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Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Thursday, 27 June 2013

CORRUPTION AND SYSTEM FAILURES COST INDIA'S DEMOCRATIC FABRICS !


Should the Indian citizen be silent over rampant bribery, scandal, power-brokering ? Of course not we as citizen of India must hammer upon these evils to eliminate the society for going into decadent stage ! Now a days, bribery and scandals are dominating the headlines not only in India but in several countries in recent years, among them India and Nigeria figure most corrupt countries in the globe. A new survey of corporate officials and employees in 36 countries-in Europe, Africa and Middle East as well as India-indicates  that there is plenty of corruption that needs deeper investigation. the survey was conducted late last year by Ipsos, a market research firm, on behalf of Ernst & Young, a major accounting firm.

The survey and responses of the people of various countries, however, indicated that corruption and bribery are rare in the Scandinavian countries, but common in some southern  and Eastern European countries as well as in India, the Middle East and Africa. According David Stulb, the global leader of the group; it was growing in part because many countries were worried about enforcement of the American Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars the bribing of foreign officials and of similar laws in other developed countries. The survey revealed what Ernst called a "corruption perception gap" in many countries where respondents said bribery and corrupt practices were far more common in other parts of their country than they were in their own industry. At the extreme, 94 percent of respondents in Kenya though corruption was widespread in the country, but only 34 percent thought it was a problem in their own industry.

In the last three years, in the wake of serious cases of corruption in corridor of power in Delhi, like telecommunication scam, coal allotment scams and corruption in government offices in Delhi and at every nook corner of state governments' offices etc, have made the life of Indian people miserable because ultimate fall-out of corruption falls on the general people of India. MY TWO BLOG TOPICS:- RAMPANT CORRUPTION IN INDIA SIGNALLING CIVIL WAR , written on December 11, 2012 and LOOT OF PUBLIC MONEY BY POLITICIANS, MEMBERS OF EXECUTIVE AND JUDICIARY , POWER BROKERS, written on August 10, 2012 on my site-www.kksingh1.blogspot.com have deliberated at length how India has gone down to the drains in corrupt practices !

Although the  political corruption was there even during the primeministership of Pundit Jaewahar Lal Nehru, it has deteriorated because the political system is self-perpetrating and no party is accountable except a coterie of people that dominates all decisions-( recent example is sacked railway minister Pawan Bansal's nephew). Apart from that, there have been rapid erosion in the selfless dedication of leaders led to the growth of corruption in the entire body politic. National interest has become no body's concern. In India, welfare schemes turned the biggest source for sip honing off public funds, And the poor are worst affected ! Criminalisation of politics is also one of the main reasons in abnormal rise in corruption in India. Before deliberating the menace and its reason, I just want to mention major scandals and corruption cases in India since the independence of India. All the figures are converted to the 2011 price level to make them comparable. Thus Wholesale price index numbers are used for the period. In the post independence period, only six out of the 14 prime ministers had a term of five years or more: Nehru about 17 years, Indira Gandhi-16 years, Rajiv Gandhi-five years, Narsimha Rao-five years, Atal Behari Vajpayee-six years, Manmohan Singh-over eight years to date..Out of these six prime ministers who really matter, five were from the Congress, accounting for 51 years of Congress-led governments. Out of these 51 years, 38 years belonged to Nehru dynasty.

