Fighting corruption to build India

Dr. Daleep Pandita
The present Government was given mandate on adderessing important issue of eradication of corruption menace prevalent in our country. Nothing appreciable has been done seriously on this vital issue, that is actively eating our society at all levels. Counting on accountable governance, public at large expect concrete steps, at least to have mass awareness against this evil, so as to produce deterrent effects less than punitive results at ground level.
Prevention of corruption by creating sustained public awareness is a campaign where not only Government Departments and their employees need to be involved but people en masse should play their responsible role for making this exercise a great success. Zero tolerance towards corruption is the need of hour, which must be fully activated immediately. Thus corruption free environment at ground level will reform our country to build strong vibrant New India.
Both state and Central Government need to be serious in their commitments towards implementation of anti corruption measures by regularly sensitizing their employees continuously throughout the year. Departments associated with vigilance must be equipped with complete infrastructure and given well trained honest manpower who are dedicated towards the cause. Stress must be laid on granting them adequate judicial powers rather than empowering them with vast administrative jurisdiction. They should be accountable and result oriented so that people have faith and confidence in such institutions. At the same time, there is need to have proper check and balance on their functioning, so as not to misuse such agencies for settling personal scores and taking political vendetta. Such credible caretakers must not succumb to undue tactical pressure of their governors for petty benefits for goofing up the facts that send wrong message to masses and encourage law breakers. System need to regulate the regulator also to make it more sustainable and effective in its longer run.
We also need to realise the seriousness of this malignancy and establish a connect with the people for not only to expose this menace completely but to create sufficient knowledge about its consequences especially among the uneducated and rural poor. Voluntary citizens and non governmental organisations, who work with limited resources and strive for creating awareness against corruption, need to be recognised and encouraged. Sufficient examples of discouraging such front runners by the rulers have been seen in the past. It not only reflect unexpected attitude of authorities but waste public money and intern conveys the message of inefficient governance to the society.
In order to tackle this chronic menace more specifically rather than holistically, it is important to understand the types and genesis of corruption.. Normally corruption in our society is perceived as financial fraud or economic crime. Actually corruption is much more broader offence having large and different ramifications. It ranges from intellectual corruption to physical corruption, to sexual corruption, to moral corruption, to social corruption, to religious corruption, to ethnic corruption and very many other types of corruption. All these types of corrupt practices have negative implications on development and progress of our society. Basically corruption happens either by need or by greed and both these modes are directly related only with the mindset of an individual. Originally it is connected with moral and ethical values of a person those develop during its upbringing and society only shape up such ethos.
Vigilance mainly adopts two ways in fighting corruption. One aspect is punitive vigilance that deals with creating much needed awareness so as follow thumb rule of ” prevention is better than cure “. It not only creates fear in the mind of corrupt due to horrible consequences of corruption but also builds morale against unfair and illegal practices that ultimately lead to self satisfaction of a person. All actions under this exercise are aimed to create deterrent effect in the mind of a common man that creates sense of discipline and responsibility in him. This approach is purely educative, and informative in nature.
The other method is punitive vigilance that provides punishment after committing the crime or acts of commission or omission. It is reformative that corrects human aberrations and serves lesson for others. Having major drawback that it can be used as a tool for victimization and vindication, so in practice it is less encouraged as compared to preventive vigilance. Chances of its misuse are comparatively more that punitive vigilance.
Conclusively, we need to be aware and committed in our efforts to feel conciousously responsible against corruption menace in order to rebuild New India. Compromising with our values by succumbing to our petty gains will strengthen this menace, which in turn will destroy each one us.
( The author is Senior Divisional Manager with Government of India General Insurance P S U at Jammu )


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