Corruption in India v/s Gandhian ANNA- Part 2

This post is No.2 in a 3 part series:

Read Part 1

Scenario in India (Major Scams so far)

The problem of corruption in India is so deep rooted that sometimes it becomes difficult to even identify when and where one gets involved in it. Below examples of mammoth corruption incidents in the recent years are sufficient enough to aggrieve an Indian patriot:

  • 2G-Spectrum Scam (Rs. 1.7 lakh crore)[1]: Telecom companies were offered 2G spectrum band at nominal charges within a few minutes by A. Raja – the then telecom minister of India. This resulted in a huge loss of revenue amounting to lakhs of crores of rupees to the government.
  • Cash for Vote Scam (Rs. 50 crore to Rs. 60 crore)[2]: It was alleged that the ruling party bribed members of parliament in order to survive a confidence vote in the year 2008.
  • 11th Commonwealth Games Scam[3] (Rs. 8000 crore)[4]: The games ran into controversies when Indian media covered various game venues where the work had been running with snail’s pace and the quality was poor. Such irregularities were shown as breaking news in the electronic media and as front page headline in the national newspapers which attracted immediate attention of government officials. Later, doubts were also raised on the unexpected increase in the budget of the games within a small period of time and Prime Minister had to intervene to make sure that the preparations get completed in time. Finally, a performance audit done by the CAG who found numerous irregularities like manipulation of prices, contracts with incompetent companies, unnecessary delays causing effect of inflation, use of poor quality material, over and above payments for products and services consumed etc.

Above are the examples to name a few. These depict the intensity of unjust competition prevailing in the country causing opportunity cost to those companies which are capable of doing a job but couldn’t get chance because of nepotism. Mention of corruption in the speech of the Indian Prime Minister while addressing people of India on Independence Day again evidences that the problem is far more serious than that of any other country.[5]

Many Bollywood movies like “Lage Raho Munna Bhai”, “Chala Mussadi Office Office”, “Corporate”, “Aarakshan”, etc., have already outlined the various aspects of the issue. Even advertisements like that of tata tea with slogan “jaago re” are constantly spreading awareness among the youth to bring a change in the system.

Present system to deal with Corruption

From the point of view of law, there are mainly two acts at present in India which shoulder the responsibility of exposing unfair practices going on in a concerned organization. One is Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988[6] and the other is Right to Information Acts 2005.[7]

Plenty of regulatory and surveillance authorities like ACB[8], CVC[9], CAG[10], CBI[11], ICAI[12], Income tax department[13], Central Board of Excise and Customs[14] etc., have been working as either an independent body or a government body. Unfortunately, independent authorities have not been given the power of arresting a guilty. They are hence toothless. Contrary to this, government agencies are extremely powerful in this regard but are indirectly driven by political interests.

Causes and Effects of Corruption on Young Entrepreneurs and on Economy

With one third of the total population being youth, India is certainly the youngest country in the world[15]. Many of these youngsters are either doing their own business or are on the verge of becoming future entrepreneurs. During this phase they encounter various legal formalities to be met with like filing of proposed name of company for approval of ROC, getting MOA vetted by the ROC and its stamping from superintendent of stamps, AOA, getting company seal, paying registration fee, obtaining PAN and TDS account numbers, following rules of taxation, complying with Shops and Establishment Act, taking care of various laws pertaining to employees etc.[16]

Amid utmost chaos in completing ‘n’ number of formalities, instances of demanding bribery surge. The more a procedure becomes complex and lengthy, the more cases of personal greed are likely to arise. It only furthers the sufferings of a common man. The attitude of compromise and adjustment is probably the first and biggest reason for the same. Weak laws, time consuming judicial procedure, inherent supremacy of politicians and lack of public awareness add fuel to the fire. Existence of such a system in India is a major cause of anger to the next generation.

“Baboos” have become a synonym of corruption for an “aam aadmi” who has to bear heavy fees of “dalals” to make them work on their requests. This black money is exported to tax heaven countries. According to the data provided by the Swiss bank, India has more black money than rest of the world combined. India topping the list with almost $1500 Billion black money.  It’s embarrassing for any country to top the list of black money holders. The money which belongs to the nation and its citizens is stashed in the illegal personal accounts of corrupt politicians, IRS, IPS officers and industrialists. Every year this amount is increasing at a rapid speed but the Indian government seems to be silent over this matter from a very long time. The total black money accounts for 40% of GDP of India, if all the money comes back to India then that could result in huge growth burst for India.[17] What can be a better example of tax appropriation than this? Another surprising fact is that at one end, India ranks at 65th poor country in the world with an alarming global hunger index score of 23.9[18] and at the other end, it ranks 4th with 55 billionaires in the list of countries with highest number of billionaires.[19] This proves that the there is a wide gap in between rich and poor people of the same society. It is both surprising and unfortunate.

Nepotism is yet another form of corruption which hampers job prospects for the right candidates and leads to unhealthy competition. It is also called as favoritism. It is well established in India. Examples of nepotism are visible in politics (Nehru-Gandhi family), in business (Reliance), in arts (Kapoor Family)[20] and in education (management quota). These all gather together to bring India at 87th place in the Transparency International World Corruption Index.[21]

Nevertheless, Mr. Suhas Gopinath who was born in Bangalore, Karnataka, India and launched a web site at the age of 14, and incorporated his company at the age of 14, making him the world’s youngest CEO[22] has set an example for the upcoming entrepreneurs who are willing to make their dreams come true.


Contributed by Manish Gupta(Batch 2010, IBS Jaipur)

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