Corruption in India has always been a major issue. There have been many anti corruption movements in India already. India against corruption was one such big protest. The effects of corruption are devastating. What are the possible solutions for corruption?
According to a recent study by harvard university ‘s center for International Development (CID), India ‘s GDP growth rate is going to stay ahead of GDP growth rate of China till 2025. While india’s GDP is estimated to grow at 7.72 % during this period , China GDP will be growing at 4.41%. Well, that sounds really promising if one like to believe the study of the CID of Harvard university.
But the bigger question is if this is the best that India can achieve or it there is something which is holding India back from reaching its full potential. The India of today does have its own share of challenges and corruption is definitely one of them . Corruption is not exclusive to a particular country or a region. It can be seen across the world , though the degree of corruption may be different in different countries. When it comes to corruption , India is placed at the 79th position out of 176 countries, according toa recent study by transparency international. As one can see Denmark tops the list with the best score of 90 and India has just 40 points, similar to china and brazil.
According to Transperency international , there are around 53% people in india. Who are happy with how the government is fighting against corruption. As one can see, in Thailand , the people who are happy with their government efforts are even higher at around 72% and in south korea only 14% people are happy with their government efforts. In Europe, the situation is even worse in countries like spain where around 80% people think that their government is doing badly fighting against corruption . In france , it is more than 60% and in UK it is around 55%. On the other hand , there are 41% people in India who think that the level of corruption has increased and in China it is higher than 73%.
Corruption which is often classified as grand, petty and systemic can hurt any society and india as a country has suffered a lot from this. Corruption can occur in all sectors , whether they are public , private or even charitable and religious institutions. Police, school, hospitals, sports institutions , corruption in India is mostly everywhere.
The bribery rate is also very high in India. There are around 69% people in india who said to have paid a bribe while accessing basic services. When corruption reaches the offices where drivers licenses are issued , it can compromise the safety of citizens on the roads and when it reaches sectors like judiciary , it can literally paralyze a society. Corruption can bite people in the form of favoritism , nepotism , bribery , embezzlement , theft , fraud or extortion and blackmailing. Corrupt politician give clearance to those projects and grant licenses to those individuals who may not be so deserving. Corruption is also a road block in attracting foreign investments as it discourages the potential foreign investors. Due to bribery , environmental laws are not fully enforced and corruption also give birth to many illegal small or big factories.
While continue to cause pollution . not just that, corruption also expands the undesired informal economy . during my travels in India , I ended up meetings some random citizens who told me that there are incidents when a poor father sells his land to pay the bribe to get his child a government job and the same father now expects his child to earn back the money that was paid as a bribe and that can only be done through accepting bribes as the regular salary may not be enough. And on the other hand , in some cases , it can also help innocents in getting rid of the false allegations against them. But who should be blamed for corruption ?
Is it the political parties or is it the weak law?
Is it the self – centric attitude and greed of people or is it a work of those who deal in all sorts of organized crime?
According to transparency international, In Italy , there are 46% people who think that the members of parliament are corrupt. In france it is 35% and in UK it is 28% , it is not just about public sectors , corruption exists in the private sector too. 26% of citizens in Europe and central asia think that business executives are highly corrupt. As far as India’s private sectors is concerned. There is no doubt that corruption is very much prevalent there as well. So far . I have not been able to discover a legal mechanism in India under which corruption in private sector can be care of.
Corruption and the black money are actually the two sides of same coin . The money which is earned by illegal means is called black money. Apart from this , the money which is earned by legal methods but if the required income taxes are not paid on it, is called black money. By fixing the unnecessary red tape, by bringing digitization, by bringing transparency in electoral funding and the financing of political parties. Life of those thrives on corruption can be made difficult.
In India , many political parties continue to accept donation without disclosing them and there are many voices in india which are rising against this. There is no doubt that central and state governments of India can win back the trust of citizens by punishing some well known offenders, regardless of their political or business backgrounds. Such steps can send a message to the people. That their governments are serious about the fight against corruption. Use of advanced anti corruption mobile applications , footage capturing through mobile phones can be initiated but at the same time. Safety of complaints has to be ensured , further , those who misuse the laws by false allegation must be punished as well as. And last but no the least , there has to be ways through which corrupt media can be taken care of too.
For many years trucking industry has been one of the major source of corruption India and after the recent implementation Of GST. It will be interesting to observe if it can brings any positive change in this particular sector.
During my travels in India , while interacting with some random commuters , I was told a few times that during the british rule, people used to bury their gold and other valuable underground as nobody could predict if somebody wouldn’t come to snatch it away from them. It is said that such traditions developed due to the sense of insecurity in the people during the times of invasions and colonization. And that it when people learned that keeping some undeclared wealth could actually make them feel more secure. Times have changed and even today it is said thet there are still many households in India which continue to have undeclared gold and money. Regarding corruption , as far as my own view point is concerned , I believe that people who are corrupt just need a very intense self – introspection. When a corrupt officer issue drivers license to those motorists who are not fit enough to drive, can he ensure that someday.
These motorists will not end up killing or hurting his own loved ones on the roads? When corrupt officers allow sub- standard adulterated food to be sold, can they ensure that this food will not reach their own loved ones through restaurants and shops? No they can’t and this is exactly what they need to realize. By being corrupt they may so easily be hurting themselves too. Is it system which pollutes the people or is it the people who pollute the system? There is no way that a society can get rid of corruption as long as the member continue to have corrupt practices in their daily lives.
There are so many people who criticize the way the governments functions but they don’t even go to vote during elections. In many cases, the same people who blame politicians for corruption are themselves not paying their taxes honestly and are involved in under – invoicing , not everybody is corrupt but corrupt practices exist almost everywhere. Small milk traders adding water in milk, kitchen gas suppliers stealing gas from the cylinders , pharmacies selling counterfeit medicines, restaurants owner giving their customers substandard food , taxi drivers deliberately over charging tourists. The list is endless…
When you go to buy 1 kilograms of mangoes from a poor road side stall owner and you get 900 grams how are you going to define that? See how a common man cheats another common man. And it has nothing to do with a corrupt government. And when the same common man gets an opportunity or a bigger role in the government he does the same what he does when he is outside the system. There are people who criticize the governments for corruption but they do not mind paying bribe to get their work done in the government offices in order to avoid a waiting period. And these corrupt practices are contagious , if one shop owner starts to use corrupt practices and start earning more money and customers, the others also have no choice but to adopt the same in order to stay afloat the competitive market or just risk losing business. Some learn these corrupt practices willingly due to their greed and some have no choice but to adopt what is already in practice. And that is why the question is when and how the Indian society got introduced to these deceitful practices and the answer to that is perhaps not so easy. Regardless, the India of today does need to do a lot better not only to improve its rank in the corruption perceptions index but also to reach its full potential economically. Perhaps the change that many seeks has to first come on an individual basis and only then it can be brought in this system. And it is because sometimes , to some extent, the system is nothing but just a reflection of the society.
Corruption in India – Karolina Goswami