By MUHAMMAD SALIM ENGINEER
In this Section
We, after 64 years of independence from the British rule, are struggling for getting freedom from poverty, communalism, casteism and corruption. The more we are trying to come out of these chains the deeper and deeper we are going into slavery. Though appreciable are the schemes like MGNREGA for creating employment and curbing poverty in rural areas, the network of high ways, flyovers, world class metro cities, metro trains, wireless mobile communication and IT networks, advances in space and atomic research, the poverty is becoming more and more louder and these developments are generating huge scandals one after another.
Corruption with Himalayan heights has challenged our existence as a country and as a society. All parts of the body of Indian society are infected with the cancer of corruption. Politics, the executive, the judiciary, the media and almost everything. Starting from the birth of a child till the end of life i.e. the issuing of birth certificate and the death certificate is almost impossible without taking help of corruption. Bribes of thousands and lakhs of rupees are considered negligible, now scams like Satyam, Adarsh society, 2G/3G scams are of the order of lakhs of crores, ridiculing our poverty and trying to deny the fact that India is a poor country.
NEED OF HARD, EFFECTIVE LAWS
Though we have institutions like Anti Corruption Bureaus (ACB), Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and laws under IPC to curb corruption yet they are ineffective so much so that powerful criminals easily find escape route, political interference helps criminals, and slow-paced and corrupt judiciary make criminals more confident. In a country like ours we lack morality and self discipline in general, we require laws which can make powerful politicians, ministers, officers, chief ministers and the prime minister responsible and accountable.
Laws should be such that it should not be very difficult to prosecute them if there are strong reasons and evidences against them. The Lokpal Bill which is under discussion these days should be brought soon but it should be stronger than being suggested by the government; even PM should come under the purview of the Bill. I am of the opinion that corruption not only in the form of money but otherwise also with certain predefined conditions and classes be considered equivalent to sedition. Very hard punishment should be prescribed and mechanism be devised to enforce the punishment without any delay.
FAST JUDICIAL PROCESS
Even if we have hard and effective laws to fight corruption, laws will be helpless unless they are enforced within reasonably short duration. Special and fast track courts be established for such offences against the country and justice be delivered within the predecided time limits failing which the judges and other persons responsible for this be made accountable and punished if found guilty. It is a tragic reality that even our judiciary is infected with the cancer of corruption. This issue of corruption in judiciary be taken more seriously and dealt with separately and hard punishment be prescribed in such cases. Delay in justice always helps criminals become more confident.
PUNISHMENT IN PUBLIC
Punishment to criminals in public is an issue on which there are different opinions but I strongly feel that for such heinous crimes punishment be given at public places. This would certainly serve as a viable deterrent for intending criminals. Islamic system prescribes this and it is evident that wherever it is being implemented in its true spirit, crime rate is much lower.
One very important reason behind ever increasing rate of corruption and other crimes is that seasoned criminals are almost confident in most cases so much so that even if they are caught it is not difficult for them to escape by greasing the palm of concerned officials or through political influence. It would not be possible to minimise crimes and curb corruption unless we create an atmosphere wherein people have full trust in the system and have firm belief that criminals will be certainly punished even if they are influential or enjoying some powerful position.
Though we require hard and effective laws, what is urgently needed is strong will power and honesty in implementing those laws to punish criminals as well as create awareness among people for making a corruption-free society. Laws have their own limitations, implementation cannot be fool-proof even the commitment to country, society and honesty as a policy cannot lead us to a point of society free of corruption. It is only self discipline, following of the voice of conscience which can work where law and moral bounds of society cannot reach.
I am of the firm belief that this is possible if and only if individuals and the society as a whole believe and follow the guidance of the Creator and Sustainer of this universe, propagated by all the prophets to the people of their respective times and is known as Islam in Arabic. The guidance from the Creator emphasises that God is omnipresent, omnipotent the most merciful, beneficent and all knowing. Nothing is hidden from him; he listens and replies whether we whisper or speak loudly and more than that our thoughts and intentions are not hidden from him. He not only knows and sees whatever we do in darkness or in daylight, in loneliness or in public; nobody can escape from his punishment after crossing the limits set by him.
God has made it explicit through his guidance that all human beings will be resurrected in the Doomsday (Qayamah) and will have to present themselves before the Creator of this universe. All our deeds, big or small, good or bad, in this life will be shown to us and will be rewarded or punished in the form of the heaven (Jannah) or the hell (Jahannam). If every individual and society at large has firm belief on these realities and leads the life in the light of this guidance, not only corruption (in limited sense) but all forms of atrocities and injustice and all moral ills would be controlled and the remaining would be curbed by laws and punishment again prescribed by the Creator.
If we are really serious about curbing corruption of all kinds and other evils from social, economical and political domains of life, we need to think coolly and seriously. We believe firmly and propose to the nation that the final guidance by the Creator, Islam, be considered an alternative for attaining freedom from corruption, injustice and moral bankruptcy and to make India prosperous, peaceful and strong in a position to lead and guide the world.