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Updated: July 5, 2012 00:26 IST

A step away from corruption is anarchy

Shanti Bhushan
Comment (69)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Most people remain at the mercy of a venal administration that, encouraged by the absence of an independent watchdog, exploits them relentlessly

The state of affairs in the country is characterised by rampant corruption at all levels leading to a breakdown in the rule of law and lack of accountability all around. One can say that there is a complete collapse of governance in the country. Something drastic needs to be done soon, else the country will become an ungovernable anarchy.

Elusive

The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments of 1992 were intended to empower the people to plan for their development themselves by providing for the establishment of self-governing panchayat institutions in villages and municipal institutions in towns. Unfortunately, even 20 years later, the promise of local self-governance remains largely unimplemented. Consequently, most people remain at the mercy of a corrupt administration imposed upon them from above, which has continued to exploit them. It is this failure which has given rise to militant Maoism in large areas of India.

The country is blessed with significant natural resources and mineral wealth. Unfortunately, instead of being used in the public interest, most of this wealth is being looted by a corrupt government and its band of crony capitalists. If these natural resources were to be treated as belonging to the people living in those areas, the people would cooperate with others for their exploitation for mutual benefit. We will have to repose our trust in these people if we want to rid India of militant Maoism.

Let us consider the deficits in governance which have led to this alarming state of affairs.

Corrupt, insensitive organisation

The police impacts the lives of all of us, particularly the poor, in a big way. The Indian Police is universally regarded as a corrupt, insensitive, immoral and indisciplined organisation of oppressors, which led Justice A.N. Mulla to comment even 50 years ago that it is the largest organised gang of armed criminals in the country. That is largely because the police in India was set up by the Imperial British government for preserving British Rule and not to serve the Indian people. Several commissions, including the Dharam Vira police commission in 1982, have recommended the comprehensive restructuring of the Indian police. The Supreme Court ordered such restructuring six years ago. But successive governments have resisted these reforms, not willing to let go of their control over the police, which they have abused in their own interests.

There is tremendous corruption in every department of the government. The tax authorities often use their powers to extract bribes rather than honestly collect taxes. Yet there is no independent ombudsman to check their corruption. Since this suits the politicians who get a part of the bribes collected, they have done nothing to remedy this. If an independent ombudsman had been set up, the menace of black money would not have become so huge.

Does the Prime Minister not know that virtually no building plan is sanctioned without payment of bribes, that no electricity connection is given to new houses without payment of bribes, that hardly anything moves in any government department without the greasing of palms? What has this Prime Minister or, for that matter, his BJP predecessor, done in the past 14 years to change this? Everyone knows that the main reason for this is the lack of an independent anti-corruption agency. That is why the U.N. Convention against Corruption required every country to set up anti-corruption agencies (which we named Lokpal) which would be independent of the government.

Of what use is his honesty?

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh does not take any money for himself while others in the Congress as well as in other political parties make money for not only the party, but also for themselves. But what is the use of such honesty to the people if the Prime Minister allows his ministers to make money by corrupt means, even if only for augmenting party funds? Does the Prime Minister not know the reason why coalition parties insist on so-called lucrative ministries? If such are the compulsions of coalition politics, how do the people benefit from such a coalition remaining in power?

In the 2G case, was the PM not aware that his government was giving away spectrum to private companies at a tenth of its market price, allowing them to make profits of thousands of crores at the expense of the public exchequer? In the “Coal-Gate” case, there is clear evidence that the UPA government permitted corruption in the allocation of coal blocks for private parties to go on for years, causing a loss of about Rs. two lakh crores to public funds.

The documents referred to in the CAG’s report make it clear that the Prime Minister’s Office knew about the huge undue profits being given to the chosen allottees of coal blocks. Does it require a Sherlock Holmes to tell us that where one official allows a private party to make huge undue gains, it must be for taking from such person a share of their gain in the form of a bribe?

It was for this reason that Section 13 (1) (e) was enacted in the Prevention of Corruption Act, making a public servant guilty of corruption even when no evidence of bribery surfaced but an act of a public servant caused the receipt of undue gains by some person. The documents and notings in the files of the Coal Ministry — which the Prime Minister himself headed from 2006 to 2009 — show that he kept postponing the implementation of the coal secretary’s 2004 recommendation to auction the coal blocks, even after the Law Ministry clarified that no legislation was needed to give effect to it. The PM was fully aware that the coal secretary submitted a note on September 25, 2004 highlighting the different kinds of pulls and pressures experienced by the screening committee during the decision-making process and stressing that it was desirable that all pending applications be decided on the basis of competitive bidding.

Is the Prime Minister also not aware that the coal secretary put up a note to him on March 7, 2005 stating that if the proposed procedure for allocation of coal blocks was not put in place quickly enough, pressures would again mount on the government for continuing with the present procedure, which might not be desirable in the interests of bringing about total transparency in the allocation of coal blocks? And yet the Prime Minister overlooked these concerns and continued with arbitrary allocation of coal blocks, causing huge losses to the government and undue gains to all kinds of private companies.

