"An uncorrupted individual in a corrupted system will finally end up being corrupted himself except and unless he is constantly fighting against the corruption".- Jhurry Muhummad Anas
1. What is Corruption?
Corruption can be defined as Wrongdoing on the part of an or through that are illegitimate, immoral or incompatible with.
Corruption often from backup and is with. It can result in the diversion of public resources to private consumption and thus in the overall loss of the impacts that were intended to be of wider benefit. Thus it results in social inequality and widened gap between the rich and poor.
2. What are the types of corruption?
This is the everyday corruption that takes place at the execution end of politics to implement existing laws, rules and regulations. It can be defined as
the use of public office for private benefit in the course of delivering a public service.
This is practiced on a smaller scale. The direct victim of this kind of corruption is the citizen.
Grand corruption is at the top levels of the public sphere, where policies and rules are made in the first place and is considered the most dangerous type of corruption. Public officers in high positions (such as councilors) usually accept bribes in the process of making decisions of significant economic value and ensure that tenders or contracts are awarded to specific contractors. This occurs at financial, political and administrative centers of power.
Business corruption is considered only as a means to accelerate business processes and often not regarded as a crime. Patrons claim that the end result is not affected but can be achieved quickly. Includes bribery, insider trading, money laundering, embezzlement, tax evasion and accounting irregularities.
Political corruption is any transaction between private and public sector through which collective goods are illegally converted into private-regarding payoffs. This takes place at the high levels of the political system, when politicians and state agents use their authority to sustain their power, status and wealth. Political corruption not only leads to the improper allocation of resources, but also falsifies the manner in which decisions are made. It includes:
- voting irregularities
- nepotism (favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit) and cronyism (favoritism granted to old friends regardless of merit)
- rule of a few
- false political promises
- paying journalists for favorable coverage of candidates and parties influencing voters by the distribution of money, food and/or drink
- holding on to power against the will of the people
A well-organized system of corruption in which there is a clear idea:
- of whom to bribe
- how much should be offered
- and are confident that they will receive the favor in return
Organized corruption is often carried out by crime gangs and syndicates and includes white-collar crime and identity theft.
A disorganized system where there is no clarity regarding whom to bribe and how much should be offered. Entrepreneurs may need to bribe several officials, but with no guarantee that they will not face further demands for bribes or that the things will be done.
3. What are the causes and consequences of corruption?
The following are some of the causes of corruption:
- Lack of effective management and organization
- Lack of economical stability
- Lack of effective leadership
- Lack of support
- Lack of values
- Lack of love for country
- Lack of proper system
- Lack of satisfaction
- Lack of autonomy
- Lack of good control and vigilance
- Lack of good remuneration
- Lack of employment
- Lack of seats and educational institutions
Consequences of corruption:
The consequences of corruption have many dimensions related to political, economic, social and environmental effects.
Political effects: Corruption retards democracy and the rule of law. Corruption may also result in negative consequences such as encoring acrimony and reducing political competition, interest of participation and the transparency of decision making, political instability, distorting political development and sustaining political activity based on patronage, clientelism and money, etc.
The economic effects of corruption have serious impact on the individual community and country. First and foremost, corruption leads to the depletion of national wealth. It is often responsible for increased costs of goods and services, the channeling of scarce public resources to uneconomic high profile projects at the expense of the much needed projects such as schools, hospitals and roads, or the supply of potable water, diversion and misallocation of resources, conversion of public wealth to private and personal property, inflation, imbalanced economic development and weakling work ethics and professionalism. Large scale corruption hurts the economy and impoverishes entire population reads a recent report on corruption.
Social effects: Social effects can have a strong effect on individual behavior. Corruption discourages people to work together for any good cause. Demanding and paying bribes becomes the tradition. Frustration and general indifference among the public result in a weak civil society. Laws cannot be enforced if officials can easily be bribed. The same applies to social rights worker protection, unionization prevention, and child labor. Violation of these laws and rights enables corrupt countries to gain illegal economic advantage in the international market.
Environmental effects: Corruption facilitates trafficking in wildlife and other natural resources, depletion of natural resources and pollution of environment through bribery in environmental inspections and permitting system. Corruption also contributes to the development of environmentally damaging policies and practices and to unlawful allocation of resources that leads to environmentally harmful practices.
