, by DR. S. AUSAF SAIED VASFI
Power will go into the hands (heads?) of rascals, rogues and free booters. Not a bottle of water or loaf of bread shall escape taxation; only air will be free and the blood of these hungry millions will be on the head of Attlee.” So said Mr. Winston Churchill, the then British Prime Minister in parliament.
Some cynics believe, the wartime Prime Minister was prophetically referring to this day and this age.
DEATH OF IDEALS
This, it is common observation, happens after the death of ideals in public life. Did the Constitution-makers not set ideals? They did. But Bharat preferred to follow them in breach, so much so that the younger generation laughs at them heartily. Drinking is a case in point. For another point, ask any flamboyant Congressman how much he uses khadi for the sake of austerity?
Sometime back, corruption was a low-key and high-profit phenomenon. Now it has ceased to be a phenomenon. It is a way of life now. Instead of revolting, the people have adjusted with it.
Following the planned assassination of higher moral values, secularism, soon after independence, ran amuck. The first casualty in this regard was respect to elders, elderly neighbours and the venerated. The easiest target happened to be women. Today, out of every four rapes in the country, one takes place in the national capital. New Delhi has also the dubious distinction of having two-fifth of kidnappings and abductions. Crimes against women or girl child is just one aspect of the hydra-headed problem.
6 JUDGES WANTED
There is, perhaps no sector which remains unaffected by the malaise. Military and judiciary remained “chaste” for a longer period of time. Lt. Gen. R.K. Rath, has at last blazed the expected trail of being found guilty on three counts.
More: investigating the Ghaziabad Court provident fund, the CBI, last month, filed a plea in a special court seeking arrest warrants against six retired judges. For furthermore, follow the story being repeated at least daily about Raja and Mr. Justice Balakrishnan, the former Chief Justice of India.
It was not for nothing that Dr. Abdul Kalam had, during his presidency, stressed the need of character certificate and a statement indicating that the character and antecedents of the proposed awardees have been duly verified and nothing adverse is reported against them.
Like diabetes, corruption is a silent killer. Corruption, to quote Brahma Chellaney: “stalls development, undermines social progress, undercuts the confidence of citizens in the fairness and impartiality of public administration, impedes good governance, erodes the rule of law, distorts competitive conditions in business transactions, discourages domestic and foreign investment, fosters a black market economy, and raises new security threats. In sum, corruption obstructs a country from realising its goals and undercuts national security.”
... the Hindu, December 7, 2010.
Various people have come out with various prescriptions to deal with the canker. Mrs. Sonia Gandhi believes that fast track courts, full transparency in public procurement, giving up discretionary powers by Chief Ministers, open competitive system of exploiting natural resources and state funding of elections can work wonders.
These proposals, although well-meaning, ignore the rascal within, who knows how to square the law.
Another set of quite valuable proposals has been put forward by a small group of citizens. These sincere souls feel: Government deficits, discretionary decision-making, appointments of Lok Pals, followed by the passage of Lok Pal Bill can do the job. They also believe that politicians must understand the difference between dissent and disruption. They also recommend easy access to decision makers for putting a full stop to corruption.
We, however, are inclined to believe that this recipe also ignores the freak within man, particularly in the current hostile-to-honesty ambience.
Several important cases are staring right across the face of plural Bharat. One of them is money stashed in the western banks abroad. Not much information is available on the subject except that there were or are 26 account holders, including trusts.
HELPLESSNESS OF APEX COURT
Our politicians are a really brave lot. They can, and do take indefensible liberty with the Supreme Court, the highest palladium of justice. Recall that in 2006, the Supreme Court directed the Government to implement police reform. Make the national police commission autonomous, the court ordered. And give it a structure that is independent of political control. The National Police Commission would independently decide salaries, promotions, transfers, weaponry. Political control would go. Law enforcement, capricious today would become professional and accountable. Successive governments – and this is 2011 – both the states and the Centre have ignored the Supreme Court directions.
One really does not know with which foolproof argument the successive governments have armed themselves for the said criminal negligence?
The Saffron has developed the art of describing its inexplicable obstinacy in high decibel superlatives, if word ‘conspiracy’ does not work on the occasion.
They shamelessly reduced parliament, the foremost democratic institution to a farce recently when they once again refused to allow it to do its business. Twenty-eight sittings were lost from November 9 to December 23. They have reaffirmed to take this odorous legacy to the next session also. The Lok Sabha worked for seven hours and 37 minutes – 5.5 per cent of the available time, while the Rajya Sabha worked for two hours and 44 minutes, or 2.4 per cent of the available time. Not a single starred question could be answered in the Rajya Sabha. The fiscal loss, hold your breath, was to the tune of Rs. 172 crore.
Where would you put this perfidy if not in the category of corruption?
Let the battered saffron remember that it is a minority in Parliament. However big a rogue it may become, it cannot alter this arithmetical fact. Therefore it should act accordingly and, in the meantime, honestly endeavour to come to next parliament with a formidable majority. The Saffron cannot win by violating the rules of the game.
Nadir was touched when the corrupt just killed the official who had gone to the den of the killers for checks. It was the ever-thriving Rs. 10,000 crore blackmarket business that killed Additional Collector, Mr. Yashwant Sonawane. Under similar circumstances Mr. S. Manjunath, an Indian Oil Corporation official was killed, sometime back, by the oil adulteration mafia in Luckhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh.
To cut the long story short, just think how a potential rapist, how a potential criminal donning the uniform of a Lieutenant General, how a potential thug donning the robes of a judge, how a potential roughneck in spotless white, would behave at the time of crime when confronted with his conviction in God, His Prophets, blessings of Allah upon them all and the Day of Judgement? Would he still commit the crime? The chances are some hardened criminals may. But history stands witness to the fact that the social order based upon these basic values is usually crime-free. This has happened in the past and can happen in future also.