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Updated: November 27, 2012 00:22 IST

Striking at the root of corruption

Shailaja Chandra
Comment (34)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Cleansing political parties and elections of illegal money is the first step towards tackling the evil of graft

Corruption is nothing but a reflection of the distribution of power within societies. The country is where it is because the political system is self-perpetrating and no party is accountable to anyone except a coterie of people that dominates all decisions. Unless the political system is accountable, going after individual cases of corruption will achieve little.

Slew of anti-corruption bills

By making a single point demand for a Jan Lokpal, to the exclusion of all else, Anna Hazare’s agitation became circumscribed by its own rhetoric. Expectedly, the government response was a slew of anti-corruption bills that have been introduced in Parliament, unheard of in the annals of the past six decades. From 2010, in a span of just two years, as many as 10 anti-corruption bills have been tabled including the disputed Lokpal bill, the forfeiture of benami property, foreign bribery, money laundering, and whistle-blowing bills plus five more — all aimed at deterring specific acts of corruption or purporting to give corruption-free public service as a right. And it was not just the Central government that showed this eagerness. Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha have actually enacted laws which can result in the attachment of ill-gotten property of public servants — sometimes pending investigation.

Undeniably, the citizenry will applaud such measures, frustrated and angry as people are about corruption. But wittingly or unwittingly, this response has deflected attention from a much larger issue. None of the bills or laws addresses the fountainhead of corruption — the opaque management of political parties which includes the source and deployment of their funds.

The second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC 2009) underscored the large-scale criminalisation of politics, illustrating how the participation by criminals in the electoral process was “the soft underbelly of the Indian political system” leading to “the flagrant violation of laws, poor quality of services, protection from lawbreakers on political, group, class, communal or caste grounds, partisan interference in the investigation of crimes, the poor prosecution of cases, inordinate delays that last for years, high costs of the judicial process, mass withdrawal of cases and indiscriminate grant of parole.”

What is of great importance is the open admission that votes are in fact secured through large, illegal and illegitimate expenditure on elections. This has been termed as the starting point of corruption making cleansing elections the most important route to bringing principles into politics. The Lokpal brouhaha has deflected attention from issues infinitely more important for going after dishonest politics, which seems to be all-pervasive.

And the context matters too. Much of India lives in as unequal a world — comparable in fact to pre-industrial Britain. Feudal mindsets prevail and the exercise of patronage is expected. In addition, in India, money power can control decisions the voter makes. Bound by the mores of a largely agrarian way of life, the poor remain simultaneously protected and penalised not by the law and the police as much as by feudal lords, often having criminal records. Indian political parties had long used these local sardars and strongmen as trusted allies for defeating opponents. But the latter have moved up in life by increasingly joining the political fray as candidates — not just supporters, and they have joined to win.

According to the Annual Report of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), among 543 elected Members of Parliament who were elected in the 2009 election, 162 (30 per cent) had criminal cases pending. Five years earlier, that figure was 24 per cent. Meanwhile, the votes needed to win a seat have fallen to as low as 15 per cent. Criminal elements that once pulled in votes for party candidates are now getting voted to power themselves, gaining social respectability and public esteem in the bargain. Meanwhile, campaign-spending limits being easy to flout, buying the voter is easily managed.

More worrisome than individual corruption is the widespread concern that funds are collected by political parties and parked in secret bank accounts abroad to be ploughed back to finance elections often by hook or by crook. Since fund management is confined to a handful of people in each party, it gives enormous power to the top leadership which controls the deployment of funds and all that accompanies it. When the choice of candidates is intrinsically linked with money power, quid pro quos, and IOUs, clean candidates without money or political pedigree do not stand a ghost of a chance. And it goes without saying that once illegal and illegitimate expenditure is incurred on winning elections, there can be no prospect of honest dealings thereafter.

In the OECD countries with which we frequently draw comparisons, three qualities on a scale of eight, considered the most important attributes required from members of the political executive are objectivity, impartiality and neutrality. In those countries, a Minister is expected to publicly commit himself to observing ethical principles if he is to set an example to public servants.

In India, talk of ethical conduct is laughed at; civil servants take their cue from the standards of probity they are witness to — superiors in the service and their political bosses. Until political parties field clean candidates and promote and reward them, a climate of ethical dealings simply cannot emerge.

