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Corruption in India (Part 3)

November 25th, 2009 · 14 Comments

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.

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14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 rohitaash // Nov 25, 2009 at 5:51 am

    Hi Rajesh,

    In a country like India there is so much of injustice and betrayal that getting a fair deal in any relationships is just not possible. One must dominate or be dominated. The best deal in any business or personal india is not win win for majority of population. Its always win-lose.

    In being in a position where one could be corrupt and dominating serves as a method of revenge for by the time a person is 24, he has already experienced enough of that injustice.

    Even in the democratic system like USA, there is no way one could settle a score with a person who has been unfair in any regard to one, legally using the system. Civil Courts are difficult to access and beaurocratic and lot of hassle and there is no person you can just call and say soft injustice has been committed against you.

    I feel corrective actions in india can only be done using the school systems and ensuring the generation coming out of school is USED to getting their rights respected using the system.

    for ex, in USA , if someone hits someone’s kid, the kid can tell to his teacher and teacher calls parents of this other kid to school and also suspend him for mandatory 7 days and a blot appears on his districts’s school office record book. If its someone from outside the school, cops take action immediately. Usually there is police car or personnel assigned to every school to regulate traffic and order.

    When I was young, one day I was playing in the school and this other guy who I had said something to, brought his big brother to school after the school hours in the evening when we were playing volleyball.
    He came to me, pulled me out of the field, kicked me in the stomach and I didnt even know who this guy was!
    I ran to my sports teacher inside the building and on hearing my plight he said why do you come to school after hours to play volleyball?
    This happened in chandigarh.

    After several years, we were living in rajasthan and some guys from my sister’s school came to our house and put patakhas in the post box and blew it up cos my dad had met them in school and asked them to stay away from teasing my sister.

    Who do we complain? Once the act is done, negotiations begins but justice isnt served.

    There are many other examples and these are so small examples where justice isnt served and it happens to any average boy and girl growing up throughout their childhood to be adults. Talk about Gondhra, Babri, Sikh Roits, Partition riots, Shiv Sena, etc. etc.

    India is a fertile ground for terrorists and anti social elements.

    Even in USA, its tough working with fellow indians. Many carry no ethics and are perverts when it comes to money and women and position.

    People like me see the futility of trying to fix the nation and leave to settle at other shores and raise families there.

    If I were to live in india in an ordinary NON PRIVATE sector life, I would find a way to unleash revenge on the fellow country men and most likely it would be very non violent way of being a corrupt babu. I would have my years of injustice to tell me how these same people would behave if I was standing at their place across the table.

    So, If it aint fixed at the school level, indian society can not be fixed at all.

    Thanks
    Rohitaash
    Psychology of the corrupt nation
    Written live at 4:51Pm PST :)

  • 2 smitha // Nov 25, 2009 at 9:07 am

    You are only concentrating corruption involving money. I consider, promoting undeserved candidates up in the ladder, nepotism in politics, disregard of law of land, and a whole lot count under corruption, because all of them are evils.

    Now come back to Singapore, who is it’s prime minister, how is he related to LKY? and Do you know who is the chief of Temasek, which controls 200 Billion dollars. And Do you know who is the chief of SGX (Singapore stock exchange)?

    These things happen all the places, it would be white collar in developed nations, while tend to blame politicians in India.

    I firmly believe the reality reflects the attitude of people. We don’t value law of land, be it common citizen or politician, and we know how responsible elected representatives stall the proceedings of the legislative house for all silly reasons. Politicians are merely a sample of what our entire population represents, they can’t possess better values than average citizen, and when we lack it, so do they.

    What we need is more transparency in all transactions that government is doing, RTI is a step in the right direction. And UIDAI is another step along the same lines, we are slowly moving towards in the right direction, and I only hope next Godhra would not happen because of jealous political ends.

  • 3 Parag Mahajan // Nov 25, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Things may change only if there is civil war in India.

  • 4 kasi // Nov 25, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    @Parag Mahajan what do you mean by a civil war? Social Revolution?

