Former army chief General V K Singh on Monday rued that corruption was prevalent everywhere in the country and was eating into its vitals.
"Corruption has spread like cancer to eat into the vitals of the country ... It is everywhere," he told a national conference on 'Eradication of Corruption : Social Responsibility and Challenge' in Patna.
"The scourge has become so pervasive that it has become quite legitimate for a person to say give me money, I will give you work," Singh said adding that it pained him when he compared the present situation to the time when legendary freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose exhorted countrymen to fight for freedom with his call - 'Give me blood, I will give you freedom'.
Black money was another issue dogging the country and corrupt persons have stashed their huge ill got wealth in foreign shores, the former army chief said.
The black money stashed abroad was so big in size that the country could fast-track development of infrastructure and provide civil amenities to its citizens if it could be brought back.
"The onus is on all of us to fulfill three dreams of the freedom fighters - freedom from colonial rule, equality to all citizens and founding of a socio-political and economic system based on equity and justice," he said and appealed for unity in society and consensus in decision-making process.
"It is imperative for all of us to strive for unity as we must not forget that foreigners had invaded our country and ruled us for centuries taking advantage of prevailing disunity time and again," he said.
Singh, who retired three months ago, slammed attempts to cast aspersion on the institution of armed forces saying the critics should remember that the army was the last resort of security of the country.
Vested interests, including the arms suppliers lobby had attacked the army for prevalence of corruption among other issues, the former army chief said.
He rued the absence of consensus among mainstream political parties on governance issues and said most of them were gripped by internal dissension that created further complications in arriving at consensual decision-making process.
"It will not be an understatement to say that our democratic polity and foundations of our republic are in serious crisis," he observed and said the problems must be understood and rectified to take the nation-building process forward.