Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This rot needs to go……

As we all know, corruption is the bane of any society or country and enough and more has been written about it. I am only adding a little more after reading the 2009 Global Corruption Barometer report, published by Transparency International.

As expected, worldwide and in India, the most corrupt in a country seems to be the political party, while it is a relief to know that the least is the media followed by the judiciary (in India Judiciary is the least corrupt).

The 2009 Global Corruption Barometer asked more than 73,000 individuals around the world the extent to which they perceive six key sectors and institutions to be corrupt. Political parties were perceived to be corrupt by 68 per cent of respondents, followed closely by the civil service (public officials/ civil servants) and parliament: 63 and 60 per cent respectively.

When asked which of the six sectors/institutions they considered to be the single most corrupt, the general public most frequently identified political parties and the civil service, with 29 and 26 per cent respectively. At the lower end were the media and the judiciary with 6 and 9 per cent of respondents respectively seeing them as the single most corrupt institution.

The following are the figures for India.

Now if we thought that the educated are less corrupt then the following poll at Transparency International – India indicates the opposite.

Are literate person more dishonest than illiterate ones?

I guess as one gains knowledge/education, one also learns how to lead a corrupt life! It also means that as educated citizens of a country, we continue to aid corruption.

Transparency International India has managed to seal Integrity Pacts with a few organization starting from year 2006, although more needs to follow. 39 PSU’s in India has so far signed the pact. The list can be viewed here.

The Global Corruption Barometer report also points out the following:

Finally, reporting on bribery takes place at worryingly low levels – with only about a quarter of citizens taking any action against corruption.

And in India, we have painfully noted that reporting can be fatal and the latest being Social activist Satish Shetty from Pune, while earlier the country lost Satyendra Dubey and Shanmugam Manjumnath for the very same reasons.

Satyendra Kumar Dubey (1973 - 27 November 2003) was a project director at the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). He was murdered in Gaya, Bihar after fighting corruption in the Golden Quadrilateral highway construction project.

The following was written by Dubey..

"A dream project of unparalleled importance to the Nation but in reality a great loot of public money because of very poor implementation at every state." wrote Dubey.

Finally, he ends: "I have written all these in my individual capacity. However, I will keep on addressing these issues in my official capacity in the limited domain within the powers delegated to me," the letter said.. and sadly he was silenced before he could continue.

Shanmugam Manjunath ( Kannada: ಷಣ್ಮುಗಂ ಮಂಜುನಾಥ) (1978 Kolar-2005) was a marketing manager for the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) who was murdered for sealing a corrupt petrol station in UP.
Source : wikipedia

Though a few have been arrested for the murder of Satish, the real hands behind these murders run scot free due to the very same reason for which they died. Due to immense pressure, Manjunath’s murderers were brought to justice more quickly than that of Dubey and Indian Oil Corporation paid Rs. 26 lakhs compensation to the family. The matter of adulteration in diesel was taken up by the Energy Coordination Committee chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

And now laws are being formed to protect whistleblowers.

Senior advocate D Madon, appointed as amicus curie to assist the court, said that countries such as Mexico and Columbia have special systems for providing protection to activists, and authorities are studying them.

But then it is sad to note that, Satish did report to the police that there was threat to his life but no protection was provided.

We also saw the Zero Rupee Note by the 5th Pillar Organization used against corruption. This is gaining ground and I hope these and more initiatives will fight this disease.

The following is one outcome of the Zero Rupee Note:

Benefited out of the Old age Pension Scheme

Kathavarayan, a 72 year old person residing in Then Alambakkam village in Villupuram District, had applied for Indhira Gandhi Old Age Pension that is granted for poor people below poverty line. Mr. Kathavarayan waited for many months after applying for this pension to the Dindivanam Tahsildar office, and when he was replied by a clerk at the Tahsildar office that the scheme is closed, he sent a pleading letter to the Chief Minister's office on 25th June 2008, begging for special consideration and grant him the pension as he has no means to survive. He sent another letter to the CM's office on 9th March 2009 as he did not yet receive the pension. Mr.Kathavarayan, received one of our Zero Rupee Note during our campaign in Villupuram and so he contacted our office and we filed an RTI petition on his behalf, attaching all his previous communications to the CM's office and his application. We did not receive a reply for the RTI petition, but the old man received his pension.

Corruption: "dishonest exploitation of power for personal gain"

and it is true.... when we exploit power for personal gain, the disease called corruption spreads and the whole system rots.


  1. And guess what--corruption is no longer an issue in India.
    Had it been , this Govt would have been voted out the day it came to power.
    Food inflation is proof enough as to the level of corruption in the country.
    The rot will not go it is in our intestines now.

  2. Corruption is one the biggest issues that face us. Get rid of corruption and a lot of things will fall in place in India.

    And education does not necessarily mean honesty - sadly. I personally know highly educated people who prefer bribing to using the RTI to get justice.

  3. What alarms me the most is the figures for judiciary (3%) and media (8%, however low the figures are...

    Unless the top level, political level, is cleaned up there is no hope we will be able to resolve this issue. But I like the zero rupee thing! :)

  4. BKC: If this rot doesnt go then we as a country has no future... maybe disinvestment is one way.. and there is also certain suggestions like coupons instead of ration shops and much more.. but then will our political parties implement these measures?

    yes.. this Govt. is corrupt too..

    Smitha: There is no use if we continue to blame the govt. if we as citizens dont stop aiding corruption.. but then as BKC commented, it is in our intestines now..

    Scorpio: Yes it is alarming.. and even when the judiciary is independant, there is still corruption.. but then the media too has gone the same way.. guess there is no use waiting for the politicians to come clean.. initiatives like the Zero Rupee note needs to be done country wide... and in Kerala, they recently discovered that the boards placed in govt. offices which had the contact address to report against bribery etc. was carrying the wrong address since many years! it shows how seriously these issues are being taken and that people has given up..

  5. I guess we have to start from root.Give at least basic education to everyone including unprivileged ones and make them aware what is happening and what required for there development.But unfortunately our politicians don't want to open these peoples 'eyes' because it will be a threat to there existence.Unless our politicians change,our country never gonna shine

  6. you know waht - we saw a lovely movie yesterday - ididum swargamanu - see it if you can to see how sophisticated Kerala corruption has become..Fascinating movie

  7. Anish: "education for all" is the key since at least it will not let the educated ones prey upon the uneducated..but then if we wait for only the political parties to change then it would be a long wait :)

    Maddy: we did watch this movie in a Kuwait theatre.. I liked the theme..it deals with a very relevant subject.. [though it is difficult to stomach Lalettan these days:)]...

  8. and speaking about bribe / corruption, since BKC stated that it is already in our intestines or maybe in our blood, the following proves that we take it along with us wherever we go:


    nd as one grandly states, if you dont have the money to pay, just shut up! :)

  9. crap!!!

    the industrial and business houses are the most corrupted entities and they are the ones who feed political corruption.

    And can we stem the corruption from the educational systems...if the schools and colleges can carve out a corrupt free generation, but sadly they accept huge donations and teach children to do the same

  10. Jon: crap it is :)

    nd dont these business houses as well as schools cater ordinary citizens? nd they dont work at gun point do they? and I am sure they cannot function without us....

    so I guess in the end, the crap is in each of us :)

  11. hey read the recent outlook mag in whch Arundhathi Roy does an interview with Naxals..

    u get Outlook in kuwaut?

  12. Jon: I am not sure if the printed edition is available here in Kuwait... but I did read Roy... but did not have the patience to go through the entire article :)

    and I fail to understand what she really wants.. did you?

    u can check this too..


Blog Archive