Expecting the clean up to come only by reinforcing anti-corruption laws though necessary, will divert attention from the real issue of corruption — how political parties collect funds and give tickets. The only way this can change is by educating voters on the dynamics behind the power play. Simply put, it means having knowledge about the origin of party funds to provide insights into the interests that back a political party. Equally how such contributions might influence future policies —including the future outlook for using public funds and natural resources.

It should come as no surprise that when ADR sought information on political party funding, using RTI, all political parties with the exception of the CPI (M) responded that they were not bound to provide such information. This, when income tax exemptions worth hundreds of crores of rupees, land and accommodation at nominal rates, and free airtime, are all provided at public cost. A full bench of the Central Information Commission (CIC) met in September to take a view on this. But major political parties shied away.

The key issue

Whatever the outcome, it is unlikely that the sources of party funding would be declared in the foreseeable future. But that is the key to understanding the compulsions of political parties and the decisions they make. One way of overcoming the clandestine collection of election funds would be to introduce state funding of elections as so many countries have done. More importantly there is a need for laws that mandate transparency in the deployment of political party funds coupled with rules that democratise inner party functioning. Unless the monopoly that a small clique that holds the reins of power in almost every party is freed, new blood can never transfuse into the political arena.

A Bill called the Registration and Regulation of Political Parties (2011) has been drafted by a committee chaired by Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice of India. The bill includes a democratic process for selecting party office-bearers as well as those given the ticket. It talks of limits on donations by individuals and corporations, suggests penalties for non-compliance and addresses the vexed question of how to deal with support groups that spend money that remains unaccounted for in the candidates’ election expenses.

It is legislation like this that the country needs. Much more than a Lokpal. It is only when political parties become answerable that clean candidates will emerge. Then alone might the use of public funds for private gain halt.

(A former civil servant, Shailaja Chandra is the Vice President of Initiatives for Change-Centre for Governance, a think tank that supports social reform.)

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Corruption is the continuation of pre-modern practices.These practices are going to remain because "Indian society" did not changes it adapts .Reforms of all sort legal,social,political etc , later or sooner became the part & parcel of the same system.Solution lies in utilizing "adaptation" as a tool rather than as a means.

from:  Pranav Bhardwaj
Posted on: Nov 29, 2012 at 12:57 IST

It is conveniently ignored by most comment writers here there is indeed at least one party - CPI(M) - who plays by the rules ethically and legally. As long as this is the attitude of the comment writers I feel their "anti-corruption" outpouring sounds all hogwash.

from:  Madhu
Posted on: Nov 29, 2012 at 09:51 IST

The reforms is not required for the political parties,individual citizen should reform himself through proper education and public awareness...parties are doing their respective job ...development and progress is on the run...the ignorance of the citizens is the seed of corruption....

from:  VAIBHAV SHROFF
Posted on: Nov 28, 2012 at 18:01 IST

There is no effective law enforcement to prosecute and punish the corrupt netas and senior babus in India. The courts take too long, sometimes decades to even conclude a case. There are too many loop holes, some deliberately embedded to create delays. Without a proper enforcement mechanism to deal with corruption and prompt enforcement of prosecution and tough punishment that is proportional to the act of corruption, there is no point even talking about democracy or corruption. Period.

from:  Jairam
Posted on: Nov 28, 2012 at 10:41 IST

'We' is not a word that represent oneness in India.
It should be divided into educated we, corrupted we, unemployed we etc and then should decide which 'we' should work on which part.

'Educated and employed we' can think of the whom and why to vote but what about rest. Now we can think about how much percentage of population does this "Educated and employed we" forms. I am not very optimistic about getting more than 1-2 candidates elected from the whole nation.

A major reform or revolution only stands a chance of changing India, I will prefer a monarchic form of government for atleast 5-8 years in India to change something. From specifying monarchic government I am do not mean that it will certainly give heights to our nation but there will either be steep improvement or degradation, Improvement will be all welcome and steep degradation stands a better chance of revolution, which by current pace will take another couple of decades.

from:  Deepesh
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 17:44 IST

Example 2: Much is made of funds stashed away in foreign accounts. But what
about each and every real estate transaction in India ? This is a citizen to citizen
transaction without political intervention and yet it is an area which denies the
exchequer far more revenue than offshore accounts. Do we see a debate in this
area? Hardly.

