Cracking down on corruption

Unless these loopholes are plugged properly, the monster of corruption will haunt us.

(An open letter To Mehbooba Mufti)

It’s good you reach people and listen to them. Hope you continue the momentum and come heavy on corruption so that we get a clean system

After remaining engaged with political disturbance for quite some time you have rightly started concentrating more on approachable governance. In this direction, your recent visits to far-off areas of the state to personally reach and listen to public grievances, particularly, from those who have very less access to higher echelons and corridors of power will definitely open a new chapter of better governance. Your recent detailed visits and overnight stay at district headquarter of Pulwama and Kupwara districts reveal your government’s paradigm shift in administrative strategy. Anyways, may Almighty give you enough strength to deliver more efficiently and sincerely to the best satisfaction of your people. In this reinvigorated process of better governance, your recent statement terming corruption ‘as a scourge that eats up the vitals of the society’ and a passionate appeal for support to eradicate the peril of corruption is a welcome step.

Madam, in our part of world corruption, is typically described and categorized as financial bungling. However, in true sense and meaning, every act of favor and patronizing that leads to someone’s unjustified rise is corruption. In a democracy where people are the fountainhead of power, politicians as custodians of people’s power have an enormous responsibility to ensure an honest system of governance. But for the past several decades, a section of our politicians both at national and state level have promoted a different version of avaricious politics that gives more emphasis on political constituency than people. And to run this shoddy version of politics, corruption is the mantra of excellence. Without generalizing, many unscrupulous elements in different sections of the administration likewise sometimes join hands and collaborate with the corrupt. Interestingly, the antidote against corrupt and nepotistic malignancies always evolves within the system itself and the idea of accountability and transparency through different Acts during last more than a decade was a wonderful political and administrative initiative to curb corruption and nepotism. And government’s latest creativity to establish a well-organized grievance cell has encouraged many to repose their faith in the process of accountability within the administration. 

Now as your good-self has set the anti-corruption ball rolling more vigorously with a passionate request for support from all. To make this dream possible the first step would be to locate and isolate the moles and sleeper cells of corruption within the administration. Secondly the shortcomings and administrative gaps that create room for corruption to creep into the administration and allow the deep-rooted corruption mafia to have their day require to be addressed on priority. The biggest flaw with our administration is that it very often either by choice of undesired elements or by default chooses to ignore or circumvent its own set rules and guidelines to implement government policies and programs. For long state’s premier anti-graft agency, state vigilance organization had been doing a commendable job along with departmental vigilance officers (DVOs), but unfortunately for quite some time the posts of departmental vigilance officer in several departments were clandestinely handed over to tainted people who instead of rightly assisting the SVO started their own vicious campaign of maligning the honest employees and shielding the corrupt thus belittling the vital institution of DVO. 

The most vital instruments of governance, the government employees most of the time suffer for want of proper human resource management mechanism. In almost all government departments except at state’s seat of power—the civil secretariat no service rule is fully operational. The selective implementation of set norms and service rules has not only created a sense of insecurity and disgruntlement within thousands of employees but created a promotion and transfer menace within the administration. As I said several times deviation from rules is wilful and intentional to provide undue career promotion to favored few. Anyone trying to oppose such move within the framework of law is very craftily victimized to the end. With a first-hand experience, I have been pursuing a grievance vigorously in the State Accountability Commission. To my worst experience at present, I find myself in the middle of a vortex of coercion and conspiracies. Unless these loopholes are plugged properly, the monster of corruption will haunt us. And during your tenure, if you manage to get the corruption down even by few notches that will be a great achievement and a commendable initiative.