Vijay K. Saluja
Last two years in India have been fairly historic & game-changing!? This has been the period of intense activity by the members of the Civil-Society? Some of the prominent among these were/are : Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev, Arvind Kejriwal & their associates. Noble agendas for all these activists have been to find ways, to arrest growing corruption in the country, bringing back black-money stashed abroad by some of the prominent Indians in positions of authority, of various ilks, bringing accountability & transparency in the governance so that the ordinary citizens[aam-aadmi] did not run from pillar to post while dealing with the various rungs of the legislature,executive------------, to name a few of the items in their agenda.
Many methods-agitations, hunger-strikes, dharnas, public discourses etc etc, were adopted by the different anti-corruption crusaders to achieve their self-proclaimed objectives.Media including the digital-media came very handy in spreading far & wide, their messages.
The authorities for the reasons best known to them instead of giving the positive & well-needed support for the right causes transformed themselves into the other party ie you [activists] & me [govt].Result –acrobatic steps of every kind, which resulted in widening the chasm!
Finally, after lot of dilly-dallying, Jan Lokpal bill-perceived by many as the panacea for arresting & removing corruption, was passed by both the Houses just two days back on the 18th December!
This Event culminated in the breaking of the hunger-strike[done for the second time] by Anna Hazare & celebrated vigorously by his supporters led by Kiran Bedi & ex army chief Mr V.K Singh.
Differences arose, too.
Aam Aadmi Party[AAP}-the newly formed political outfit led by Arvind Kejriwal-an earlier close associate of Anna Hazare expressed his concerns about the various provisions in the passed Jan Lokpal bill & felt/is feeling, that the `Bill` would not be adequate to banish deep-rooted corruption.
The question which comes to my mind is ----------------------
Does passing of the JLP bill means, now, exit of the corruption from our nation?
There were/are already so many govt agencies-CBI, CVC, Vigilance Departments in each govt organizations whose main mandate was/ is to inter-alia curb corruption. Besides, all the officers of the Centre, State & Local Govt, who as per the laid down Conduct Rules of the Govt have to be honest, persons of integrity & take at all times, suitable steps to prevent corruption in their respective departments/organizations, then
What have they been doing all these years?
Why the Presidents of India, Prime Ministers, Ministers, senior bureaucrats, judiciary who have sufficient powers, did not take suo-moto actions or other steps, to check the growing corruption al-around?
Have they also been waiting for the Jan Lok Pal?If so,why?
How will the newly appointed Jan Lokpal be able to arrest the corruption?
Where will the person of that stature,unwavering integriry,& with sterling qualities come from?In case ,he is found[which I am sure, as there are many tall persons of integrity & good performance,too]then,
He will have to work along with hundreds of his staff-members.Where will they come from? How will they be different from the present staff of the various vigilance organizations?
These are some of the many many moot-points.
Can some one educate me on these concerns?
Corruption & unethical practices have affected very badly the engineering projects of the country, as we all know. Some of the affected areas are-decision making, improper monitoring, hardly any/minimal use of available IT tools[which I will elaborate, in another article] for the same, etc etc.
Won`t sizable no of projects get more delayed as, to my mind, there could be some paralysis in some quarters in the decision making because of the fear of Jan Lokpal? Unless the skills of the govt officers are as well upgraded on sustainable basis & strong dose of values & ethics is also inducted in/thru the training programs .
It is high time we start rebuilding our society on ethical foundations.
For that, many steps are needed. Passing of Jan Lokpal bill [though very good step] is not enough, to my mind, to arrest the menace of corruption in PROJECTS,also.
( Mr. Vijay K. Saluja is a Director of Giraffe Heroes India Program & winner of national & international award for his contribution to the society for his honesty & writing skill, Senior Fellow, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, Ex President, IIT Delhi Alumni Association Ex Chief Engineer[civil]-NDMC, )