Thursday, April 26, 2012


Corruption has robbed democracy from Indians!

Fundamental rights and human rights are two aspects of governance that goes into making the perfect blend for a democracy. On the hindsight, these two may look discreet but for all practical purposes they are the two side of the same coin. Obviously, a country can’t be called democratic if it fails to protect the fundamentals rights of its citizen. On the same lines, a country is said to have a flawed democracy if there is blatant abuse of human rights, in spite of the nation promising all fundamental rights.

The on-going protests against corruption and poor governance in India is nothing but a cry against ongoing abuse of fundamental and human rights. It goes without saying that corruption widens the income gap in the society thus pushing the poorest of the poor at the brink of life. So much so that money get accumulated at one end of the society (the top 20 per cent owns 80 per cent of nation’s wealth) thus marginalising millions who are at the bottom of the pyramid. As corruption leads to discrimination and biased-policy making, most of the promised fundamental rights become baseless. For instance, huge corporate subsidies (in exchange of election funding) leads to increase in social malaise and thus builds upon a criminalised society, which eventually breaks the right to equality and right to life and further takes the shape of human rights abuse in form of child labour, sex trade, extortions, murders and so on and so forth.

Recent incidents of murders of RTI activists are a case in point. The very fact that they were investigation projects that were webbed with corruption, echoes the fact that corruption invariably leads to human right abuse. A couple of months back, two RTI activists named Niyamat Ansari and Mangalaram were killed. Talking about basics of a dignified life, corruption in employment generation programs like NREGA, has led to deaths of millions and have also forced thousands of families to resort to criminal activities (ranging from robbery to child labour to sex trade) for survival. There has been myriad of cases where adulteration in food meant for poor and counterfeit and spurious medicines keeps killing the poor and vulnerable. And not to forget deaths caused by poisonous and adulterated country made liquor, which are almost like an everyday affair. Similarly, stocking of grains and not provisioning the same for the hungry, robs right to food and eventually right to life and right against exploitation.

Interestingly, countries with low corruption (as indicated by Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index) also features as nations who top the Human development Index (HDI measures the quality of life on different social and economical parameters). To comprehend the same, one does not need to browse and scan both these reports and compare India with other nation. A simple Google search is enough. Correlating this correlation, India ranks a pathetic 95 out of 183 countries in CPI and 134 out of 187 countries in HDI, thus hovering at the bottom of the list in both the parameters.

All in all, the tentacles of corruption has not only destroyed the fundamental right and human rights but has actually eroded the very concept of democracy ubiquitously. Tough to tell, whether bad democracy allowed corruption to prevail or was it vice-versa, but surely one lead to another. But whatever it is, what has sustained of all this is a blatant right of abuse of human life!


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