The Root of Corruption in India
Today, corruption is the top most agenda for debate in India. Almost every politician and media personnel seems to be committed to control it. To eradicate some disease, it is necessary to hit its causative factors. Similarly, in order to control corruption, first we need to decipher its root cause. Let us consider, why there are more corrupt leaders than the honest ones, while people elected them by choice, just a few years ago? Apart from this, many corrupt leaders are re-elected. Why people choose to vote a corrupt candidate for MLA or MP.
The most important factor behind this fallacy is the team of workers behind each candidate contesting election. Let us study the faces of this team which ascertain their candidature and win. It is a known secret that almost every constituency, all over the country, is full of local mafias operating in different fields. For example: land, sand, mine, liquor, education, builders, transport, theater, cables, petrol pumps, nursing homes, govt. contracts, etc. These local dons need the help of politicians and officers to run their legal and illegal businesses. Therefore, most of them have joined one or the other party: if they get ticket, they context election; otherwise, they support the candidate of their choice and prepare their own ground for the future election. Their status varies from local goon to state level mafia.
Often they are from an influential local family, such as Jamindars, politicians, industrialists, doctors or big farmers. They have already earned enough and receiving a lot of easy money regularly by their businesses. That is the reason, they have enough spare money and time to patronize various political and social activities. They move in luxury cars accompanied with several armed guards. They choose to join party politics in order to achieve social status, to run their illegal businesses and seek political power. Many of them are stealing electricity, sand, coal, ores or other local natural resource.
Most of them are connected to many local people and have capacity to oblige them by money, muscle-power, employment, police protection, etc. Many of them belong to the local dominating caste or religion. Their employees, relatives and friends also wish to cooperate with them, considering their money and political power. Thus, most have a capacity to command around one to several thousand voters. They persuade voters in the name of their desired candidate with the help of caste-religion-equation, money, power and blackmails. Furthermore, many of them are so much planned that they have procured hundreds to thousands of fake voter cards with the help of officers. They have several paid workers who caste more votes than their own vote on the fake voter cards.
The battery of several such local mafia and hand full of social workers supporting a candidate is called his team. They begin to support the candidates from the day they wish to procure tickets. As we all know that each party wishes to give ticket to a local popular person who can win. And that is accessed by the magnitude of his team: bigger the team higher the chances of winning. The size of the team is the core ability for a candidate to seek the ticket of even major parties. And that is the reason they do not hesitate to give ticket to a tainted leader supported by a big team, considering his winning power.
Furthermore, the teams of several candidates from adjoining constituencies together manage the election rallies of national level politicians. They persuade, transport and entertain people to attend the rally. Almost no leader in India has potential to persuade one million people to spare one day and reach physically to a rally today. Since, someone honestly fascinated with a particular leader can watch him/her at TV, and in a better view than actual. The team of mafia finance, organize and execute the whole show of most political rallies. They do this to procure the ticket of the party of to oblige the designated candidate of the party.
These mafia work full time during the election month. They organize several public meetings, meet people in person and insist to vote on the basis of caste, religion, fear or greed. They maintain a group of their key assistants and meet with them in the evening daily on drinks; they discuss the tactic to persuade voters. They often call the candidate in the evening gossip and ensure a social status.
They preach the voters of the same caste that they must ensure the prestige of their caste. They persuade the other caste people by different promises such as to resolve a local problem, do pending official work or provide govt. job. They propagate the muscle and official power of the candidate to create terror. They promise police protection to the local criminals and arrange their meeting with the candidate. Furthermore, they depict a great image of the top leadership of the party and explain how that leader can change the destiny of the masses. In short, they use all the gimmicks under the sun to seek the vote.
They do marathon efforts to promote their candidate and ultimately prepare their own ground to contest the next election. These mafias are the major motivators of voters and are either the kings or the king makers today. Thus, these local dons are the core element that influence the election of MLAs and MPs. Obviously, they would not support a moral freak candidate; rather the one who will help them grow their business and status. They have one point silent demand from the candidate to support their illegal business. And that is cutting edge and the vicious cycle. Since the criminals or corrupt are the king makers, we can visualize the honesty of the king. Amazingly, these mafias gain power in the eyes of administration even if their candidate loses, because of their proven nuisance value.
After each election, these mafia again come to their businesses. Their candidates assume the office and begin to oblige their team by his power. In the process, they nourish the corrupt officers and harass the honest ones. After facing the political and criminal blackmails, many honest officers either resort to corruption or escape, to some non-profit posts. Through this process, today most key posts are occupied by corrupt officers. Thus the corruption of bureaucracy finds its roots in the politics. It is evident by the fact that Military and Judiciary are the most honest branches of bureaucracy, since these two branches are not under direct control of politicians.
There is another big problem of Indian democracy: ‘The tendency of a major chunk of voters to vote on the basis of caste, religion, money or on someone’s insistence, without considering the ability and honesty of the candidate.’ One year ago, Justice Markandey Katju rightly asserted that 90 % Indians are idiots, since they cast their votes on the basis of caste or religion. Let us introspect why people vote the person of their caste or religion? There are several reasons such as:
· To seek a sense of security by joining the gang of own caste or religion.
· Assuming that only the MLA or MP of our caste would promote us.
· Insistence of some friend who is convicted to promote his caste or religion.
· Status symbol by propagating the candidate as relative.
· Some previous rivalry with another local dominating caste.
· To strengthen prestige and unity of their caste or religion.
· To oblige a rich relative or friend, who is close to the candidate, and may help in future.
And most voters have more than one of the above factors together. These odd reasons compel voters to ignore the dishonesty and inability of the candidate. In different words, the candidate asking votes in name of caste or religion need not to be honest or possess the ability of social work. During each election campaign, the above reasons are in fact propagated by the candidates and their team. This is the core factor that paves the way for many corrupt leaders to enter into parliament or state assemblies.
Now, after visualizing the cause, we can draft a solution. We have to control the blunder of Indian voters, to vote on the basis of caste, religion or somebody’s persuasion. The most depressing is that almost all political parties have adopted the same old tactic to procure votes and thus power. They often give the tickets to the person who can procure votes on the basis of caste, religion and good team.
If Indians begin to vote on the honesty, ability or devotion for social work, and nothing else, the whole system would change in the assemblies or parliament. We must take this for granted that existing leaders would never initiate such a change. Only voters can change this; they need to recognize and rectify their blunder about the criteria of voting. After one election of honest candidates, most parties would stop giving tickets to their tainted leaders. They would choose to nominate the most honest person of the area as their MLA or MP, in place of the mafia supported candidates. And if politicians are honest, they would not allow any officer to do corruption. They would encourage the honest one and harass the corrupt.
The eradication of the corruption is only possible when voters would begin to vote only honest candidates. Obviously, it is not easy to access the honesty of a person: to begin with, voters may discard at-least the established corrupts.
Recently, the honorable Supreme court set a deadline of one year for lower courts to complete trial of criminal cases of MPs and MLAs. This may come out as a potent weapon against corruption. Since most of the criminal leaders are corrupt as well. Firstly, this is going to create a fear among political parties to refrain from the tainted candidates. Secondly, the elected leaders, due to fear of this law, would think twice before any offense. Thirdly, this is probably unexpected aspect, the candidates with true criminal cases against them would think twice to fight and win the elections. Once they are elected they would be convicted within a year: otherwise, they could have delayed their case to several years.