It is obvious that the common man has ceased to matter for those who govern and what matters to them is the growth of GDP and the massive opportunities for political parties to make money. It is apparent that the country needs a peaceful revolution in the country to change this. The question is, when and how?

(The author is a Senior Advocate and a former Union Law Minister.)

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it is so easy to point a finger.
take a simple case. how can we change the date of birth of a person already born.
we are so determined to achieve the end that we are blinded to the means for the same. how many change their caste for the sake of admission to MBBS or BE.the fabric of administration fixes the loops even before the warp or the weft arrives.unles each of us resolve to change nothing will happen.a person who wishes to initiate is the most unwanted person in society.

from:  revathi s
Posted on: Jul 7, 2012 at 15:42 IST

Shanti Bhushan has woken up only now and become alive to corruption in high places. What was he doing all these years including during the stint he served as Law Minister. It is also most unfair on his part to castigate the honourable Prime Minister. It would have been in order if he advocated a mass awakening among the people of this country to vote honest persons to the legislatures and the parliament. Every citizen in the country has to do soul searching and stop succumbing to the temptation of offering bribes for obtaining favours. On the one hand the people of the country want fast development and on the other hand also want cumbersome and time taking procedures to be followed in letter and spirit delaying executive decisions. No one wishes to take responsibility for fear of retribution and cases of assumed corruption being foisted on the individual taking the initiative. We have too much post mortems and wisdom after the event conveniently ignoring the merits of the decision.

from:  R.Vijaykumar
Posted on: Jul 7, 2012 at 06:03 IST

We are facing a very sorry state of affairs. We do not know whether God
is ever pervasive or not but corruption is ever pervasive. It has spread
it roots from mines (earth) to Anthrix (space)pervading all the 'Pancha
Bhuthas'. Perhaps Mr Singh is endorsing 'Coalition Dharma' to run the
Government at least till the period it is handed over to Rahul. HMr
Singh has become Nero umpteen number of times with reference to corruption, inflation, the reversal rate of rupee with dollar, etc. etc.
of the present Indian context.

from:  Raghurama Sarma Bondalapati
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 22:55 IST

There is an avalanche of understandable anger at the current state of affairs in the country's polity. It finds expression through the comments. These will surely be read by all accessing the net. I have my own doubt whether the powers that be will have the mind,patience and time to read the comments galore let alone act on them. One clearly visible common feature is the growing impatience of people and their genuine concern for seeing a better tomorrow.

from:  Rukmini J.Rao
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 22:32 IST

We need to have Lokpal (an independent agency to probe). We need to
send a strong message to every one that who ever involve in any
corrupt practices they can't escape from the Lokpal. This situation
will come in true if we have a Lokpal. if any one ask me to name some
credible institution then obviously what comes to my mind is Supreme
Court (Still Every citizen has hope only because of independent courts
we have). Institutions like CAG, EC, CVC are also doing good they have
their own credibility . All these institutions are far more credible
than parliament. All these institutions has good credibility only
because of the reason that they are autonomous and independent. No one
is saying Lokpal alone will end corruption (Even Team Anna) but it is
a stepping stone to clear corruption. I also agree that even some
judges are indulging in corruption but that would come to very less
percentage. We have to remember ideal system is impossible in real
world.

from:  Hariharan
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 21:58 IST

In today's world, Corruption is the law and the Law is corruption. You
can'y explain why, but it is there.

from:  Anirudh Pai
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 21:42 IST

The author is telling us what we all know for a long time. He
conveniently misses the corruption in the NGOs including his own.
Where do NGOs get money, and how is it spent? Yes, corruption is very
endemic starting from the peon of a taluk office moving all the way up
to the level of Supreme Court Justices. What's the root cause? Neither
liberal education nor the Belief of God imparted integrity and
professionalism to the general public! This basic fact is known to
many people, including the Prime Minister. He can't do anything about
this societal malaise. The author must think hard and write about the
possible solutions starting at the grass root level.

In the Perception of Corruption Index among the BRIC countries, India
is smack in the middle: Worse than Brazil, but better than Russia and
China. Many say this is the Syndrome of Poor Third World economies.
Once the per capita GDP reaches $20,000, people will become less
corrupt. When will this happen to India? Wait & watch.

from:  Yamaka
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 20:52 IST

There is a word for this - KLEPTOCRACY - governance by stealing and permitting stealing. Quite common in some corrupt Asian, Arab, African states.

from:  Jairam
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 18:42 IST

I think Electoral reforms are the need of the hour. If we can prevent
the wrong people from entering Parliament/assemblies a lot of problems
will be automatically solved.

from:  Raj N
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 16:45 IST

Mr Shailesh Gandhi, the Chief Information Commissioner told the BBC
today that many amendments are being carried out to make the RTI
(Right to Information) law less effective, by the government because
it was challenging powerful people. He said that several top
government leaders, including the Prime Minister, have stated that
this was "a troublesome law". (National plunders and mega corruptions
were largely discovered through RTI applications and CAG Audit
Reports.)
Is India a democracy or an autocracy ruled by a few dynastic
families?? It is greed and selfishness which has allowed politicians,
bureaucrats, other people in power and corporations to plunder
national wealth and exploit nearly every citizen of the nation, for
their private gain.
It is for the citizens of India to decide what kind of country they
want to live in, and what kind of inheritance they want to leave for
their children and grandchildren!!! Is the situation bad enough yet???

