TOWARDS CORRUPTION FREE NATION

Isn’t it unfortunate for the largest democracy of the world to have failed in transforming its pre independence system into a vibrant people friendly system that would itself speak of the elimination of the miseries of the common man? It is an acknowledged fact that India has failed to bring in transparency to the expected proportion in the system followed by this nation due to the vested interest of those in power in different sectors. Those politicians at the helm of affairs in governance during the previous regimes being neck deep involved in the multiple scams could least be interested in ensuring transparency. The conviction of various leaders including Lalu Prasad Yadav is enough evidence of the massive loot and plunder resorted to by some disgruntled people from amongst the politicians, the bureaucrats and the private parties. These high profile looters always went scot free due to the inherent loopholes in the system that existed during the British period as a result of which corruption flourished with the passage of time. It was this dismal scenario that led to the unprecedented hunger strike at the iconic Ramlila Maidan by Social activist Anna Hazare in 2011. What an Irony that nearly seven years after his anti-corruption movement caught the imagination of millions of Indians and shook the then UPA government, Anna Hazare had to commence an indefinite hunger strike at the same venue to press for his demand to appoint a Lokpal at the Centre. Hazare has been pressing for setting up of the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the states, besides implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report that suggests ways to address agrarian distress. The laxity on the part of those in governance to promote the measures towards eradicating corruption can be well imagined from the fact that even the Supreme Court today sought explanation within two weeks from chief secretaries of 11 states namely Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh on why they have not appointed Lokayukta and Uplokayukta, despite enactment of the law five years ago. The Apex Court is quite justified in asking the chief secretaries to specify the reasons for not appointing the anti-corruption ombudsman in their respective states despite the law being enacted in 2013.It needs to be realized that today there is a dire need to change the basic rules of administrative system which have not only remained unchanged but have become sacrosanct for those in power right from the Babu level to higher echelons of power. This state of affairs has resulted in bureaucrats especially the financial advisors becoming purse strings with no accountability whatsoever at all. The height of opportunism to make every effort to thwart movement towards transparency was recently witnessed in J&K after the resignation of ace economist and Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu when the new Finance Minister lost no time in reversing Drabu’s revolutionary initiative of adopting PAO system that was aimed at bringing transparency and reduce the scope of corruption in official financial transactions. Now that a public campaign started by Anna Hazare has commenced and is expected to assume massive dimension in the coming days besides the Supreme Court also having taken up the matter of appointment of corruption ombudsman in several states, it is hoped that the Union Govt as well as the lax state governments will initiate efforts at the earliest to address the significant issue of corruption raised by the common people through the social activist Anna Hazare, besides ensuring that Lokayukta and Uplokayukta are appointed in all the states of the nation. This shall undoubtedly go a long way in achieving the target of Corruption Free India.