30 May 2016
Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index ranks India 76th out of 168 countries. There is nothing surprising about this ranking. Ever since independence India has been ruled by corruption than by politicians. Top level of the successive governments was corrupt and therefore was unable or unwilling to check the rampant corruption in the public sector.
While a third of the population of India lives below poverty line the upper and upper middle class enjoy a relatively luxury life.  A big part of their income is derived from corruption.
From time to time a few of the corruption cases come to light. More often the perpetrators are able to hide their wealth and their crime by clever means.
Here are some of the major corruption scams that came to light:
1) Indian Coal Allocation Scam – 2012 – US$28 Billion
2) 2G Spectrum Scam – 2008 – US$ 26 Billion
3) Wakf Board Land Scam – 2012 – US$ 30 Billion
4) Commonwealth Games Scam – 2010 – 10.5 Billion
5) Telgi Scam – 2002 – US$ 3 Billion
6) Bofors Scam – 1980s & 90s – US$ 30 Million
7) The Fodder Scam – 1990s – US$ 150 Million
8) Saradha Group financial scandal 2013 US$ 6 Billion
9) Abhishek Verma arms deals scandal – 2012 US$ 12 Billion
Prime Minister Narendra Modi while celebrating the second anniversary of his government, vowed to root out corruption and make life easier for the people who have been “looted” for years. He said yesterday that about US$ 5.4 biillion a year is saved by plugging in various loop holes in the programmed implemented by the government to help the poor. He noted that by eliminating fake beneficiaries of LPG subsidies the government was able to save US$ 2.2 billion. He vowed to fight against corruption during his remaining teure of 3 years. It would be a big srep in the right direction if he passes the Lokpal Bill during his tenure, even if it falls short of people’s expectation.
PM Modi is personally not corrupt. We cannot say that all BJP politicians are clean.
Anti-corruption movement was started by several people – Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Shazia Ilmi, Aruna Roy and Baba Ramdev – to name a few. The ant-corruption movement played an important role in arousing public awareness of the harms of corruption. An important milestone in the anti-corruption movement in India is the assumption of power by Arvind Kejriwal as Chief Minister of Delhi.
Establishment of anti-corruption agencies such as Central Bureau of Investigations, Central Vigilance Commission is playing an important role in checking corruption. There is more that needs to be done by these agencies. Pending Lokpal Bill will be another milestone in the anti-corruption history.
Prominent politicians like Jayalalitha the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu have been sentenced to jail. There are many other political leaders who were sentenced jail term for corruption – Lalu Prasad Yadav, Kanimozhi, A. Raja, Om Prakash Chautala, Sukh Ram, to name a few. This shows that there are still some honest people in the judiciary.
India has come a long way but has a longer road ahead to cross. India will never be free of corruption. But corruption will diminish in the future as the path set by Modi is not returnable.