‘Satyamev Jayate’, being the motto of the country has not stopped Indian politicians from mastering the art of doublespeak. Indian political discourse is full of stonewalls, falsehoods, propaganda and disinformation.
Tag Gandhi’s Monkeys
Sometime back, there was a high decibel campaign unleashed jointly by Aircel & WWF-India called ‘Save our Tigers‘ . The glitzy campaign, replete with TV spots of M.S. Dhoni, Baichung Bhutia, Kiran Bedi et al. & large hoardings sought to highlight the plea of depleting Tiger reserves and the dwindling number of Tigers in our country. continue reading »
Out of the many advices that Gandhiji gave to the nation, none has been turned on its head more completely than his three monkeys sermon. His three monkeys symbolised the purity of inner self with ‘See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil’ . The bureaucrats and the politicians have conveniently taken two of his three advices to their hearts - See No Evil and Hear No Evil. That is what prevents them from seeing any corruption or hearing about any either.
Governments routinely go about their work with blinkers on, paying scant attention to the rampant corruption all around them. While government can’t find corruption, people can’t seem to lose it. A common man meets corruption everywhere. To him, government itself has become the fountainhead of corruption. Wherever citizens come in contact with government, corruption potentially happens. The incidence of corruption is so pervasive in the day to day life that it is ironical that government vigilance departments have to work so hard to nail corruption. When corruption is present everywhere, all one needs is the determination to confront it. Yet the charade of catching and releasing culprits goes on, while the malady of corruption festers and grows by the day.
If the government is serious about confronting corruption, first of all, it needs to get its head out of the sand and boldly acknowledge the existence of the problem. Any solution can only emanate from there. The government can then begin its war on corruption by holding ‘Anti Corruption Weeks’ for promoting awareness and informing about future corruption control methods. This should be followed by ‘Corruption Audits’ of departments for both the people as well as the processes. The aim of these audits should be to locate those departments that can be easily rid of corruption and used as models for the rest of the departments. The audits should review official documentation and the procedures that are being followed, especially with respect to common citizens. It should also review the financial status of the officials to match their known sources of income. Most importantly public comments should be invited to gauge the perception about the department. Wherever feasible social media should be used for the purpose. The audits should certify certain departments as ‘Corruption Free’ based on their findings. The rest of the departments should be asked to draw a migration plan for being certified ‘corruption free’ after repeat future audits.Once certified, the departments should be subject to even higher standards of accountability and any transgressions should be severely punished. All this may seem like a fairy tale but a driven person like T. N. Sheshan or A. P. J. Kalam, as our ‘Corruption Czar’ can quickly turn fairy tales into reality.