Corruption in India (Part 3)

Once in a while, the government of the day will send out the CBI to raid a few people here and there, to show how they care about creating a corruption-free country. A few days later, the case is slowed down, and vanishes from the headlines.

This happens because the chain of corruption goes to the highest levels of our governments (centre and state). Of course, it can never be proven in a court of law. But we all know how it works. Ministers are at the apex of a system that includes bureaucrats, businessmen and others. Anyone wanting that little ‘extra special’ gets it by paying someone off. The percentages in the incentive system for distributing money are quite clear to all.

In all this, India suffers. We are poor not because we lack resources or wealth. We are poor because we are corrupt. And it is in the interest of those in power to keep us poor. For a politician, no amount of money is ever enough.

India needs a person who can clean up the system. And it has to start at the top. India needs someone like Lee Kuan Yew, the man who led Singapore’s development. Singapore became a first world country within a generation, and it is also consistently among the top three least corrupt countries in the world. Those two facts are causally related.

Eradicating corruption at the highest levels will create a major difference in India. Firstly, more money will be available for spending. All public funds allocated for support and development will actually go towards those ends instead of it being siphoned away. Secondly, the spending priorities will be determined more rationally instead of being based on which scheme gives the most opportunity the corruption or for buying the loyalty of vote banks. Taken together, removing corruption from the highest levels of governance is the biggest game-changer for India. Nothing else can match the multiplicative benefits the country receives from eradicating corruption.

 Continued tomorrow.