Yes to Empowerment – No to Diktats

“If large-scale corruption is detected in any municipality, the government will not hesitate to initiate severe action, including dissolving the elected body. Public representatives are mistaken if they think they can fleece the people and remain indifferent to their problems” – this is a report of CM’s outburst carried in a newspaper. The CM was understandably annoyed on seeing garbage strewn all over the place on his surprise visit to Rajendra Nagar. He hauled up both the municipal chairman and the Municipal commissioner.

Institutions are the Key; Not Culture

No. Corruption is not a cultural or genetic problem. There is no special predisposition to corrupt behaviour in our society any more than in any other culture. Ordinary Indians are as decent and honest as people anywhere in the world throughout the ages. A reputed global magazine conducted a survey of levels of integrity in several nations by dropping at several public places equivalent sums of money (in purchasing power terms) in small packets containing addresses. About 85 percent of Indians – mostly the poor, hard-working labourers-returned the money to the addressee!

Where Fraud is Fashionable!

One of the key reasons for industrial stagnation in AP is the general perception of investors and bankers that many promoters and owners of companies in the state are dishonest. This image is truly unfortunate because we do have some outstanding entrepreneurs who adhere to ethical norms and adopt internationally accepted business and accounting standards. But the truth is far more have cheated the investing public, financial agencies, and the government.

Practical Measures to Combat Corruption

align="left">The State Cabinet announced a series of legislative initiatives aimed at combating corruption. The three Bills under consideration are the AP Performance Accountability Bill, Corrupt Public Servants Forfeiture of Properties Bill and AP Transparency in Public Procurement Bill.

Why do we pay?

The recent headline declaring that Indians pay nearly 27000 crores bribes each year has caught the attention of quite a few readers. While many are aghast at the quantum, some shrugged their shoulders in smug awareness of the rotten people in government, and others humbly admitted that unless we the people change there is no salvation for India.

Corruption in Civil Services

The Civil Servants thought of themselves as Guardians, in the Platonic sense : “ All who are in any place of command in so far as they are indeed rulers, neither consider nor enjoin their own interest but that of the subjects on behalf of whom they exercise their craft….” (Republic)


Philip Woodruff : The Guardians


Doing a Good Job vs Keeping the Job

Like the summer heat of India, bribery is something which most of us have come to accept as part of being Indian. And just as in the case of the weather, many of us talk at length but do nothing about it because we think that it is a doomed fight anyway. We haven’t even given it a try. And what is worse, for every one person making that extra effort, there are hundreds actively discouraging from the sidelines. Every one of us should shun the company of such cynics with as much dread and aversion as we would a plague. Show me a single cynical achiever!

This Hide-and-seek is not a Game

Our print and electronic media regularly saturate us with news about a rather well-known fugitive and how he manages to keep himself outside the grasp of our police.  Everyone - including his family, his ‘fans’ and supporters and even friends from the media - seems to know where he is hiding.  Except, of course, the law enforcement agencies.  He is seen everywhere.  But then he is found nowhere.   He manages to meet people publicly, conduct business openly and even gets directly in touch with VIPs and VVIPs.

The Time for Cleaner Politics has Come

Last month, the Election Commission (EC) sent a ‘roadmap’ of proposals to the Prime Minister, aimed at cleaning up the stains of corruption and criminalization from the electoral process.  Apparently, the EC hopes to bring at least some proposals into practice, before the Maharashtra elections are held later this year.  These efforts could prove to be the first steps towards cleaner, better and more genuine politics.

Market for Public Office

According to news reports, two young men of Mumbai, both scions of political families, have purchased a 6-acre property of Kohinoor Mills in a competitive bidding process at an astronomical price of Rs 421crore. Given Mumbai’s skyrocketing real estate prices, this may well be a reasonable investment. And in a market economy, it is no sin to be wealthy. As Deng Hsiao Ping said, it is glorious to be rich.