By : Jinine Lai
(Asst. Prof. International College, University of Suwon, S Korea)
Corruption can be generally understood as themalpractice for personal gain by syphoning of public money and by misusing of government offices and powers. In fact, bribery and nepotism is often a segment of it in contemporary Manipur. What we have come along with corruption is our vital experience in paralyzing the deliverance of governance and deadened the civic sense of community as well. I would like to share three aspects here – they are Election, Evidence and Ignorance.
First, the Chief Minister, N Biren articulated something about corruption at an inauguration occasion of a community hall at LuwangsangbamMakhaLeikaion 14 August. He articulated that in case people are committed to a corruption free voting in election then we will be able to have a corruption free government.
Somewhere back in 2008 when he was in Congress, three four of us approached him for a human rights event support. In that morning at his government bungalow he told us about those houseful visitors from his constituency coming to meet him. They were there seeking help in monetary kind. Those houseful visit happened almost on everyday basis. He explicated that how many rupees he had to help with which was logically beyond his legitimate income and fund. That made me feel myself guilty of the situation of seeking support from him.
Each minister and MLA is obliged to spend a huge amount of money before and after he or she wins the election to make sure a winnable size of voters are retained in his or her favor. If this tradition is not maintained, no doubt, no chance of winning the democratic battle is so unequivocal.
N Biren’s proposition is of the both rational and realistic.
Usually the talking point about corruption and electoral malpractices associates the conundrum–‘Which first, egg or hen?’ Who are responsible for such derailment of democratic destination? The public put up a reciprocate attitude based on the past experience that the politicians are the people of big lucrative profit and power hunters and they invest their resources for their families, nears and dears to harvest a good return out of electoral trading.
The politicians are absent of the concerns and commitments towards the deliverance of governance, rule of law, human rights, social and economic well-being, may be because of
Ï% Their motivation is derived from the strong ambition for possession of more power, inflating of movable and non-movable assets
Ï% They have attached to an attitude that when it comes down to the electoral practices the voters are good for nothing. They understand the voters are causing an extensive exhaustion of candidates’ monetary resources.
Ï% At the end of day, majority of them discover themselves they are none but puppets of chief/high commands.
The chances for changes are also very scanty. There has been retention of old reign repetition of politicians over the several electoral terms. The one fundamental factor of this, is the non-availability of alternative, because of the fact that the choice poses between bad and worse. Hence the bads are elected and are allowed to remain to rule the ruckus.
Second, as far as anti-corruption goes, the witness and evidence always carries a question mark. Whenever we put up corruption in legitimate domain, it boils down to witness and evidence. Then it reduces to a rhetoric and insubstantial noise.
Here, a court room imagination is switched in my mind in a case of corruption versus evidence.
Judge – Where is yourwitness and evidence?
Man – Sir, those massive money thrown in the elections, the towering houses and all those movable and immovable assets accumulated.
Judge – But they cannot be the evidence in the court unless you establish them.
Man (Feels helpless but after a while)– Sir, I got you! Here you are!
Judge – What’s that?
Man – Sir,my humble question to you. Are you a human or Jesus Christ?
Judge – What do you mean?
Man– I mean, did your mother give birth to you in the manner the Virgin Mary did?
Judge – No, I’m very much a human.
Man – Then sir, your parents had sex.Do you have any witness of that copulation?
(A murmur in the roomas the judgekeeps quiet)
Man – Isn’t that a circumstantial evidence yet no witness, sir?
Third, why on earth are majority of our community muchactive in humiliating small wine vendors, petty thieves and minor offenders? We are much active in taking part in punishing them particularly in public and vandalizing the properties of those trivial culprits. The crucial crookedness is that our community does not turn strongagainst the big looters and real social smugglers. When it comes to larger domain of socio-political-economic corruption, the majority do always remain passive.
Aftermath incidents of bomb-gun attacks by the extortionists at the landmark buildings which turn out to be house of the well to do families or bourgeoisie, the locals raise their voices displaying neighbors’ concerns launching sit-in- protests around the house of the rich.
It gives an ill indication of social response towards corruption, exploitation for it encourages public looters and social smugglers. Rather at such moment it has to remind the receivers of bombs and bullets; what they are receiving now is what they have just earned.
The locals are well aware of how the owners of the towering houses have accumulated so much wealth but what they ignore is the crimes the rich commit