Political Corruption: Causes, Effects and Remedies
Corruption is like a parasite1; that resides in the body and feeds from the essential nutrients being given to the being. This parasite is growing at a rapid pace and is feeding on individuals and on society. There will come a time where in this parasite may grow into such a giant that living itself may become a challenge. It is surely beckoning our country India and we need to address this problem. At present there are only a few who stand up against the deadly sting that corruption gives just because they are as a result subject to hard consequences at the receiving ends, but I think we have made a beginning and we need to let this number grow. We must realize that if this issue is not addressed then it will hit us back with a snowballing effect, gigantically. Dr S Radhakrishnan said that moral life in our country has shaken to its foundations. This seems true. Psychologists testify that all human beings need a healthy environment to grow. We become human every day. We are not finished products. If we go at the rate at which corruption is spreading then what will we teach our younger generation? How would we find people with courage, integrity, honesty and genuineness in the future? I begin by defining corruption and exploring its scope. My focus is on political corruption, its causes and effects on society. I also try to look at a few remedies to combat this cancerous weed from society. I then reflect a bit deeper on this issue before I conclude. The ‘What’ of Corruption
The World Bank defines corruption as making use of public money for private gain.2 Brian Lightowler would define it as, ‘a global phenomena that is eating away at the very fabric of society.’3 Shiv Khera would advocate that this is the biggest problem India faces today. It is anti national, anti poor and anti developmental.4 Let me define corruption. For me corruption refers to an attitude of adopting an easy way of going about in life no matter how low I have to stoop down the levels of my values going to any extent of getting my work done rather than choosing the road less travelled, i.e. an authentic life, which we as rational human beings are called to live. Corruption according to me refers to adopting an apparently easier way to being successful at the cost of being faithful. The Scope of Corruption
By scope of corruption what I mean is a check on how widespread is it. Needless to say it has a snowballing impact on politics in India. Since I base my paper on this theme, I will reserve my comments for the next section. Besides, corruption has spread its tentacles into religion, into technology, into sports, into education systems and into medicine also. Aren’t we paying money to temples, churches and the like with an attitude of bargaining with God for the graces and favours that we need? How much more will we not bribe fellow humans to get our work done! Aren’t players being bought by franchises like the IPL where millions of rupees that were unaccounted for are being invested? Technology serves as an enhancing drug for corruption.5 Millions of dollars are being transferred over the click of a mouse in today’s world. Why do Indian degrees not have much value abroad? In some parts of our country Degrees are sold. Thus our education system has lost its reputation. Doctor’s also are affected by this sting of corruption. The pharmaceutical industry has become so competent that those who are endowed with the responsibly of saving lives are being bribed to prescribe a particular brand of medicine to enhance the market. I would seem to agree that all this is corruption. Haven’t we received spam mails into our inboxes claiming to give us easy money? It is human greed that these spammers are playing upon. Niccolo Machiavelli has rightly said, “How easily are men corrupted and in nature transformed.” It is apt to reflect upon the statement of Victor Havel who says, “Fighting corruption is...
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