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Cancer called corruption

10 Dec. 2016 12:33 AM IST

Nagaland Governor P.B.Acharya has highlighted the significance of December 9 which is International Anti-Corruption Day which is in lieu of the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on October 31,2003. The Convention had stated that the UN was “concerned about the seriousness of problems and threats posed by corruption to the stability and security of societies, undermining the institutions and values of democracy, ethical values and justice and jeopardizing sustainable development and the rule of law”. The UN convention had estimated that every year, Rs. 65 lakh crore is paid in bribes while an estimated Rs.170 lakh crore was stolen annually through corruption which is a sum that is equivalent to more than 5% of the global GDP. Further according to UNDP, in developing countries, funds lost due to corruption is estimated to be ten(10) times the amount of official development assistance. Corruption exists everywhere but there is marked difference in the level and magnitude. India is ranked 126th among 180 nations in a UN-human development index survey; slightly ahead of Pakistan and far behind China (which is 81st rank). Each year, some scam or the other surfaces in India and interestingly, top politicians have never been sent to prison and which sends the message that the arm of the Indian law is too short. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has made a big splash against corruption but has fallen short of fulfilling its pledge except as to name and shame. Unfortunately, corrupt politicians don’t care much for being named. However, Nagaland, like few of the states where corruption of the worst magnitude plagues the entire strata of society; the issue of tackling corruption has not translated into impartial investigation and prosecution. Those organizations that seemto have made themselves prominent by raising the issue have ignored that cardinal principle that corruption is as worse as violation of human rights. Corruption exists in some form or the other with individuals. Left unchecked, corruption, like cancer spreads and destroys society at all levels. The tenets of any religion is to inculcate moral and ethical values as primary requirement of obedience to God. Individual corruption is the cause of institutionalized corruption, the latter being the most dangerous and deadly. Today, institutionalized corruption has become so deep rooted in the government that people have become insensitive to it. In fact, corruption is no longer considered a crime but most unfortunately, an achievement. Instead of treating the corrupt of society as pariah, people instead run after them and place them on a pedestal for the sake of monetary gain. This condition is best exemplified by a word called asociality- a moral abyss afflicting contemporary society that leads ordinary people to believe that there is a price tag for everything as those in power have purchased the mandate to serve personal, family or community needs above all. Government servants in Nagaland, especially the bureaucrats, are considered to be among the richest in the state. This amplifies the practical meaning of “serving the public” being turned into serving one’s interest. The vicious circle gets enlarged during elections which has to be the starting point where the battle against corruption has to be fought. The silence of the “religious leaders” of the church against cash for vote scam, anti social and criminal acts is deafening.

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