Earlier in Forum







Q: What should be done to stop corruption?
(This is the second instalment of readers’ response)

More Tejpals and Dubeys should arise

The standard mantras to fight corruption are “transparency” and “accountability”, but we have accepted corruption so much as a way of life that we overlook these solutions. One is disturbed to recall the fates of whistle blower Satyendra Dubey, the engineer who was slain for exposing corruption in the Golden Quadrangle Project, and the journalists who exposed the corrupt in the Tehlaka case. It is clear that the corrupt enjoy the patronage of our corrupt politicians. Let the tribe of whistle blowers/investigative journalists increase.

All records should be computerised and this information, as and when required, should be made available to the public. The bribe-giver and bribe-taker should both be held guilty and awarded the same stringent punishment and only fast-track courts should handle corruption cases. Public funds should be allotted directly to panchayats. Why can’t the Election Commission make arrangement for the audit of party funds? Dr Manmohan Singh, the most honest man in Parliament, can be expected to take the example of Punjab CM, who after coming to power ordered investigations in corruption cases, even though his predecessor is patiently waiting for his turn to do tit for tat. Behind the scene, all politicians stand united, then why can’t we?

— Lt Col ONKAR CHOPRA, Abohar

Fight corruption together

Corruption in India has become institutionalised. Corrupt politicians/officials no more feel guilty, but wield power through their ill-gotten wealth. On the other hand, honest officials are being isolated because political masters consider them useless in comparison to corrupt officials who dance to their tune. Every political party lists removing corruption as top priority in its election manifesto, but no one seems to be serious about it. It can be reduced if honest people fight corruption together. Leaders of such a movement should be selfless and ready for sacrifice. People should be educated that offering and accepting bribe are crimes. They should be assured that no harm would come to them if they didn’t bribe the corrupt. Honest and dedicated youth should be encouraged to join defence forces for a clean and disciplined life.

— MADHU SINGH, Ambala Cantonment

Punishment should be exemplary

Corruption has crept into the mind of every citizen. Everybody from a class IV employee to a high-ranking officer has become corrupt. The corrupt know that even if they were caught, they would get off easily once the matter cooled down. Our judiciary should step in and give exemplary punishments to corrupt ministers, bureaucrats and others.

— RAJESH SEHGAL, Chandigarh

‘Not I, but you’ should guideour actions

The self-introspection on the part of each Indian is the only way to eradicate corruption. Each one of us must ponder whether or not we are accountable to society, whether or not our work culture is in tune with the national ethos and whether or not we are sensitive to the conditions of the poor. The motto “Not I, but you” should guide the thought-processes of every patriotic Indian. The resurgence of moral values and spiritual evolution of man is the only chance we have against corruption.

— Prof. P. L. CHAWLA, Jalandhar

Bring back national spirit

The government should try to inculcate national spirit in the people. Every citizen should be made to feel proud to be an Indian. Wide publicity in this regard is needed. Stringent laws are needed to curb corrupt practices. Bribe givers should be dealt with firmly. Only persons of clean image and undoubted integrity should be allowed to enter politics and run the government.

— S. K. NAYAR, Panchkula

Make Army training compulsory

To eradicate corruption, every able-bodied person should join the Army, even if for a limited period. Presently, there is no dearth of qualified and honest soldiers who can prove an asset to the nation. The posts in the civil set-ups such as police, revenue and commerce departments should be filled up by the retired Army persons who are honest, disciplined and faithful. Corruption in the Army may be 0.05 per cent, while in the civil life, it is over 98 per cent. We must take the example of China where the corrupt are awarded capital punishment, whereas in our country, political leaders and human rights commissions always protest against it.

— J. S. JASWAL, Mohali

The honest are our only hope

Corruption flows from the top where it is rampant due to the strong nexus between politicians and bureaucrats. In a democracy, majority is tyranny. Once The Tribune in one of its editorials had mentioned seven major scams from 1958 to 1992, in which politicians at the helm of affairs were involved. No politician is debarred from contesting elections even if he or she is indicted. Those who pocket thousands of crores of rupees go scot-free, whereas a government employee misappropriating a minor amount is immediately put under suspension or dismissed from service. We are passively crushing the spirits of the honest, but because in a crowd of dishonest persons, a handful of upright men do not get lost, there is hope that exemplary punishment to those held responsible for scams is not far.

