Fight against corruption souvik bhaumik

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Fight against corruption souvik bhaumik

  1. 1. Fight against corruption-way forward<br /> “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” - Lord Acton<br />Introduction<br /> It is not easy to define corruption. But in a narrow sense, corruption is mostly concerned with bribery and it takes several forms. Corruption is a global phenomenon and it is omnipresent. Corruption has progressively increased and is now rampant in our society.<br /> Corruption in India is a consequence of the nexus between Bureaucracy, politics and criminals. India is now no longer considered a soft state. It has now become a consideration state where everything can be had for a consideration. Today, the number of ministers with an honest image can be counted on fingers. At one time, bribe was paid for getting wrong things done but now bribe is paid for getting right things done at right time.<br /> Indian administration is tainted with scandals. India is among 55 of the 106 countries where corruption is rampant, according to the Corruption Perception Index 2004 Report released by Transparency International India. Corruption in India leads to promotion not prison. It is very difficult to catch big sharks. Corruption in India has wings not wheels. As nation grows, the corrupt also grow to invent new methods of cheating the government and public.<br />The causes of corruption are many and complex. Following are some of the causes of corruption. Emergence of political elite who believe in interest-oriented rather than nation-oriented programmers and policies. Artificial scarcity created by the people with malevolent intentions wrecks the fabric of the economy. Corruption is caused as well as increased because of the change in the value system and ethical qualities of men who administer. The old ideals of morality, service and honesty are regarded as an achromatic. Tolerance of people towards corruption, complete lack of intense public outcry against corruption and the absence of strong public forum to oppose corruption allows corruption to reign over people. Vast size of population coupled with widespread illiteracy and the poor economic infrastructure lead to endemic corruption in public life. In a highly inflationary economy, low salaries of government officials compel them to resort to the road of corruption. Graduates from IIMs with no experience draw a far handsome salary than what government secretaries draw. Complex laws and procedures alienate common people to ask for any help from government. Election time is a time when corruption is at its peak level. Big industrialist fund politicians to meet high cost of election and ultimately to seek personal favor. <br />Bribery to politicians buys influence, and bribery by politicians buys votes. In order to get elected, politicians bribe poor illiterate people, who are slogging for two times meal.<br /> Is it possible to contain corruption in our society? Corruption is a cancer, which every Indian must strive to cure. Many new leaders when come into power declare their determination to eradicate corruption but soon they themselves become corrupt and start amassing huge wealth.     There are many myths about corruption, which have to be exploded if we really want to combat it. Some of these myths are: Corruption is a way of life and nothing can be done about it. Only people from underdeveloped or developing countries are prone to corruption.<br />Effects on politics, administration, and institutions<br />Corruption poses a serious development challenge. In the political realm, it undermines democracy and good governance by flouting or even subverting formal processes. Corruption in elections and in legislative bodies reduces accountability and distorts representation in policymaking; corruption in the judiciary compromises the rule of law; and corruption in public administration results in the inefficient provision of services. It violates a basic principle of republicanism regarding the centrality of civic virtue. More generally, corruption erodes the institutional capacity of government as procedures are disregarded, resources are siphoned off, and public offices are bought and sold. At the same time, corruption undermines the legitimacy of government and such democratic values as trust and tolerance.<br />Political corruption<br />Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the government. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties.<br />Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. While corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, it is not restricted to these activities.<br />The activities that constitute illegal corruption differ depending on the country or jurisdiction. For instance, certain political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some cases, government officials have broad or poorly defined powers, which make it difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal actions. Worldwide, bribery alone is estimated to involve over 1 trillion US dollars annually. A state of unrestrained political corruption is known as a kleptocracy, literally meaning "rule by thieves".