Monday, June 27, 2011

Democratic, Corrupted "India" ...



We have expressed our anger, helplessness, disagreement, criticism and dissent in the last few months, about the ongoing issue of corruption - in our polity, bureacracy, administration, at people in positions of power, in short, in whole "India".

It is time to ask,

Do we have any ideas / suggestions / proposals to offer to fix this deep rooted, organised, institutionalised corrupt practices ?

One thing that is clearly evident, is a truth :
it is our tolerance, and inaction for decades that has contributed to this growth. We failed to raise our voice, dissent, protest all these years and are to share the blame too.

And those that say, there still are many amongst us, who do in their individual capacity, fight these practices and live by clean principles, yes while this may be true, the nature and extent of this malaise calls for collective, nationwide, proactive action to fix this. And Now.

Here is my view and suggestions.

1) Since we are a democracy, and we have 543 MPs representing 543 geographic constituencies across the country, each MP has to be made to present his timed plan (monthly, yearly targets) for development of his constituency during election time. The action plan/promise must include a prioritisised commitment to address, basic issues of sanitation, drinking water, medical infrastructure, education, policing and safety, etc. He must be made (by law if necessary) to hold periodic meetings with local representatives/ people of his constituency to review the progress of his targets. And where he /she is found failing, and does not deliver or commit offences, or engage in illegal activity to reach his target...he must be made accountable and punishable through a local referendum which will be issue based.

The same could be extended to state representatives - the MLAs in their constituencies.

When each MP and MLA has to make a committed promise (not empty manifestoes), and will be audited / reviewed by the local people periodically, it will bring in transperancy and accountability. The MP or MLA will then do the job he is elected for - ie., to reperesent and serve his people. This is his job description and he will meet his targets to stay in the job. His job will be subject to review by the people who elect him ie., give his job.

2) There should be fast track investigative and justice mechanisms instituted or strenghen already existing laws and courts, to deal with serious offences of financial, ethical, criminal nature. And judgements of punishments have to be immediately carried out without delay, fear or favour.

Infact we have got a wikipedia page on this - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_India
It says - A 2005 study conducted by Transparency International in India found that more than 45% of Indians had first-hand experience of paying bribes or influence peddling to get jobs done in public offices successfully.

Just two ideas to set the debate on.
Read and React. Its all yours.
Over to your positive suggestions!

2 comments:

Vidisha Mehta said...

Your blog brings into limelight what can be considered as an emerging concern for any honest, impartial and virtuous Government and its personnel.

Definitely, we have “expressed our anger, resentment, disagreement and criticism” towards this problem, but I oppose to the word "helplessness" used. We live in a democratic state where citizens out-rightly exercise an active participation while deciding and making of the Government by electing the right and most suitable candidate for themselves. So, where are we helpless when have such a crucial and indispensable contribution to make, when we can elect our representatives, then why we cannot throw away the non-working, irresponsible, self-centered officials?
Corruption can be best defined as the abuse of entrusted powers for private gain, a serious bottleneck for development of any nation.
Economists see corruption as as a market-distorting externality and treat it as a peripheral subject.
But in present scenario, corruption has became a part of the fabric of the society and the image in your blog which depicts the efforts of the bureaucrats to bring reforms in the society and the politicians covering those reforms with the carpet of corruption is so apt and a true satire.
Back to the lines of the blog - definitely we have many ways to curb this "deep-rooted institution named as Corruption".
In 1996, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for instance, adopted a comprehensive Programme of Action against Corruption and, subsequently, issued a series of anti-corruption standard-setting instruments:
The Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, The Civil Law Convention on Corruption, Additional Protocol to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, the Twenty Guiding Principles for the Fight against Corruption, Recommendation on Codes of Conduct for Public Officials, Recommendation on Common Rules against Corruption in the Funding of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns.
But how far has these Conventional Programmes helped in fighting against Corruption in India, still remains an issue for debate. Laws and rules are made daily and violated to match the needs of the people, as rightly said- “Rules are meant to be broken.”
Corruption still remains widespread in the country and there have been many instances of political and bureaucratic corruption, public funds embezzlement, fraudulent procurement practices, and judicial corruption.
With such a vast administrative system comprising of so many officials and politicians with different educational backgrounds and different ideologies, do we really dream of building an honest and non-corrupt nation? We tend to find lacunas in the efficient working of the Government.
To both of your Debatable Ideas (as you mentioned), what I find as a most suited suggestion can be- to stop the corruption at Individual Level itself.
Why are we always blaming the Administrative officials for practicing corruption when we themselves are offering them monetary and financial support for our benefits? I am not holding that such officials are innocent and away from being blamed, but we are actually shedding away our mistakes on easy targets.
I would say to start punishing the people who offer bribe much before to those who take bribe. When there won’t be any opportunity and easy access for bribing and citizens themselves will fear to offer bribe, this will help in curbing this problem to some extent.
The concept of INDIA AGAINT CORRUPTION along with the emergence of Lokayuktas- a novel concept to demand for more strong and stringent anti-corruption laws- needs appraisal and peoples’ support too.
We can’t say that we are HELPLESS anymore. We have to wake up from our slumber. Everything lies in our hands only. We just need to take concrete and appropriate steps in the right direction.
All we need an instinct and a positive attitude and then NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.

tarup.sarkar said...

Corruption is like a drug in the veins of the entire society and nation. People needs to sensitize about the benefits of corruption free world.