“Free cheese is always available in mouse traps.”
The Corruption Perception Index is published annually by Transparency Index since 1995, by their perceived level of public sector corruption by expert survey and opinion surveys. This year 180 countries have been ranked in order of their corruption levels; lower the number, lower the level of corruption. With a score of 41, India has secured the 80th position, sharing the rank with China, Benin, Ghana and Morocco. Transparency International states that, “This year’s analysis shows corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well connected individuals.” Unfair and opaque political financing, lobbying by powerful corporate interest groups and bias in decision making, makes it difficult to reduce corruption even in democracies. Only 22 countries have improved in the past 8 years.
India has slipped two places as compared to last year’s ranking. The underlying reason behind the poor performance of India lies in the fact that the working of the public sectors are not transparent and participation of the citizens is minimum thereby increasing the opacity.
A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court, seeking directions to the Centre, states and UTs for setting up an expert committee to suggest steps for improving India’s deteriorating rank on the Global Corruption Perception Index. The plea has been filed on behalf of BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, and seeks the constitution of the committees to look into the good practices of the countries that have secured a good position in the index and are on higher notches than India. The plea has been filed under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution. In his plea, Upadhyay highlights that the injury caused to people is extremely large because corruption is an insidious plague, having a wide range of corrosive effects on the country. He claims that even though India has been independent for 73 years, 50% of the population is still leading a hand to mouth existence, because of the ongoing corruption. He contends that the corruption in India can’t be weeded out without tax reform, police reform, judicial reform, democratic reform, administrative reform and education reform. The petitioner also states that the Court may alternatively direct the Law Commission of India to examine the anti corruption laws of developed countries and suggest steps to weed out corruption, black money generation, benami transactions and money laundering, to improve India’s rank on the Global Corruption Perception Index.
Despite the PIL, I believe, as individuals we must resist temptation and realize that the devil doesn’t come dressed in a cloak with horns, it comes dressed as everything we like and can’t resist and it very often leads to an indefinite trap. In the words of Lord Krishna (Mahabharat), “There are two primary choices in life, to accept conditions as they already exist or accept responsibility for changing them.” It is high time we accept responsibility rather than be the down fall of the nation.
This post and art was by Samiksha Yadav, IInd year.