According to the latest result compiled by Forbes, India claimed the dubious distinction of being the ‘Most corrupt country in Asia’. Closer back home, FIR has been registered against a few persons who wielded positions of power and influence including a former chief minister of the state for corruption and alleged involvement in financial irregularities, mismanagement and misappropriations. The two developments cannot have been mere coincidence. Corruption is an all pervading practice which will be neigh impossible to eradicate completely. Yet the fight to contain and reduce its impact on the system should not be allowed to become lax. The public have witnessed and experienced frustrations and untold miseries as a result of the extreme levels of corruption that has been practiced in the state for so long that the practice has become institutionalized- a necessary evil one should indulge in should one wish to get any work done. With the change in government, the state has seen a marginal decrease in the intensity of the practice, and yet it is still very much alive and thriving. Despite the state government putting in efforts to curb the menace by introducing radical steps such as an Anti-Corruption Cell, the response from the public, and more importantly, the action of the Cell on the complaints still leaves a lot to be desired.
There is no dearth of laws and regulations that punishes the corrupt in India. What is sorely missing is the political willpower and earnestness to implement it. And without utilizing these resources and legalities at our disposal, even the most stringent and perfect laws remains a meaningless edict.
The persons against whom FIR has been registered have had their days, and their peculiar mode of functioning while in public office has also been well known. It would not be much of a surprise if every single one of them is found to have indulged in corruption and misappropriations of resources while in office. But the most pertinent question the people of the state has been demanding an answer to is: what happens when and if they are found guilty as charged? While the buck may be passed on to the judiciary to decide the final amount of punishment, yet the government should not wash its hands off the matter. It is high time people who abuse their public positions and power entrusted to them for their personal gain at the expense of the real and rightful beneficiaries be made an example of.
The need of the moment is for the present government is to crack the whip and let everybody know of its intention to weed out corruption which is a very crucial criteria if clean and progressive governance is to replace the system. Mere lip service should give way to pragmatic practices and those found guilty should be given their rightful punishment without any consideration for leniency or affinity. Only a strong, decisive and impartial leader can inspire the same feeling and practice. Time will definitely tell if the present Chief Minister is one such leader or one by circumstances.