Awake india

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India is good and can be better

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Awake india

  1. 1. After the establishment of the Republic of India there is a widely shared desire in the country to evaluate the gains made as also to assess our future. • Undoubtedly, the people of the country and the managers of society can be congratulated on many counts for India's achievements since independence which include (i) self-sufficiency (in fact surplus generation) in food-grains, (ii) a strong industrial base, (iii) a rising expectancy of life, (iv) a higher percentage of literacy, (v) a united and better integrated India and (vi) a growing recognition by the world • of our capabilities and potential. 2
  2. 2. On the negative side, one could count the nagging problems of unemployment, illiteracy and poverty accentuated by an ever increasing population. Also, a low per capita income, inadequate infrastructure, feudalistic tendencies and worst of all a pathetic contempt of rule of law and ethics in public life. Finally, an administration which is perceived as self seeking and citizen unfriendly. 3
  3. 3. "WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC, and to secure to all its citizens : JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all; FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the Nation: IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION." 4
  4. 4. Akbar "the Great," who governed India for half a century (1556-1605) and by a wise, gentle and just reign brought about a season of prosperity. This man, whose memory even to-day is revered by the Hindus, was named Abul Fath Jelâleddin Muhammed. And truly he justified the epithet, for great, fabulously great, was Akbar as man, general, statesman and ruler. 5
  5. 5.   Akbar succeeded in establishing order, peace, and prosperity in his regained and newly subjugated provinces. This he brought about by the introduction of a model administration, an excellent police, a regulated post service, and especially a just division of taxes. Up to Akbar's time corruption had been a matter of course in the entire official service and enormous sums in the treasury were lost by peculation on the part of tax collectors. 6
  6. 6. AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA: The corruption in the finance and customs department was abolished by means of a complicated and punctilious system of supervision (the bureaus of receipts and expenditures were kept entirely separated from each other in the treasury department). Akbar himself carefully examined the accounts handed in each month from every district, just as he gave his personal attention with tireless industry and painstaking care to every detail in the widely ramified domain of the administration of government. Moreover the Emperor had at the head of the finance department a prudent, energetic, perfectly honorable and incorruptible man, Todar Mal, who without possessing the title of vizier or minister of state had assumed all the functions of such an office.
  7. 7. For us in India, corruption has been an age-old phenomenon. Chanakya is supposed to have said in the Arthashastra that there are 40 different methods by which public officials can indulge in corruption. "The Mahamatras are like fish. Does one know, when the fish is drinking water?" he is supposed to have said. Indira Gandhi, when asked a question about corruption, passed it off with a comment that it was a global phenomenon.
  8. 8. Corruption is a matter of concern as it has negative consequences. Corruption is anti-national. The hawala scam of the 1990s exposed how the Kashmiri terrorists were getting funds through the hawala route, and it is the same route by which the corrupt bureaucrats, politicians and businessmen also were getting and laundering their funds. The 1999 UNDP report on Human Development pointed out that if India’s corruption level can be brought down to that of the Scandinavian countries, India’s GDP will grow by 1.5 per cent and FDI increase by 12.5 per cent. Corruption is, therefore, anti-economic development.
  9. 9. Corruption is anti-poor. In a country, where 26 per cent of the population is below the poverty line, corruption hits the poor very badly. Many of the development schemes meant for the weaker sections do not benefit them at all. Rajiv Gandhi remarked that only 15 paise out of every rupee meant for the anti-poverty programme reaches the beneficiaries. Get the benefits of corruption-free, good governance in our own lifetime. Singapore is a classic example. India needs to do more on corruption
  10. 10. Corruption and India: While no society is free from corruption, what is worrying is that such behaviour appears normalised in India. The licence raj of the past did not help. Capitalism, globalisation and liberalisation have also increased the pressure to succeed, achieve targets and acquire wealth quickly. The abuse of public power, office and resources for personal gain is common. Political parties take action against individuals who got exposed but a proactive preventive measure is absolutely needed.
  11. 11. Voter considers that all parties are equally corrupt. Some are more so than others or some have been found out while others have not been exposed. Damage is caused by corruption or lack of probity in public life to the well-being of the people. The middle class value of probity in public life will have to be sustained. It has been said that India is a feudal democracy. It is quite possible therefore that we take a tolerant view of the misbehaviour of leaders because the king can do no wrong.
  12. 12. Support the broad coalition of civil society groups and organisations operating at the various levels to better realise their anti-corruption objectives. There is immense diversity, complexity and rivalry among these groups and organisations, but if their activities are to have a wider impact there needs to be some kind of co-ordinating effort to better share best practice. More opportunities need to be provided for networking, co-ordinating effort, and developing policies. To tackle corruption effectively there is need for a strong consolidated state characterised by rule governed behaviour. Excessive emphasise on de-regulation and transparency may undermine the precisely those outcomes which are being sought.
  13. 13. The CPI is based on corruption in the government / public sector; is calculated on corruption-related data from 13 source-surveys published between January 2009 and September 2010. The criteria used to arrive at the score include perception-related questions like the government's capacity to punish and contain corruption; transparency, accountability and corruption in the public sector; extent of corruption; implementation of anti-corruption initiatives. India is 87th in Transparency International's latest C P I, in which 178 countries were surveyed.
  14. 14. The method is based on three practical steps, namely  Morality,  Concentration _concentrated mind as fit for work.  Insight _ understanding of the true nature of all things.
  15. 15. THE CENTRAL Vigilance Commission has brought out "The citizens guide to fighting corruption." A large number of articles have appeared in almost all newspapers giving the anatomy and biochemistry of corruption. However possibly for the first time an attempt has been made to take the issue to the right clientele, capable of bringing in a change. The guide in the words of the Central Vigilance Commissioner, Mr. N. Vittal, "contains the distilled essence of the strategies evolved so far to fight corruption and the principles that can be adopted... presented as a humble offering to every patriotic citizen of India who wants to fight corruption."
  16. 16. The Indian Penal Code has provisions for forcing public servants to do their duty under sections 166 and 167. Heads of organisations can be persuaded to make comprehensive use of these punitive measures. Ethics should form part of the education system and children in the schools should be mobilised to create a social climate of making corruption unacceptable and casting a social stigma on those who are corrupt. The use of media for mobilising the people against corruption can also be part of this effort.
  17. 17. Praja, an NGO of Mumbai, has devised a unique system for citizens to ensure redress of citizens' grievances through an online complaint registration system. The complaint is sent to the authority concerned and to Praja. Both Praja hold meetings regarding the backlog. All applications and forms required for work with the municipal authorities are also being made available online. To facilitate the operation of this system a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation and the Praja Foundation. The NGOs in other cities could explore the possibility of adopting this system.

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