Saturday, July 23, 2011

Corruption Magnet

India has been rocked by recent scandals, see what's going wrong

सरकारी नौकरी में उपरी कमाई बहुत है ”(There’s lot of additional income in government jobs). Ask any person why he prefers the government job over the private one and this will be one reason every person will tell, for sure. In fact, the problem has become so grave that people are not as worried about their legal income as they are about their so called additional income.
Talk to these people about corruption and there will give you two responses. The first one being that, with such a high inflation there’s no option other than asking for bribes, for survival. And what’s included in there list of survival is cars, bungalows, jewellery and servants.
In case of second excuse, it’s much trickier to gauge their views. They will tell you that government should hang the corrupt but scope to earn an additional income(bribes) is one of the reasons to join public service.
However, in light of these notorious views, exchanging the bribes has become a routine exercise and it is now asked so often and openly, that many even don’t call it a bribe. They think, it’s their right to earn for what they do, forgetting that they are already paid to do so.
Show Me The Money
So what's the reason that bribery has become a part of our society? I think it's their Confidence. Confidence that government will not take any action against the culprits. Government employees are assured of their job security so they do whatever they want. People know that until proven guilty (which usually take years) they are not going to be punished. This makes corruption a great tool of earning due to negligible risk to return ratio.
In a country, where ‘Dr. Sen’ was given life term for just speaking against the government, people wander around freely even after acting against the country. So, should Raja not be terminated from parliament or his perks and salary be withhold? Or should election commission not bar him from appearing in next term elections? The answer should be a YES, but unfortunately it's not.  And as long as it remains so, there’s no reason why Raja or Kalmadi or any other person should not commit such a crime.
The only way to prevent corruption from further expanding its wings is transparency. And to start, government should make it compulsory for each and every government employee ranging from ‘President’ to ’Peon’ to be open to public scrutiny and bringing them under the purview of RTI. A strong 'Lokpal Bill' could be the perfect start but as of now, it looks like GoI is not serious on eliminating corruption. The proposed bill have left all the lower level employees out of its ambit and it lacks enough teeth to nab the culprit.  
In addition to this, those under trial should be barred from getting any compensation or perks against their work till proven guilty. If proved, he should be immediately suspended without giving the arrears and should not be allowed in other government jobs and if proven innocent all their arrears should be cleared. This will go a long way to reduce corruption as the punishment will be immediate and eminent.
In addition, government should make it rewarding for people to inform about corrupt officials by giving them preference for their work and jobs.
All these may be small baby steps but if implemented properly , it will certainly clip the wings of corrupt.  

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