4. Top 10 corruption scams in India:
01) 2G Spectrum Scam:
We have had a number of scams in India; but the 2G spectrum financial scandal in the Telecommunications and IT Ministry under A. Raja is noteworthy as the largest political corruption case in modern Indian history. The scam involves the process of allocating unified access service licenses. The issue dates to 2008 when nine telecom companies were issued scarce airwaves, a national resource and licenses for 2G mobile phone services at Rs 1,658 crore (roughly equivalent to 39 billion US dollars) for a pan-India operation. As many as 122 circle-wise licenses were issued.
02) Commonwealth Games Scam:
The Commonwealth games scam involved large scale misappropriation of money during the preparatory phase and conduct of the 2010 Commonwealth games held in New Delhi. The total value of the scam is estimated to be 70,000 crore. Even before the long awaited sporting bonanza could see the day of light, the grand event was soaked in the allegations of corruption. Suresh Kalmadi, the Congress party representative to LokSabha from the Pune constituency, the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Delhi Commonwealth games was arrested for his alleged role in awarding the contract to a Swiss firm at an outrageous rate.
03) Telgi Scam:
The Telgi stamp scam can be dubbed as the mother of all scams and many cannot resist saying it happens only in India. Its ramifications run deep and cover over 12 states with Maharashtra leading the way. It has left its stamp of shame on the top police brass, politicians and bureaucrats. Abdul Karim Telgi had mastered the art of forgery in printing duplicate stamp papers and appointed 300 people as agents who sold the fakes to bulk purchasers, including banks, insurance companies and share-broking firms. The size of the scam was estimated to be more than 20,000 crore (4.06 billion US dollars).
04) Satyam Scam:
It is one of the biggest frauds in India's corporate history to the tune of Rs. 14000 crore. B. Ramalinga Raju, founder and CEO of Satyam Computers, India's fourth-largest IT services firm, announced on January 7, 2009 that his company had been falsifying its accounts for years, overstating revenues and inflating profits by $1 billion. Finally, the company was taken over by the Tech Mahindra which has done unbelievably well to revive the brand Satyam.
05) Bofors Scam:
The Bofors scandal, the hallmark of Indian corruption, was a major corruption scandal in India in the 1980s and 1990s; initiated by Congress politicians and implicating the then and several others who were accused of receiving from for winning a bid to supply India's. The scale of the corruption was far worse than any that India had seen before and directly led to the defeat of Gandhi's ruling party in the November 1989 general elections. It has been speculated that the scale of the scandal was to the tune of Rs. 4000 million.
06) The Fodder Scam:
The Fodder Scam was a corruption scandal that involved the alleged embezzlement of about 950 crore from the government treasury of the eastern Indian state of Bihar. The scam involved the fabrication of "vast herds of fictitious livestock" for which fodder, medicines and animal husbandry equipment was supposedly procured.
07) The Hawala Scandal:
The Hawala scandal or Hawala scam was an Indian political scandal involving payments allegedly received by politicians through four hawala brokers, the Jain brothers. It was a US$18 million bribery scandal that implicated some of the country's leading politicians. Those accused included L. K. Advani, V. C. Shukla, P. Shiv Shankar, Sharad Yadav, Balram Jakhar and Madan Lal Khurana. Thus, for the first time in Indian politics, it gave a feeling of open loot all around the public, involving all the major political leaders being accused of having accepted bribes and also alleged connections about payments being channeled to Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Kashmir.
08) IPL Scam:
Most of us are aware about the recent scam in IPL and fraud with respect to bidding for various franchisees. IPL was initiated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The scam is complicated to an extent that makes us doubt if IPL itself was created for money laundering. The scandal already claimed the portfolios of two big-wigs in the form of Shashi Tharoor and former IPL chief Lalit Modi.
09) Harshad Mehta & Ketan Parekh Stock Market Scam:
These are two stock-market scams, like identical twins separated by 9 years. In 1992, it was Harshad Mehta, and in 2001, Ketan Parekh. Harshad Mehta was arrested and banished from the stock market with investigators holding him responsible for causing a loss of more than Rs 4,000 crore to various entities. Ketan Parekh was arrested, on March 30, 2001, by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Soon, reports abounded as to how Ketan Parekh had single handedly caused one of the biggest scams in the history of Indian financial markets. He was charged with defrauding Bank of India (BoI) of about $30 million among other charges.
5. 2011 Indian Anti corruption Movement:
The peaceful movement led by Hazare was supported by the entire country. For the first time in decades it saw the urban middle class emerge spontaneously on the streets in huge numbers for a political cause.