<br />Bribery<br />A bribe is a payment given personally to a government official in exchange of his use of official powers. Bribery requires two participants: one to give the bribe, and one to take it. Either may initiate the corrupt offering; for example, a customs official may demand bribes to let through allowed (or disallowed) goods, or a smuggler might offer bribes to gain passage. In some countries the culture of corruption extends to every aspect of public life, making it extremely difficult for individuals to stay in business without resorting to bribes. Bribes may be demanded in order for an official to do something he is already paid to do. They may also be demanded in order to bypass laws and regulations. In addition to using bribery for private financial gain, they are also used to intentionally and maliciously cause harm to another (i.e. no financial incentive). In some developing nations, up to half of the population has paid bribes during the past 12 months.<br />Trading in influence<br />Trading in influence, or influence peddling in certain countries, refers to the situation where a person is selling his/her influence over the decision process involving a third party (person or institution). The difference with bribery is that this is a tri-lateral relation. From a legal point of view, the role of the third party (who is the target of the influence) does not really matter although he/she can be an accessory in some instances. It can be difficult to make a distinction between this form of corruption and certain forms of extreme and poorly regulated lobbying where for instance law- or decision-makers can freely "sell" their vote, decision power or influence to those lobbyists who offer the highest retribution, including where for instance the latter act on behalf of powerful clients such as industrial groups who want to avoid the passing of certain environmental, social, or other regulations perceived as too stringent, etc. Where lobbying is (sufficiently) regulated, it becomes possible to provide for distinctive criteria and to consider that trading in influence involves the use of "improper influence", as in article 12 of the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 173) of the Council of Europe.<br />Patronage<br />Patronage refers to favoring supporters, for example with government employment. This may be legitimate, as when a newly elected government changes the top officials in the administration in order to effectively implement its policy. It can be seen as corruption if this means that incompetent persons, as a payment for supporting the regime, are selected before more able ones. In no democracies many government officials are often selected for loyalty rather than ability.<br />Electoral fraud<br />Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both. Also called voter fraud, the mechanisms involved include illegal voter registration, intimidation at polls, and improper vote counting.<br />Embezzlement<br />Embezzlement is outright theft of entrusted funds. It is a misappropriation of property.<br />Another common type of embezzlement is that of entrusted government resources; for example, when a director of a public enterprise employs company workers to build or renovate his own house.<br />Kickbacks<br />A kickback is an official's share of misappropriated funds allocated from his or her organization to an organization involved in corrupt bidding. For example, suppose that a politician is in charge of choosing how to spend some public funds. He can give a contract to a company that is not the best bidder, or allocate more than they deserve. In this case, the company benefits, and in exchange for betraying the public, the official receives a kickback payment, which is a portion of the sum the company received. This sum itself may be all or a portion of the difference between the actual (inflated) payment to the company and the (lower) market-based price that would have been paid had the bidding been competitive. Kickbacks are not limited to government officials; any situations in which people are entrusted to spend funds that do not belong to them are susceptible to this kind of corruption. Kickbacks are also common in the pharmaceutical industry, as many doctors and physicians receive pay in return for added promotion and prescription of the drug these pharmaceutical companies are marketing.<br />Conclusion<br />Corruption is an intractable problem. It is like diabetes, can only be controlled, but not totally eliminated. It may not be possible to root out corruption completely at all levels but it is possible to contain it within tolerable limits. Honest and dedicated persons in public life, control over electoral expenses could be the most important prescriptions to combat corruption. Corruption has a corrosive impact on our economy. It worsens our image in international market and leads to loss of overseas opportunities. Corruption is a global problem that all countries of the world have to confront, solutions, however, can only be home grown. We have tolerated corruption for so long. The time has now come to root it out from its roots.<br />India is witnessing the greatest reform movement ever. Democracy is struggling and the Government has become insane. Citizens have risen and another fight has begun. I am proud of this country and would like the entire world to witness how Modern Gandhi (Anna Hazare) has risen against the corruption in the nation. We like a nation free from corruption. India has once again woken up and gained momentum. 16th Aug, 2010 begins a new era, an era free from Corruption. Reform has begun. Share this article and let the world know what is happening in India. Corruption should be removed on any cost. <br />Support the movement and let the change happen. This country needs a corruption free environment. We need to develop and move ahead. Let’s move along with the tide because each drop matters. Jai Hind.<br />

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