Earlier in Forum







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

In history’s womb lies the answer

An immoral society is always in the grip of indiscipline. The Indus Valley civilization was more prosperous and in such remote past, the people of the time lived in pucca houses with attached bathrooms and English-type latrines. They were great producers of pottery, food grains, clothing, tools and ornaments. Each individual was an adept artisan, which was the chief reason for this prosperity. On the other hand, Vedic Aryans were non-productive people, who had no respect for productive work and no dignity of labour, which became the sacred code of their social and religious conduct. Since then this ideology has been followed, which is responsible for our poverty and the fall of man. Chinese traveller Fa Hian visited India in the early Gupta age, the Buddhhist period, and Hiuen Tsang after 300 years of this when the Vedic culture had revived completely. In the early period, Indian masses were most prosperous and of high moral, but in the later period, they became immoral and poor. History is a witness how each one of us has become a worshipper of the aforesaid system: "Jyon Jyon Kiya Ilaj, Marz Barhta Hi Gaya (The more I treated it, the worse it became)." Let’s go back to when we were clean.

— NAVAL VIYOGI, Ludhiana

We need to be more responsible

To some extent, public itself is responsible for the increase in corruption. We want our work to be done first and for this we don’t hesitate to bribe someone. In all fields, corruption is rampant due to a lack of awareness among the public, so it’s public which should be more responsible. The people should cooperate with the vigilance authorities as a religious duty. After all, the money embezzled is from our own pocket.


Abandon filing of grievances

All administrative functionaries should be held accountable for all delays and irregularities. Transfers should be mandatory after three years at a place. This will break the nexus between the corrupt. The practice of filing grievances should be abandoned and all grievances should be redressed directly. Review committees comprising senior officials with impeccable track record should hear all cases.

— PUSHPA ABROL, Panchkula

Get more spiritual

To bridle unaccounted wealth, we should first weigh carefully why lone men or very small families require buying one big house after another. It will be wise to follow the material for building roads and other infrastructure and see how it ends up in the bellies of the big. For everything, man is accountable, if not in this world, then the next. We’ll naturally be more ethical if only we could get more spiritual.


Reform electoral system

The capitalist-politician-bureaucrat nexus at the higher level and the police-media-politician nexus at the lower level are the root causes of corruption. Politicians of the day spend extravagant amounts on their election campaigns and plunder after they get the seat. If we talk of graft in India, we can still curtail it by reforming our electoral system. Most of us would want to expose corruption, but lengthy and cumbersome legal recourse forces us to be tight lipped. Public servants know well what goes on at the top in various offices. If we can somehow assure them anonymity, more and more of them will come forth to report corruption. The powers that be cannot kill all Dubeys and Sanjay Singhs for sure. They’ll keep coming at the corrupt.

— S. K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh

The right to information is must

There has to be a strict written code of conduct for the Union and state ministers. They should be accountable for all corruption under their nose. The anti-corruption cell should be an autonomous authority led by a former Chief Justice of India, who should not welcome interference from any quarter. The investigation results should be made public, as we have to have the right to information. Things will be much better if trials become time-bound.

— DEVINDER SINGH PANAG, Mohadian (Fatehgarh Sahib)

Treat all gifts as bribe

Fear psychosis by enforcing tough rules can firmly bring all corrupt under control. If public is made more aware of its rights, it will naturally insist on more transparency in everything. The word "fire" should immediately be introduced in the service rules for checking corruption. All gifts from clients to officials at family or festive occasions should be treated as bribe. No official should be allowed to meet clients at home. Lower officials, if paid more, will resist bribe. Special courts dealing with corruption cases can ease the task by being quick and fair. Transparency in work, vigilance and transfers will sideline manipulators.

— Dr U. S. BANSAL, Chandigarh

Sacrifice alone is the remedy

All virtues and vices,

Created operated and destroyed,

God alone created all,

Let he alone find solutions,

Men of God take birth,

As prophets, saints, dictators,

Because God is a dictator,

He is not a democrat,

Democracy has failed,

Systems and laws are defective,

Who will change?

The corrupt making hey,

God is silent, blind, dumb,

Patriots and martyrs,

Go to the gallows!

Countries become free,

Vultures eat the dead,

Poorest of the poor are dead,

God is awake aware and conscious,

His prophets eliminate the Devils,

Sacrifice alone is the remedy,

Men of God are fighting against,

All evils: social political ethical,

Truth prevails always,

Revolutions bring evolutions,

God alone guides His worshippers.

— L. S. MUNDRA, Mohali

Cut the red tape

Tickets for contesting elections should only be given to candidates of impeccable integrity. Election expenses should be to the scale fixed by the Election Commission and political parties should not seek donations from industrialists. Public utility services should be streamlined and unnecessary formalities should be dispensed with to nullify the influence of middlemen. Honest officials should be given advance increments, out-of-turn promotions and soft loans, and preference should be given to their wards for admission in professional colleges. Government should fix the price line to control inflation, so that the common man is not swayed by the lavish lifestyle of the corrupt.

