“CORRUPTION HATAO, DESH BACHAO” –  one of the many slogans I came across while my car was stuck in a procession to support Anna Hazare and end corruption. I wasn’t clear about what they were fighting for, to remove corruption or to remove the government?

 While discussing amongst friends about the boiling topic of corruption, most held the view: change this form of government or bring a better political party. People of communist mentality often demand a one-man rule, a dictator. They would cite examples of Hitler and in spite of all his dirty-deeds, how he had achieved so much politically and how Nazi Germany had a huge production rate, strong economy, and good governance. China is also brought up: how they wouldn’t resist corruption and hang corrupt people if needed. Is a iron-fist rule the only humane answer to corruption? I personally find neither of the above choices, thrown at me time and again, acceptable. A new government or a dictator can be equally corrupt until the forces aiding corruption are not dislodged.

You cannot remove corruption if you don’t remove corrupt people. There seems to be a lack of will in doing it in the first place. According to a survey on the anti-corruption branch of CBI operating between 1980 to 1984, among 698 accused, 273 were charge sheeted, 144 convicted, and mere 4 went to jail for more than 20 days. This evident mockery of the justice seems to be arising because people who will punish are corrupt themselves: both law agencies and government or political heads. It is a well known fact that many politicians hold criminal records. A dictator like today’s law-makers can be equally corrupt. All the above have occurred in today’s India, which is guided by the rules of the Constitution. Had there been a dictator, there would have been no rules. The nation would play by the whims of a single man. It’s pointless to believe he would refrain from the temptations of huge wealth before him and yet go by his morals and stay clean. I don’t recount a single dictator who did so. Hitler had a golden elevator in eagle’s nest and most recently we have seen photos of Saddam Hussain’s palace. We reside in a great democratic society. We survive in peace because the Constitution protects us and guarantees us our rights. The protection is guaranteed through the judicial system. There will always be corrupt people, especially in a country like India where resources are unevenly distributed. It will always be hard to find dictators or leaders with virtues of self-respect, honesty and high morale.  But as long as there is the constitution to cane wrong-doers and guide us towards a proper society, even corruption will be controlled to some extent. A totalitarian will bring only harm than good. The need of the hour is to strengthen laws that will deter the corrupt and increase accountability of bureaucrats and fasten the judiciary that safeguards citizens from corruption. Democracy is the noblest of principles of governance and dictatorship the worst.

Bitan Bhadra is a mechanical engineering student from KIIT University. His areas of interest include politics, international affairs, social systems and economics. He is optimistic of India and its future. He has previously written in many platforms on various issues. He is also an avid traveler, trekker and chess player.

Posted by The Indian Economist | For the Curious Mind