnership with politicos and bureaucrats, to perpetrate large-scale corruption. The same has been reported by none other than the Transparency International India (TII) which highlights the decay in the private sector, against the backdrop of the various scams.
In the last two decades or so, several scandals and financial irregularities have been reported in our country.
Bofors, Stock Market Securities, Hawala, Sugar, Animal Husbandry, Urea, Telecommunication, Tehelka, Kargil, Coffin Purchasing Scam, Taj Corridor Scam, Common Wealth Games, Ponzi Schemes, Coal Allocation, Satyam, NSEL, Banks NPA, Indian Premier League, Kingfisher are some important scandals in the sphere of public life.
Criminalization of politics is another facet of Corruption.
If the rulers are unprincipled and corrupt, people generally acquire the same colors, hues and proclivities. Corruption thus breeds at the top, and gradually filters down to the lower levels, eating into the vitals of the society.