Corruption is a rampant phenomenon in this country and every other country in the world. There is a lot do if we wish to curb this malice. No country has found the solution to this problem, in part owing to the myriad reasons why people take to corruption.
These factors are sometimes directly related to the shortcomings of the government in providing essential services and needs. However, due to the malpractices of the government officials, common citizens have to suffer. That is why there is widespread debate and outrage on extreme penalties for indulging in corruption.
With politicians, the biggest cause of annoyance for the people is that they have democratically elected their representatives in order to serve their constituencies. When their faith is betrayed by those in position of power, it hurts the sentiments of the people.
Apart from that, there are numerous instances of selfless service in history which prove that politics is not a profit-accruing profession. Hence, people are of the opinion that politicians should help the people they vow to represent rather than working only to service their needs and leave behind vast stores of wealth for their future generations.
The economic divide is getting bigger, especially in a developing economy like India. The primary reason for this rift is that the people who carry the onus of equity have decided to forget the value of honest service and instead indulge in dishonest acts to scourge the poor of their few sources of hope and a better future.
The French Revolution was a tempestuous time when the anger of people was at its peak. The reasons were very similar to the modern day. People were unable to fulfil their basic needs because the meagre resources of the state were being directed to the Palace.
The queen lived in luxury adorning herself with the most beautiful and expensive ornaments bought with the dwindling treasury of the state. The people did not have bread to feed themselves while the food at the Palace was wasted. The rulers were not empathetic to the plight of the people.
This insensitivity was met by uproar of such intensity that it led to a complete upturning of the contemporary regime in France. Such is the power of public fury which, in the present day, is mulling over the hanging (which is reserved for crimes of treason or brutality) of corrupt politicians. If nothing else, it shows how much the people have been suffering at the hands of apathetic politicians and the extent to which people are ready to sacrifice lives in fight for their survival.
Opinion in Favour of Hanging
Conspiring against the nation and its citizens, causing some event that threatens the unity of a nation and acts of brutality such as rape against an individual citizen are considered cases that are capable of being sentenced with capital punishment.
When a politician ignores the hungry stomachs, the uneducated children of a poor family and their day-to-day struggles for two square meals and goes on to pilfer the commodities and funds sent in the name of the needy, he/she can be termed a sociopath.
Such a person who does not understand hunger and bleak chances of survival in the future is not qualified to be a politician. Add to that, his corrupt practices and we have a traitor. A man who conspires to steal food from hungry stomachs to fill his over-stacked refrigerator and gives no second thought to it is only slowing the progress of the nation.
He is creating more thieves, beggars and even terrorists who are willing to give up their lives in exchange for a small amount that ensures food for their families for the next few days. Such a politician is a threat to the peace and unity of the nation and deserves to be hanged. Hanging, in case of large-scale embezzlement and scams, is justified according to this view.
Their hanging can prove to be a deterrent for such politicians who feel that power allows them to escape the clutches of the judiciary. This is a view that corroborates Marxist ideas and seeks to overthrow the regime of capitalists. It wishes to establish the supremacy of those who are presently classified as underprivileged.
Their regime, according to Marxism, allows for just distribution of funds. This shall eventually evolve into socialism where there will be no classes, all the people shall be equally privileged and there will be no requirement of a government.
The essence of this view is that the government, comprising politicians, is the root cause of all economic and social problems.
The government and politicians are not to be trusted and thus, the general idea is that they are all corrupt and only wish to destroy the common man.
Opinion against the View
The basic argument against the indiscriminate killing of all corrupt politicians is that while it agrees with the popular sentiment of the people, it goes against the legal ethics and principles which have kept this state functioning in an upright manner for so long. The judiciary cannot, without enough evidence, sentence anybody to death.
The fundamental principle behind this is also that man has not been bestowed with the right to take another man’s life. The state, judiciary and the positions of power within that body are all a figment of human imagination. This collective imagination has kept the people united up till now.
However, these are human creations which do not have the power vested in them by the Creator, so as to punish anybody without a second thought. The death sentence is very rare and the judges, who award this sentence in the rarest of rare cases, pray that they never be confronted with such a situation in future.
The French Revolution is an example of upheaval. It led to situation of anarchy. To curb this anarchy, the guillotine, a tool for execution of traitors and criminals, was used indiscriminately. This allowed for the authorities to become despots. The accused were never given a chance to defend themselves and it cannot be denied that several innocent people also became prey to the ire of despots and met a horrible death.
That was the 18th century. Those who do not learn from history, repeat it. Hence, it is important for the modern world to understand that a fair trial is essential to uphold order and democracy.
Apart from that, the modern world is filled with strong democracies, where a single person is not in power. In India, the real executive also called the Prime Minister, works in co-operation with his council of ministers. He only exercises the will of the people and can also be removed through established procedure, if he violates public will.
The USA has a presidential form of government. Even in that case, the Senate keeps a strict check over the actions of the First Person of the state.
Thus, the world can no longer revert to a state of autocracy and despotism because if a single person has the authority to sanction executions, he shall become a despot. So, complete power to a person or organisation is hardly the solution to curb corruption. The popular axiom justifies this argument-“power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
Hence, indiscriminate hanging is not under the purview of legal procedure and that rules it out a permanent method of eradicating corruption.
The second argument making this case is that merely exterminating the politicians is akin to a superficial solution of the problem. The menace of corruption is deeply rooted in the economy. There are networks and layers operating for this practice.
The politicians are not isolated in their indulgence in corruption. Until we get to the root of the problem and look in detail at the reasons leading to this menace, we won’t be able to eradicate it.
Hanging appears to be a plausible solution to deterring corruption. But it is not a permanent solution. There are no linear dynamics in the society. Every body is interlinked with another; hence, the word society. Corruption cannot be eradicated by removing the existence of all the corrupt men.
Just like a corporation lives on after the demise of its founder, so shall the idea of corruption prosper long after the execution of the handful of the fish in the ocean of corruption. We need to look into the deeper aspects of this crime. The masses have to be educated to not abet this crime. The entire country has to unite in order to stifle the very thoughts of this kind of pilfering.
India, as a sovereign nation, has very different means of tackling corruption. It has always believed in revisiting its glorious past to make people understand the importance of honesty. There has been a change in the thinking of the modern generation. The youth has started questioning age-old practices of bribing and demanding money for every government job.
This is a positive step that has indeed awakened the nation to the ignominy associated with this practice. For the longest time, people had started accepting that powerful people, even with several allegations of corruption , against their name had to be respected.
This has changed. We have understood that our honest tax-money cannot be misused by people in positions of power. That is what has led to this debate on measures to curb corruption. It is a good development for our country, yet sentiments cannot control the state.
Popular opinion is not the law. This has to be understood before we come to any conclusion about this topic. It sounds right, but is it legal?
“The means should always justify the end” -Mahatma Gandhi