Saturday, April 19, 2014

Modi on corruption

A PTI report quotes Narendra Modi saying the following:

""My priority will be develop a system by which the scope of corruption is minimised. We have to decide either I should concentrate my efforts on preventing new corruption or to clean up the old mess. My conscience says that my focus should to be ensure that new mess (of corruption) is not created," he said.

"We have to decide whether I should focus my energy on preventing new corruption or waste time on cleaning up old mess," he added."

Modi's choice is perplexing. Condoning past corruption is not necessary to enable Modi to fight future corruption. In fact, being soft on past corruption will send a wrong message that time will absolve the corrupt of their illegality. In case he becomes prime minister, he must fight corruption, past, present and future.

Is Modi saying this only to justify possible inaction against the corrupt in his own party?

Many countries do not go soft on those who had been corrupt in the past. For instance, Ehud Olmert, a former prime minister of Israel was recently convicted of bribery while serving as mayor of Jerusalem. Any policy other than zero tolerance towards corruption smacks of suspect political accommodation.

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