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 16:35 IST

I was studying in the IX Std.There was Exam.for us in the afternoon.I applied for leave for the forenoon stating that I needed leave for preparing for the Exam.The other boys too applied for leave for forenoon stating they were having headache,nausea and the like.We all assembled for the afternoon Exam.Our disciplinarian teacher holding the bunch of leave letters high above his shoulders angrily shouted at the boys for having put forth false reasons and that he was marking 'absent' for all of them adding that he was granting leave only to me for being honest.I do not narrate this to drum up my honesty and I have my own failings.It is just to show how the larger society is.In such a society mere laws and more and more of them do not seem to be the answer but very strict enforcement of the existing laws and quick stiff punishment for wrong doing.Above all men at the top ruling us should set an example for the ruled to follow.

from:  G.Jagannathan
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 16:33 IST

Before pelting a stone at so called sinner,let us search our soul.Do not we give and take bribe as the chance may be?First let us be firm not to submit to corrupt practice before blaming others.

from:  Ravindra Raizada
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 13:45 IST

It is either Mr.Shanti Bhushan or Mr.Ram Jethamalani. Having a single window service and computerization in all Govt offices will help reducing the corruption. And the misdeeds of big brothers can only be dealt with strict beaurocracy

from:  Raja Pamarthi
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 11:38 IST

It is like a murder case, where the murderer was caught red-handed. But still we can't do anything. The only thing we can do is read (or write) these kind of articles. I have lost hope.

from:  Rangaram
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 10:51 IST

I remember a line from the movie "Swadesh" , when Sharukh Khan says" We are all to blame". Rightly so, still our leaders have the main responsibility, since they took up their roles so enthusiastically! The danger is the that the people most affected by corruption are the poor, and eventually, their frustration will turn to anger at the growing divide between them and the rich.

Remember that communism was born out of poverty and unhappiness of the people, we certainly dont want to risk that. The Lokpal is a good step in that direction, let us go forward with that.As the writer aply puts it, its not enough if we are smug at our own honesty, but also have to fight against corruption, especially if we have the power to do it.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 04:45 IST

Author's blind observations and generalized judgements that all authorities are corrupted, is indeed a guarantee for others to do more corruption. They would not try to be honest if there is a common assumption that everything is corrupted, which is exactly what the author put forward. Common people would definitely think about the meaninglessness of being honest in a corrupted world, and will decide themselves to be part of the corrupted crowd.. First stand away from this assumption. Of course, there are good people and we could easily find more honest people than corrupted. At least, give some appreciations to them instead of criticizing everything by generalizing our wrong assumptions. Most important thing is to create a mindset and encouragement to be honest. Without this, an independence agency can't do wonders!!

from:  Sunny
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 00:51 IST

Country has very belatedly realised the need for an independant INVESTIGATION AGENCY totally free from the reins of Ministers and bureaucrats for obvious reasons as till now politicians and ministers under all Governments have used the existing agency for their own interest. It is therefore a big question who can do this?. None of the political parties are interested to have a totally independent investibation agency since their own interest is involved. Author has in the last line aptly said country needs a peaceful revolution to change this. The question is when & how? We have seen how Government uses all its nefarious techniques to dislodge the movement of Anna Hazare? It is necessary for like minded intelectuals, academics, professionals, civil society and NGOs to debate on finding out ways and means to achieve peaceful revolution for change before 2014 general election. Learned judges of High Courts and Supreme Court can contribute significantly to make this change happen.

from:  Dr Amrit Patel
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 23:16 IST

Sir, you have rightly pointed out the cause of today's problems and
rampant corruption at all level is the lack of governance.The Govt
machinery has been rendered to a spineless and impotent tool for the
politicians to exploit. The babus have for their personal gains have
allowed politicians at all levels allowed a upper hand and are
subservient to their political masters.Up right bureaucrats who go by
the book are shunted out systematically.Allthis is happeningbecause we
do not have politicians of stature, what we have are the people who
got into politics as means gain quick money. our election system of '
First past the post' is to be blamed. These thugs have fine tuned the
system of getting elected. By putting up candidates to eat the anti
votes they somehow manage to get votes as low as 16% and the person
gets elected to represent 100% even though 84 % have rejected him or
her. Our PM says the corruption is not rampant in the govt. may be he
is right. Not so much as in Bangladesh.

from:  Satish Pande
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 23:11 IST

we keep cursing politicians and beaurocrats , but the question is where do they come from ? Are they from mars or from jupiter ? They are nothing but reflection of our current society they are small sample of our vast population they are simply doing what they have imbibed throughout their upbringing and what they have learnt from the society . Corruption has become an integral part of our life it has become tenet and no one can deny it, can we really say to ourselves that we will prove a better leader or public servant when given a chance or better citizen at least?