The following three scandals surfaced during Nehruvian period:- The jeep scandal (1948) Rs 80 lakh (Rs 36.52 crore); the Muindra scandal (1958-Rs 1,20 crore)- Rs 47.73 crore and the Dharma Teja loans Rs 22 crores (Rs 785.32 crore). The Indira Gandhi tenure saw at least three scandals-totalling indexed value worth Rs 244.70 crores. These are Nagarwala scandal (1971)-Rs 60 lakh ( Rs 11.10 crore); the Kao oil scandal (1976)-Rs 2.2 crore (Rs 22.80 crore) and the cement scam- Donation for the  Indira Pratishthan Trust collected by A R Antulay Rs 30 crore (Rs 208.80 crore). Than comes the Rajiv Gandhi's prime minister ship. In his regime, Bofor scandal of Rs 64 crore in 1987 (Rs 313.72 crore). Thereafter Narsimha Rao's period when economic liberalisation policy in full n bloom, there were many scandals. They are: Lakhubhai Pathak pickles scam (1984) $ 1,30,000 equivalent at the conversion rate to Rs 22.75 lakh and indexed value Rs 7.79 crore; the sugar import scam (1994)-Rs 650 crore (Rs 1627.99 crore); the Sukhram telecom scandal (1996)-Rs 3.6 crore (Rs 12.33 crore); The C R Bhansali scam (1998)-Rs 1100 crore (Rs 2438.60 crore) and the fertiliser scam (1996)-Rs 133 crore (Rs294.85 crore). Thus total indexed value during Rao's tenure comes to Rs Rs 4,381.50 crore. Next ccomes to Atal Behari Vajpaye led BJP government at the centre. Scandals are Kargil coffin scabdal (1995) $ 1.87 lakh equivalent at the then  conversion rate to Rs 80.64 lakh (Rs 1.87 crore) and the Barrack missile scabdal (1995) $ 80.64 lakh equivalent at the then conversion rate Rs 36.29 crore (Rs 66.13 crore). In this way , the total indexed value would be approximately Rs 68 crore.The last but not the least Manmohan Singh government led by Congress, although Singh's personal integrity is doubted by none but mired in cobweb of corruption ! The scams are- the Scorpene submarine deal (2006)-Rs 500 crore (Rs 685.80 crore); the cash-for-votes scandal Rs 50 crore (Rs 59.95 crore); the 2G p spectrum (2010)-Rs 1,76, 000 crore (Rs 1,89,200 crore)  and Coal scam totalling to Rs 1.87 lakh crore and and  Commonwealth game scams Rs 8,000 crore ( Rs 8,599.99 crore. The coal scam is latest one which I have not calculated in indexed value amount !  Thus total scams and scandals,  reach to  over Rs 3, 00,000 lakh crores till date during Manmohan Singh's tenure. In all these scams and scandals ministers and the then as well as the present prime ministers are involved directly or indirectly.

Apart from that almost all state governments led by chief ministers of different political affiliations have ship honed off over  Rs 50 lakh crores public money in different smas and scandals since independence. More over criminal cases were filed in all these cases but net results came out zero in all these years.

Not only that politicians, bureaucrats , smugglers, drug-traffickers etc have stashed huge amount of black moneypoutside India According to a White Paper brought out by the government of India black money stashed away in Swiss banks by Indians stood at Rs 9,295 crore during 2010 while FICCI figures ; by July 2012 this figure stood at Rs 45 lakh crore.. The then CBI director A P singh, in his address to the Interpol Global program on anti-corruption and asset recovery, said such amount stood at $ 500 billion. His statement came before in a case in the Supreme Court in February 2012. These estimates excluded money stashed away abroad as valuables in Safe Deposit Boxes, a recent innovation by Swiss Banks to overcome international treaties.

On the other hand , over 70 percent families are below poverty line, who do not have sufficient food, drinking water, shelter clothes to cover their bodies what to speak of health and education care in India ! And these political classes, power brokers, capitalists, corporates are grabbing public money and the country's wealth in truckloads. Prof K C Mehata, former pro-vice-chancellor and professor of finance, MS University of Baroda has remarked , while elaborating these sordid facts, " unless people rise in revolt against this demon and punish the corrupt by refusing to vote for them, a time will come (if it has not already) when we get used to the debased public life."

