Fight Corruption Now

Discussion in 'The ChitChat Lounge' started by alpha1, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    In India, Protecting a Whistle-Blower
    MUMBAI, July 4 — J. N. Jayashree did not want her husband to die the death of an Indian whistle-blower.

    Four years ago, India was rocked by the murder of Satyendra Dubey, a government engineer who exposed corruption in the national highway building program. Two years later, Shanmughan Manjunath, a manager at a state-owned oil company, laid bare a scheme to sell impure gasoline. His body was found riddled with bullets in the back seat of his car.

    To Ms. Jayashree, her husband, M. N. Vijayakumar, appeared to be following in their footsteps. Mr. Vijayakumar, 51, is a bureaucrat in the southern state of Karnataka, and he has a penchant for chastising colleagues who supplement their modest salaries with bribes, kickbacks and garden-variety pilferage.

    In recent months, his chastising ruffled feathers at high levels, and he began seeing the signs often directed at whistle-blowers in India: He was pushed around the civil service like a hockey puck, switching jobs seven times in the last nine months, most recently on June 26.

    As her husband made powerful enemies, Ms. Jayashree began to fear for his life. And so she devised an unusual ploy to protect him: she blogged.

    In the YouTube era, she reasoned, it is harder to kill a man who has a bit of Internet renown.

    “We’re creating a fortress around him — a fortress of people,” she said in a telephone interview. “I wanted to inform the people that this is happening, that my husband is a whistle-blower, so that it becomes the responsibility of every citizen to protect him.”

    The result is a small-scale test of whether India’s technology revolution, which is empowering tens of millions, can tamp the corruption that hinders India’s ambitions. Transparency International, a Berlin-based group that monitors global corruption trends, ranks India below Colombia, Bulgaria and 67 other countries in its most recent index of corruption. In a 2005 study, it concluded that Indians pay more than $5 billion a year in bribes.

    “The people who are supposed to be controlling corruption and fighting on behalf of the poor, they are sucking blood out of the poor,” Ms. Jayashree said in the interview.

    She built her Web site,, with help from her son, a doctoral student in computer science at Delaware State University. On the site, she chronicles her husband’s case and criticizes the government. An aficionado of India’s new right-to-information laws, she has acquired and uploaded reams of documents. She updates the site nearly every day and has received responses from around the world, including many from Indian émigrés who say they left the country because they found it too corrupt. Government officials in predicaments like her husband’s have sought advice.

    Arun Duggal, a senior adviser to Transparency International, called the Web site pathbreaking for India.

    “For an individual to use the powerful media of the Internet to take a stand against corruption, to expose wrongdoing, to build a campaign and a following, I think it’s the first time I’ve seen it,” said Mr. Duggal, who is based in New Delhi.

    Mr. Vijayakumar, in a telephone interview, said he had seen corruption since his first days on the job. He said he had threatened to resign five times and had filed about 25 formal complaints detailing specific instances of corruption to P. B. Ma- hishi, the highest-ranking civil servant in Karnataka, which includes the technology hub of Bangalore. He said his complaints were rarely heeded.

    The complaints have not been made public, but in the interview, Mr. Vijayakumar offered an example of how he said officials operate with near impunity: In the government agency that oversees state-owned enterprises in Karnataka, he said it was routine for officials to invent imaginary losses, and to solicit — and pocket — extra budgetary allocations to recover those losses.

    “People at the top are involved, so they hope people will forget about it,” Mr. Vijayakumar said. “But I don’t forget.”

    Mr. Mahishi, the civil service chief, conceded in a telephone interview that corruption was “everywhere,” in his own bureaucracy and in bureaucracies elsewhere. But he criticized Mr. Vijayakumar, calling him a lazy, ineffective worker who often skipped meetings and stayed silent about corruption for years before suddenly recoiling at it.

    “Why did it take him 26 years to become active on the cause of corruption?” Mr. Mahishi said.

    Mr. Vijayakumar contended that he had always battled corruption, but from the inside. What changed more recently, he said, is that his pleas ceased to make a difference and that he began to sense his life was in danger.

    For instance, his wife said, one night last year, their doorbell rang soon before midnight. There were men at the door, and they told Mr. Vijayakumar that his younger son, a college student, had been in an accident. Come with us, they said.

    But the son was asleep in his bed at home, just steps from his father, and the family concluded that the men had crafted a ruse to draw Mr. Vijayakumar from the house. After 13 years in that home, they moved to another neighborhood.