from:  Tushar
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 22:33 IST

The author exposed so many scam during the UPA Government`s tenure but he is not highlighting scam of other coalition Government or other parties.If author wants to eradicate corruption, it is not possible to targeting a single party or UPA Government and one and only way to root out corruption from the country to give Lokpal institution to separate constitutional body as like election commission. To set up the special corruption investigation committee for to search illegal asset of all present ministers and ex-ministers (state as well as central government ministers), all MLAs,MPs and all IAS, IPS...... This is the best way to root out corruption.

from:  Martand Pawar
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 22:02 IST

From the last line of article, time has come that we the people of India
need to come on to roads and raise voice against corruption ,for our
rights unanimously.otherwise days are not so far that we will be
countries like Pakistan and Sudan. Appalling condition of different
projects like MNREGA are the epitome,how ministries are choreograph
entire swindle ,so that it can keep ministers Swiss accounts piling up.

from:  Shadman Ansari
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 21:36 IST

The learned author has thoroughly exposed the role of Mr Manmohan Singh
in the coal scam.Even if Mr Manmohan does not take any money for
himself,does he cease to be guilty?CVC should act on the CAG report and
initiate steps for prosecution.
The bribe money also goes to the individual who controls the party.A
part of the scam money is also spent for 'friendly'
media,channels,journalists etc.The booty is shared widely.
Every single official of the investigating agencies knows this.If the
concerned official fails in his duties,he should be treated at par with
the accused.

from:  S.Srinivasan
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 20:38 IST

I have already made comment on this matter elsewhere by stressing the need for electoral reforms to prevent that no political leader be elected as MP or MLA (or even municipal councillor)for a maximum of two times only. Our country has enough talented leaders to be eligible to fill or get elected to these posts for serving the country. In this we can include all the team Anna members. Once we could bring up such a step,(as was done in the USA for their elected President in the late forties of last century) then gradually the present corruption legacy would gradually diminish.

from:  C.G. Venkatesan
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 20:29 IST

Santhi Bhusan saying “even 20 years later, the promise of local
self-governance remains largely unimplemented” is so much true and
one of main cause of proliferating corruption. Our gigantic
heterogeneous country would become manageable only if it is
radically decentralized in to autonomous million village republics,
entities responsible for the local development. There can be no
argument that bigness is the cause of all our social misery, much
more than social problem . Unless there is a genuine devolution of
administrative set of the country people will continue to be
diseased with aggressive brutality and massive idiocy, not because
of bad leadership, but because of over concentration of power
invariably lead to uncontrolled administrative catastrophe. Hence
it is always bigness, and only bigness, which is the problem India
is facing and no leadership however sincere and brilliant will
deliver without decentralization of the country.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 19:51 IST

Here are a FEW collected sampling of readers' opinions on A STEP AWAY FROM CORRUPTION IS ANARCHY by Shanti Bhushan: All financial transactions above 5000 to be through banks,opinion given for its sake,society going downward at breakneck speed,peaceful transformation needed,nation riddled with hypocracy/debauchery/dishonesty,majority are corrupt,why layers and layers of checks,where to find honest Ombudsmen,no single court free of corruption,revolution is long awaited,patience running out,Panchayats anything but corrupt etc There are unsaid opinions.If the country looks into the mirror the above will be reflected.When and who will address the people's frustrations we have no answer.

from:  Rukmini J.Rao
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 19:18 IST

There is no growth in jobs and there is 'despair driven exodus' from rural areas ,all in a period of very rapid GDP expansion , then whom is the 8-10 % GDP growth really benefitting ? Those in the Govt, the most ( the average asset worth of a union minister rose from Rs.7.3 crore to Rs.10.6 crore in 28 months. Adding a modest million a month on average through 28 months.Ref the article "Indian cabinet gets healthier "),then the Corporates and trickling down to the Indian middle class .The same decade or let us say past 7-8 years , also has seen a period of mind boggling corruption & sell-off of the national resources ,under the UPA Govt . But the Govt claims "India is rising", with deception at the heart of this publicity campaign. Even after 65 years of Independence of which 60 years were under the Congress , majority Indians are still kept deprived and desperate . Most Indians still struggle to obtain basic public services that wealthier , more secure countries take for granted . The total slum population of the country, which was 7.52 crore in 2001, has grown to 9.3 crore in 2011 (the NSSO-National Sample Survey Organisation report ). Meanwhile the Planning Commission in Sept 2011, redefined “below the poverty line “ for Indians to below Sub- Saharan levels to artificailly suppress the growing number of poor in the country !!. Same time, Illegal outflows from the country grew exponentially and in just five years from 2004-08 alone, the country lost roughly Rs.4.3 lakh crores to such outflows (GFI report).

DOES INDIA NEED THIS KIND OF GDP GROWTH ?

from:  V.J. Nambiar
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 19:03 IST

Sir, indeed it is tragic for India. An intelligent man who
I have seen in his video was the late Dr. Rajiv Dixit. The
only person who had given the right answer on the present
situation. Sure, there will be a deputy of this great person,
man or woman, who will get the possibility to carry on the
business. The people of India must now put an end to this
mess.

from:  S.Ganesh
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 18:16 IST

Yes there is a need of invidual corruption agency because government using all their mighty powers like CVC,CBI,Tax department to amass money rather than curb corruption. Also there is a need for empowered programmes to bring change in attitudes of all types of generations from root level.

from:  K Vijay Kanth
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 17:56 IST

Shanthi bhushan has drawn this topic in favour of bringing out LOK PAL in place or so called other institutions which which keep watch on the corruption.
But how much one is sure this will solve the corruption?
what guarantee is that newly created institutions officials are not corrupt?
As one of my friend said its another layer where poor man as do greasing of palms.

