Monday, December 30, 2013

Corruption in India: what has changed in the past 50 years?

The Hindu dared December 30, 1963 reported:


Mr. M. Bhaktavatsalam, Chief Minister of Madras, was reported to have said at the conference of State Chief Ministers and Home Ministers in New Delhi on December 28 that corruption existed in higher ranks and should be dealt with promptly. Mr. N. Sanjiva Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra, is understood to have said action should be taken against top politicians who did not have personal integrity. Mr. R. Sankar, Kerala’s Chief Minister, said big businessmen were maintaining “contact men” at important places to influence decisions."

Corruption in independent India has a long history. Five decades ago, chief ministers admitted the existence of corruption and atleast pleaded for preventive and corrective steps. Nowadays the chief ministers engage in denial. Arvind Kejriwal, the new member of the august club of chief ministers, has been voted to power on the basis of his tirade against bribery. One hopes that he will change the system rather the system changing him.

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