Should the Corrupt Be Hanged From the Lamppost?

Corruption is a universal phenomenon; no society is free from it. It has a variety of meanings. David H. Bayley says, “Corruption is a general term covering misuse of authority as a result of considerations of personal gains, which need not to be monetary.” In India, administrative and political corruption no longer surprises us, it has become a normal and accepted phenomena, a part of administrative and political culture. It is contemplated and considered about Indian bureaucracy that,”‚Ķfrom top to bottom a vicious and heinous ring operates and every functionary in the service demands a price, where major agreements, projects and contracts have to be executed, invariable commission is today the unwritten convention.”

“India Ranks Among The Top-Ten Corrupt Nations Of The World”

“Recent Raids At Local MLA’s Place Came As A Shock And

Become A Source of Consternation”

“The M.P Caught Red-Handed For Taking Bribe”

These newspaper headlines appearing almost everyday is quite disheartening and depressing for every true citizen of our nation. This clearly reflects how corruption has infiltrated and permeated into different forms in public life.

As defined by a famous writer Robert C. Brook ” Corruption is the intentional misperformance or neglect of a reorganized duty, or the unwarranted exercise of power, with the motive of gaining some of advantages more or less directly personal.”

Corruption is so well embedded into our everyday life itself; that no one raises an eyebrow on these issues any longer. Today, it is leading to deliberate and intentional exploitation of one’s position, status or resources, directly or indirectly for personal aggrandizement. It could be in terms of material gains or enhancement of power, prestige or influence beyond what is legitimate or sanctioned by commonly accepted norms or legislations to the detriment or the interest or the interests of the other persons. The condition of our nation in this regard has deteriorated to a great extent. It is ironical that the country, which has produced great spiritual leaders and intellectuals, is so deeply engulfed by corruption that everybody from top grass to a clerk is steeped into it.

Corruption has gone from bureaucratic class to babudom. India of today seems to be opposite of what our leaders had dreamt of. The corruption is so deep rooted that nothing short of a “second freedom struggle” would liberate the country from its grip. It is devouring the system from within. The worst sufferer of corruption is the common man who faces all difficulties in all public institutions, whether he approaches for a phone, a gas connection, a ration card or a even railway reservation. The saying seems to be true,” Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”.

There was a time when only a few corrupt IAS officers could be identified and recognized. Now, sadly, only few honest, upright persons with integrity can be spotted in the large cadre of IAS officers. There are coverages in the newspapers almost everyday about officials involved in bribery, kickbacks and scams.

The prime reason for corruption is the growing crass consumerism and influence of materialism wants to accumulate mass materials and riches. The ideal of “simple living and high thinking ” has been abandoned completely. The Indian society is going through a process of modernization, old societal values are crumbing and materialistic ambitions have become dominant.

Today, man is completely influenced by ‘ I, me and my syndrome’. The resulting phenomenon of ‘individualism’ is completely getting converted into ‘atomism ‘. Everyone in our society tends to get involved in the mad rat race for material acquisition to keep up with the jounces. There is a never-ending avarice.

The monster of corruption is spreading its wings on the society. If the corruption is taken in contrast to homicide, then the corrupt should be hanged from the lamppost to the wipe out corruption. The proverbial meaning of ‘to hang from the lamp post’ is to bring the skeleton to posture. It completely applies in this context too. The corrupt person should be made to realize the importance of moral standards and conscience. The few remedies suggested for eradication of corruption are making functioning of public officials more transparent, publicaly disclosing assets and income, simplification of administrative procedure, elimination of delays and evolving of ethical conduct code and its enforcement strategy.

These remedial measures can be taken into account instead of hanging the corrupt from the lamppost to wipe out corruption. The problem of the corruption should be dealt seriously otherwise, it will become uncontrollable with passage of time.

A. Kiranmayi

[Image courtesy:]