In an apparent reference to the recent spurt in civil society activism, especially in the wake of the RTI scheme gaining popularity and Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption, an uncharacteristically candid Comptroller and Auditor General has called for a ‘paradigm shift’ in people.
“Civil society has raised its voice, and it is being heard. Not only that, it is also telling us that you sit in a glass house where every activity is under intense scrutiny,” CAG Vinod Rai said during a conference of Lokayuktas.
Saying there was a lot of wrongdoing in government as well as in corporates, Rai said: “Let us debunk the myth of the silent majority. Up till now the majority of the people have sat back and let itself be the recipient of all the wrongdoing that the government was doing and suffered in silence.”
“Each one of us may not be able to eradicate corruption but what is required is that everyone keep that space around him clean of corruption.”
The CAG said earlier audit was in its ivory tower reporting to Parliament and thinking its job was over. “Now we have focused on social audit. We are compiling all audit reports across social sectors in small ‘Noddy’ type booklets 14-15 pages long with a CD which will be available to everyone. Noddy is a character by child novelist Enid Blyton whose stories are available in small booklets.
Pushing for introspection in society, Rai said economic growth also would not be sustainable and inclusive unless based on the edifice of transparency, accountability and probity.
“We need to ask — have we become a nation of mediocrity with no quest for excellence...the time to act is now,” Rai added.