Corruption is far too entrenched in the country and appears to be “accepted” as
well by citizens, particularly the middle classes. Combating it will be very difficult
and might entail some out of the box thinking in addition to the legislative & legal
routes.

from:  V. Suresh
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 17:03 IST

The analysis done in the article is very limited and the solutions proposed are not likely to
materialize any soon. I appreciate the concern of the author about the cleansing of the
political system in India, but how can we ignore the irregularities of bureaucracy. A more
practical approach is to build and strengthen institutions like lokpal and lokayukta to curb
corruption at all levels. Infact it would act as a great disincentive for the criminals and
unethical persons to join the government as there would be no more easy abuse of public
office.
And when it is known that there are approximately 30% of MPs having criminal cases pending against them, then why don't there cases be fast tracked in our judicial system as soon as they are elected.

from:  Sritik Sinha
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 16:13 IST

The big question here comes, is that who are electing these persons who have
criminal cases against them to the Parliament and assemblies??It is we the
people. So lets question ourselves first, that why are we divided on
communal,regional, caste based lines ?? if we really are interested to have a
secular,democratic state.
That said, 1)The political class do not want Election commission to be truly
empowered,because once done parties themselves will have a very tough time to
sustain in political foray.
2)With Multi party system,each and every interest group is coming out with
their own association/party which is not very healthy for working of a
executive&legislature ,especially in a country where FPTP system is followed to elect its representatives.
3)Without true electoral reforms ,political parties and politicians always try
to develop a sort of fear to consolidate a section of people in the election
game,where the elector is jam packed to find a better candidate to vote for.

from:  HAVISH MADDURI
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 16:00 IST

"constitution will be as good as the people using it",said by Dr B R
Ambedkar in constituent assembly.so no matter which legislation as
brought people will find way out of it. Indian society is so divided
is in fraction such as caste that there is no trust between different
section of society. voluntary affirmative action will create more
uniform, undivided society ,then this evil of corruption will be
control more effectively.root cause of all the political corruption is
not these party but section of society these party represent.so measure for more egalitarian society is first step towards achievement
of aspiration mention in preamble of our constitution.

from:  Dr Anup Bodade
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 15:41 IST

i realise that our Constitution needs amendments to suit the modern
corruption practices . The only thing that is constant in this world
is change and we need changes everywhere , be it constitutional
amendments electoral reforms and judicial reforms . Now the question
comes in who will do the neccessary amendments to the constitution .
Do we expect the political parties to do these necessary amendments ?
. Ofcourse not since they have been involved in corrupt practices in
some way or the way (corruption is a necessary evil as they say) and
doing the necessary changes will only hamper them ...what is the use
of 100% voting if there are no feasible options for the citizens of
india (urban or rural)...its like...choose the least worst among the
worsts ...we are left hopeless and the defination of democracy is
limited to textbooks....people with brains and visions either join the
bureaucracy or the corporate sector..i urge the people with vision to
join active politics before its too late

from:  Naman Jaiswal
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 15:17 IST

It is my opinion that each one of us, ordinary citizens, must try to
eliminate corruption at our level in our daily life - for example
insisting upon a receipt for all and any purchase from the shops.

During my recent visit to Chennai, in one of the famous gift shops
near Mylapore Temple, I had to insist upon a receipt, as I was told I
could save Rs. 750.00, if I could accept the goods without proper
receipt. And I did not succeed in another shop at Ayyanavaram where I
bought a pen-drive, and the printed receipt did not have any
government tax registration number at all and the shop owner insisted
that the receipt that he had issued is genuine & valid document.

Let us start to weed out the corruption at the lowest levels.

from:  Ganesh Kumar
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 14:41 IST

I completely agree with the author's contention that “Unless the political system is accountable, going after individual cases of corruption will achieve little.” I wish to add that corruption in a society results out of many factors. Lack of clean and responsive politics could perhaps be seen as the chief contributing factor for corruption. It is axiomatic that we should have clean politics to establish a corruption free society. Of course, we cannot all of a sudden have clean political parties and candidates. It could take several years of herculean efforts from several sections of people to secure a society that boasts of clean politics. The mass media, the intelligentsia, NGOs and social reformers and the other interested groups of the society must educate the people on supporting clean parties and electing only clean candidates.

from:  Sreehari Pusuluri
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 14:36 IST


The article is full of 'Clarity of thoughts'. Ethics, values, discipline and tolerance are the pre-requisites for any member to be elected for government work.

from:  A.RAJAMOHAN
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 14:15 IST

