The issue of corruption dominates our minds today more than ever before simply because it saps the vitality of any system, be it a democracy or a dictatorship in a silent but a destructive manner. The fact that we hold a pathetically poor rank in terms of transparency index is known to all hardly needing any further elaboration. It is a a scourge that most of the developing countries is afflicted with. The massive government spending has spawned a selfish class of bureaucrats and bribing people and their unholy alliance is costing the nation dearly. Corruption and corrupt practices take on various ingenious forms and methods. They are as inventive as our best scientists, to operate in a manner which our investigation agencies find most difficult to unearth. There are occasional reports of corruption scandals dealing with frauds and embezzlement of public money by these people followed by arrest. But how many get eventually convicted? If we are to eradicate this deadly menace, there has to be greater show of national will and purposeful action in this regard.

 

In India since the commencement of the Planning era, the government has been allocating and spending huge amount of money on various developmental projects aiming at improvement of the economic and social infrastructure of the backward regions of the country. But a substantial chunk of the funds finds their way into lining the pockets of a rentier section who come in between the government and the intended beneficiary. You have corrupt babus who float tenders and work orders with the sole ulterior motive of benefiting from this unethical act by engaging his favorite men as contractors who either execute them poorly or not executing them at all. The false work completion is prepared and bill is produced with the full knowledge of these bureaucrats and the spoils are shared. But there are honest people who brave all odds to change the corrupt system but their fate is too cruel to encourage others to be proactive. Do you remember late Satyendra Dubey?

 

He was a young bright civil engineer from IIT Kharagpur and joined National Highway Authority of India which was executing Golden Quadrilateral Project and this young had to pay the price with his life for trying to be a whistle-blower. On unearthing rampant corruption in the section he was posted he tried to draw the attention of the then Prime Minister's Office and mandarins of the PMO circulated the file containing his letter and his voice was effectively silenced when he was brutally murdered. That was the fate of an honest official in Independent India!


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