There is no simple recipe to get rid of India’s corruption. The corruption and power abuse system is as old as the country itself. Corruption is part of India; it is a way life, fully integrated into the culture. We eat and breathe corruption.
Everyone knows that corruption is one of the biggest issues that India needs to tackle to progress and prosper. The government or the legal system cannot abolish corruption; a full public involvement needs to be on the forefront. If we dissect the cancerous disease of corruption, following are the starting points to tackle this beast:
1. A grass-root movement to change the culture: Everyone knows that corruption is a problem; we all complain about it. And yet, we are all a part of it. To make an impact, the public need to resist the culture of corruption. Just like there a non-violence campaign towards freedom, a no-corruption grass root movement is required.
2. A top-down system to regulate laws and discourage corruption: While public involvement is a must, the laws and regulations against corruption need to be in-place and in-practice. There has to be a more visible and more vocal message from the government to abolish systematic corruption in the government structure.
3. Empower middle class: As middle class grows and become more opulent, the average person becomes more effective in the society. If we can empower middle class, the rich and poor gap will start to diminish, a gap that is directly responsible for resources imbalance and corruption.
4. Address the poverty: Poverty is a disease, just like corruption. A poor person is at the mercy of the system and is willing to do anything out of desperation. We are willing to embrace corruption out of desperation, to survive. If we can help the poor to stand up at his own feet, we are helping the society to minimize corruption.
5. New blood in the political system and legal system: The old netaji of yesteryears are too rigid and too hard to change. Corruption has become a synonym of politics. We need new generation to be more active in politics. The new youth with new ways of thinking can certainly help to change the age-old political system where corruption is a part of the power.
6. Enforce the penalties and punishment: While the laws exist against bribery and corruption, they are not being enforced proactively. The bribery itself is coming in the way of the laws against bribery! There should be more strict approach about persecution of corrupt system. The fear of law can certainly help discourage the offenders.
7. Encourage and reward whistle-blowing: A reward system and protection for the whistleblowers has to be in place if we really want to make a difference. An average person is scared to report corruption because of possible retaliation. There has to be a security blanket to encourage whistle-blowing against corruption.
8. Privatize the corrupt departments: The government departments or branches that are prone to corruption should be considered for privatization. Such revolutionary steps are required to bring a revolutionary change.
9. A social movement is required: This goes back to the grass-root effort mentioned above. We as a society need to come together against corruption. Discourage your brother or your husband from corruption. We are all human beings and we all love India – some more, some less. If we really want India to prosper and our kids to grow in a corruption free society, we need to make personal sacrifices and help minimize corruption.
10. Measure the progress every year: There should be routine checks and tests to see how we are standing up against the old system; are we making any improvement year after year?
Corruption is us; we are a part of corruption. To abolish this disease, we need to rise against our own old culture where corruption is tolerated. It will not and it cannot go away overnight. It needs you and me to say NO to corruption in our daily life, in our daily living. If we make a conscious effort every day, day-after day; we can make a measurable impact on daily basis. It is not hard to fathom, it is not hard to dream that by the year 2020 we may have a system driven by the values and virtues, not by corruption.