When the people who commit crimes are punished and when the system facilitates such a process in a time bound manner the overall effect on the minds of the people will be all encompassing. There are many cases in the courts now and by the time they get solved, people forget the crimes committed and their ill-effect. On the contrary if every case is solved in a timely manner, say within three years, the deterrence effect of the punishment will do a lot in cleansing the system. Electoral reforms are important but when the law and order issues are not properly taken care of, society gets rotten.
When the law and order system is being run on an arcane legislation made by the British for their needs in 1861 and our political parties refuse to work a new legislation in spite of the National Police Commission recommendations and a Supreme Court judgement in 2006, we, the people of India, have our task cut out. A strong autonomous Lokpal along with judicial and police reforms are direly needed

from:  Sai Charan Kalvapalli
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 13:37 IST

A very good article and it rightly sets the priorities about the
required legislations. We need to clean up the political system first,
esp the electoral process. And even more important is implementation of
the laws. It should become easier for honest people to public life, be
it through politics or the bureaucracy.

from:  Raj N
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 12:46 IST

The greatest source of corruption is nepotism and dynastic politics which taints the very
principles of democracy and by all means it should be abolished. All registered parties and
the money received by them should be transparent and donations received in any calendar
year, if exceeds Rs 10,000, must de declared to the electoral commission with full details
and be accessible to the public. Any kind of inducement with money materials or promise of
favor for getting the votes should be seen as corruption and appropriate measures need to
be in place to stop it and penalize the perpetraters.The electoral commission must be given
more power to exclude a candidate on the basis of written strong proptocals that do not give
gray areas, but with an avenue for appeal. Minimum qualification needs to be set for the
nomination of candates to improve the quality of debate in the parliament and to raise the
capacity to interact with representatives from other countries.

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 12:45 IST

I thank the author for an excellent analysis showing how easy it is to
seize political power in India today, in the ABSENCE OF LAWS (a)
mandating transparency of political party funds & incomes [He who pays
the piper calls the tune!] (b) limiting/controlling election
expenditure – direct & indirect [“clean candidates without money or
political pedigree do not stand a ghost of a chance ... once illegal
and illegitimate expenditure is incurred on winning elections”] (c)
implementing a sensible system of party funding to promote democracy &
good governance.

Since existing parties won’t or can’t, the citizens of India must
drive the above changes and the AAP should take up the above demands.

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 12:26 IST

Lots of good ideas here. It is heartening to know that a former Chief Justice of India has already drafted a bill along the lines suggested by Shailaja Chandra. The previous commentators have further built on those ideas. Many other thoughtful writers have previously suggested other ideas. It is clear that nobody wants corruption and there are many good ideas on how to combat corruption. It seems to me the real challenge is: how to get a bill like that of Justice Venktachaliah enacted into law? I hope the learned people like Chandra, Jaiswal, Mahaputra and Venktachaliah will put their sharp minds to that question and come up with a practical solution to this national nightmare so that we can become problem solvers, instead of mere thoughtful observers.

from:  Hoshiar Singh
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 12:17 IST

People seem to disregard the importance of the right to vote.Most of
us do not even apply for voter Id.Those who have got ,are busy with
some activities on the election day.When educated people like us are
behaving in such an irresponsible way,how can we expect illiterates
and rural people to vote with clean conscience keeeping valid criteria
for a candidate in account.Most of these people are sellouts to money
and other benifits thrown once in five years for the sake of
elections.Unless these people do not realise the importance of a vote
and unless there is 100 percent polling in the country,we cannot
expect for a participatory democracy in our country.As far as Jan Lok
Pal is concerned,its powers are exaggerated and it is very
stringent.Governments version is very weak.Rather a balanced and
moderate version should be welcomed by people so that the purpose of
Lokpal becomes effective.To be succint,corruption can be rooted out
when every body above 18,votes with knowledge.

from:  Shaik Rizwan Ahmed
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 11:54 IST

Very lucidly explained. Thank you. Two specific points made and I would like to put them in this order: a) ensure inner party democracy and transparency in all matters b) check clandestine funding by replacing with State funding.
The first relates to imposing ethical functioning standards within parties. Given the unilateral leadership and control of most parties, will this ever get accepted?. Also, who will supervise and enforce this code of conduct?
On the second, related to election spending, why is the Election Commission itslef not able to do something? Is it not empowered enough?
I would feel that in today's circumstances, we need the over arching Lokpal, to put fear in the minds of those who govern us. Perhaps, we should think of a 20 year period for the Lokpal to clean up, while we move towards more self regulating mechanisms.