I tackle the problem , first try to solve problem of common man at root level, he is not getting wages amount completely ?
Some of the social benefits which is entitled are not obtained without paying bribe. these are the root problems where govt have to look at in.Identify the decayed root and give treatment obvisoulsy u r main govt body will become healthy.
So i feel that there as to strong reform to be carried by govt, in bringing out technology into place , i am repeating TECHNOLOGY in place, which stream lines all the necessary social benefits to reach the common man without any hassles , so the concept of Bribe

from:  Prasanna
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 17:47 IST

A good article showing the present pathetic condition of our nation in terms of corruption. But we are in a democratic country where the government is been chosen by us only. We only are the pathogens who are spreading this disease in our country,So the step should be taken by ourselves to root out this by not giving bribe to anyone ranging from peon to high authority.
Yes, many MLAs and ministers are part of the various corruption scams but who give them liberty to them...again the answer is ..we the people of nation.
So a step is need to be taken..because in the end the sufferer will be common man only..no one else.

from:  Mridul Sidhar
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 17:32 IST

The Judiciary is the fountainhead of corruption. The Lokpal and RTI must be applicable first to the Judiciary. When the law keepers are plunged in corruption, it is not possible to keep other systems clean. So when corruption is wiped out of Judiciary, a clean Judiciary can ensure that corruption is eliminated from all other spheres of social activity.

from:  Jeevankumar
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 16:36 IST

The bitter truth is that we are leading our life which has built in self-centred activities at the cost of larger society's interests.This is inevitable human nature and it does not allow one to rise above and behave differently.At best we can attempt to alter the degree. We can make laws and keep on changing them to suit changing situations.It is a vicious circle.There are already enough laws to regulate society in all fields of human activity.What is lacking is honest enforcers and individual adherents.As long as these 2 inadequacies plague the society we will be simply chasing the mirage to quench our thirst.These two inadequacies are very fundamental and next to impossible to overcome.Billions of people in the country are ruled by thousands of administrators (Ministers/MPs/MLAs/Governors/President and the like).If good men are chosen things may improve.Easier said than done! At the moment it is "yatha Raja tatha praja!

from:  G.Jagannathan
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 16:04 IST

The article and the readers comments are indeed good & reflect the contemporary India. But what is the solution ? Start Cleaning from one end right now to terminate the virus in 1.2 billion people. State government machinery has utterly failed and disastrous. Nation needs clean up by Panchayat/ Municipal authorities so that India is neat & clean and has an healthy environment similar to developed nations followed by potable water to all. Public & private hospitals must be strengthened for best services. No more addl. taxes until tax money spending is made highly efficient. As political leaders motto is to serve people, facilities only to be given and not salaries. Police protection must be withdrawn as before. Parties should select candidates only by draw not by groupism or influence. Best practices, regulations from Singapore,Japan, UK or US must be adopted. Law must be effective. IAS/IPS should work on ICS pattern. If a clerk is unfit he will spoil work. Similaly Everything!

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 15:28 IST

The author has made a good case of bringing out in words what the present
Indian polity is all about. But, as argued, the establishment of a
independent anti corruption agency needn't necessarily solve the problem
. Knowing the Indian politicians, one can safely say that the agency
wouldn't be independent after all. There would definitely be some kind of
influence that the government will have over that body.If the body is to
include the elected officials-MLAs, MPs , the whole purpose of
establishing it is defeated as it would be similar to the parliament.
Also, if it is to have Bureaucratical people, who can be sure they
wouldn't be sorrupt themselves? Like the non-existant Vigilance
commision, the members of this agency could also ,get a cut of the bribe
for themselves and do nothing. The need is for some one to come up with
a failproof way for the agency to work independently , effectively;which
, i admit, is very difficult, if not impossible.

from:  Pragatheeswaran
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 14:20 IST

Corruption has become a byword in every sphere of activity right from the top
down to the bottom level and the common man knows fully well that nothing can
move without greasing the palm of the person holding power. But the citizen,
instead of becoming despondent and a silent spectator should seize every
conceivable opportunity to assert himself and present a united front against the
machinations of those wielding power, without which nothing can move. The Anna
Hazare movement for enactment of the Janata Lokpal Bill, which the selfish
politicians are trying their best to throttle at every stage. It has opened the eyes of
all to the misdeeds of the present Government which is definitely heading towards
its downfall in the 2014 elections. As the writer points out rightly, the situation
calls for a peaceful revolution to change the present Government.

from:  T.S. Sreenivasan
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 13:57 IST

My opinion is, those who bribe others to get favours will one day end up taking bribe from some.......... it is a hard and simple fact of life. give and take is the order of day..

