Corrupt Politicians Are Known to Be Shameless but Now Fearless Too

In the year 2014 national elections, Mr. Modi campaigned strongly and promised to root out corruption in India in every sphere. As people were desperately looking for such commitment from a political leader, people responded and Mr. Modi became the Prime Minister of India.

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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi [Photographer: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images]

The respect  and public esteem that politicians commanded in India was at the highest level , when they were fighting for the freedom of the country from British rule under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. The freedom  for India was attained in 1947.  At that time, ethics and morals were considered as cardinal principles of politics.

Many stalwarts  with high level of personal integrity  and  lofty  principles and commitment to national cause such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, C. Rajagopalachari and so many others   were on the scene ,  who were respected  even by the Britishers and even as the  Britishers  harassed  them and put them in jail for their freedom struggle.

After independence in 1947, for around 15 years or so  ,  reasonably high level of standards were maintained in the Indian politics . However, with the passing away of the freedom fighters one by one who were replaced by next generation politicians , standards of politics started declining in the country.

The deterioration steadily became more  severe by the  year 1980  and beyond  when  corruption level amongst politicians  reached  alarming level and  became the order of the   day. People started losing faith and started thinking    that politicians remaining honest  would be an exception rather than a rule in India. 

In the year 2014 national elections, Mr. Modi campaigned strongly and promised to root out corruption in India in every sphere. As people were desperately looking for such  commitment from a political leader, people responded and Mr. Modi became the Prime Minister of India.

Again in the year 2019, Mr. Modi was elected  as Prime Minister of India ,  as people continued to believe that Mr. Modi could be the political leader who can root out corruption in India.  While Mr. Modi’s Prime Ministership is being applauded or criticised for several reasons, the ground reality is that most people are   impressed about the personal integrity of Mr. Modi and his success in leading the central government without any charges of corruption or nepotism against anyone of his ministers.

Mr. Modi is attempting to checkmate corruption by promoting transparency in administration , digitalisation of transactions, direct transfer  of subsidies to poor people  etc. But, corruption continues to prevail in India today.

Certainly, in the coming 2024 national election, by and large , people would evaluate Mr. Modi’s performance  based on his efforts to root out corruption in India.

Corruption free India nowhere looks   like emerging in the near future, inspite of the dent that Mr. Mod has made  in  the corruption climate in the country to some extent.  The challenge for Mr. Modi in  fighting corruption is  in reforming the calibre of  politicians in India . 

The problem is that majority of  politicians in India today are shameless  and do not think that indulging in corruption is anything wrong.  Now, further deterioration is seen  that these corrupt politicians are not only shameless but are  also becoming fearless.  Some of them seem to think that going to jail on corruption charges would  not be a bad idea , as they seem to think that they could gain  people’s sympathy and get their  votes. What sort of mindset is this?

Everyone of the politician who have indulged in corruption which are very obvious  , call  the investigation against their misdeeds  as  vendetta , when  enforcement agencies catch them on some solid ground. Instead of feeling disturbed and shameful  for being investigated against and the charges against them certainly credible , the corrupt politicians  challenge the government and call the actions against them  as vindictive  and motivated.   With money power at their disposal , they are able to organise demonstration and protest  meetings  and issue false narratives  to mislead the gullible public.  Media is full of stories about corrupt politicians being hauled up and these corrupt politicians defending themselves and with no sense of shame or fear.

It remains to be seen how Mr. Modi would deal with such shameless and fearless corrupt politicians . Putting them down is a pre condition to ensure near corruption free in India.

The challenge before Mr. Modi is grim and he has to  live upto his reputation a s a crusader against corruption, before the forthcoming 2024 national election.

Obviously, Mr. Modi  has to be ruthless in dealing with the corrupt politicians, whether they  belong  to the  opposition political parties  or his own political party. One may think that  in the type of political climate in India today, where corruption  has become a rule rather an exception  and where corruption is no more confined to politics alone but also have trickled to all sorts of business activities at different level, Mr. Modi’s ruthless approach against corrupt politicians would   be met with fierce resistance.

The task is really daunting, as   several political parties are now  really controlled by dynastic   persons (family members ) ,  who  adopt all sort of strategies to amass wealth  by foul means and to protect their family interests  . In such conditions,  it has become necessary not only to catch the corrupt politicians but also their family members.

It remains to be seen as to whether  such anti corruption efforts would lead to a situation, where  Mr. Modi  would go down  by failing or go up by succeeding

N.S.Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause and to promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

1 Comment

  1. Excellent assessment
    Corruption is hydraheaded monster.
    Unless drastic measures are adopted such as Fast track courts & life sentence where corruption quantum is above Rs 50 lakhs & 10 yers RI for corruption 10 lakhs to 50 lakhs along with disqualification of voting rights/contesting elections the malady will prevail in different forms
    Regards

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