By : M.S.Yatnatti: Editor and Video Journalist Bangalore : Reportedly Fighting corruption is the national duty of every patriotic Indian. If five crores corrupt elements are ruining the country the remaining 95 crores who are the victims of corruption or are silent witnesses to the pervasive corruption scene are failing in their duty.If we want India to become an economic and military super power and create an India in which every citizen will be able to enjoy his rights and a better quality of life, fighting corruption is the most important need.It is the responsibility of every Indian citizen to respond to this need and see what can be done at the individual and group levels for fighting corruption.According to experts , Corruption is the use of public office for private gain.It is widely prevalent in the developing countries.India is the largest democracy in the world.Though 50 years of Independence are behind it, it still is teethering with growing paints, including wide spread corruption andspeed money. India is rated as one of the most corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International, which is a non-government organization in Berlin, which publishes annually the Corruption Perception Index of countries.While the World Bank defines corruption as the use of public office for private gain, so far as India is concerned, the offence of corruption will have to come under the definition of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.Many a time, citizens may wonder about persons who have openly confessed that they have taken money but have been let off by courts because the ingredients that constitute an offence of bribery, as required under the law, were not proved in the court of law.While what constitute a bribe is readily understood from a common sense point of view, it should be realized that for providing an offence of bribery or corruption in a court of law, the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 will have to be followed.
The definition of bribery as given in the Act is as follows: Public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act.Public servant obtaining valuable thing, without consideration from person concerned in proceeding or business transacted by such public servant.Criminal misconduct.This means that for constituting an offence of bribery, the following are required:One of the persons concerned in the corrupt act must be public servant and should be discharging his official duties; all others involved in bribing a public servant, either directly or as agents, are also culpable.The public servant should have demanded or accepted an amount illegally to either perform or not to perform a job.Obtaining of something valuable by a public servant from a citizen, while discharging official duties, without any consideration is also bribery.Public servants acquire assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.Misuse by a public servant of his official position by showing undue favour to obtain pecuniary advantage.Every patriotic Indian realizes that if their is one factor that is keeping India a perpetually poor country and which makes the life of the common citizen miserable, it is corruption. A citizen faces corruption practically at every level and every sector of life.It could be the local rationing department, police, municipal authorities, or educational institutions like schools and colleges.In the industry inspector-raj has become a code word for regular bribes collected by the public servants at the cutting edge of administration of the various departments of Central and State governments.
Corruption is harmful in three different ways.Corruption is anti-national.The Hawala scam showed how the anti-national Kashmiri militants were getting money from abroad through hawala, the same route through which other sections of the society like politics, business and bureaucracy were also receiving money.The Tehelka.com expose on 13.3.2001 also dramatically highlighted the extent of corruption in politics and defence deals.From these experiences, it will be obvious that corruption threatens national security and is anti-national.