The octopus of corruption has spread its ugly tentacles over the whole world and as a result, the corruption endemic commands a reprehensible global presence. The undeniable fact, therefore, is that, corruption cannot be reckoned as a mere country or region specific problem; it is far wider phenomenon now. Whether developed or developing nation, corruption is omnipresent; may be with varying force and venality. Experience has shown us that existence and spread of evils in any society is bound to harm the well-being and growth of such societies.
Corruption is one such evil, the mere existence of which can bring havoc to any society. We have no understood that the vice of corruption is capable of being more dangerous than the viruses of AIDS or SARS. People world over and especially those in poor and developing countries; have to be put on high alert that the collapse of humanity’s very existence in good health, order and peace is imminent, if the missile-fast spread of corruption is not contained effectively and early.
Corruption causes massive human deprivations and creates sudden and extreme income inequalities; it introduces uncertainties into the economic environment and forms webs of illegal obligations. Extortions, robberies, assaults, crimes on women, children and the weak and even all that is associated with terrorism and under-world are some of the outward expressions or manifestations of corruption that hurt human beings and their rights deeply and more. As corruption leads to discrimination and arbitrariness in decision making, established rules, regulations and procedures become meaningless; peoples’ fundamental rights to corruption free services from public institutions and governments get trampled mercilessly. The sum of all these, rise as notorious impediments against protection and promotion of human rights and ultimately violates a very wide spectrum of human rights deeply.
The misconduct of public officials indulging in corruption is characterized by one or more of the following happenings.
The speed dynamics fees: in many cases, this happens due to the interests of the receives in accelerating decisions, provision of goods/services/information. If done rightly (without crossing the lines of legalities). This type can even become beneficial to people: but those poor who cannot pay for altering the speed dynamics have to wait till the customary red-tape yields.
The income supplement; the main aim of the corrupt provider is to augment this income illegally; the venality lies with the development of ‘by-passes”, techniques ‘to over ride usual practices and seamlessly incorporating them in the decision-making process. The poor who cannot contribute to the income supplement of the provider has to suffer forever.
The decision-making charges. This is where the line is frequently crossed; bribes and promises of bribes actually alter decisions to the advantages of the one who bribes. There are possibilities for thwarting law and many to be hurt by the few. The economy is skewed and economic outcomes are distorted. This kind of corruption should be uprooted on both utilitarian ground and moral ones.
The subscriptions for subversion: This kind of corruption is by far the most damaging, anti-national and anti-people. The corrupt collusions lead to the subversion of the flow of correct vital information to the authorities. Wrong information/ certification is often issued (e.g.; about stability of building, bridges; about utility and efficiency of arms/ ammunitions for defense units; about validity of degrees/ diplomas issued to professionals in medicine, engineering etc). The safety of the nation and human lives shall be at stake and so more vigilance is required to check this kind of corruption.
Advances for allocation: This category of corruption involves paying bribes to politicians and political decision maker in order or affects the allocation of economic resources and material wealth or the rights thereto. Concessions, exemptions, licenses, permits, leasing/selling of public assets to private hands, tenders are some of the subjects that induce advances for allocation. In this case also, the damage would be materially enormous and visible.
There is urgent need for all right-minded citizens everywhere to join hands for ensuring eradication of the seemingly uncontrollable monster of corruption and help mankind live free from anarchy and violations of human rights. There is also a greater need to understand that combating corruption is not just about punishing corrupt politicians and bureaucrats but about saving human lives, human rights and peace everywhere.