    Corruption is nothing new in India. International surveys have consistently described the country as a superpower of graft. But Ms. Jaya- shree sees the temptation to swindle growing in an era when bureaucratic salaries pale beside private-sector pay.

    In the early years of the Indian republic, the civil service was plum work. It came with a chauffeured car, cooks and servants, perhaps a white bungalow in a posh neighborhood. Private enterprise, strangled by socialist controls, often failed to match the perks and pay of public service. The marriage market reflected the dynamic: Men with admission to the civil service — and it was overwhelmingly male — were among the most sought-after grooms.

    But as India trades socialist dogmas for capitalist ones, the private sector is becoming king. A ***agenarian veteran of the civil service typically earns no more than $9,000 a year, excluding perks like housing and a car. A 21-year-old engineer fresh out of college can make about that much at a software firm like Infosys, with annual raises of 15 percent.
  2. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    I guess if you can't fight 'em.
    Fight along with 'em.

    Am gonna become really corrupt and promote/propagate it like nothing else.
  3. like toad-alee.
  4. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    Haha, as expected, no one is concerned.
    Not even on e-world.

    No wonder we Indians deserve the stinking messed up country, that India is.
  5. anshphenomenon

    anshphenomenon Rape me :boff:

    some officers take bribes or become corrupt cause there is no other way out.
    what wld a junior officer do if his boss is corrupt?
    in order to survive in the pool u have to become corrupt,either willingly cause u want to be or unwillingly cause there is no other way, either take the bribe or stfu! and get lost.

    i happened to speak with some IAS/senior govt officials, they say abt 75%of ppl working r decent when it comes to corruption, but the remaining 25% of ppl who r corrupt r all at senior levels who in a way handle the entire organisation or the ppl who really matter.

    in an interview with a former cabinet secretary he said that the honest officers at the end of the day will be sitting on their chairs in gardens and reading newspaper and just talk abt corruption..and wont be able to do anything as their bosses or corrupt officials wont let them do anything on it.

    if u go to see the court cases in CAT(central administrative tribunals) which takes up only official issues, most of the petitioner are up against the top most bureaucrats.

    this just gives an idea.
  6. CrYpTiC_angel

    CrYpTiC_angel Rebelle!

    I read it the other day and even told friends about it, coz I found it quite inspiring.

    People are finally taking initiative to fight corruption in a systematic way. It may not be much, but it's a start!
  7. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    Bwahaha what an attitude. I guess balls are only for playing cricket with.

    Why not just stand up for your belief. It doesn't even have to involve any aggression. If your attitude is to "join 'em" each time, you should never get angry when something doesn't happen the way you had wanted it.
  8. anshphenomenon

    anshphenomenon Rape me :boff:

    ^^those who stand up for their belief are ridiculed by their colleagues and superiors...(assuming both of them r corrupt)
    and this happens in all the ministries...politics and corruption...

    the thing is u do want to have the balls to stand up, but the consequences of that standing up is something which is not much career friendly.

    i have seen many examples of such things...many honest officials who stand upp for the right things end up stagnating in their careers.undergoing a lot of mental stress and health probllems.

    increasing suicide attempts among govt officials is an example to that(police,army and other govt institutions)

    iam not saying that ppl shd not stand up at all!

    infact they shd, if only we had more ppl standing up for their rights, we wldnt have such a situation.
  9. CrYpTiC_angel

    CrYpTiC_angel Rebelle!

    I think Ansh means to say it matter-of-factly which is why some systematic way to fight corruption has to be there. Just saying no to bribes and complaining to senior officials who themselves are often corrupt usually leads to transfers, stagnation, and may become life-threatening as well.

    When I say this, I obviously don't mean to say that one should accept bribes etc.
  10. anshphenomenon

    anshphenomenon Rape me :boff:

  11. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    Do you see this? You're saying
    a) Don't stand up because your career will go down the drain.
    b) Don't accept bribes.
    Does that mean we condone the corruption?

    You should really make up your mind. You can't say that it's wrong and yet ask people to condone it. This "if only there were more people" bullshit causes everyone to back out and in the end nothing happens. The 1 plane that did not cause damage on 11/09/01 was the one where the passengers fought back together. Given in the circumstances they didn't have that much to lose, but it shouldn't take that kind of situation for people to get past the "if only there were more people" attitude.
  12. CrYpTiC_angel

    CrYpTiC_angel Rebelle!

    Once again, you misunderstood.

