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Corruption in India
Division B Gayatri R Hegde – 117 Ishita Krishna - 124 Karthik K Ramakrishnan - 127 Nidhi Sharma – 140 Tarun Kabra – 173 Vardhman Chand Rai - 175
One of the definitions given to corruption is "giving something to someone with power so that he will abuse his power and act favouring the giver" which can also be extended to "the offering, giving, soliciting or acceptance of an inducement or reward, which may influence the action of any person". It seems as a matter of fact that most of the Indians are involved in corrupt practices in one way or the other either while we are getting our licence or when we break the traffic law or even when we need to register our house that is much cheaper that what we actually pay.
An apt description of the corruption that exists in India can be best summarized by the above image.
India in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI)
India’s CPI score, based on global perception of corruption in India’s political class and public sector, was unchanged at 3.4 out of 10. In the ranking, 83 other countries are less corrupt than India. India is globally perceived to be so low in integrity because of rampant corruption among politicians in India, especially the waving of bundles of currency notes by MPs in parliament last year, which has caused a dent in India’s image. Also, Politicians have been found amassing huge wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income. Due to this, the Indian citizens are also reluctant to pay their due taxes, hence percolating corruption to lower levels of society. Eventually, this leads to the suffering of the poorest people who are affected by the lack of development in the country. Anupama Jha, the executive director of Transparency International India, said ranking it was a matter of concern for the nation as the global corruption perception was badly affecting foreign investment in the country.
Corruption in PoliticsThe extensive role of the Indian state in providing services and promoting economic development has always created the opportunity for using public resources for private benefit. As government regulation of business was extended in the 1960s and corporate donations were banned in 1969, trading economic favors for under-the-table contributions to political parties became an increasingly widespread political practice. During the 1980s and 1990s, corruption became associated with the occupants of the highest echelons of India's political system. Rajiv Gandhi's government was rocked by scandals, as was the government of P.V. Narasimha Rao. Politicians have become so closely identified with corruption in the public eye that a Times of India poll of 1,554 adults in six metropolitan cities found that 98 percent of the public is convinced that politicians and ministers are corrupt, with 85 percent observing that corruption is on the increase. The prominence of political corruption in India in the 1990s is hardly unique to India. Other countries also have experienced corruption that has rocked their political systems. What is remarkable about India is the persistent anti-incumbent sentiment among its electorate. Since Indira's victory in her 1971 "garibi hatao " election, only one ruling party has been reelected to power in the central government. In an important sense, the exception proves the rule because the Congress (I) won reelection in 1984 in no small measure because the electorate saw in Rajiv Gandhi a "Mr. Clean" who would lead a new generation of politicians in cleansing the political system. Antiincumbent sentiment is just as strong at the state level, where the ruling parties of all political persuasions in India's major states lost eleven of thirteen legislative assembly elections held from 1991 through spring 1995. And
few governments which has done very good for their states like Bihar and Andhra Pradesh have done excellent in parliament election in 2009 election. Still India has most number of MPs, MLAs, and ministers with criminal record.
Major Corruption Scandals in India
Bombay Stock Exchange Manipulation & Fraud by Harshad Mehta (1992) In April 1992, the Indian stock market crashed, and Harshad Mehta, the person who was all along considered as the architect of the Bull Run was blamed for the crash. It transpired that he had manipulated the Indian banking systems to siphon off the funds from the banking system, and used the liquidity to build large positions in a select group of stocks. When the scam broke out, he was called upon by the banks and the financial institutions to return the funds, which in turn set into motion a chain reaction, necessitating liquidating and exiting from the positions which he had built in various stocks. The panic reaction ensued, and the stock market reacted and crashed within days. He was arrested on June 5, 1992 for his role in the scam. Fodder Scam in Bihar (1996) The Fodder Scam was a corruption scandal that involved the alleged embezzlement of about Rs. 950 crore (US$ 195.7 million) from the government treasury of the Indian state of Bihar. The alleged theft spanned many years, was engaged in by many Bihar state government administrative and elected officials across multiple administrations (run by opposing political parties), and involved the fabrication of "vast herds of fictitious livestock" for which fodder, medicines and animal husbandry equipment was supposedly procured. The Jessica Lall murder case (1999) Jessica Lall (1965-1999) was a model in New Delhi, who was working as a celebrity barmaid at a crowded socialite party when she was shot dead on April 29, 1999. Dozens of witnesses pointed to Siddharth Vashisht, a.k.a. Manu Sharma, the son of Venod Sharma, a wealthy Congress politician in Haryana, as the murderer. In the ensuing trial over seven years, Manu Sharma and a number of others were acquitted on February 21, 2006. Following intense media and public pressure, the prosecution appealed and the Delhi High Court conducted proceedings on a fast track with daily hearings over 25 days. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on December 20, 2006. Tehelka Scandal (2001) In 2001 a stunning exposé by a New Delhi news portal claimed the jobs of India’s defence minister, senior party functionaries of the ruling coalition, and at least five high-ranking members of the armed forces. The exposé, which appeared in March on Tehelka.com, included videotapes showing senior government officials accepting money in exchange for defence contracts.