— P. C. SHARMA, Panchkula

Here’s a three-step solution

Two decades ago, when Indira Gandhi said: "Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon," she offered no solution. A simple way to fight corruption is to attack its three sources: the politicians, the bureaucrats and the poor. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Politicians transfer some of this power to bureaucrats to execute their corrupt deals. Both exploit the poor. If you remove one of the three sources, 1/3rd of corruption will go. Remove two and 2/3rd of it is gone. If we remove all three, India will be corruption-free.

— R. K. KOHLI, Karnal

Take help from media

Corruption, like the demon called Sursa, is increasing the size of its mouth to swallow the honest. Our first task should be to take help from the media to expose the corrupt. A common man hesitates in raising an alarm against corruption, but support from the media and the rest of us can kill this hesitation. This demon will have to be killed.

— MAMTA KHURANA, Panchkula

Isolate the root

The fire called corruption is the result of coming together of bureaucrats, politicians, businessmen and the lower officials. To control this fire, we’ll have to separate any one component. The easiest we can isolate is the lower official because the rest will never come to his aid. This component, when isolated, should be treated in a manner that it stops aiding the fire. Without this vital agent, bureaucracy cannot execute any corrupt deal single-handedly. Hence, corruption will be contained if not extinguished.

— M. S. GILL, Moga

Nip it in infancy

The other name for corruption is immorality, the seeds of which are sown in childhood itself. This disease can be cured at an early stage only. Parents and teachers can play a pivotal role in this effort. Neither the parents should encourage their children to give gifts to teachers nor the teachers should accept any gift. The people should be more audacious in bringing the corrupt to book.


Ombudsman can help fight graft

One reason for corruption is that every person wants his or her work to be done first, even if it is out of turn. By being willing to pay for it, he or she breeds corruption. If we are a little more patient and a little more punctual, this problem is solved. In government offices, officials consider bribe to be their birthright. A fixed percentage goes to the authority concerned. To deal with corruption at that level, every office should have an ombudsman to listen to the grievances of the public.


Bring PM under the ambit

The laws against corruption should apply equally to the Defence Minister, the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister or any other political leader. There should be a cell to keep a tab on corrupt leaders.


Train the rulers young

Rather than wasting money in setting up probe panels, we should dispose of with the present system of recruiting public servants. Catch prospective heads of states and organisations at the age of 14-17. They should be taught spirituality, human values, right attitude, behaviour, value of friendship, team spirit, discipline, moral values, natural justice, new science, devotion, positive thinking, labour laws and the importance of transparency. After installing such a power, we should then be given the right to recall. The recall should be based on the ACR system.


Vigilance needs support

Corruption is the result of increased bureaucracy and its unending greed. Bureaucrats should realise what they have been doing or else vigilance bureaus should be set up in every part of the country and made active. The people should be courageous enough to report the corrupt to this bureau. This is possible only with the cooperation of ordinary citizens.


Live simple

Corruption is closely related to the national character. Although nearly all Indians have a religious bent of mind, they throw all moral values away for their selfish ends. We can’t say poor economy is pushing them to this state because even the rich are turning more corrupt. Where vulgar display of wealth is welcome, society is to blame. Simple living and high thinking are the only solutions.


The media should not relent

Like king, like subjects: corruption starts from the top. If the king plucks one mango from a tree, his soldiers will take away every leaf. Man needs constant vigil so that he doesn’t go astray. In a large society, the media does this job by being the voice of the people. It should keep the thinking people on the right path.

— PRAN SALHOTRA, Gurdaspur

Reduce taxes

If we sincerely want to eradicate corruption, we should reduce the tax rate to the affordable 10 per cent for all. However, the penalty for not paying the taxes after that should be severe and it should also include simple imprisonment. Let’s come up with another VDIS at 10 per cent tax on 100 per cent declaration (based on affidavit).

— VIJAY GOEL, Nangloi (Delhi)

Transparent government is the best

We are one of the most corrupt countries, but we’ve never succeeded in nailing the guilty. It emboldens the corrupt. The responsibility of bringing reforms should be of our leaders. The people down the line should be encouraged to resist all pressures. Fairness and transparency in government functioning should be able to stand scrutiny by public and corruption matters should be pursued to the logical end. Imbibing moral education early on will stem the rot. Autonomous status for the Chief Vigilance Commissioner will give impetus to the anti-corruption movement.


More Tehelkas needed

The entry of the tainted in government service will have to be stopped. The government employees should be paid enough so that they don’t turn corrupt. More tehelka.com’s should come forth to combat corruption.


Catch the big fish

Rajiv Gandhi once said of every rupee from the national funds, only 15 paise trickled down to the poor. How much the successive governments have done to rectify the situation is no secret. If the office heads are honest, no one from the lower staff will dare to be corrupt. In our country, always the low-ranked employee is arrested for corruption. It’s time we caught some big fish.


Reduce inflation

Inflation is an important reason for corruption. The fixed-income group finds it difficult to make both ends meet due to the constantly rising prices and turns corrupt. The government should enact suitable legislation to root out inflation and corruption will also reduce as a result. The existing laws against corruption should be stricter. Conventional education should be combined with moral teaching.

— GAURAV JAIN, Jalandhar

Leaders should set example

Ministers should set examples of honest living. Our education system should be modified to imbibe moral values in students. Exemplary punishments should be given to the guilty. All ministers and public servants should be made to declare their assets and judiciary and vigilance departments should have more powers to check corruption.


Next Thursday More letters on this issue


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