Saturday, 1 September 2018

Essay on Corruption in Public Life in English

Essay on Corruption in Public Life in English

Corruption in Public Life

"In our country moral life is shaken to its foundations. Love of wealth and power has gained wide acceptance. Most of us live on the surface of life with no moral earnestness. A crisis of character is our present predicament and it is a challenge to us." - Dr. S.  Radha Krishnan 

Our national character is passing through a terrible crisis today. In every sphere of our life dishonesty and corruption are rampant. The ancient Indian edifice of moral and spiritual values is slowly crumbling to pieces and the Sons of Belial are holding their full sway, with a very negligible minority of honest and suffering souls thrown into dark recesses. 

Corruption is a deep-rooted menace that has eaten into the vitals of the Indian social and public life. It has distorted all values and made truth, morality, virtue and sincerity meaningless like old furniture. The evil has grown to gigantic proportions and there is hardly any sphere of Indian social life- social, economic, political, religious, educational, and even governmental-that has remained untouched by it. Like the air we breathe, it has become all pervasive and like God, it is omnipresent. In fact, people have got so much used to that it has conic to stay as a necessary though evil, part of our lives. We need not strain ourselves to find examples of it. Whenever we raise our eyes-- Trade, commerce and industry, public and private services, religion, politics, hospitals, government offices, educational institutions, to name only a few- we shall find corruption at a premium. The irony is no qualms of conscience while practicing it. Perhaps, this is socialism, progress and scientific civilization. 

Corruption is too comprehensive a term to be bottled into one complete and exhaustive definition. According to K. Santhanam, member of the Constituent Assembly and Chairman of the Santhanam Committee on National Integrity, "In the widest compotation corruption' includes improper or selfish exercise of power and influence attached to a public office, or to the special position one occupies in public life. In this sense, one has to view the problems in relation to the entire system of moral values and socio-economic structure of society. The most important levels were, according to the 'Santhanam Committee, corruption operates are; (I ) Services of the Central and State Governments, local bodies, public enterprises, and other semi-governments corporations; (ii) Ministers, legislators, politicians: (iii) Industrialists, businessmen and traders; (iv) professional classes, and (v) the citizens. Thus, the system has corroded the entire socio-economic structure of the country. Right from the Ministers, top politicians, big industrialists and top film stars to the lowly sweeper or a beggar, all are caught in the cob-web of corruption. It is common knowledge that many ministers in the Central and State Government (even Chief Ministers) and bureaucrats amassed colossal fortunes, in and outside India, built palatial building and feathered their own nests by the most unscrupulous, even antinational methods and corrupt practices. They have gone scot-free unscathed by sharp criticism from the press and the galleries on the sheer strength of 'pelf’ or political umbrella.

In the 18th century Edmund Burke the renowned British Parliamentarian, who had spearheaded the epoch-making impeachment of Warren Hastings, warned the world that a corrupt influence is perennial spring of decay and disorder; it takes away vigor from our arms and wisdom from our councils. The warning is valid, and pertinent even in modern India. At one time people drew lessons from the 'Gita' and said that a corrupt individual or society cannot survive long, but even this belief has proved a myth. The corrupt are the more and the merrier. 

In order to tackle the monster of corruption, we must trace its causes. Corruption is merely a facet of the total breakdown of moral and spiritual values in the Wake of the growth of the materialistic approach to life and its problems. In this word of 'getting and spending', we are shedding old belies, questioning everything, including religion. Now, religion as a way of life gave us a moral and spiritual force, but science has demolished the very fabric of religion. 

The philosophy of corruption needs no formal training; it comes to man as naturally as leaves to trees in the spring season. So long as there are people to offer 'hush money' or to grease the palm, there are and also shall be, people to accept it, either directly or through subordinates, wives or domestic and either in cash or in kind. In these hard days of inflation when the prices are soaring and the standard of living is constantly arising, many take recourse to it, consoling themselves that when others around are also reaping rich harvest, why should not they too ? 

The opportunities for bribery and corruption have multiplied greatly with the dawn of independence and the growth of democracy and industry, the system of licenses, permits and quotas of raw materials, imports and exports and expansion of international trade. Like Cleopatra in Shakespeare, corruption too has infinite variety which age cannot wither and custom cannot stale. On the contrary, it is ever on the increase and has become a global phenomenon. 

But what pinches the most is the brazen hypocrisy with when corruption is practiced and perpetuated. Ministers, top level politicians and officials accept big bribes under the table and then raise loud anti-corruption slogans on the public platform, urging others to be honest, clean and pure in word and deed. Naturally, corruption breeds at the top and filters by degrees to the lower levels. The breed of honest politicians like Gandhiji, Tagore, Gokhale and Patel has vanished. Today politicians win elections at a huge personal cost only to reap the benefits hundred-fold. Powerful business magnates are forced to give huge donations to political parties, and so, they try not only to make good their losses but also to exploit the situation to the optimum level. From their example, the common gets a sanction and a mandate and he does not hesitate to bathe in the Ganga of corruption.

Occasionally, there are loud outbursts and interminable debates and expression of population resentment against corruption. Some have even gone to the extent of condemning as a cancer in society. But soon these voices are silenced and forgotten like ripples caused by throwing pebbles in a river. Perhaps these voices are hushed by 'hush money. Instead fighting this menace resolutely our political leaders embrace and strengthen it by slugging their shoulders and declaring that it is phenomenon.

The problem of corruption has assumed such gigantic alarming proportions that it needs immediate drastic remedies for its solution desperate maladies need desperate remedies. The single handed efforts of one well-meaning citizen can hardly avail anything. Similarly, hollow promises and oaths of honesty with not do. All the ministers, political leaders, bureaucrats and other public servants, both civil and police, are administered such oaths, but to what purpose? They are as soon forgotten as made; it needs a lot of initiative, drive, vision and coverage to tackle the problem and to devise, measures calculated, to produce a social climate both among the top-notch political leaders as well as public servants and the citizens at large.

 A new tradition of national integrity can be established by those at the helm of affairs in the country. Lal Bahadur Shastri was one such leader. Our present Prime Minister, Atal Behari Bajpai is shaping well by trying to project his image as ‘Mr. Clean'. But much dirt and rust has gathered round this projected image on account of some other corrupt politicians. 

We should do a bit of serious introspection and make sincere efforts to develop a consciousness of moral and social responsibilities. Anti-social elements and officials and other personal found guilty of corruption must be surely dealt with by awarding exemplary punishments. Efforts should also  be made to arouse and harness a strong and dynamic public opinion forth eradication of corruption. Public apathy is an unconscious sanction corruption. The Central Vigilance Commission and the State Lokayuktas and Lokpals must do their job ruthlessly and judiciously, keeping themselves immune from the virtue of corruption.

This we hope will pave the way for a good and honest life of equality, justice and democratic socialism, and this will drive away the dragon of corruption from the social life of India.



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