    When I comment about the usual result of certain actions in the present scenario, how does that translate to me saying "don't stand up"? We have all seen what happens to whistle blowers, right? Now quote me saying somehting to the effect of "so jst stfu and accept bribes.. u better not stand up against it"

    Also, I've already said it twice, we need a systematic way to fight corruption. I never said we should condone corruption.

    I'm not saying "I support people who don't stand up against corruption coz they have no other choice but to be a part of it" so stop putting words into my mouth for gawd's sake.

    Now do YOU see this?

    psh, ur debating about the wrong thing with the wrong person here.
  13. anshphenomenon

    anshphenomenon Rape me :boff:

    iam not saying that one shd accept bribes just cause they have to...infact one shdnt at all..
    i was just stating the circumstances under which many ppl accept bribes.
    either willingly or unwillingly.

    because of the system that we have many ppl do not dare to stand up for their they know that they wld be at the risky ends...even then,those who do pay for it.
    one shd not accept bribes at all...but there cannot be much that can be done here because the ppl who themselves r supposedly to be making a difference r corrupt at the top levels..
    what do u expect then?

    but what i said above was basically just the circumstances under which ppl accept bribes.
  14. not me, i replied first :(
  15. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    Well lemme simplify things.
    That is my way of seeing things.

    Honesty and corruption ppl are like two gangs. Whichever is stronger is the one that will win/prevail.

    Ppl in honesty gang are often ppl who are risk averse.
    Ppl in corruption gang are usually risk takers.

    Ppl in honesty gang are not willing to form a closed knit unit to battle corruption.
    Ppl in corruption gang are already a well closed knit unit aimed at surviving the law / rules of land (which is mostly aimed against them).

    Ppl in honesty gang have so much to worry about their personal lives (because of threat from corruption gang), they have so much liabilities that they are inherently weak for a war.
    Ppl in corrutption gang have have made efforts to make their lives comfy. Not so many liabilities, and definitely no threat from the meek honest gang.

    Basically the honest gang is comprised of weak soldiers, ones who have got so many vulnerabilities, have no unity, have no belief in power of unity ...

    The corrupt gang on the other hand is well prepared, and well equipped, and have to be united in order to defeat the honesty gang + law + freaks.

    Honest ppl have to start changing their wimpy characters, in order to fight. And they have to take it as a battle / war.
  16. anshphenomenon

    anshphenomenon Rape me :boff:

    u said it!
  17. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    I find it strange that you would talk about dire consequences but say that people should stand up. It's like saying, "if you cross the road you will definitely get killed but I'm not saying don't cross the road."

    I think a lot of people do stand up to corruption and live to talk about it (figuratively speaking) and that's what you need to be focussing on. Spotlighting the negative does nothing to help the "if only there were more people" mentality. That's my problem with what you're saying.

    Seriously, it shouldn't take the French revolution to show us what people can do together.
  18. CrYpTiC_angel

    CrYpTiC_angel Rebelle!

    I said stop putting words into my mouth! I dont have the "if only more ppl.." mentality and never said so either. I am talking about what alpha1 put forth in a better way, we need to unite, be more organised in our approach to bring this down. We have to look at the situation practically here, and not just be all, "say no to corruption" and think it'll be all peachy.

    Also, anshphenomenon and I are actually two different people! :O :O

    The ONLY thing I meant to say was, it's not an easy thing to do for an individual and if we want more people to be clean and not give in, we have to have some way to protect them, protect us, as a group, all of us. It IS a war.

    The approach we have taken so far to this has to be changed. I meant to stress on that.Like what J. N. Jayashree is doing (1st post/link), it's a start, right?

    Quote me if I said anything contradictory to this before.
  19. CrYpTiC_angel

    CrYpTiC_angel Rebelle!

    Also, I think the IIT's/IIM's are trying to bring about a difference? I dont know much about it :(

    Will find a link or smthng and get back here later.
  20. anshphenomenon

    anshphenomenon Rape me :boff:

    ^^to add up to that
    look at the manjunath case.
    a graduate from IIM
    who stood for honesty, and was killed for being honest.
    related to adulteration in fuels.
    how many ppl stood up then after his death??

    we sure as hell need ppl like manjunath to stand up for what is right!!

    BUT we also need a system which can PROTECT such ppl.

    only if you know u wld not be killed while crossing the road,and that there is a system to protect u from it,everyone wld cross the road.

    its actually easy to say that one shd not accept bribes.
    but being in such a situation is certainly different.

    AGAIN by saying that i do not mean to say that one SHOULD accept bribes.!!

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