INDIA MARCHING ON AMIDST CORRUPTION
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
India is a great country. It is proud of its liberal culture where the whole world is treated as a family. Inscribed in bold letters in Dev Nagari on the main entrance gate of the central hall of the Indian Parliament, Sansad Bhawan, the sloka from Upanishad runs like this:
“Ayam Nija Parovaiti, Ganana Laghu Chetsam,
Udar Charitanam Tu Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam”
A free rendering into English enlightens the reader: This is mine, that is yours; this calculation is done by the narrow-minded persons; the liberal minded men and women treat the inhabitants of planet Earth as members of One Family.
What a liberal philosophy is enshrined therein! Indeed what a fall my countrymen; the descendants of those Aryans now quarrel over loaves and fishes laying false claims over person and property not belonging to them. Isn’t it a kind of daylight robbery that goes unpunished. The descendants of Aryans entertaining noble thoughts are now prone to buy members of parliament to save a tottering government. The cheating and trading horses on the floor of the Lok Sabha is hailed as a victory hammered out of democratic necessity. If this infringement is cited in a court of law, the apex court throws up its hands in despair shedding tears on its inability to intrude into the domain of Legislature. The Constitution of India accords equal status to Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary forbidding them from interfering into procedures and practices of other domains unless there is a violation of the provisions of the Constitution.
IS INDIA GROWING?
It is a million dollar question that defies an answer in the normal sense. Nevertheless if growth refers to an increase in population, an increase in black money stashed in foreign banks that are tax havens, an increase in crime rate including sexual offences, offences against women, law breakers going scot free in increasing numbers, increase in number of dissolution of marriages and couples suing for divorce at the drop of a hat, the number of fratricidal cases in the army going up by leaps and bounds, increase in corruption cases where government ministers make money under the table and so on, one may safely comment on the proposition and record his vote among the Ayes.
However, if an analyst analyses it in a cool manner, one is bound to return a verdict in the negative and say that our country, India that is Bharat is not progressing, not growing but for every pace taken forward, two are taken backwards. Why is it so? Let us fathom the depth and churn the ocean for Amrit, never mind the Poison or Vish that will accompany the Nectar.
The real growth of a nation is measured with the state of people. Is an average man, an average woman, not forgetting the child Healthy and Happy. Does Rule of Law prevail? Are people earning their bread by the sweat of the brow? Is the happy married life instrumental in begetting children – the progeny that would carry forward the vibrant culture handed down from generation to generation? If the answer is YES, India indeed is registering growth. The other angle is the Economic angle and it deserves to be noticed too.
NEED, NOT GREED
“ Mother Earth provides enough to satisfy everyman’s need but Not everyman’s greed” – Mahatma Gandhi. One may surmise that those who work hard will not go to bed hungry. However, if one covets wealth of others, he will remain dissatisfied for his entire life. Satisfaction of any kind will keep him at arm’s length. In the Vedic Philosophy one may draw inspiration from the theory of KARM AND KARMPHAL. One must act and then garner fruits of one’s labour. As you sow, so must you reap.
Many a time people raise a question that there are men and women who work hard but the hard work is not rewarded. Well, in that case there is something wrong with the system. The system needs to be changed and only you and I have to strive to change it. VYAVASTHA PARIVARTAN is the name of the game and play we must. In our Bharat, poverty has been the curse of the nation. What is the basic reason of our poverty? The Economists of repute say that India has been recording Growth despite the downward trend in the economies of many countries. The Economic Depression is a global phenomenon. Nevertheless, it is our sacred duty to examine the salient features of our growth being hamstrung preventing equilibrium in distribution of wealth generated. Some of the glaring impediments are listed hereunder:
What is corruption? Corruption is the abuse of Entrusted Power for private gain. It hurts everyone who depends on the Integrity of People in a position of Authority. Corruption is rampant in India because one cannot get a job done unless one greases the palm of officials who are actually paid by the government to do that job. Formerly, one was required to pay a bribe to get an illegal job done. Now corruption is so rampant that a citizen has to pay some slush money even to get a legal work done. What a shame!
There is no avenue where one can appeal against the corrupt officials because the appellate authority is more corrupt than the local authority. “Mantri se sentry tak sabhi rishvat lete hain” – so said a cycle rickshaw puller. No wonder the Indian government is unable to banish the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Corruption is the root cause of poverty of people. The food grain and other essential commodities meant for public distribution centre for the poor people are surreptitiously sold in the open market and money pocketed by the corrupt officials illegally.
Senior ministers of the central government and state governments are role models for the corrupt bureaucracy, criminals and the police in their campaign to plunder the country. These new Avatars of Rakshasas of olden days are ever ready to do anything for monetary consideration. Railgate, coalgate, 2G, defence deals etc are just a few examples. It needs no underscoring that the slush money is shared by one and all in the chain of command.
HOW CAN INDIA THAT IS BHARAT GROW WHEN THE CORRUPT PUBLIC SERVANTS ARE GROWING ?
When India was ruled from London, the ICS officers were called Sahibs and were by and large white Englishmen. When India gained independence, the White Sahibs were replaced by the Brown Sahibs, the Constitution of India replaced the Government of India Act 1935, and nothing changed for the poor man in rural corners substantially. Prime Minister, Chief Ministers, Ministers are now addressed as Sahibs and live in luxury at the expense of poor citizens. The Public Servants are not servants of the people but rulers of their respective domain with more money and privileges than those of the Maharajahs of yesteryears.
