Corruption grips Indian officials

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By Natasha Christian

The time of rejoicing has come, and Indians celebrated the long-awaited era of new change thanks to former military member and social rights activist, Anna Hazare, who actively seeks to end government corruption.

Hazare voiced his concern about corrupted politicians through a grueling 12-day hunger strike in India’s capital city, New Delhi. He started his fast on Aug. 16, the day after India’s Independence Day and ended it Aug. 27.

Though his goal was aimed at the Parliament, it quickly sparked interest all over the nation and ignited a flame in middle class Indians. As a result, mass protests began in a country of over a billion people in support of Hazare’s     mission. 

Nearly two months later, Hazare and his team continue their quest to transition from a crime-ridden bureaucracy to an honorable democratic system. As elections are around the corner, Hazare’s team demanded written evidence from political candidates that they will support the Jan Lokpal Bill.

The document states that anyone entering the assembly must first be legitimately inspected for any possible fraudulent activities in the past.

Major political parties are opposing it because the group itself consists of shady members.  

Hazare discontinued his first fast because India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh, vowed to activate the bill. However, the leader’s dubious promise is slowly fading. Therefore, Hazare now threatens to reinstate a huger strike once again on a larger scale if the bill is not issued by Parliament’s winter session.

David Gangarapu, UMHB graduate student studying information systems, hopes the struggles and government oppositions Hazare is facing are worth it.

He said, “I wish this will continue. This should straighten things out for coming generations. I hope this will lead to something permanent.”

Indian citizens have had enough of the scandals and crimes that are overtaking their legislature. They refuse to pay bribes any longer to local officials in order to have their voices heard and for jobs to be done.

Allegedly some politicians give hush money to keep illegal acts of the past hidden. It is also apparent that the political ruling class is wealthier than accounted for with unrecorded amounts of money in Swiss bank accounts. Transparency International, a global coalition fighting corruption, conducted a corruption perception survey in 2010. India’s parliament ranked 3.3 out of 10. Other low scoring countries include China, Egypt and Mexico.

Gangarapu said a government inspection organization is actively in place, but the members themselves are tainted.

 “There is the A.C.B. – Anti Corruption Bureau, but they themselves are corrupt.”

 He also said the vast majority of Indian government personnel are unethical and explains why some areas have yet to be restored.

 “There is hardly anything that is not corrupt. They are supposed to be helping the people. Where is the money going? Obviously the government people are taking it.”

He questioned their morals and asked, “If you yourself are corrupt, how can you help others?”

Vinodini Gutha, an information systems graduate student, insists the legislation process is skewed, and the lawmakers are merely interested in money.

“They buy sentiments and feelings for votes,” she said. “Rich people become more rich, and poor people become more poor.”

From a personal experience, graduate information systems student Lydia Kolli remembers the reason why even the police can be dishonest.

She said, “The police officer told me ?My salary is not enough. I have to get money from outside. I have to be corrupt.’”

Author: The Bells Staff

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