from:  varadarajan raman
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 11:51 IST

If what the author is saying is correct, can she explain why there is so much corruption happening in China where there are no elections?

from:  Ashok Chowgule
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 11:31 IST

Congratulations! Hindu Editorial team and Shailaja Chandra.Correct situation has been described. Hope the so called leaders of all leading political parties at federal level and Regional Parties like SP, BSP, NCP,DMK, AIADMK, BJD Etc must appreciate the real situation if they are committed to the spirit of Constitution and its basic principles.The country so far has been ruled through manipulative politics, Money and muscle power, Vote Bank Politics.All parties have to be blamed.Spirit of Democracy has not been followed. The nation has a lop sided growth.
All the leaders depending on their sources of funding the huge sums both for Central and regional elections play for the interest of agencies which provide such funds.Naturally they have to take care of such interested agencies and in the name of reforms political parties when they are in power will bring loose reforms with a lot of room for misuse.They also make illegal money. I have lost hopes on this great Nation.

from:  Narayanan Krishnan
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 10:56 IST

As we are aware Indian democracy and the electoral process is governed
and controlled by political parties through muscle power,money
power,caste and religious considerations.Education and economic
prosperity has not helped to unify the people and make them think for
a political process to select and elect candidates on considerations
other than corrupt means.Unless people themselves change their mindset
and vouch for probity in public life, any number of organisations and
laws will not eradicate the evils and live in Utopian
lands. So, priority should be given for reducing the number of
parties, derecognising those not following inner party democracy and
reducing the time gap between notification of electoral process and
date of elections and government funding of elections.

from:  G.Kulandaivelu
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 10:24 IST

it is the bureaucracy that can uproot the roots of corruption and form
the base of this clean electoral image of india..its high time that
former civil servants redefine the democracy of india...even incumbent
civil servants who wish to curb the menace of corruption in
administration can come forward and join AAP(Aam Admi Party)...the Aam
Admi cant leave his work and uproot corruption at low level...he needs
clean ,educated and visionary representatives who knows the principles
of constitution ...i am not a volunteer of AAP ...i am just the youth
who is aiming to be a civil servant oneday :)

from:  Naman Jaiswal
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 10:19 IST

(I) India is extremely vulnerable to vote-buying. (A) STICK - (a) With
half the population at subsistence living it is easy to continue (i)
poor education (ii) fear (iii) dominance by local jamindars and
goondas. (b) Block-vote manipulation (based on religion, caste etc) is
harvested through poverty, poor education and communal fear. (B)
CARROT – Both groups bought with cash & kind, and Govt schemes
delivering ‘special advantages’ (while remunerating local party people
through pilfering).

(II) With over 2400 registered parties, as little as 15% votes can
deliver victory.

(III) Above makes it too tempting to use tools of corruption, black
money stashed in India and abroad, to seize political power in India.

(IV) OUTCOME: (a) India ruled by dynastic parties = family businesses
for private gain and power (b) national plunder & endemic corruption
(c) Indian masses suffer modern day slavery.

The citizens of India can and should bring about change and the AAP
take up the cause.

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 09:38 IST

Any legislation passed is a eye wash if the nominees are not forced to obey the law, how can they feel the impact of law on common public. It is really shocking to see the rise in crime cases and I am sure 0% of them have been solved. First rule of thumb-if they are prosecuted for a case and not able to appear in court for more than three time with in next election they should not be allow to stand in election -because they don't know to respect the law.

from:  marudah
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 09:08 IST

It is the duty of the political leaders to tell citizens about their
rights, choices, advantages, disadvantages and the ways to
development. They are supposed to show light and solve crises in the
society. To the utter surprise, the political leaders do not talk of
or do not pay attention to the fundamental and human rights of the
citizens. Some people critically say that their own elected leaders
and law makers are rather engaged in breaking rules, violating laws,
threatening good people with their oppressive cadre weapons. They
have not contributed to employment locally or centrally to solve
crises, rather they have played role in closing state run industries
which could employ thousands of people.
All public institutions are directly or indirectly structured and
guided by the (policies of the) political parties. Until the
political parties behave democratically within and respect
transparency and accountability, other institutions can hardly
operate in a transparent manner.