— IQBAL SINGH, Hamirpur

Begin with the government

Corruption is rampant because our lust for money is insatiable. The corrupt don’t repent, even though there is no section of society that has remained untouched by corruption. The fight against corruption should begin with the government. Report corruption; don’t be tempted by it. The TV serials and films should show that the corrupt meet a ghastly end. Fast track courts should be set up to take up corruption cases and public should be more aware of the responsibilities of public servants. Honest officials should be honoured periodically and the corrupt should be publicly castigated. Strong arm of the law should be for everyone.

— JASKIRAT KAUR, a student

Get single window system

The multi-channel system of administration should be replaced by single-window system as is prevailing in the United States of America and various other western countries. I have experienced in the US offices that nobody returns disappointed simply because the clerk concerned is not present to sign the document. The people go with the relevant papers, stand in a queue and each one of them is attended by one of the several clerks, then and there. Any deficiency in the papers is politely pointed out. No money or pressure of any kind works there. Things in India are contrary. Every functionary here should be held accountable for the job done and punished severely for dereliction of duty, regardless of his or her office.

— G. S. KANG, Ludhiana

Make room for inspiration

It’s easy to say that our politicians and bureaucrats are corrupt, but difficult to admit that even we are corrupt. The answers, thus, are not as simple as to say that anti-corruption laws should be tightened. I don’t think we can drop avarice. To end corruption, political will and a more independent judiciary are required. The law machinery should be allowed to work without political interference. We should allow ourselves to be inspired by countries like Japan that lay more emphasis on development and less on nurturing self-interest.


Vote for the honest

People at the helm of affairs are responsible for all corruption. We can end our misery only if we vote in the honest. Only the incorruptible have the right to become bureaucrats and occupy key posts so that every employee can serve without taking bribe. Inefficiency breeds corruption. An assertive judiciary and a willing police can bring the desired change.

— KARNAIL SINGH, Shahpur Kandi

Plug legal loopholes

Corruption, like cancer, is incurable, but paradoxically, there is no problem that education can’t solve. Providing the right kind of education to children and imparting the proper values to them right from the beginning will not let the malignancy to manifest. Cleansing and purgation should begin from the top. Stringent punishment should be reserved for those who offer and accept bribe, no matter who they are. If we plug the legal loopholes, the corrupt won’t slip through. Election and corruption have become synonymous. For things to change, the people will have to alter their mindset and the media will have to turn the public opinion against the corrupt.


What the President can do

Stringent Lok Pal and Lokayukta Bills should be passed at the national and state levels to eliminate corruption. A new and comprehensive Prevention of Corruption Act should be framed to plug the loopholes in the existing Criminal Procedure Code. The President should constitute a broad-based committee comprising the Attorney General, Central Vigilance Commissioner, eminent lawyers, police and intelligence officials of impeccable repute for this purpose. For speedy justice, the judiciary itself needs reforms. Political influence in the appointment of Judges should be done away with and there should be stricter watch on the ethical-judicial conduct of every Judge. Permit transfer of Judges from courts where their kin practice and allow all to critically comment upon a judgment without inviting contempt of court.


Look within for solution

Corruption is from within; hence measures are related to an individual’s morality and dignity. The measures are a realisation that has to come from within. No government can directly control the within unless an individual is self-determined to do away with corruption. One should confine one’s demands according to one’s economic resources. Advancement breeds materialism, but one should increase one’s bank account through labour and legitimate means. No outside measure can control or influence this zeal. For our political, business, judicial and security systems to become an image of cleanliness, all heads of family in the county should be the standard bearers of morality, dignity and clean image.

— MOHINDER PAUL PAHUJA, Gaggarpur (Sangrur)

Next Thursday More letters on this issue


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