By Varsha

Our country has born amidst bloodshed, and this immense sacrifice gave us freedom.

Yet, this is not the country that our ancestors had dreamt, and planned for. This is what they did not want to see. Our forefathers wanted a country without barriers, without poverty and finally the great irony, a country without corruption.

The problem of corruption has been widely discussed and debated about. It is a growing problem not only in India but also in many other developing and developed countries. There are many and a varied definition, but the gist of corruption as described by Wikipedia is:

“Corruption is a form of dishonest or unethical conduct by a person, entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit”.

There are many forms of corruption but there are mainly 10 types:

Bribery, Extortion, Cronyism, Nepotism, Parochialism, Patronage, Influence Peddling, Graft and Embezzlement. Each of these types is widely practiced in India.

We have seen very many films and documentaries on corruption. They may seem a bit fantastic, but cinema is a mirror of society. So we see what our society actually is, on cinema.

Unfortunately, almost all of our Indian politicians are corrupt. They stay in office to mainly flaunt their power, and to collect enough money for a minimum of 10 future generations of their family. In addition to that, they harbor private gangs, who provide them extra income by extortion and looting.

I do not deny that we have many honest public servants, but to be really honest, they are very few in number. Usually, they are powerless to do anything, as the power higher than them is generally corrupt. They are hopelessly outnumbered, and hence prefer to keep their convictions to themselves.

Usually it is politicians, but sometimes we have other public servants in the politicians’ pocket. Every single day we hear of one or the other policeman, politician or bureaucrat who has been caught under some scam or foul play. The number is endless, but usually they get away from their crimes, by paying huge amounts to various entities.

Now, let us get to the source of it. India is a fertile land for smugglers, traffickers and other such criminals. They naturally need to have an eye on the political establishments, and law enforcement agencies. Therefore, they plant their people in government offices, thereby festering many other problems such as poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, etc.

There is no end to the topic of corruption and we can write about it infinitely. As a renowned quote explains, “Focus on the solution, not on the problem”, I would like to give a few suggestions to remedy partly, if not fully the problem of corruption. A few of those are:

Vote properly

Voting is a powerful voice of the people. We must elect good and honest leaders, who are above corruption. This is because a leader represents our country, to the world. Our leaders must be elected on the basis of merit, and not on the basis of caste, or religion, as such biases only increase disunity and corruption.

Improve the lot of Government Officials

Most officials are apparently forced to take bribe, due to family circumstances or financial difficulties. Their salary is usually not enough to support their families. They are also forced to accept bribe, or face the threat of losing their job, and source of income. This can be stopped by increasing the salaries, and job security of government employees.

Protection of Officials

Apart from the above, there is also the likelihood of officials suffering physical harm, and in the worst case, losing one’s life. It is a common occurrence, as officials are not given proper protection as they go about their duties. Even police officials are not protected, as most policemen do not even have appropriate weapons, for proper attack and defense. This system must be reformed, officials must be given additional protection, and proper equipment. They may otherwise become mere scapegoats, for crimes they did not commit.

Stricter Judiciary

The police may be given advanced weaponry, and training. But the criminals hire excellent lawyers, who easily get them out of trouble. Also they get bail very easily. This system must be stopped, and the judiciary must be given power, to take more stringent measures against such criminals.

Check on bank accounts

The bank accounts of each and every politician must be thoroughly checked often, to prevent embezzlement of public or government funds. Also an eye must be kept on international banks, to prevent laundering of black money.

Prevention of favouring

Many a times politicians favor their family, in order to strengthen their position in the party, or the government. They give jobs to their children or nephews and nieces, so as to gain a more secure position.

Avoiding influence

Not satisfied at the damage they have already done, the politicians set out to do more. They influence the system into giving jobs for instance, to their cousin’s sister-in-law’s brother-in-law’s cousin’s friend’s son. This has to be controlled, as in democracy there should be no room for such bias, and merit should be of paramount consideration.

Educating the masses

Most of our countrymen are illiterate, and they do not understand that they are paying a bribe. They are conned into thinking, that it is a part of the charges for the procedure. Hence the masses must be educated on corruption and its repercussions.

These are only a few solutions that I have submitted. I have thought of these as a few ways to alleviate corruption, and in turn poverty and other problems. As a future citizen of India I only wish to improve my country. I hope that some day corruption would cease, and we would be the country that one dreamt of. I hope, this dream of mine would come true, and that Truth will Triumph.