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Corruption Can Destroy Democracy

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Corruption Can Destroy Democracy
Corruption Can Destroy Democracy
K S VENKATARAMAN

Defining Corruption

The term corruption is very common but it is difficult to give a dogmatic definition of it. Broadly, it is any dishonest or illegal or selfish behavior for getting any undue benefit. It has a special reference to those who occupy a position of trust or confidence but act in violation of generally understood or specified terms of behavior. Corruption involves two sides: One side trying to get some undue advantage by offering a quid pro quo; the other side extending or agreeing to extend that undue advantage by accepting the quid pro quo. There can also be another worse type of corruption: One side offering to extend an undue advantage for a quid pro quo; and the other side tendering the demanded quid pro quo and accepting the offered undue advantage. In matters of corruption, it becomes immaterial as to who takes initiative, as the transaction as a whole becomes ab initio a foul play. As corruption includes a behavior against the authentic norms and stipulations, it is against the interests of the society as a whole; and, which seeks to stealthily benefit a section of it. As such, corruption may be defined: “A selfish, dishonest and illegal behavior of the persons in special positions, by offering something against the norms, for receiving undue quid pro quo, either directly or indirectly; and also includes the behavior of those who accept such offer and derive the benefit so offered. The fact who takes initiative is immaterial.”

Corruption and Society

Corruption strikes at the root of social life. Any act of corruption invariably spoils the intention of the society that the advantages and benefits of social life should be shared or distributed in accordance with well-defined and accepted norms. The persons who happen to be in charge of regulating such sharing or distribution are in ‘special positions’ in relation to others. Whether it

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