What is Hawala? And its Impacts OR Political Corruption

What is Hawala? And its Impacts OR Political Corruption Corruption in one form or another has always existed, Kautilya, in his...

What is Hawala? And its Impacts OR Political Corruption


Corruption in one form or another has always existed, Kautilya, in his Arthashastra, writes, "Just as it is impossible not to taste the honey or the poison that finds itself at the tip of the tongue, so it is impossible for a government servant not to eat up a bit of the kings revenue.” But never before had the ruling government of any country been involved in such wide spread bribery. Never before the rulers have sold their country in this fashion. No scandal has ever created such pandemonium sweeping across the entire political establishment as the Jain hawala pay offs have done.


A world wide study ranked India as the third most corrupt country in the world. Even then there was no sense of shame among the political wide of the country because taking money seemed almost right to them. Moreover, there was some relief that there were two other countries ahead to them. Yet, when the hawala allegations started showing up, it seemed that no other country could be as corrupt as ours.


What is Hawala? Hawala consists of illegal foreign exchange deals. Through this trade, bribes received abroad can be brought into the country, bypassing official channels. Also bribes received within the country can be converted into dollars and slashed away in secret bank accounts abroad Huge profits are made, since the foreign exchange is converted at black market rates. The process is quite simple. If a multinational company wants to acquire a contract in India, it pays dollars to a hawals agent abroad. His counterpart makes rupee payments to bureaucrats in India in rupees, converting the money at black market rates. Foreign powers who want to destabilize the country too make payments abroad and the hawala agent makes rupee payments to terrorists within the country. So it can be said that if hawala had been controlled there would have been no rise in militancy in India, the Bombay blasts may never have happened.


In the country bureaucrats and politicians also use the hawala channel for sending their load of money abroad. The agent is paid rupees in India and his counterpart convert and deposit the money in secret accounts in a foreign country.



India and Indians have lived with corruption for years. For the time being it can be said that the political history of corruption starts with independence and ends with the hawala racket. But for once the people of lndia hope that the culprits though high statured will be punished. However, the hawala case can find its place in history only if it is a turning point and is used as a right opportunity to reform the corrupt political system of our country.

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