from:  Khalil
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 13:26 IST

The cartoon is amazing which depicts the exact nature of current political scenario making us to understand the contents of the article without reading. Corruption, a flourishing parallel economy of the country, accounts to almost equal to our GDP which goes directly into the personal accounts of politicians, bureocrates and businessmen and indirectly enhancing the spiraling prices of essential commodities and inflation. Ultimately, poor common man in the street is the scapegoat

from:  Manoharan R
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 13:24 IST

all true, and extremely disheartening. The author is simply highlighting what we already know but how on earth do we get past it?
i fear it is impossible in this country, the cancer has spread beyond cure.

from:  naveen
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 13:18 IST

If the government is serious, Corruption and Black money can be prevented by making all financial transactions of all individuals transparent .This can be achieved by implementing the following :
1. Complete the issuing of Aadhaar Number to all residents as quickly as possible.
2. Insist on the Aadhaar Number in all transactions /activities done by residents - Financial, selling, Purchases, Travel, Education, Holidaying etc
3. Make compulsory that all financial transactions above Rs5000 to be through cheques or Bank credit/debit cards
4. Make all transfer of Assets like Real Estate ,Vehicles etc(both public and private)by E -auction through authorized Auction houses like in the Share Trading .

from:  Y.Gheevarghese
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 13:13 IST

Dealing with corruption should be a collective effort. Everyone says country is corrupt. But we are only responsible for it. Everyone wants to see a corruption free & peacefully tranformed country,but no body is ready to bell the cat.

Good dialouge from movie RDB
"Ghar ki safai mein hath gande kaun kre"

Its very easy to criticise something. Let us come forward & join hands for it.

from:  Jatinder
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 13:08 IST

We are being facing corruption at every level right from making our birth certificate to death... we are rightly moving towards the anarchy,and we need an immediate revolution to get rid of it..the initiative started for passing Lokpal bill almost 1 & half yr ago has almost been suppressed by the officials...we strongly need to be united and fight against the system.

from:  Rahul Malhotra
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 12:50 IST

When I read the responses in these columns -on any article , it reminds me that,some or many of us Indians voice opinions for the sake of giving an opinion only and not because of conviction at heart of the opinion . If we all Indians, watch and be aware of what is happening in this country today ,there can be no doubt that we will agree with the author . It is a fact we as a nation are hurling towards a precipice, primarily because we accept what is happening ; we are not willing to THINK / take action individually and finally we are not willing to accept that we have become a hobbesian society - where "man eats man ", where 'common good' and 'law of mutuality' is not considered wothwhile to pursue . Such a society has only one way to go - downward, which we are , at BREAK NECK speed .

from:  V.J. Nambiar
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 12:33 IST

It is very good aticle which exposes the evil design of leaders of the system.Day by day living in this system is becoming impossible for an ordinary indian but head of the system is still intelligent(actually he is),every department is controlled by some corrupt officer/leader but head of the system is still honest.How much cruel they are just watch there smiling faces.every cruel,inhuman action needs equally strong and sensitive reactionary campaign.

from:  Rakesh
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 11:42 IST

And to add to what I mentioned in an earlier post today, we will not ever fall into anarchy Mr. Bhushan. You make it out as if this corruption is something of a recent event at the top. Whereas it has always been around. So either we already are into anarchy, or it will never come because we are used to stepping from one frying pan into another fire and back ever so often.

I guess the matter really is that we as Indians have found a happy equilibrium in which to manage our corruption-filled hearts and lives no matter what the governing regime is. Once in a while there will be a blip in history that ruffles things a bit, but sooner or later the equilibrium sets in again and we return to our corruption. Your movement is doomed to the same trashbin of history because you are targetting a specific ruling regime, and not the heart of the matter.

If your Anna movement really wants to take corruption out of India, it should first take corruption out of the Indian.

from:  Rajeev Iyer
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 11:27 IST

We (Indians) have always been corrupt. It's in our genes. Corruption at the level of our leaders is only a natural reflection of corruption within us. If the Anna Hazare movement really wants to eradicte corruption, it is barking at the wrong end of the matter - it should attack the corruption which is at the heart of everything we are and do as Indians, and all of us, not just the politicians who rule.

What use is the removal of one corrupt regime at the top when it will only be replaced with another. What is the Anna movement doing to stop the 50 rupee corruption that pervades each and every sphere of existence of the average Indian citizen. The honest answer to this question is - NOTHING. Which is why the thinking citizen views the Anna movement as something that could have been promising, but is at the end of the day nothing more than another political tamasha.

from:  Rajeev Iyer
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 11:18 IST

We speak about eradicating corruption in newspapers and TV shows and
else where. But are we taking any steps to eradicate corruption. The
answer will be a no. We are very much concerned about our own growth, We
forget to see what is happening around us. The situation which we are in
now because of the us alone. If the corruption is to be eradicated We
people should act on it rather than depending on someone to speak for
us.

from:  Sathiyaseelan M
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 11:10 IST

Surendra's cartoon is superb! It encapsulates all of Shanti Bhushan's article into a few column centimeters and yet makes a more powerful depiction of the current state of affairs (much beyond the scope of the article itself). This is the stuff that must find place in text books. Mind-blowing creativity. Congratulations and thank you, Surendra and The Hindu!

