SHAKESPEARE IN one of his plays says that love is madness and lovers should be whipped to cure them of this disease, but he laments that lovers are not whipped, because whippers are in love too! Some such situation exists when it comes to corruption in government offices and public life.
The first and the immediate victim of governmental and other corruptions is the common man for high and mighty and the influential get their work done either through their influence or money power. It may be argued that the governments cannot be the custodian or guarantors of every man’s conscience or morality, but could they disown their responsibility that naturally devolves upon them to ensure corruption and hassle-free public services? Then why does the common man blame and hold the governments responsible for corruption?
There are three vital reasons that prompt corruption: first is self-complacency on the part of the administrators that everything is just fine when it is not; second reason is bad and hopeless governance; third and the most important is their indifference to the sufferings of the common man who has to face corruption, humiliation, discomfitures and delays every where.
When Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister lamented that only ten paisa out of a rupee reached the developmental activities, what could be more shameful and disgusting? But the misfortune is that even after such an assertion no efforts have been made to stop and stifle the pilferage. Even if some measures had been introduced they were only half hearted and were never sincerely implemented. It is here that the common man and all those who are exposed to corruption and the attendant delays have a right to complain.
The Right to Information Bill has been introduced with great fanfare, but nothing seems to have been done to stem corruption. If the governments introduce just some long-overdue measures like simplification of procedures, single-window service, time-bound disposal of work and accountability, things would certainly improve dramatically.
If willful delays are termed as intended corruption and the policy of accountability implemented strictly, corruption to a large extent will be eradicated.
We take corruption in the stride and have legitimised it through our silence scarcely realising that it has emboldened the corrupt and have prompted those departments that were hitherto corruption free, I mean education and health. These two departments (the competing departments aver) have surpassed other departments in their “turnover”. If earlier corruption had vitiated the public life, now it is fast invading the domestic life as well by weakening the defenses of homely and social virtues.
Corruption is the single most threat to this country’s prosperity and national life for in its wider implications it is anti-national, anti-social and immoral in character and deserves to be classed with treason, for it threatens all that we hold dear and precious in personal, public and national life.