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Re: Fw: article on corruption in India

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
All the lengthy discussions on causes of corruption fail to mention that the 
public is equally culpable for tolerating and promoting corruption. And the 
educated people are more culpable than the uninformed folks. We have allowed 
corruption and lawlessness to become a part of our culture. We will probably 
ostracise or even lynch an adultrer in our village or community but people 
who are known to take bribes or swindle public money or encroach on public 
land are welcome with open arms in our society, our homes and our family 
circles. We as parents abet our children to live off the fruits of corruption 
and plead helplessness at the hands of the system. 

People, more often than not, make a concious decision to bribe government 
employees, just to make life a little bit more convenient. Corruption feeds 
on itself.  People CAN stand up to corruption, AT LEAST SOMETIMES, if not 
everytime. Maybe not alone, but certainly if they get togather and organize 
themselves. If all shopkeepers in a locality decide to get togather and 
refuse to pay Hafta to a corrupt SHO they can stop extortion. If all 
taxpayers got togather they can force the Income Tax Office to listen to 
them.  The key is to organize. We need good institutions and organizations at 
all levels to protect people's interest. Remember the Indian Airlines hijack. 
Do you think Jaswant singh went to Kandhar of his own volition to negotiate 
the hostages release. No. He responded to pressure exerted by the relatives 
of the hostages who organized themselves. Heard the story about the village 
that stopped politicians from distributing liquor to the youth in the 
village. In the same way people can organize themselves where they have 
common interests to fight corruption. This is NOT TO SAY that we do not need 
changes in our system and government. But even that will require getting 
togather and organizing. The cat will only be belled by all mice togather. We 
need sufficient outrage against corruption which could cement people 
togather. There is great power when outraged people get togather. 

Let us all be selfish, but selfish in an enlightened way. In this regard, let 
 me again seek people's views on writing a Charter of Enlightened 
Citizenship, for involving the public at large, at some point, after I have 
refined and translated it into many languages. It is not entirely to do with 
corruption, but it aspires to be more broad in its scope. I seek to address 
the isolationism and "not my business" attitude that is so pervasive amongst 
us Indians.

 ( I apologize if it is too simple for you alls sophisticated minds, but I 
want this charter to have a broader appeal)

Charter Of The Enlightened Citizen.

 Let each citizen resolve:

1.  I will learn about my rights and protect them. I will help others protect 
their rights. I will respect the rights of other people.

2.  I will have respect for the Rule of Law. If I find that a law is bad I 
will try to get it changed. I will cooperate with other law abiding citizens 
in doing so.

3.  I will not bribe an employee of the government. I will expect good 
service from government employees and if it is denied I will protest clearly 
and pursue the matter peacefully with higher authorities and elected 

4.  I will take care of my surroundings. I will avoid polluting air, land or 

5.  I will help my fellow citizens in need. I will help anyone injured in an 
accident or anyone who is being assaulted or abused.

6.  I will participate in and contribute to organizations which represent the 
common interests of citizens such as resident or shopkeepers associations in 
my area.

7.  I will give the health and education of my children a top priority. I 
will try not to have more children than I can look after easily.

8.  I will not steal public property and I will help preserve it.

In a message dated 6/26/00 1:58:46 PM Central Daylight Time, 
ml_gupta@hotmail.com writes:

> I definitely don't deny the blame of not electing a good public 
>  representative (be it on the local level to the national level), as you 
>  be remembering the way student representative used to get elected in the 
>  college level, till now I am not able to understand what was the role of 
>  student Union representative against what they used to do, and even in 
>  small population of people we were not able to elect proper representative.
>  (This was the precise reason some people (including myself) in this forum 
>  suggested just before the last Loksabha election to run a campaign to 
>  the representative carefully on behalf of IPI)
>  In our country, the only way a citizen can influence the governance is by 
>  voting, and that vote also is only applicable for his/her own 
>  or by running for the office himself/herself, or become a career civil 
>  servant (which you can't do when you are over 28).
>  So in this kind of system the career civil servant has sweeping power, 
>  I can illustrate with some observations I made :
>  i) While I was in Jamshedpur (Bihar) in 1996, the SP of that place 
>  (he had a repution of being honest and strict) to take up career with 
>  a new SP was appointed, the first thing he did after taking charge was  to 
>  make use of Helmet compulsory for two wheeler users  and all the vehicles 
>  get "pollution under control" certificate within 45 days. Now most of the 
>  people in this forum would agree to this kind of action (including me), 
>  however I have a problem with this as it doesn't have approval of any 
>  publicly elected body, and modus operendi of implementation of such scheme 
>  was such bad that there was only one place where you could get PUC 
>  certification in the whole city (to clarify some things over here, 
>  Jamshedpur is one of the better administered cities in India).
>  ii) Similarly in Nagpur and Nanded, there used to be some areas where 
>  eateries used to be opened 24 hours a day, all of a sudden sometime in 
>  they were given orders to close down at around 10:00 pm, and apparantly 
>  directives were coming from Police commissioner without any approval form 
>  the local Government (may be?).
>  Now lets take a look at the way an elected representative can make impact 
>  governance :
>  i) He can't fire/suspend a civil servant if he/she has made a big blunder.
>  ii) Only way to punish civil servant is to transfer him/her (which I 
>  completely agree that is being misused).
>  Now if you talk about politicians are not allowed to even transfer civil 
>  servants, then you are effectively making them (civil servants) immune 
>  any punishment, and they can do whatever they want (which is definitely 
>  undemocratic).
>  Now to remind you ours is a democratic country (even though it is not 
>  perfect one), so in our system civil servant's will have to work under 
>  elected politicians (whether or not they like it).
>  I think the better solution would be to have police chief to be elected as 
>  instead of having an IPS officer as police chief of the city. Let Mayor be 
>  the chief executive of the city instead of an IAS. Some time ago I also 
>  asked about how our public prosecutors are appointed (what are all the 
>  implications to have this post elected).
>  Now to accomplish the above mentioned task once again we need 
>  who are interested in passing the laws to this effect (so its a vicious 
>  circle).
>  So we in IPI at best can try to spread awareness among public to elect 
>  representatives carfully (as Mr. Seshan once said "Elect you 
>  as if you are choosing a groom for your daughter").
>  I hope once again that I making some sense (at least to some people).
>  Manish

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