Nip corruption in the bud

Published at May 15, 2018 04:27 AM 0Comment(s)2037views


Nip corruption in the bud

Despite the tall claims made by successive governments on weeding out corruption from the state in general and the governance in particular, there appears to be no headway made in over a decade.  The Right to Information (RTI) Act was anticipated to help bring some transparency in the governance. Departments were tasked to appoint their public information officers and make available all information in the public domain to applicants who ask for it. To make it easier, the departments were also told to make necessary information available on their official websites so that those who seek information don’t face any difficulty. Poorly developed websites as well as inadequate information has defeated the purpose, besides the waning activism as applicants have been demoralized by the official attitude. Similarly, state accountability commission has suffered a major setback after government approached court on the commission’s suo moto powers on initiating legal proceedings against public functionaries.     Due to lack of transparency, corruption in the state has spread like a virus in the government departments. While the governments have been declaring war against corruption they have not been able to produce and show a single victory so far.  If the government is to provide good governance and deal effectively with the problems and challenges of any nature, it is important to ensure complete accountability in functioning at all levels. Corrupt elements need be identified and removed from the state machinery. Unfortunately, senior officials have been sitting with their eyes, ears and mouths shut to the corruption and nepotism around them. The influential persons, who are caught taking bribe, enjoy virtual immunity. If the government is serious in tackling corruption, it has to ensure that no culprit, howsoever influential, is spared. The failure of the governments to tackle rampant corruption has led to the institutionalization of this menace. The ruling party in the first leg of its term showed some seriousness after it axed some tainted officials. But it too seems to suffer from amnesia as the concern is disremembered the same way it is raked up.  People too have become accustomed to offering bribes from officials to field staff of various public service bodies. There can’t be a magic formula prepared overnight to end the deep rooted corruption in the state, but then the state is not even trying to make a small change. Zero tolerance to corruption can improve the situation but there seems to be no will to support it. It as much a failure of the government as it is of the society.        

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