Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ethical politics alone will end Corruption: Dr. JP

Politics shorn of ethics is at the root of corruption, said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan and added that only a return to ethical politics will see the end of corruption.

Taking part in a rally organized by Youth for Better India on Necklace Road as part of a nation-wide India against Corruption campaign here today, Dr. JP recalled that Mahatma Gandhi tried to build a nation on the foundation of ethical politics. In contrast, politicians today ask what have ethics to do with politics.

The campaign wants the Government to drop its proposed ‘toothless’ Lok Pall Bill and instead adopt a Bill that provides for the constitution of an independent and powerful Lok Pal, with powers to investigate cases of corruption on its own and punish the guilty.

Former Chief Election Commissioner J. M. Lyngdoh, Dr. K. S. Ratnakar of Global Hospitals, film producer S. Rajamouli and representatives of Bharat Swabhiman Trust and other organizations were among the rally participants. The leaders tore copies of the Government proposed Lok Pall Bill to register their protest.

Dr. JP said that Indians were no more corrupt than people in other countries, and they are second to none in the world in their honesty. Those who loot the nation in the name of 2G spectrum licenses, mining leases and contracts are the corrupt. Common people are victims of corruption and not corrupt when they, as a last resort, offer bribes to get what is legitimately due to them. “Let corruption victims unite and fight against corruption without losing time,” said Dr. JP and added that the youth who constitute 73 percent of people and command 94 percent of future should take the lead in the interest of their future.

Dr. JP recalled that 15 years ago Indians had to pay a bribe to get a telephone connection. With the country embracing modern technology and promoting competition, one can have a telephone for the asking now. The telecom sector witnessed a Rs.1,76,000-crore scandal because the Government did not encourage transparency and competition in award of 2G spectrum.. Dr. JP said that corruption crippled economic progress. The Rs.1,76,000 crore lost could have been utilized to provide livelihood opportunities to 35 lakh people and social security to 1.4 crore people.

Dr. JP said that Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, who unabashedly maintained the Government did not suffer any loss in the 2G spectrum allocations is now forced to announce that the Government would henceforth grant licenses based on competitive bidding. He demanded imposition of windfall tax on operators who sold their licenses within weeks without adding any value, and institution of a mechanism to make such loot prohibitively costly. A stringent anti corruption law should ensure that the corrupt ranging from the Prime Minister down to the office peon attract a jail term and property forfeiture.

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