President Pratibha Patil on the eve of Republic Day cautioned against the rising corruption in the country and dubbed it as a great enemy for the nation. Voicing her concerns on comprehensive insensitiveness and carelessness in public service, she stressed on bringing transparency and accountability in the plannings of public welfare and economic development. As the winter session of the Parliament was washed out, she emphasized on maintaining the Parliamentary system. The idea of the President couldn’t be ignored, but aam adami would love know why the leaders of our country seem unable to check the corruption? Whenever there is a talk of corruption, it is linked with politics. The process of electing the President is swayed by the politics. She must be familiar with the growing corruption in the politics. Like other top brass leaders, she also expressed her apathy over surging corruption, but this does not suffice. This is wrong that our top leaders only worry about the corruption instead of making any concrete efforts to control it. It should be understood that the corruption triggered by politics has taken enormity, which is engulfing the politics.

Our most of the politicians present their plea in a manner that they are quite clean, but such leaders when they take up responsible positions either start tolerating corruption or ignore it. The problem is that some politicians of clean image also are mum over corruption and abetting it. If Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi are included among these leaders, it wouldn’t be hyperbolic. The opposition has been making hue and cry over corruption for some days, but if they are asked that corruption has ended in the states governed by them, they will definitely be at loss for words. On corruption issue, it is difficult to differentiate between the states governed by the ruling and the opposition.

A day before the republic day, the way ADC Yashawnt Sonawane was burnt alive by the oil mafia at Malegan near Nashik, it reflects a dreadful example of corruption. The government has been giving mega subsidy on kerosene oil, which is meant for the poor, but in reality they are not getting any benefit. The oil mafia is mixing kerosene with diesel and minting money to the hilt. In our country, the price of kerosene is three times less in comparison to diesel and that’s why the practice of adulteration of diesel with kerosene is gaining ground. The demand for ending subsidy on kerosene has been raised on every level of the government, but it is beyond understanding that why not the government paying attention to it. The government is also not doing anything to check blackmarketing of the kerosene oil. After the murder of Sonawane, Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy has formulated some formulae to check the adulteration of the oil, but they will be effective after six months and for the time being it is not decided whether they will benefit anyone. If there is no check on the balckmarketing, it means that there is a deliberate bid to swell the wallets of oil mafia. By an estimate, there is a blackmarketing in tune of 8-10 thousand crore every year. This can never be possible for oil mafia to run without political patronage.

This is not the first time when an officer sacrificed his life in taking action against the oil mafia. Earlier an Indian Oil officer was murdered by oil mafia at Lakhimpur Khiri. The reality is that there are many cases of murdering or harassing the persons who raised their voice against the corrupt elements. This happens because they enjoy political mileage. Corruption is thriving due to politicians, but they are ignoring to change the system by giving different logics. Be it a matter of boosting of unauthorized colonies by land mafia or coal mafia or forest mafia, there is no bridle on them. Some times it seems that these mafia have gone beyond the control of the government machinery rather they are running a parallel government. Maoism is also a form of mafia and it is crystal clear how they have captured several parts of the country due to utilization of forest resources. They have become so strong that they ignore the Constitution of our country. Do such Maoists do have links with leaders? Some of the leaders have sympathy with them. Every issue of corruption speaks that the corrupt elements are flourishing with the help of bureaucrats and leaders. Now, corruption is growing in the corporate world too. The 2G spectrum and several other scams are the fallout of the nexus between bureaucrats and leaders.

Lokpal Bill yet to take shape and is said to control corruption will have such shortcomings, where corrupt leaders can easily escape the loop of it, so it is natural that the tainted leaders would get emboldened. The institutions of the country which are responsible for controlling corruption are not only ineffective owing to political interferences but also become puppet in the hand of the ruling dispensation. If the corruption has to be completely rooted out, new methods need to be evolved. As the philosophy of the vote-bank oriented Indian politics has gone hackneyed, it cannot be imagined that our most of the leaders will remove corruption. The politics has become such a profession which cannot be imagined without corruption. In such a situation, there is a need of revolutionary thinking to cleanse the Indian politics, lest controlling corruption is a sort of deceiving the nation. The opposition is equally involved in gaining political mileage and its debate on the issue to control corruption appears false.  

(An original copy of the article published in Hindi on January 30, 2010 translated by the English Editorial)