By: Priyanka Saurabh
The Mahatma’s vision of a strong and prosperous India – Poorna Swaraj – can never become a reality if we do not address the issue of corruption’s hold on our politics, economy, and society in general. Governance is undoubtedly the weak link in our quest for prosperity and equity. Eradication of corruption is not only a moral imperative but an economic necessity for a nation that aspires to catch up with the rest of the world.
In his Tantrata Diwas address, the Prime Minister made a scathing attack against the twin challenges of corruption and nepotism and said that if not addressed in time, they could become a bigger challenge. What is corruption? Corruption is dishonest behaviour by people in positions of power. In this people abuse their power and they can be related to individuals or businesses or organizations like governments. Corruption includes a wide range of actions, such as giving or accepting bribes or improper gifts, double-dealing, and defrauding investors. India was ranked 85 out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2021.
However, the paradox of India is that, despite the cautious press and public opinion, the level of corruption remains exceptionally high. This can be attributed to extreme insensitivity, lack of shame, and lack of sense of public morality on the part of bribe-takers. Unfortunately for India, discipline is fast disappearing from public life, and without discipline, as pointed out by Scandinavian economist-sociologist, Gunnar Myrdal, no real progress is possible. Discipline refers to; inter alia, a sense of public and private morality and integrity.
While in the west a person who rises to positions of high authority develops more respect for the laws, the opposite is true in our country. Here, a person in a high position is characterized by the ease with which he can ignore laws and regulations. We are being influenced by a culture of indiscipline and untruth; Morality, both public and private, is at a premium.
A troubling aspect was that society’s attitude towards corruption was also changing. A few decades ago a corrupt and immoral person was removed from office. But now their presence was not only tolerated, it was considered normal. When corrupt people go to jail now their follower’s show great mourning and when they come out of jail there is a celebration and distribution of sweets.
Corruption has a disproportionate impact on the poor and most vulnerable, increasing costs and reducing access to services including health, education, and justice. Corruption erodes trust in government and undermines the social contract. This is a cause for concern worldwide, but especially in the context of fragility and violence, as corruption fuels and perpetuates inequalities and discontent that lead to fragility, violent extremism, and conflict. Therefore all forms of corruption must be rooted out for a “Self-reliant India”.
Corruption in our country is not going on today but for many centuries and it is increasing day by day, due to which the condition of our country is getting worse. The Misuse of a person sitting in a particular position is called corruption. Such people take advantage of their position and indulge in black marketing, embezzlement, bribery, etc., due to which every section of our country is affected by corruption. Due to this, the economic progress of our country is also harmed. Corruption is like a termite that is slowly hollowing out our country.
Today in our country, corruption is rampant in every government office, non-government office, and politics, due to which the common man is very upset. We have to reduce it by raising our voices against it soon, otherwise, our whole nation will fall prey to corruption. (The author is a Research Scholar in Political Science, poetess, freelance journalist, and columnist)