from:  V.K.Venugopal
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 10:56 IST

The rule of law can better be protected by the people of a country. Our country has many laws to tackle several issues. Some immoral citizens and their convenience have been responsible for lack of lawlessness. The importance of moral values and the rule of law need to be taught at all levels of education if at all we are serious about happiness, prosperity, and peaceful life of our people.

from:  U.T.R. Sridhar Prasad
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 10:56 IST

No doubt corruption is the biggest demon today but blaming an
individual,no matter where he is, is not the only solution
particularly when we are not mature democratically at the bottom.We
are in a transition phase to a mature stage things will not change
overnight. Considering the democratic framework, all we need is
constructive criticism,consultation,evaluation and developing a
perfect paradigm which would be more holistic,transparent and
accountable.Hope things will improve ten years from now when every
citizen would be empowered and conscious of their rights besides all
institutions would be liberal and homogeneously represented.

from:  Mukesh
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 10:44 IST

I'm still waiting for the Lokpal Bill to pass. We have once fought for it last year. Time has come to do it again. And I want the big and influential personalities like Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Aamir Khan, Ambani brothers and many more to join us in this movement.

from:  Rohan Gupta
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 10:41 IST

Before we filled the ram-lila maidan for days, nobody believed modern india was capable of such a feat, let alone a revolution. But indians, down to the last child of delhi, proved that we are still capable of uniting and cleaning our own filth.
We lost when we were almost there. But this reaffirms the belief that we can do this.. The day for corruption is not long now.

from:  Anirudh khetan
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 10:18 IST

It is really pathetic to note that a lawyer of eminence has so much faith in the so-
called panchayats. These village level institutions are anything but democratic,
dominated as they are by superstitious caste-ridden people who believe in honour-
killing etc. I wonder whether Mr. Shanthi Bhushan listened to a recent episode of
Satyameva Jayathe . How can the natural resources of the country be entrusted to
such institutions? True, these villagers should have a stake in the exploitation of the
natural resources belonging to them, but entrusting too much powers to the
Panchayats is not the best way to achieve this objective.

from:  T.V.Sivakumaran
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 09:57 IST

Mere laws cannot transform India. Individual moral values for a peaceful and happy life play a role. For instance, all the qualified men need to work hard to get a job rather than depending on somebody or and money etc would lead to delay in reducing/ preventing corruption.Unfortunately, in most of the cases in India a man is judged by the wealth he earned, which encourages/ compels people to earn by any means.

from:  U.T.R. Sridhar Prasad
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 09:49 IST

It is true that India is affected with this Social evil whose grasp over the Indain economy is tightening up as the time is progressing. The Question is how and who is going to bell the cat.The Lokpal Bill, can be considered as an antidote, nevertheless the same needs to be passed by a forum majority of which consisting of these corrupt politicians.

from:  Sujith S Prabhu
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 09:39 IST

In the current scenario everyone knows that the corruption is ruining our country at all the stages, but no one is ready to take an initiate. I hope there is a personal interest for everyone is there and more than that in today's scenario no one wants to dip his hand this corrupted political situation. I think there is limit for everything and one day definitely it will change. But here the main question is when?

from:  Praveen Kumar
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 09:32 IST

Well Mr. Shanti Bhushan quoted very well. India is sinking in the corruption. Everyone is looting nobody is thinking about the progress of nation. They see only self progress. We have to ask our-self a question What we are doing good? what our generation will be safe by doing this? Lets wake guys if we think that "Mera bharat Mahan" then We must do something by we can proud in our nation. Lets through out these corrupt people from society.

from:  Harmendra Singh
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 09:26 IST

Well Mr Bhusan, you are right about corruption and you are wrong about the people to whom you complain about corruption. Its's like going to a cancer patient for the cure of cancer. The Lokpal you want will be a toothless tiger if the appointee happens to be pliable to the political demands of the day. The anti-corruption movement should be two pronged. Educate the people not to bribe the officials and shame the officials publicly when favours are asked. If the corruption can be stopped at the lowest levels, the relief to the common man will be immense. This should be an ongoing education with support while the corruption in high places can be tackeled by more tansparency and the Lokpal. You cannot blame Dr Singh for the bribe asked by the Corpoation Engineer to approve your building plans. Let life imitate art. Take a leaf out of Laghee Raho Munna Bhai and attack the corrupt at the lowest levels of the hierarchy.

from:  Mani Sandilya
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 09:21 IST

Its true not only India but most of countries in the world are suffering because of the corruption.Changing the administration is not that easy task as it looks , instead one should enter in the system to bring about any change. On the other side , Dr Singh knows everything but he can not alone take any action since he has to run his govt. which is full of corrupt leaders.

from:  Deepak Gupta
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 08:41 IST

We know that we have a completely corrupted and inefficient system of governance run by a network of political class, administrators, businessmen and professional criminals. However Mr Bhushan is mistaken in the belief that this can be changed in anyway through a "peaceful revolution". Please show one example of this in the history of humankind. One such great example touted by media of "peaceful revolution" is South Africa. However, the recent Congress of African National Congress was quite apologetic about what a sham this has been. So if we have any illusions about revolutions being peaceful it will be just that - illusions! Of course it can be convenient to the ruling classes.

