Manzoor A. Naik
India is a vast country in every respect and nobody can comprehend the heights it may scale in every sphere of human life. By dint of its characteristic feature like the enhancement of human understanding, it has been attracting the attention of the world throughout the ages and has succeeded in acquiring a place of respect and admiration amidst the global giants in the modern times also. India has already established itself as an important and resurgent economy across the globe and its upward movement has made even the number one global power, America, accepted it as a partner on many global issues. But its glowing picture has also been tarnished by a large number of scams like 2G spectrum scam, Indian Premiere League Scam, misuse of public money in the Common Wealth Games, Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society, Saradha Group Financial Scandal; Abhishek Verma Arms deals scandal, Indian Coal allocation scam etc from time to time. In fact such scams have been taking place from the last several years and people had got accustomed to dismissing them as common practices. It might have continued without getting noticed, had the pent-up anger against corruption not forced its way out in the form of support for the crusaders against this malpractice, like Anna Hazare. In fact the public anger and dissatisfaction got expression after the beginning of a hunger strike by Anna Hazare on 5th of April, 2011 and assumed the form of a movement after the police action against the Satyagraha of Yoga Guru, Baba Ram Dev on 5th of June, 2011. It was the unending fight against the social evils of the Gandhian Anna Hazare and other activists made corruption a national issue and mobilized the already irritated and frustrated Indians masses to come out in the open against the evil of corruption. This movement for the formation of a strict Lokpal to fight corruption and to bring back the black money stashed away in the foreign banks seems to have gained momentum for the change of system itself. It is a pity that we have made a very fast progress as far as economy is concerned but lagged behind in respect of honesty. The Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International recently has placed India at 76th rank out of 168 countries in its latest corruption Perception index. This list makes it obvious that most of the democratic, developed and major developing nations are better than India. Transparency International’s report takes into consideration not only the police and politics but lower judiciary also. It’s not without significance, because for the common well being and the public welfare issue as well as for the implementation of all the major schemes and projects, the role of all these are very important.
Now, the question arises- Are our sustainable growth and overall development in the true sense possible in such circumstances? It doesn’t seem possible that in such a situation the policies based on national interests will reach the far flung areas of the country properly and with full effect. We should, however not forget that a burning issue like corruption has never been taken on serious note by the successive democratically elected governments. Nor has any political leader even bothered to root out this evil. Whenever media and social organizations expressed their concern over this issue, the government listened to them patiently and assured every time that some strict action would be taken in this regard but always kept it on the back burner. Corruption is proving itself a big obstacle in India’s march towards rapid overall growth. Should we not treat financial scams and corruption as an act equal to treason? Is it not exigency of our times? Do we not deprive the common people of their rights by allowing corruption? We all know that billions are stashed in foreign banks which can solve all the problems of our country facing the poor masses languishing in shanties and on the roads. A significant fact is this that many of the ambitious plans are not executed, because we have no funds. We are not even able to provide basic facilities to our poor countrymen due to lack of funds. A very large section of our population is living below poverty line even after 69 years of independence. Is it not a national shame? As far as action related to corruption-tainted or bureaucrats is concerned, everybody knows that many such cases have been pending for years and hardly any so called big fish has been penalized. It is high time that these all scams must be placed in the category of treason and the people involved, especially the kingpins, to be meted out the same treatment which is prescribed for such acts. In simple words, corruption needs to be taken seriously by all and can be uprooted, if the government, opposition and the civil activists come together to act in
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