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Rediff News  All News  » Business » Corruption hurting Brand India? Aam Aadmi's view

Corruption hurting Brand India? Aam Aadmi's view

Last updated on: December 2, 2010 15:03 IST

Indrani Roy Mitra in Kolkata

The 2G spectrum scam, along with the many other scancals -- CWG scam, Adarsh scam, housing loan scam, etc -- has once again brought to the fore how corruption is gnawing at the entrails of our country.

While some accuse the government of taking a soft stance, others want it to come up with punitive measures against the offenders at the earliest.

How is Indian economy suffering because of corruption? While financial pundits eye India as the next super power, exposure of scams like these is sure to tarnish her image.

What steps should the government take to tackle the situation? Is there anything the country's taxpaying citizens can do to counter corruption?

We went about asking common people. Here's what they had to say . . . 

. . .

'Scams are an integral part of India'

Image: Kaustav Chowdhury.
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty

Kaustav Chowdhury
Sales Manager, DuPont

Scams like the 2G spectrum kind have become an integral part of our country. I don't feel surprised when such an event unfolds. I would rather feel surprised if it did not occur at regular intervals.

If we look at our political history, scams have shaped its architecture time and again.

But what irks me is that the government of India always adopts a soft stance and fails to come up with a tough decision.

This is ridiculous. Look at what is happening now. The Opposition has been stalling the Parliament for so many days. Yet the government could not take a decisive action.

This is simply unacceptable. A dysfunctional Parliament means millions in taxpayer money going down the drain. How can the government justify that?

Tall claims are made these days about India gaining the status of super power. But how can it be one if its governance is so weak?

Political leaders should not forget that they are but the elected representatives of the people and that they have no right to waste taxpayers' money.

As a citizen of India, I appeal to the government and the Opposition to settle the 2G scam issues out of Parliament and ensure that the daily affairs run smoothly.

. . .

'Corruption? It's everywhere!'

Image: Aparna Mukherjee.

Aparna Mukherjee
Private firm employee

If we talk of corruption, I am at a loss. I don't know where to start the conversation from. Corruption has eaten into the core of our country's system.

It has almost become impossible to get anything done without resorting to unfair practices.

Be it getting a new telephone line, a new broadband connection or even a ration card, one has to cough up something extra to get the work done.

Bribery has become the order of the day. It's indeed a sad state of affairs.

Take the case of the recent 2G scam. Whispers of suspicion have been doing the rounds of India's power corridors for many months now. But the government never took any action.

Why? Was it negligence, laziness or sheer apathy?

And now that the 'story' of corruption has been exposed, may I know why the government is being so indecisive?

We often hear of reaching double-digit growth and India competing with China as the next super power.
But how can our country reach that stature without adhering to the basic tenets of transparency and integrity?

. . .

'No playing around with our money, please'

Image: Barnali Goswami.
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty

Barnali Goswami

I am an ordinary middle class Indian. I don't think I am qualified enough to talk about 2G scam and its effects on India's image.

However, I do understand that it is unjust for the politicians to play around with people's money.

What I understood from newspaper reports, a lot of 'unfair' dealings surrounded the 2G spectrum allocation.

As an Indian citizen, I am quite surprised at this. What have been our honourable ministers doing all this while?

If rules were being violated, why didn't the keepers of our Parliament get wind of it?

Am I, therefore, to believe that everyone knew everything but decided to keep mum to safeguard someone or some vested interests?

We have a vigilance commission touted to be one of the best in the world. What has it been doing?

There seems to be no accountability anywhere.

Else even after so many weeks, why has the government failed to come up with definite punitive measures against the offenders?

When the United Progressive Alliance government came to power for the second time in 2009, we were happy. But I have no qualms in admitting that it let us down. Badly.

Though fight against corruption was its main election plank, I have to say that it failed to perform, miserably.

. . .

'How can the leaders take us for a ride?'

Image: Bidyut Halder.
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty

Bidyut Halder
Senior sales executive, Axis Security & Sales Ltd

Like all the other scandals, the 2G scam is going to tarnish the image of India. But then, our politicians are least bothered.

It is our time and money that are being wasted. Why should they be concerned? The Parliament is being stalled for so many days and no one seems to bat an eyelid.

As a tax paying individual, I feel so angry at times. How can the policymakers of our country take us for a ride?

They should not forget that they get their salaries out of the taxes that we pay and that they are accountable to us.

The Opposition is demanding a joint parliamentary committee to probe the 2G scandal. I don't understand why is the government not paying any heed to it?

Am I, therefore, to suppose that the government too is a party to it and is acting indifferent to guard its vested interests?

We have great financial brains like (Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh and (Finance Minister) Pranab Mukherjee at the helm. It is absurd that they cannot come up with a solution for the impasse.

Come what may, our politicians have to realise that the Parliament cannot and should not be stalled for so many days at a stretch.

No leader, whosoever, has any right to waste the precious money contributed by the taxpayers.

. . .

'In India, transparency is hard to find'

Image: Nilabja Guha Neogi.
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty

Nilabja Guha Neogi

  • India is fast moving to be the next super power.
  • India is giving tough competition to China.
  • The Western world is waking up to India as a major Asian phenomenon.
  • India will soon achieve double-digit growth.

More often than not, we hear such tall claims, read about them in newspapers and see programmes on television.

Yet, we all know that these are nothing but empty statements 'full of sound and fury signifying nothing'.

For, if transparency is considered one of the pillars of successful democracy, India falls way behind.

One scam after another has continued to dot India's political history and the tradition continues.

Former telecom minister A Raja allegedly flouted 2G spectrum allocation norms or so say the newspaper reports. He was sacked. So far, so good.

However, what have other ministers been doing? Why couldn't they be the whistleblowers?

Billions of rupees vanished, taxpayers got cheated and yet the government was caught napping.

It's a sad state of affairs.

. . .

'India a developed country? Well. . .'

Image: Kamal Sikder.

Kamal Sikder

What has emerged in the media about the 2G spectrum scam is nothing but the tip of the iceberg.

A much bigger game is on, I think. Which is why the government is taking so long to decide on a concrete line of action.

The lackadaisical approach of the government to counter the problem is extremely irritating.

After all, the leaders are appointed by us, the people of India, and it is time they performed their duties well.

American President Barack Obama, during his recent visit to India, said India is no longer a developing power. It is a developed country. And we were ecstatic.

But if the very foundation of the country is weak and corruption gnaws at its entrails, we must realise that a grave danger lies ahead.

I think the basic problem lies in the politicians' attitude towards us. They still look after the people as vote banks. It's time they started treating electorates as human beings and not as means to gain political mileage.