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.
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
Finally, an administration which is
perceived as self seeking and citizen
"WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to
India into a SOVEREIGN
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC, and to secure to all its
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
IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of
November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
The method is based on three practical
Concentration _concentrated mind as fit
Insight _ understanding of the true nature
of all things.
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."
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.
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.