Corruption in India: A Problem For Successive Governments And The Indian Populace

Corruption in India: A Problem For Successive Governments And The Indian Populace

Graft and bribery are a way of life in India. Corruption has become a common phenomenon in Indian offices, roads and hospitals. Even nursery schools across the nation demand hefty bribes to admit children. In the same way, corrupt officials proclaim their inability to process applications without a little something. It becomes a matter of concern for the citizens because they are affected. It also contributes towards anti-incumbency come election time, regardless of which party is at the helm. India is a symbol of unity in diversity. Unfortunately, the world’s largest democracy has yet to be given a clean chit when it comes to corruption.

Dismal rankings on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception index, scams involving leaders year after year and corporate kickbacks that are enough to feed the urban poor of a few Indian cities are bringing us all down. It is also the reason why cynicism has been bred among the citizenry and the corporate sector. While political apathy seems to be diminishing in recent times, it becomes quite apparent that the Indian voter is caught between the devil and the deep, blue sea. With countless charges and counter-charges of corruption, India’s voters are befuddled about which party to vote for. Each political group has its own ideology and while anti-graft remains on the agenda of leading players in the game, one wonders if any of them can actually deliver.

While some may view this as a very pessimistic opinion and a negative approach, facts and figures force us to confront the harsh reality head on. Not a single government in the past years since India’s independence has had a scam-free tenure. Each political party has failed to deliver when it comes to curbing corruption. While new parties are trying to capitalize on these sentiments and gain political power, it is the population which is facing the troubles of having to shell out bribes for any kind of work in the country. Paying bribes in India is nothing new. In 2005, nearly 62% of Indians reported to Transparency International that they were forced to pay bribed to public officials. In 2008, the number has whittled down to 40%.
But in case this is seen as a positive indication, bear in mind that Indian ranked a pitiful 94 out of 176 countries on the Corruptions Perceptions Index. We actually tied with nations such as Senegal, Benin, Dijbouti and Moldova for this dubious distinction. Ironically, the most common instances of corruption are observed in subsidy and entitlement schemes which are enthusiastically supported by incoming political parties once a government dissolves. If the parties want to capitalize on vote bank politics, then certain sections of the administration want to benefit from this venture as well. Money laundering and black cash are some of the biggest concerns that India now faces. The average man is plagued with problems but successive governments insist on coming up with schemes that are ineffectively implemented and unable to meet the needs of the people.

What is worse is that these schemes which are intended for the benefit of the poor are actually creating corruption. Scams are the natural order of the day. Every scam and scandal so far has proved that no political party has the right to point fingers at another. It is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. India can only change its destiny if leaders realize that combating corruption is not about making promises at election time and forgetting them once power has been gained. If political ambitions are the making or breaking of any leader, then anti-graft becomes an election anthem which has no meaning. But if leaders start out with the genuine intention of helping the people and promoting a bribe-free India, much can be gained.

The corporate sector can also take a stand. The massive campaigns against corruption unleashed by groups such as TATA have done a huge service to the nation. If leading entrepreneurs take the hard way out and refuse to give bribes, they will find it more profitable in the long run. Legalizing business lobbying is the best way to make corruption a thing of the past when it comes to corporate kickbacks. With adequate support from all sectors, eliminating corruption can be more than just a dream. It can be our reality.
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  • RE: Corruption in India: A Problem For Successive Governments And The Indian Populace -Deepa Kaushik (04/29/14)
  • It is a known secret that most work gets done when you consider mutual benefit, most is it is to get the thing done without having to do all the formalities or to visit on several occasions. Over the time people got used to this concept, and most had given up the hope that things would change. Then a individual came with a small group of supporters (Anna) and what followed was probably the largest mass mobilisation of masses next to the mass mobilisation in independence struggle. This recent mobilisation was also for independence but not from the British but from the cancer (corruption) which is eating the country alive. This was followed by one of the group member entering the political arena.

    This brought hope to people that there is a chance that they can have clean governance, and the act of these individuals has brought about a movement where now every political party needs to consider if one common man can do this then so can another, when people are now looking for reforms to remove corruption/bribery – they need to cover this (at least) in their election rallies, thus setting expectations. This is also fuelled by the awareness about scams in the last couple of years.

    Which party/collision forms the government, would need to face the lok pal issue, about governance and it is going to be a challenge if the ruling party has individual who are themselves suspect and those who are to be tried in court for various civil / criminal offences are themselves making the legislature.