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 07:43 IST

I guess corruption is something that has become part and parcel of everyday life in India to that extent that no one sees it differently. I especially hate the idea where people approaching retirement are forced to grease the hands of the clarkes in all public sector offices to get the papers moving to the sanctioning officer. Would India ever change? I seriously doubt it.

from:  Vimal Stanley
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 07:30 IST

Good article. Thanks.

from:  krunal gandhi
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 06:38 IST

A Revolution is long-awaited. I long to see it earlier, in my life-time. I have waited enough. Patience is running-out.

from:  S V Chellakumar
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 06:25 IST

Let us take the area where you worked most in your life. the courtroom. Can you say a single court in India is free of corruption? Recent bail for money scam is only reported as of shocking news by media whereas every reporter must be knowing the full truth of affairs in every court room. Whom they are as well you protecting? So, please don't put everything on politicians. The guy at my municipal office is not a politician but every work there is done on a price. It is the same in all other offices. The so called elites, IAS, IPS and other UPSC/State Service Commisison officers are either fully corrupt, or partially corrupt (even if favor is done without monetary benefit, is it not correuption?). So why don't you take up, if you have guts, your crusade against these bureacrats first?

from:  sonai
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 06:10 IST

I fully concur with the learned Senior Advocate that Prime Minister does not take bribe and
he is honest. A CBI court Judge has been arrested for allegedly taking bribe for granting bail
to an accused charged with looting the Natural resources of the Nation . Where will we find
Honest Independent Ombudsmen in our country to eradicate corruption. PM's honesty Is not
of any use to the people. Coalition Politics is not benefiting the country. Even if the Panjayati
Raj is empowered the looting may be decentralized benefiting the elected representatives. In
my view let us educate our Children as has been suggested by Dr. Abdul Kalam to persuade
their parents and educate our people to elect any one of the National Political Parties to
power at the Centre. But in reality the Team Anna in which you and your son play a major
Role is indulging in mud slinging on the Honest Prime Minister and his Honest Ministers and
afraid of taking on the most corrupt Regional Leaders in their State .

from:  N. Thirunavukkarasu
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 05:31 IST

We think about corruption, see corruption around us and somewhat we as individual person is corrupted. The situation can't be improved until individual person takes responsibility to remove corruption from one's area. It need collective contribution from each one of us to remove corruption from our society.

from:  nikunj
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 05:08 IST

I don't understand the rationale behind setting up yet another
"independent" watchdog against corruption, for, there will be another
layer to be greased to get things done. That's all. Whatever became
of the Vigilance commissions? You could add layers and layers of
institutional checks and balances to avoid corruption, but corruption
is the strongest corrosive acid that's going to digest all the
impediments to it. SO WHAT TO DO? Real Democracy is the solution. If
the MLAs and MPs don't have to pay the party for a ticket, if they
are really chosen to contest in the polls by the people of the
constituency, if they remain closer physically and emotionally to the
constituency, if the parties elect their leaders through a democratic
process, then we will have REAL representatives, and they will stand
up against corruption. So why not ask for introducing INTRA-PARTY
DEMOCRACY up to the village level instead? It is the surest way to
solve not just corruption, but other problems as well.

from:  Hemachander
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 03:16 IST

This nation is riddled with hypocrisy, debauchery and dishonesty to say a few things. We are treated like clowns outside India mainly because we can't run our own affairs and we still need a western master to whip us. We need to unite as one nation to create a transparent political system that would care for its people. One of the things which boggles me is how we allow millions of our own people to starve to death when we can build massive market out of our huge population. I can't agree more with the author on the creation of an independent anti corruption agency which is a desperate need of hour. We need to work harder to minimize the leakage of funds for the better use such as investment in education, healthcare and infrastructure. It is every individual's responsibility however selfish we are because everyone action leads to the society's function. Our society is corrupt and dishonest because majority of individuals are corrupt and they don't want to change for the common good.

from:  sathiya
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 02:28 IST

Every word truely depicts the crippled and sanguivorous system of India
and probably for these reasons today's youth including myself are making
these corrupts as there idols....... and all hail to the writer .

from:  ankit
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 01:36 IST

The author makes a compelling argument about the breakdown of governance and rampant
corruption at all levels. Indeed, the late CK Prahaladh said that it should be treated as high
treason. Yes, the country needs a peaceful transformation. In an ideal world elections are
supposed to usher in a peaceful change. From a physician perspective, I know that to
prevent harm to the child and baby we supplement nutrients and give immunizations.
Similarly if we can raise the bar of education in all our schools, rural and urban, educate on
what it means to be a good citizen, then a generation later we may see a change. Because
who are the politicians. They were kids in schools at some time. The system failed to impart
the right values. So, if we can just focus on a good education system at the village, town, city
levels with minimal interference from the current government functionaries whether they are
politicians or officials, a solution may still exist and be achievable

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 01:25 IST
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