VANISHING RULE OF LAW
It was customary to ingrain into the top brass of both the civil and the military that a civilized society is run by the Rule of Law. The age old maxim taken from the Roman Jurisprudence is:
“ Howsoever high you may ever be; the LAW IS ABOVE YOU.”
The concept enshrined therein is disappearing. Now a politician or a bureaucrat or a uniformed officer breaks the Law, goes scot free and impresses one and all to show that he is above law. One wonders whether India’s growth is a feasibility when law of the jungle prevails, when there is no level playfield for entrepreneurs and when economic criminals are free to walk out of CBI interrogation cell and walk into 10, Janpath at will. On top of that the illegal money made by Quatrochi, an Italian arms dealer in the Bofors deal, and impounded, is released to him under orders of government of India and no one cries foul. The ever vigilant Media falls silent under the lure of the Paid News, so who will raise the question that all is Not well with the governance of India.
Has any influential but corrupt minister been sent to the gallows after a verdict of a court of law in any of the myriad cases of plunder of public money? To my knowledge, NONE. Suresh Kalmadi, Pawan Bansal, Shibu Soren and their cohorts are there in the national capital merrily enjoying the sumptuous meal served under the eyes of Sonia Gandhi at 10, Janpath. Shibu Soren, nicknamed Guruji, got away with murder of his own personal secretary Jha because the latter was insistent on sharing the slush money paid for saving the tottering government on the floor of the Lok Sabha. Madhu koda, former Chief minister of Jharkhand had crossed the Lakshman Rekha in cheating the exchequer of public money and putting it to personal use and was per force put behind bars. Lalu Prasad, the political clown made millions by stealing the fodder of cattle and embezzling public money from his own treasury, was sentenced to five years in prison. However, he is out on bail and campaigning for his party for the ensuing elections in April-May 2014. Isnt it a mockery of the criminal law?
If honest hard work is the Mantra for eradicating Poverty, corruption is the tantra for perpetuating it.
LACK OF POLITICAL WILL
Is the mushrooming growth of anti-national Madarsas being curbed? No, Not at all.
Is the rising population being controlled by rightful means and methods? No, because the vote bank politics comes in the way.
Are the government schools promoting patriotism? No, the party in power may lose votes of its hard core supporters. Thus, saving the party government is more important than saving the country.
COMPARISON WITH CHINA
Of all neighbouring countries, let us choose China for a comparison and contrast with India in the fields of money matters and military might. India became independent on 15 August 1947 whereas the People’s Republic of China came into being on 1 October 1949. The former ousted the British from power and the latter ousted the Chiang Kai-shek government of their Nationalist party. Both India and China were poor, mismanaged and groaned under corruption of foreigners in collusion with the locals. The situation in both the countries needs an appraisal to-day in 2014.
India is making an endeavour to stand shoulder to shoulder with the developed countries but has not succeeded so far. The civilized countries have not labeled us as barbarians but have pointed out that the Rule of Law is conspicuous by its absence. India ranks among the most corrupt countries of the world and we have Pakistan for company. It is no achievement that the Congress party that has been ruling or misruling India for over six decades.
Some leaders may have taken steps to improve the situation monetarily and militarily. However, for every step taken forward, the corrupt pull it back two steps. It still is called a developing country with poverty writ large in villages and ghettos in the urban India.The basic necessities like drinking water, electricity, roads and means of communication are just not available to the poor people.
China is a member of the elite club of the developed countries and holds sway both economically and militarily. Now China competes with the United States of America and may surpass the latter in a decade or so. China’s economy is so strong that it gives loan to the giant enterprises of America and the US government. The Chinese exports have flooded the American markets, never mind the quality. It is the low price that attracts American buyers in the retail market. Let us leave America out of our discussion for the present and compare the Chinese military prowess with that of India’s. In 1962, India had suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of China and India does not wish the history to repeat itself. Indeed the military might of India has improved by leaps and bounds but China is still far ahead of us. The statistics speak for themselves.
1,32,5000 Armed Forces 2,285,000
568 Battle Tanks 2800
15 Submarines 60
784 Fighter Jets 1669.
0 ICBM Launchers 66
2 AWACS 14
The figures are dated 2010. Not much difference in figures now because China is still far ahead. A fact to be noted is that China has designed, manufactured and launched a missile at sea called Aircraft Carrier breaker and named in Chinese DUNG FENG 10. The American Admirals have been losing sleep since its launch and subsequent appraisal.
When the Chinese government held a massive military parade to celebrate the diamond jubilee of founding of the Communist party and the Peopl’s Liberation Army, their display of military hardware drew admiration across the seven seas. The Chinese commentator said with national pride that all aircraft, tanks, ships and subs under the Chinese flag were designed and manufactured in China. Indeed they compared favourably with the best in the developed countries. I have been doing running commentary on the Republic Day Parades for the last 41 years without a break and I could never have the same pride in our military hardware because 70 percent components are imported from developed countries.
India has to have a political will to be a super power economically and militarily. Corruption has to be given a farewell for good with a warning not to return. The People of India have to make up their mind not to support the enemies of the Nation both internal and external.
India has a long march ahead before it can rival China’s military muscle backed by economic resurgence and People’s support. The modern war is not fought by military alone but by the country as such. Let us move forward shoulder to shoulder and make Bharat economically prosperous and militarily a force to reckon with. The Ved mantra exhorts us to walk together, speak in one language, that is of unity and think like a unified nation moving forward on the Path of Progress.
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