  • 5 Mahesh // Nov 25, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    The scams which are on the front page of any news paper will not take much time to get to middle or last page or totally vanish from the new paper itself, reason being there is a new incident may or may not be of same category. All this is due to dead slow court process. All these cases take ages to get to a dead end, and in the mean time the person involved is out on bail and roaming around or enjoying 5 star facilities in the jail itself.

    We have come to a stage where we ourself do not know from where do we start eradicating these things…is it the politic, court or IAS / IPS (govt.) etc… as of today corruption is in every dept of govt. Looks like not a single branch is corruption free

    Inspite of educating the voter via any media there seems to be no improvement in the system.

    There are numerous movies related to political corruption and people have not learnt their lessons from them … Yes a set of people have learnt their lesson and have become politicians and are ruling others.

  • 6 Parag Mahajan // Nov 26, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Yes social revolution. where people wake up and kick b*ts of corrupt Indians. This was happened and we got independence 150 yrs back.

  • 7 Parag Mahajan // Nov 26, 2009 at 10:22 am

    50 yrs back

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  • 9 Wycliffe Odhiambo // Dec 15, 2009 at 7:15 am

    I am from Kenya, and quite interested in the parallels between India’s corruption/failed institutions with those of Kenya, which is probably even worse. What would you say are an Indian’s four primary concerns?

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  • 11 CJB // Jan 1, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Corruption is everywhere. But the difference is ‘ to what extent?’ When honesty is reported as news item, the corruption is at peak. If you we ask 10 government staff in the positions of dealing with public, we should be happy if one says he is corruption free.
    But why are they corrupt? Is it because they are poor? I have seen an Indian Pilot earning 5 lacs a month flicking a bottle liquor from a flight. So the problem is common for poor and the rich in India. The values in life are taken from our parents. During British rule, when our parent/grand parents lived, the government was not our own. Cheating the government was a pride. After independence our leaders, did not effectively change the mind of the people. How many of us think that the government is ours? For many of us government is nobody’s and robbing government by bribing the government servants is a matter of pride.

  • 12 Datta // Jan 2, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Comparing Singapore with India is wrong. With population come chaos. Singapore is no where close to India in that aspect. With more than a billion people, some radical approaches are needed to rectify things in India. Just by teaching well at school you cannot expect a changed India. Look at the educated rascals doing all kinds of nasty things and getting away with it. Also, like someone quoted above, poor people are not necessarily corrupt.
    IMO, the cleaning up of India will take two tier approach similar to curing a disease. First, u clean up the bad part. Second, u constantly strive to keep it at bay. Proper education @ schools etc fall in the second tier. When it come to cleaning, I do not think there is a easy, non-violent way of doing things because we will be dealing with criminals both educated and uneducated. And then we are trying to separate them from their “hard earned” money. Things will get dirty. PERIOD. Like the famous saying goes “Laton ke booth baton se nahin mante”. If cleansing could be achieved just by preaching and expecting people to change, a lot of people in India could have done it by now. It simply is not the answer. We need a team of people who are downright wicked, but they use wickedness to fight bad and not do bad. Where diplomacy fails, force works almost equally good. But this is lot easier said than done. Just planning a ‘wicked’ approach to oust bad folks will probably take a few years. I really like where Lok Satta is going. But they wont last long if they only stick to honesty and straightforwardness. Criminals will plan hard against them as their success increases.
    I am an Indian in a foreign country with only dreams of doing good to India. I can’t do much because I am a ordinary man with no influence or connections. Only if I had the power, I would make it worth the bad guys.

  • 13 Datta // Jan 2, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Dear Odhiambo,
    These are what I think are the 4 primary concerns in India
    - Caste System
    - Illiteracy
    - Corruption
    - Conservative / Traditional nature of people

  • 14 Shrikant U. Deshmukh // Dec 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    It is necessary to vanish all currency notes except Rs. 100/- by the Government. All the transactions should be made by issuing cheques only. Government can increase the commission of banks for the said work. It will definately help out to stop all underground transactions.

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