from:  Saidur Rahman
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 09:05 IST

An absolute commentary on the present state of the country. Its
our country. Two aspects I would like to comment... The fight
against corruption is an on going affair which will constantly
transform as time passes and as our society matures. We are a
country transforming, growing and with all the legislation's and
awareness among the people especially youth, we need to give time
for the effect of efforts against corruption to be visible and
felt. Secondly lets not under play the effect of Jan Lokpal
agitation of Anna, as an initiator of the processes of numerous legislations. It did push the polity of our country into
effectively looking in the direction of fight against corruption.
Though laws and Jan Lokpal by itself will not eradicate or reduce
corruption, as people and society,this fight has to come from
with in us. Positivity,faith in our systems and little patience
will also go long way to feel and see the effects.

from:  NS Bisht
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 08:05 IST

I am CM [common man ] of the society, paid bribes to CMs [Con mans ] of
the same society.My society brands me as pragmatist [Buddhimaan ],as i
can get the things done swiftly.
The Corruption in India is more of a social issue.
India needs improvement in efficiency of institutional functioning,to
break the nexus between common man and con mans of the society.

from:  B.Praveen
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 07:51 IST

At the heart of the problem of corruption is the selection and election of candidates to the legislatures.Several committees and commissioners have made recommendations to cleanse this. Naturally it is too much to expect that the beneficiaries of the existing unhappy process would themselves shoot themselves in the foot. Therefore all thinking citizens have to get together to make a push for necessary amendments to the Representation of Peoples Act or to ensure that the draft Bill prepared by Justice Venkatachelliah. This will take a long time and a lot of effort. But we have to get started on this cleansing process if we want our next generations to have a happier life.

from:  Prosenjit Das Gupta
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 07:30 IST

Great cartoon.
“Corruption nothing but a reflection of the distribution of power within societies” is certainly true. More backward and primitive higher will be societal turbulence. Let us face up to the unpleasant truth that our countrymen woefully lack scientific mindset which is most essential to understand the world and to adapt to it. Leaders naturally take advantage of countrymen undesirable penchant to ignore facts and evidence that go against their assumptions, prejudices, and desires. We aren’t willing to admit when wrong and cling to a worldview that isn’t congruent with the reality around us because we aren’t ready to accept it yet. Most of us, mainly educated, are filled up with delusion and unable to face the truth to liberate us from ignorance and suffering. Worse form of suffering is from illusion of knowledge which as Stephens Hawking said is “The greatest enemy of knowledge” and not the ignorance.

from:  N.G.Krishnan
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 05:30 IST

The French philosopher and lawyer Joseph de Maistre once said: "Every country has the government it deserves". And that sadly applies to India. Whilst top down measures to tackle corruption are laudable they still ignore the fact remains that corruption is also a bottom up phenomenon. Transparency International identifies "with the law corruption" & "against the law corruption". In the former, the citizen t has to bribe to obtain something which is his due. In the latter, the citizen bribes to make authorities look the other way when he does something illegal. In India, as elsewhere both are widespread. It can be argued that bribes are sometimes extorted from hapless citizens but it can also be said that most Indians accept this as fait accompli and factor in the cost of a bribe in many dealings. Sad, but true. The politician is merely a more successful specimen of the average citizen. Hence, laws need to tackle corruption practised by the citizen as well as the politician.

from:  V. Suresh
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 05:29 IST

To cleanse the election process T N Seshan, introduced measures which bound the parties to a code of conduct and any violation was dealt with promptly and severely. The same zeal could not be seen in the people who succeeded Mr Seshan.
1. Like any other public organisation, the political parties have to undergo financial audit and the results of such audit published.
2. The source and application of funds constituency wise should be published.
3. IF the party does not hold organizational elections once in 3 years, the party should be debarred from contesting. Will ensure that the tickets are not issued to the family members (SP, Congress, DMK)
4. IF bench stacking is done by any candidiate, he/she should be debarred from contesting for any public post for life.
5. Corruption cases against politicians in or out of office should be dealt with by a special judge and judgement passed within 12 months.
6. Persons with criminal cases/history should be debarred from contesting.

from:  mani Sandilya
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 04:20 IST

I think solution given by Mr B Jalan ex-governor RBI was more apt than
state funding ...

from:  satish reddy
Posted on: Nov 27, 2012 at 03:45 IST
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