The Berlin-based Transparency International ( TI ) has bracketed three South Asian nations
among the world's most corrupt . Of the 102 countries surveyed, India is ranked 72,
Pakistan , Nigeria  and Bangladesh 102\u2026(the most corrupt). Are the relevant
Fighting against corruption in India
L-R: Transparency International's Admiral Tahiliani\u2026:Tackle corruption on a war footing";
Dr. Kiran Bedi, India's first lady Police Officer\u2026"Cleanse the political system";
Hush money, graft, bribe, sleaze \u2026\u2026 call it by any name but the meaning is just
one - corruption in public life. The dirty 'C' word today is synonymous with the
functioning of all government offices that deal with the public. People are coerced
to pay over and above for a service, which they are legally bound to receive.
A new study by Berlin-based Transparency International ( TI ) brackets India with
some of the world's most corrupt nations. Of the 102 nations surveyed in 2001,
India is ranked 72, Pakistan , Nigeria  and Bangladesh 102---the most
The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for India is 2.7. The index relates to the
degree of corruption among public officials and politicians as perceived by
business people, academicians and risk analysts. It ranges between 10 [most
clean & transparent] and 0 [most corrupt].
Three of the world's cleanest nations are Finland with the CPI of 9.9, Denmark at
9.5 and New Zealand at 9.4. Canada ranks 7th. with a score of 8.9, England is
13th. at 8.3, USA 17th at 7.6, and Germany 20th at 7.4.
Among the organisations that are taking up the issue of corruption in India and
challenging and fighting it are Tranparency International (India), Chetna, and
"Transparency International study is not at all surprising as some of
the most significant legislations have not yet been passed. The Lok
Pal Bill, declaration of assets by politicians, auditing of accounts of
political parties, speedy trial of erring politicians, forfeiture of
illegally acquired property and many other such legislations are in a limbo," says
Admiral R.H. Tahiliani, former Governor and Chief of Naval Staff and now
chairman of Transparency International [India] .
Tahiliani's utterances are buttressed by the fact that political leaders are not
willing to talk on the subject of corruption. Repeated attempts at getting in touch
with Arun Shourie and Manmohan Singh---two of the most upright people in
politics---drew a blank with the personal assistants of both saying their bosses
were not interested in talking on the subject of corruption.
According to the study the main breeding ground for corruption is the Indian
political system, which has been supported wholeheartedly by the bureaucracy.
Corruption, says the report, has reached such gigantic proportions because the
electoral system is such that it requires sacks of money.
According to the TI study there are perceptible linkages between poverty and
corruption. " If the political leadership is serious in tackling poverty as it
professes, it has to deal with corruption first," feels Admiral Tahiliani.
Many academicians say that socialism is the fountainhead of corruption in India.
Since independence the state has had a say in everything If one wanted to start
an industry one had to get a license, if one wanted to close it one needed a prior
permission. If one wanted to increase production one had to inform the
concerned ministry. It was the licence Raj that became the breeding ground for
Now , as the state begins easing its grip on basic necessities, corruption levels
too are declining. Take, for example, the privatisation of power in Delhi. Under
state control there were a spate of corruption charges against it. Now with
privatisation, things are improving dramatically.
However, says Admiral Tahiliani, " Corruption abounds in areas where citizens
have to interact with the state departments like the police, health, housing, taxes,
municipalities or licenses for starting businesses."
"In a country where lawbreakers become lawmakers one can expect even worst. Not just
our politicians, almost 80 percent of the bureaucracy is either comatose or busy making
Says Anil Sood ofChetna, an NGO that has taken up cudgels against corruption
and has filed numerous Public Interest Litigations against many government
departments, " The Transparency International report has just scraped the
surface. In a country where lawbreakers become lawmakers one can expect
even worst. Not just our politicians, almost 80 percent of the bureaucracy is
either comatose or busy making money."
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