In the backdrop of a number of high-level scams, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today said "graft and greed" are on the rise putting in danger the principles on which independent India was founded and stressed the need for a "more effective and efficient" government.
Talking about social democracy, Gandhi said the high rate of economic growth was "not an end in itself" as "our moral universe seems to be shrinking".
She noted that she was "conscious" of the "gap between promise and delivery" and emphasised that the country, "at many levels, needs to augment its financial and managerial capacity to deliver public goods and services better."
"The issue of fairness is important in any democratic society. The broad mass of people must believe in the fairness of the system, if it is to survive," she said at the 10th Indira Gandhi Conference in New Delhi where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made the inaugural address.
"We are right to celebrate our high rate of economic growth. We must do all that we can to sustain it. However, let us not forget that growth is not an end in itself. Much more important to my mind is what kind of society we aspire to be and the values on which it should be built," Gandhi said.
She observed that the country's economy may "increasingly be dyanmic, but our moral universe seems to be shrinking... Graft and greed are on the rise. The principles on which Independent India was founded, for which a generation of great leaders fought and sacrificed their all, are in danger of being negated."
Her remarks on graft and greed assumce significance as these come in the backdrop of a number of scams, like in 2G spectrum allocation, Commonwealth Games and Mumbai's Adarsh Housing Society, in which allegations have been levelled against senior leaders of Congress and key ally DMK.