Crackdown on corrupt elements
RIDING on the wave of popularity of the demonetisation drive, that is believed to have paid electoral dividends in four out of five states which went to the polls in February-March this year, the Narendra Modi government has been focusing to end the corruption culture as is evident from anti-graft agencies coming down hard on corrupt elements through nationwide crackdown. It is learnt that at the central level, urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu and power minister Piyush Goyal have been made in-charge of coordinating with different ministries for collecting information on what kind of ‘anti-corruption architecture’ each one of them had put in place since NDA-II regained power at the Centre. Toeing on the same line, the BJP-led coalition government in Manipur has also set up an anti-corruption cell under the direct supervision of chief minister N Biren. Recent spate of suspension of ordinary government employees as well as professionals suggests that the cell does not exists to merely receive feedbacks and complaints but has started to efficiently use all available inputs to expose the wrongdoers so as to check unethical conduct in all spheres of administration. Number of complaints made by the public ever since the anti-corruption cell came into existence testifies that the people too are more than willing to contribute their mite in rooting out corruption, which is one of the major causes for the state masses deprived of the benefits entitled to them under various social sector schemes and hindering development initiatives and economic improvement.
Compared to the Centre giving emphasis on fighting corruption and black money, the anti-corruption campaign in Manipur, so far, is limited to axing rogue employees so that the impact of corruption in public life is lessened to a certain degree. Interestingly, nearly 10 government employees, ranging from subordinate staffers to a medical professional, made to pay the penalty for their audacious defiance to the activation of the anti-corruption cell could be confirmation of unethical conducts and practices deeply rooted in the society. These elements also seem to be undeterred by the prospect of facing awkward and embarrassing situation in case they are caught in the act and their details made public through the media. Perhaps, people involved in corruption might still be living under the impression that they could evade punishment by using the ill-gotten money to grease the palms of those, who are supposed to scrutinise their immoral acts. While punitive measures initiated by the government is certain to have driven home the point to those who are infatuated with earning easy money about the distinct possibility of experiencing embarrassment in front of their colleagues in case they chose to stay away from the path of righteousness, the anti-graft initiatives should also be able to convince the common people to discard their opinion that corruption is the only way to get their work done as well as to make them realise that in a system with corruption there will be no quality of service and justice will be impaired.