The opportunity to amass phenomenal wealth that political power affords is the main driver for people with neither aptitude nor desire for governing to go to enormous lengths to enter politics. Over time, this leads to the erosion of public morality and ethics. The results of the recent assembly elections in Bihar illustrate this reality. In the 243-member Bihar legislative assembly, 141 of the newly elected members have pending criminal cases against them. The charges include murder, kidnapping and theft. [See http://ibnlive.in.com/news/141-bihar-mlas-have-pending-criminal-charges/135850-3.html?from=trhs ]It should be shocking that people who are entrusted with making laws are themselves most likely the ones who have broken them. There has been a definite lowering of standards of what is acceptable behavior. That voters actually elect criminals to legislative bodies must be the most shameful aspect of Indian democracy. The trend is not at all positive, for it appears that now even the press is involved in the murky deals that were once limited to some politicians and corporations. It also appears that the cancer of corruption may have spread to the judiciary.
In the final analysis, the prevalent level of public probity and integrity is a function of society’s demand for them. In a democracy, the people ultimately decide who gets to govern. The solution to the problem of corruption of public officials lies absolutely with the public. The kind of leaders and policy makers that people demand ultimately determine who gets to make the rules by which society functions.