HOW strange it is that, though admittedly a highly corrupt nation, we have no institution for corruption studies. Corruption, after all, is a serious matter that touches all aspects of our national life — social, political, economic, corporate, juridical, moral, and what not! No one or nothing is today free from corruption or its effects. It is, therefore, not merely an issue to rant about on public platforms. Corruption and its pervasive effects require to be studied with serious academic rigour. Isn’t it, therefore, time for somebody like Kapil Sibal or Montek Singh Ahluwalia to initiate action to set up a sort of multi-disciplinary institution to study corruption? Or, may be, to begin with, some central universities can introduce corruption studies in their humanities faculties.
Corruption scholars are broadly of the opinion that the more developed a democracy, the lesser should be the incidence of bribery, kickbacks and financial frauds and fiddles. This is, however, not true, for India is in no way any less developed a democracy than any other country low on the graft scale. We are a parliamentary democracy, have by-and-large free and fair elections, a largely free and independent network of institutions, an independent judiciary, rule of law and a free and enlightened media.
Why then is corruption so common here? Is it because, as some say, we are a soft state, i.e. a state soft on wrongdoers, one reluctant to act according to its own laws? Or, are reasons for this softness needed to be searched elsewhere? The Brahmanical culture values speech higher than action, reciting higher than doing, enacting a law higher than acting on it. Could this attitude have something to do with the pervasive corruption? Could the traditional Indian jajmani system or the caste identity and loyalty be one of the reasons? All such and similar issues can be studied to understand the complex social roots of corruption in Indian society….READMORE