Telgi scandal (2003) Telgi had appointed 300 people as agents who sold the fakes to bulk purchasers, including banks, FIs, insurance companies, and share-broking firms. His monthly profits have been estimated as being in the neighborhood of Rs 202 crore (slightly more than US $40 million). The Telgi case brought corruption in the Karnataka police force to light, causing a national scandal in India. On 17 January 2006, Telgi and several associates were sentenced to ten years' rigorous imprisonment. The Cash-for-votes scandal (2008) Notes-for-vote or cash-for-votes scandal is an alleged scandal in which the United Progressive Alliance, the majority-holding parliamentary-party alliance of India, openly bribed Indian MPs in cash or currency-notes to the tune of multi-millions to survive its very first confidence vote on 22 July 2008 in the Lok Sabha after the Communist Party of India led Left Front withdrew support from the government over India approaching the IAEA for Indo-US nuclear deal. The Satyam Scandal (2009) On 7 January 2009, company Chairman Ramalinga Raju resigned after notifying board members and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) that Satyam's accounts had been falsified. Raju confessed that Satyam's balance sheet of 30 September 2008 contained inflated figures for cash and bank balances, an accrued interest of Rs. 376 crore (US$ 77.46 million) which was non-existent, an overstated debtors' position and an understated liability of Rs. 1,230 crore (US$ 253.38 million) on account of funds was arranged by himself. Satyam's shares fell to 11.50 rupees on 10 January 2009, their lowest level since March 1998, compared to a high of 544 rupees in 2008.
Shame the corrupt with Rs.0!
When “Corruption in India” is mentioned the only aspect that comes to mind is the action to be taken to minimize its level if not to completely eliminate its existence in years to come. Once such measure that was floated a while back by Fifth Pillar India, a Chennai based organization that battles corruption, seemed a great way of reducing corruption nationwide which was achieved by the printing of Rs.0 notes as shown below.
The Rs.0 note is similar to Rs.1000 note, complete with the bust of Mahatma Gandhi while the seal on the bill mentions “This is not a currency note”. The reserve bank of India legend gives way to the slogan “Eliminate Corruption At All Levels”. The Rs.0 note also includes a stirring resolve; “I promise neither to accept bribe nor to give bribe”. The movement was called “Freedom from Corruption” which was launched in 30 districts of Tamil Nadu. The response was excellent and two instances communicate the impact most effectively 1. When Mr. Vijayanand, a software engineer based in US who spend several months each year in India used the note with some custom officials at an airport, it seemed that they were delaying his baggage and demanding a bribe. When he offered them the Rs.0 note they smiled and let him go 2. A 70-year old Chennai woman, who had spent 6 years trying to land patta documents from the municipal authorities, issued the note and received the document within 30 minutes. But with India being a democracy where the power to run day to day activities lie at the mercy of those holding the positions of President, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of this country and Chief Ministers of the states, they should have the wisdom to realise the potential dangers facing this corrupt ridden Indian society. They should not remain as small people who would compromise with the aspects of good governance for the sake of remaining in power for a few days more.
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