To Stem The Rot From The Top!
By Maxwell Pereira
all the hue and cry over the sting expose of the cash-for-question
scam, who are we really kidding! Who in this country, let me ask,
did not know that our politicians were/are corrupt? Or believe
that they did not seek their cut for favours rendered! Is it not
that the sting has only succeeded in capturing in black and white
- or should I say 'on camera' - the actual deal/ transaction while
. Confirming thereby what we already knew/ have
then there is this expose that followed - regarding the disbursement
of the MPLAD (Member of Parliament Local Area Development) Fund
- of demands for a share and kickbacks even while allocating/
doling out these funds!
is indeed a landmark that eleven of the MPs caught on camera in
the first scam have been expelled from Parliament. It is to be
seen what fate awaits those caught in the latter scam. It needed
guts, the likes only ManMohan Singh government could measure up
there is rot, yet! Shockingly, 'midst the wariness that has inevitably
crept in and planted itself in the minds of these worthies - the
thick-skinned lot, it is the message that has gone from party
leaders to their rank and file which is resounding and reverberating!
The warning is to beware of sting operations and of hidden cameras!
..not against corruption or to desist from corrupt practices
- but a clear message "not to get caught!"
been act throughout, not to get caught! The result? After nigh
sixty years since Independence, not a single public utility service
in the country is functional. To be nudged out of its harassingly
frustrating dysfunctional mode and made grudgingly functional
of course, only at a premium, not without string pulling or through
pressure from higher quarters, and mostly when palms are suitably
so, every public office is sought today, for its potential to
fleece. For the lucrative value of the position. And this statement
comes from the pen not of someone from the aggrieved common lot,
but from one who survived the system for the span of his whole
serving career! Someone who took pains throughout, to defend the
establishment and project its positive side. To fly the flag,
however tiny a drop in the ocean, the crusading contribution of
an individual tends to be or is deemed to be!
is that in this country no one can get anything done without knowing
someone in authority, someone in government! From buying tickets
to a cinema show or a railway ticket! Why it is that senior citizens
and the retired lot need help even to have their normal bills
paid in time!
a monthly routine which has assumed proportions
of insurmountable tasks and literally an ordeal.
Why is it that the executive in the country has become totally
shackled and impotent to deliver
? And people have to resort
to the legal set up to get things done. Why is it necessary that
the judiciary be forced to take on an 'activist' role to enforce
norms, rules and laws which otherwise should have been enforced
by the agencies responsible! It is all very nice to blame the
judiciary for the vast pendency of cases, or for overstepping
their role straying into the domain of the executive and at times
even the legislature, but is it not true that the executive themselves
with their own inefficiency, lethargy, indifference, and many
a times downright connivance and collusion with violators, who
are the cause for such judicial interventions?
the matter of the demolitions: How easy it is for the beneficiaries
of the illegal constructions to question and point fingers now,
asking what were the authorities doing when construction was on!
Does that nullify their illegal act?
and the fact that they
are the beneficiaries through corrupt practices of bribing the
engineers or the police! That having been said, why is it that
there is no accountability for those functionaries of the departments
concerned! How is it that with whatever intervention of the courts
or raids on officials for disproportionate assets, that we are
unable to make any dent in the prevailing malpractice or the growing
menace of civic disorder.
have been a contributor to the police stand on illegal constructions,
that the land-owning authority alone is responsible for protecting
government land from encroachment, and that the civic authorities
who have to enforce the construction bye-laws alone are responsible
for unauthorised and illegal construction activity. Even so, I
am also of the firm belief that no illegal activity can prevail
without tacit or active police connivance. Even while knowing
so, it was a conscious decision on the part of the police management
to keep the police totally insulated from construction activities,
because of the very potential for corrupt practices the activity
afforded. Whether there is need for change in this stand, and
to what extent, is still debatable!
moment one opens his/her mouth on such matters, one is bound to
have eyebrows raised, fingers pointed, and accused of indulging
in a "holier than thou stance." And I believe it takes
a lot for anyone to be a "whistle-blower". My salute
to such crusaders for their courage. They may suffer, or not reach
the top, but may still be remembered for the stamp they left.
media has rightly latched on to the 'sting' follow-up in a big
way. The local news pages of dailies are full of pictures and
accounts of illegal construction activities of councillors and
legislators in the Capital. This follow-up should not remain just
a fly-in-the-pan to be replaced by the next sensation that surfaces.
The follow-up should be till the logical end is achieved to cleanse
Right © Maxwell Pereira: 3725 Sec-23, Gurgaon-122002. You
can interact with the author at http://
www.maxwellperira.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
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