By Abid Ahmad Shah
The world of today is beset with a majority of problems, out of which corruption forms a unique case in itself. It is not a divine covenant or accidental problem, but a canker generated in the system out of the human intervention under the garb of power. It has over the course of time manifested into a global problem. Corruption is a widespread phenomenon over the world that has assumed the shape of a perpetuating institution through the unholy nexus of corrupted persons in the world.
Corruption is a Problem in perpetuity of enormous magnitude. Kashmir which was once an abode of high morality and ethical standards is unfortunately driving towards a state of moral waywardness under the garb of which those in power misuse their authority for their selfish gains and put a common man in a state of despair and official apathy.
CMS India Corruption Study 2017 places Jammu and Kashmir as most corrupt among twenty surveyed states in India. The \unearthening of the KVIB and CET scams in the past or likewise scams in the past in J&K UT created ruckus among the intellectual class in particular and common people in general about the faulty system of working in our state and created a sentimental and emotional current of powerlessness of the masses of the democracy . It is all about the looseness of our law and administrative system which have generated a feeling of mistrust among the common masses and given inner strength to the culprits to exploit the people, even downtrodden and poor under the false sensuality of power. Not a single department of the government is free and devoid of this problem.
The problem can be in the form of administrative corruption, medical corruption, educational corruption, buearacratic corruption, revenue corruption, tax evasion, other corruption, etc. making our social fabric woven under the corruption culture.
Corruption is a major challenge for all the nation states of the world, whether big or small. Over the world, there is today a greater interest in the problem of corruption.
The fight against corruption should ensue reforms from the state and attitudinal changes from the subjects. Without the reformative discourse of the state, the problem will continue to persist. Unfortunately, the recent century has seen a surge in the corruption.Actions should be taken by the respective government to reduce this persisting problem of corruption. The government of J&K must pass an ordinance in the Legislative assembly in the near future of a prospective state with a strong lawful foundation to arrest the problem of corruption in Kashmir at the very genetic roots under the provisions of which a common man would be able to live in a corruption-free state.
Those indulging in corruption should be dealt strongly under the provisions of law. This will entail a society free of corruption within the ambit of good governance as Corruption is immoral and antithetical to moral virtues of the societies. This will erase the bad name of the state where the question of integrality and impartiality has been diluted due to corruption in vogue. Systemic corruption has a great bearing on the economic system of the nations. We should also have a strong Lokayata. The citizens should ask for information with respect to public services through the tool of Right to Information Act.
Tailpiece: – Since the dawn of human life on the Earth, there has been entry and exodus of the problems which have called time and again for the intervention of the humans to solve them. Corruption being malice of the current times is a dreadful menace that has spread its roots and tentacles deeply in the human society. It is not about the innocence of the victims of corruption, rather the silence of their inner conscience.
Together; we can play a great role to get rid of this menace. Those who face similar situations of corruption from the officials demanding money in lieu of lawful works to be done should report it to the vigilance, crime branch,media,etc.This will create fear psychosis in the culprits and provide momentum to a just and a good society. Government officials demanding money from the common masses for the official work done should be brought to the notice of the higher authorities in order to elude the injustice thereof.
People should not fear about the cons, rather should be in a know-how that the same work to be done legally by the government officials is the very right of the citizens and duty of the officials under the constitution of India. Government of the state gives salaries to the officials for the same functions, and to demand extra money under the unofficial and illegal means is tantamount to the violation of the rights of the citizens which has a severity of punishment under the provisions of law.
Above the moral plane of thought lies the spiritual inclination of unilateral vision, which is giving a close call time and again that one day these people have to be answerable before God for the misdeeds they have done in this world and muster the courage to face the wrath of the divine commandment and edict forever.
Cutting long story short, the problem of corruption will persist as long as the system doesn’t change and to keep silence is also equivalent to the commitment of crime. In order to combat the problem of corruption, we have to revert to the great saying of Mahatma Gandhi that, ‘be the change you want to see in the world’.
In order to tackle the festering problem of corruption in toto, Strong laws with solid Enforcement, good e-governance system, rigorous public education, Political will to fight; Coordination of civil society and integrity and impartiality of the officials is the need of the hour.
There are various anti-corruption laws available in the state which can be used as reliable tools in case of corrupt practices take a particular form. They can be used against the erring officials involved in the vicious cycle of corruption .These include Indian Penal Code, 1860;Prosecution section of Income Tax Act, 1961;The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988;The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 to prohibit Benami transactions; Prevention,etc.This will entail subsequent penalty and punishment against the erring corrupted officials. A person involved in case of bribery could be sentenced from six months to seven years.
The lack of accountability and transparency has given a free hand of manueverism to both givers and takers of bribe. The absence of objective-cum-impartial standards and transparency make conditions and situations ripe for corruption. So, the ultimate question is the redressel of problem in unison to weed out the malice once for all in the state of Jammu and Kashmir where government and people have a dual role to play here for justice delayed is justice denied.
Abid Ahmad Shah is a freelance writer from Jammu and Kashmir.