Similarly the writer and activist Arundhati Roy, commenting on the corruption in India , has said, in an interview to a senior journalist Saba Naqvi  " scams smaller than a few lakh crores will not ven catch out attention. In the election season, for political parties to accuse each other of corruption or doing shady deals with corporations is not new-remember BJP and the Shiv Sena's campaign against Enron ? Advani called it looting through liberalisation. They won the election in Maharshatra, scrapped the contract between Enron and the Congress government and then signed a far worse one. Corruption is a symptom of a widening gap between the powerful and the powerless, which in India, is one of the worst in the world. Moral policing or even  actual policing  cannot be solution..........hence remove these filthy illegal slums, clear away these illegal vendors crowding pavements-and so on.....the point is how to define corruption?........they can only be addressed if you know your people, if you have vision and ideology, not by just changing the props or costumes activists wear on stage when one or the other group accuses them of some thing or the other.Being against corruption is not in itself  a political ideology.Even the corrupt people will say they are against corruption............Pantomine is a harsh word. I see what happening now as psrt of the unrest, anger, and frustration that is building up in the country. Sometimes the noisiness of it makes it hard to see clearly. But unless we look things in the eye-instead of heading off in strange quixotic directions-we vcan look forward to the civil war, which has already begun, reaching our doorsteps very soon." My blog topic_ RAMPANT CORRUPTION IN INDIA SIGNALLING CIVIL WAR- Written on DECEMBER 11, 2012-www.kksingh1.blogspot.com

From 2010, in a span of just two years, as many as 10 anti-corruption bills have been tabled including the disputed Lokpal bill, the forfeiture of benami property, foreign bribery , money laundering and whistle-blowing bills plus five more-all aimed at deterring specific acts of corruption or uprooting to give corruption free public service as a  right. None of these bills or laws addresses the fountainhead of corruption-the opaque management of political parties which includes sources and deployment of their funds. The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC-2009 had noted that large scale f criminalisation of politics, noting that how participation by criminals in the electoral process  was " the soft underbelly of the Indian political system" leading to "flagrant violation of laws, poor quality of services, protection from lawbreakers n political, group, class, communal or caste grounds, partisan interference in the investigation of crimes, the poor prosecution of cases, inordinate delays that last for years, high costs of judicial process, mass withdrawal of cases and indiscriminate grant of  parole." Votes are fetched through large, illegal and illegitimate expenditure on elections, a starting point of corruption in public life.. Money power controls vote in India. Poor are penalised for not obeying the dictum of feudal landlords and state power-police. Earlier criminals were envisaged by political parties to win the elections. In the last 20 years, criminals have tasted the blood and they themselves win election by utilising their muscle and money power.

According to annual report of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR among 543 elected members of Parliament, who were elected in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, 162 (32 percent) have criminal records and criminal cases are pending against them. Five years earlier, the figure was 24 percent. ethics in political life in India is laughed at. Illegal and indiscriminate expenditure in election by political parties and candidates in the elections ave become order of the day.. Interestingly , the ruling of the Central Information Commission that political parties should also be termed as public bodies and they are liable for all information under Right to Information Act. The ruling was vehemently opposed by all political parties -even by left parties because they will be exposed by their huge expenditures and sources of funds for the elections !

More over there must be drastic change in our electoral laws even after some drastic reforms brought by the then Chief Election Commissioner T N Sheshan.. This apart , elections be made state funding like other many countries. State funding may overcome clandestine collection of election funds. A bill called the Registration and Regulation of Political Parties (2011) has been drafted by a committee chaired by Justice M N Venkatachaliah, former chief Justice of India. The bill envisages a democratic process for selecting party office-bearers as well as those given the tickets. The committee has also spoke about limitation on donations by individuals and corporations and also recommends l penalties for non-compliance and addresses the vexed question of how to deal with with support groups that spend ,money that remains unaccounted.

Another, most alarming issue is rampant corruption  among judges right from lower courts to high courts and the Supreme Court.Mechanism for appointing judges is not full-proof. Supremer Court and high courts are appointing judges on their whims. Quality of judges has deteriorated. Sons and daughters of the judges, former judges , VIP politicians and officials have become very common. Judicial accountable bill is facing vehement opposition from the Supreme Court and high courts judges. Judges and government have no concern over pend ency of  huge number of cases for years together. Approaching courts by poor has become impossible as they cannot bear the cost for getting justice Judges , by compelling their own mechanism for pay and perks, are today said to be leading most comfortable and luxurious life by getting extra money and facilities !

SOURCES: WEBSITES OF VARIOUS NEWSPAPERS, NEWS MAGAZINES, NEWS SITES etc 

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