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Corruption in India Essay
Corruption is a form of criminal activity done by an individual or a group. It reflects the greedy behaviour of money-hungry individuals to attain power. Corruption jeopardises our rights and privileges.
Out of the many methods of corruption, bribery, or embezzlement is most noteworthy. We live in a dog-eat-dog world that compels people to fend for themselves. Such people and the ones who hold authoritarian roles are susceptible to corruption.
Major Causes of Corruption in India
There are not one but ample causes of corruption. Some of them have been mentioned below-
Greed of Individuals – Individuals only care about their selfish motives. They try to find ways to earn over and above their fixed wage.
Poverty – The vicious cycle of poverty leads to a lack of education and skills. It thereby hinders job opportunities and forces individuals to find alternative means of income. Each parent aspires to provide their kid with the best form of life. And this aspiration urges them to make money through unfair means.
Corrupt leaders – Politicians, are democratically elected leaders who are entrusted with the job of leading their country towards development. They instead find ways to expand their wealth and empire. Using a position of power is certainly a bad example for our society.
Lack of proper vigilance – Though stringent measures are in the talks, they have not come into action as such. The traditional methods are still in use which proves futile when trying to round-up big-time offenders.
Deteriorating moral values – There was a time when someone indulging in such malpractices was shamed and shunned. But nowadays, it has become common for people to do such acts. And we respect such criminals as well. The people with power and money (not morals) are worshipped in our society.
Degradation of Bureaucracy – Bureaucracy was meant to be an organization of skilled and efficient individuals. These people were responsible for the proper functioning of the state. Despite having such power, bureaucrats have come to believe that the citizens are at their mercy. They have left no chance to deceive vulnerable citizens.
Corruption in Indian Society
The problem of corruption has clutched the roots of Indian society. It seems to have become a part of our traditions and culture. Indian economy and polity are often seen as the best examples of a corrupt society. Even so, this isn’t entirely true.
Milder forms of corruption did exist even in ancient India. However, the primary focus was always on honesty and transparency. This was noticed in all transactions of the state and its ruler. Treatises like the “Arthashastra” are testimony to the high ideals and virtues of the good citizens of a state.
However, there has been significant development of power politics. This has been brought by a network of politicians, bureaucrats, and citizens (out to make easy money). This has led to excessive corruption in India. According to the Corruption Perception Index of 2018 (published by Transparency International), India ranked in the 78th position (out of 180 countries).
It is deeply saddening to see the once-revered birthplace of several monks and prophets has deteriorated to a great extent. It has now become the land of heartless and traitorous citizens who see no greater good beyond their gains.
Problems due to Corruption in India
Apart from becoming a trend, corruption has also increased the economic gap. The rich are becoming richer. The poor can only become poorer. This is because what is rightfully theirs is also being snatched away from them. Some of the real-life instances include:
1. Public Distribution System
The shops under this system are given nominally-priced goods. These goods are to be sold specifically to the poor (identified by their Ration Cards). But it is commonly seen that others (significantly well-earning people) have found a way to buy cheap goods from these stores. The shopkeepers are also no less corrupt. Often they sell only a small portion of the total goods to the poor. The rest are redirected to the main market from where the shopkeepers can earn good profits.
2. Loss in Economy
Small firms and businesses have to pay excessive amounts for getting license and permission from the government end. Their development is compromised due to this factor. This discourages the owners and manufacturers, which in turn affects our economy. Besides, a taxpayer’s money goes to waste. Instead of creating something productive (roads, education) for the society, the tax money is exploited. It makes its way into the pockets of officials who are not entitled to it. This is a serious loss for the entire country.
3. Swiss Bank
The money “stolen” from people and government accounts is transferred to offshore banks. For many years, the Swiss Bank has been the storehouse of various currencies (in billions). The primary reason behind this is confidentiality. They hide the client’s identity, which makes it possible to cover up the corrupted transactions.
Ways to eradicate Corruption in India
The government can provide a higher salary to the employees. There are many government employees whose pay scale is pretty low. So they shift to means like embezzlement to meet their daily needs.
Moreover, the workload is high, but the numbers of workers are low. Employees feel pressurized by the heavy workload. They bribe their way through to get the job done. Increasing employment will solve this problem.
Installation of cameras in workstations and public places is a great way to control corruption. People indulging in these unconventional actions will fear of being caught.
Ultimately, they will refrain from these activities. Moreover, we need strict laws to stop corrupt practices. Guilty individuals must be punished. Quick implementation of these laws will ensure people work diligently.
Role of the Indian Government to Prevent Corruption
The Government of India has set up committees, laws, and penal codes to contract the surge of corruption.
Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) – This was set up in 1964 by the Government on the recommendations of the Santhanam Committee. This was the sole anti-corruption body in our country for quite long. Its job is to advise and guide the central government agencies in matters of vigilance. CVC also creates awareness amidst the masses against the consequences of corruption.
Right to Information Act (RTI) – It provides us with all the necessary information about our government. Under this act, one has the right to enquire about any problem. The Public Information Officer (PIO) is responsible for collecting a citizen’s application and providing him with an explanation. If the PIO somehow fails to do so, fines can be imposed on him up to Rs. 25,000.
Lokpal and Lokayukta – The Jan Lokpal Bill was passed by both the Houses of the Parliament in 2013. However, the first Lokpal (Pinaki Chandra Ghose) has only been appointed in 2019. The Lokpal at the center and Lokayukta at the state level have the authority to look into the matters of corruption. The Lokpal has even more autonomy than the CVC. The Lokpal, himself, has the power to look into the investigation of charges against an official (including the prime/chief ministers).
“Corruption is a cancer: a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity” – Joe Biden
Corruption is a poison that has penetrated the Indian mindset. With constant political and social efforts, corruption can be put to an end. Some of the measures have already shown positive results.
Corruption in India is slacking its pace. We, as moral citizens of India, should equally contribute to the drive. We must refrain from giving bribes and report the instances of corruption on the part of the public officials.