The 74-year old Hazare, whose struggle is deeply inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, had wanted to stage an indefinite hunger strike in a park in New Delhi, vowing to fast until death unless the government accepted the movements demand to create an independent anti-corruption agency with sweeping powers, a so-called Lokpal, or ombudsman.
Attempts made by the Indian government to restrain anti-corruption movement in the country had backfired. After arrest of some 2,600 protesters, including the high-profile anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare, millions of Indians poured out into the streets to fight for a strong anti-corruption law.
The Jan Lokpal Bill, also referred to as the citizens' ombudsman bill, is a proposed independent anti-corruption law in India.
The salient features of Jan Lokpal Bill:
1. An institution called LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up.
2. Like Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations.
3. Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.
4. The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.
5. How will it help a common citizen: If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.
6. So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month's time. You could also report any case of corruption to Lokpal like ration being siphoned off, poor quality roads been constructed or panchayat funds being siphoned off. Lokpal will have to complete its investigations in a year, trial will be over in next one year and the guilty will go to jail within two years.
7. But won't the government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That won't be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.
8. What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months.
9. What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and anti-corruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.
10. It will be the duty of the Lokpal to provide protection to those who are being victimized for raising their voice against corruption.
Author Chetan Baghat said:
[Hazare's] non-violent yet aggressive, Gandhi-like method of protest, together with his anti-corruption cause, struck a chord with Indians. Thousands of non-government organizations fight for social causes every day in India, but none has ever achieved this kind of support. From rickshaw drivers to software engineers, from businessmen to spiritual leaders, people from all walks of life back Anna. So do I.
In a serious lapse of judgment, the government arrested Anna from his home on the morning of 16 August. News spread, and the nation exploded on to the streets. By evening, the government wanted to release him. In a masterstroke, Anna refused to come out of jail, and continued his fast there. The country is in frenzy, and the government is in a fix.
The New York Times reported:
Fueled by obsessive coverage on India's all-news television networks, [Hazare's] jailhouse protest had clearly captured the imagination of the country, and appeared to back government leaders into a political corner. Elsewhere in India, protests were held in major cities, as well as in villages and across many states.
Corruption is a source of growing public anger and frustration in India, as well as a yoke threatening to drag down the national coalition government led by the Indian National Congress Party. Mired in scandals for months, Congress Party leaders have attempted to convince the public that they are cracking down on corruption, yet public skepticism remains high.
The Indian journalist Seema Sengupta wrote:
Once conferred with the third-highest civilian honor of the land, he has now been arrested and is facing the wrath of the ruling Congress party for his effort to retrieve Gandhi's legacy of nonviolence at a time when India is struggling to fetter the home-bred rebellions shattering the nations tranquility.
Short-changed by the ruling establishment, India's modern-day Gandhi threatened a fast unto death. The public, livid at the governments pernicious attempt to defame a person who has appropriated the most potent symbol of nationalism in Indian history took to the streets in vast numbers. Irked by administrative apathy towards the widespread abuse of authority, people on the street are now desperate to unearth the reason for a ruthless assault on civil liberties. What prompted this sudden high-handedness? Who is behind the orchestrated smear campaign against the anti-corruption activists?
Independent political analyst Prem Shankar Jha said:
Kiran Bedi said:
Anna does not have any political inclination, but we will oppose all those political parties that oppose the Jan Lokpal Bill. We have nothing against any political party. Our entire movement is apolitical, as is very clear now. What Anna has envisioned is a strong Jan Lokpal free of political and bureaucratic interference so that it can function independently.
Celebrity tweets on Anna Hazare's movement:
* Actor Anupam Kher tweets -Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal arrested even before they reach JP park. Saddest day for Indian Democracy.'
* Actor R. Madhavan tweets '-This move and method of preventing Anna Hazare is, in my opinion, most foolish and silly high handed act by the authorities. Big Mistake'
* Director and producer Madhur Bhandarkar tweets -We totally condemn d arrest of Anna Hazare... Voices of people like Anna can't be muffled by detaining them... He stands today as d voice of 120 crore Indians...
* Actor Sidharth tweets-'Democracy was supposed to be citizens represented by citizens in parliament. Today it's become us vs. them. Tomorrow new unknown citizens participating in rule making might just increase the numbers of the them, and the cycle will continue, if not done with solid constitutional amendments and instruments of supervision and transparency. Anna Hazare could easily be transformed into an unwilling politician and thats the last thing he or any of us wants.
