Thursday, September 24, 2009

UPA’s attempt to tame corruption

Though on paper, the Second Five Year Plan (1956-61) had its own merits, in reality the biggest fallout of the same has been the manner in which it institutionalised corruption by controlling every aspect of economic activity. So, of all the predicaments, corruption has shown a notable longevity. All thanks to the chronicle of bribery and corruption along with incessant cascade of anti-corruption promises. Moreover, with the compulsion of coalition politics becoming a reality over the past few years, corruption has not just flourished, but has become a way of life.

Given the background, I found it completely out of place when I learnt that the current UPA government is all set to reverse corruption. It is in fact incredible to learn that through its innovative and landmark anticorruption and democratic measures, the government is making an attempt to arrest this problem. Recently, India’s anti-corruption watchdog – Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) – published names of corrupt officials on their official website. As of now, the CVC has disclosed names of 188 such individuals in three different categories. Last year too, the government went strict on the on-going babuism in government offices and made it is mandatory for all authorities to disclose the content of the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) to the employee, so that the ACR is bereft of any scepticism or any personal nepotism during the appraisal. In extension to its objective and to make sure that every event of corruption gets exposed, the government recently draft ed laws to help whistle-blowers. Going by trend, when it comes to raising one’s voice against the ongoing wrongdoing in various government agencies, the pertinent issue that surfaces is the security and safety of whistle-blowers. In order to mitigate this, the government has finalised the draft Bill of a new law aimed at protecting whistle-blowers on the orders of the Prime Minister. To make the mechanism more effective, the government has made sure that even those who complain against government functionaries would remain anonymous. So much so that the Prime Minister is planning to soon establish 71 new Central Bureau Investigation model courts in order to prevent adjournments of cases. The PM's office came tough on CBI and asked them to go after the ‘big fish’ and not just petty cases. Dr. Manmohan Singh, to make sure that financial constraints do not act as a hurdle to these initiatives, announced his plans to establish a 'National Mission Against Corruption' with a Rs.100 crore corpus.

But among all these anti-corruption initiatives, the clear cut winner is the recent Supreme Court judgment on the declaration of judges’ assets. After a huge hue and cry on greater transparency on judges’ asset (after allegations of corruptions against some judges), the Delhi High Court upheld a Central Information Commission order that judges should declare their assets and the office of the Chief Justice of India would be the public authority to assess those assets.

All these initiatives that actually get overshadowed – along with the women reservation bill, the ongoing austerity drive, asset declaration by politicians and similar other similar policies – are highly commendable as they redefine and reestablish the lost essence of democracy. The current initiatives are in many ways a great step forward; but then, what is actually needed is the pan-India effective implementation of these policies without the enthusiasm getting faded away gradually. For then, this will surely be India’s great leap forward to assertively establish that it would not get submerged in the swamp of corrupt deceit.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. UPA has actually shown..not only are they good at speeches but in showing real teeth . hope they dont loose the momentum gained .

  3. Sir but what about the money which is in the swiss bank???? Government is very hesitant to bring the culprits to justice even after swiss bank has agreed to hand out the names of persons holding an accouint in the swiss banks.