Deterrent laws and executive action alone cannot bring down levels of dishonesty, says the author.
RK Raghavan, Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call against corruption during his recent Independence Day speech revealed his anguish and exasperation as also his passionate campaign for more transparency and honesty in public life.
More than in previous years his tone seemed to be one of anger from a man in a hurry. He obliquely referred to those who had enriched themselves at the cost of the public and the need for purging them from our midst.
But why is it that, even after 75 years of Independence we continue to be branded internationally as a corrupt nation.
This is despite having a scrupulously honest and hugely charismatic leader at the top who has staked his all on rapid economic development without compromising values.
Do we continue to be in a morass because our mechanics to root out corruption are flawed? Or has the collective character of the nation gone beyond repair? It’s incredibly hard to answer this question.
The Prime Minister’s theme at the Red Fort rightly was that handling corruption was a joint endeavour between the government and the public. Without a union of minds and endeavour little can be achieved to enhance our moral credibility. A bribe taker cannot flourish without a bribe giver. It is as simple as that.
Published in: The Hindu Business Line
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