* Actor Prakash Raj tweets - Voice against CORRUPTION. The journey has just begun. I BELIEVE if we stay together on this it will turn into a lovely song for our future!
* News Anchor and Journalist Vikram Chandra tweets, - Lots of people had issues with Anna's approach. But they'll be horrified at seeing him sharing jail space with Kalmadi
* Kiran Bedi, a retired IPS officer and member of team Anna, tweets - Tweeple urge u stay alert. Lokpal without investigation powers is mere form without substance. Past corruption remains buried with CBI.
* Actress and Rajya Sabha member Shabana Azmi tweets-We condemn the arrest of Anna Hazare and his team and the ban on the proposed fast. Right to protest peacefully is a democratic right.''
* Poet and screenwriter Javed Akhtar tweets - I have had certain reservations about Anna's method but his arrest cannot be condoned. It is undemocratic, unacceptable."
* Actress Minissha Lamba tweets - "Happy I-Day India! Gr8 going by ARRESTING Anna Hazare. Show d world how ready we r 2be a superpower! India NOT Shining".
6. How to minimize corruption?
1. The first tool is 'education'. We can minimize corruption with the help of education. According to a survey conducted by India today the least corrupt state is Kerala, the reason being that in Kerala literacy rate is highest in India.
2. We need to change the government processes. In India there is a rule that no person as a criminal shall be allowed as the MP or MLA. Unfortunately a fairly large number of them are a part of it. Therefore a major shift in the government processes and administrative policies can make them more public oriented.
3. We can reduce corruption by increasing direct contact between government and the governed. E-governance could help a lot towards this direction. Sivraj Patil said that the Right to information can ensure transparency. We have legal rights to know any information. According to this act, (Right to Information act 2005), generally people should follow the procedure of law given to them when there is no transparency and accountability in the working of public authority. This act would be of great help in order to control corruption.
4. Revising the act for its better implementation. Strong and stringent laws need to be implemented which gives no room for the guilty to escape.
5. Individual effort. We should be honest to ourselves. Until and unless we will not be honest, we can't control corruption.
7. Myths and Facts:
Find below some of the myths and facts about corruption given by the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organizations.
Myth: Corruption is predominantly an African problem.
Fact: Corruption occurs everywhere where the risk of getting caught is low, and the rewards are high. Corruption is prevalent in all countries but corruption on a scale that threatens human rights and economic development is most likely where state structures are very weak, have broken down or are changing rapidly.
Myth: It is better to channel aid through NGOs rather than governments, who might waste it.
Fact: By-passing government systems effectively means undermining those governments own efforts to improve planning, budgeting and delivering services that reach all citizens. A study conducted by the OECD in 2006 found no evidence that aid channeled through developing countries governments is any more or less vulnerable to corruption than aid delivered through other channels. Monitoring and tracking expenditure, providing technical support to government accountability bodies, strengthening parliament's role in providing oversight, and supporting civil society watchdog groups are all effective ways to ensure that aid reaches those for whom it is intended.
Myth: Corruption is a matter of culture.
Fact: Corruption happens anywhere there is the right mix of opportunity and inclination; where those with power and influence can take advantage of others for their own private gain. Few would argue that Switzerland's secretive banking system is in their culture in light of demands by Swiss NGOs to return money stolen by corrupt leaders to nations whom it was stolen from. Neither is it the case that Africans have a different understanding of corruption than ours. Afro barometer, an independent group that measures political attitudes in Africa, found that a significant majority of citizens condemn public officials who locate development projects where friends and supporters live, who demand favors for state services and who give jobs to unqualified family members and friends.
Myth: People in developing countries can do little to curtail corruption.
Fact: Civil society watchdog groups and investigative journalists are active across the developing world in tracking the activities of governments, public sector bodies and private companies. Transparency is the greatest enemy of corruption: Given the right information and support, political parties and local organizations can do great job of monitoring public spending and demanding accountable administration. Fighting corruption, in both its 'demand' and 'supply' sides, is not simply a matter of cutting aid: The best way to fight corruption is to strengthen formal and informal systems and mechanisms for checks and balances: free and independent media, an effective judiciary system and active citizenship in fighting corruption. To fight corruption, investment is needed: Investment in education, in democracy, in legislation and in free media. And rich countries can help further, by introducing legislation ratifying the UN Convention Against Corruption; by pressing for better transparency and accountability in the World Bank, the UN and the EU; and by helping to make sure that no Irish companies give or take bribes to secure business.
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