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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Battling Corruption

Hon'ble Prime Ministers address from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 15th of August touched the inner chords in the hearts of many of us. While talking about the menace of corruption, one could clearly feel his passionate resolve to eliminate it from the national fabric. That the Chief Executive of the nation feels the pain of the common man who is affected daily by this menace, is a cause of immense satisfaction and pride.

Having worked in the system for over four decades with adherence to value systems at the core of my working, I realize that corruption even after seventy five years of freedom, is still a deep rooted disease engulfing many facets of the tantra of governance cutting across sectors and state boundaries. 

For a common man, and it is true, it is almost impossible to interact with any part of the tantra without going through harassment or graft or both. Everyday we read about raids and recoveries of immense cash from those in power, a job that the investigative agencies are doing to the best of their abilities, yet have merely scratched the surface so far.

That the present Government has come down on corruption with a sledge hammer is indeed heartwarming. 

Having handled many massive organizations, I realize that corruption is not a disease but a complex symptom of many areas that would need to be redressed. And the first and the foremost is the organizational culture. Adherence to value systems and that too driven by the top echelons is as essential as the focus on delivery. During the course of my journey however I found it sad that issues relating to integrity, conduct and behavior were never considered worthy of discussion in official forums.  

It is indeed essential to put on table issues relating to integrity, conduct and behavior for a meaningful  impact. During my stint with Madhya Pradesh Tourism, we had almost eliminated corruption by organizing "Corruption Conferences", with the first conference held in 2007 making a massive dent. 

And there should never be any pardon for an act of dishonesty or a conduct that is undesirable. Those who indulged in cases of corruption, sexual harassment and drinking on duty were never pardoned and given exemplary punishment. While mercy is a virtue, it fails to be so if dispensed in such cases. 

Culture is the most important strength or weakness whether it is organizations or societies. This is what differentiates between mediocrity and greatness. Unless the core issue of corruption is handled head on while also taking sustained steps to inculcate a culture of honesty in the society, we would keep on discussing the issue ad-infinitum. 

With hope, we live on..........

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