Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ending Corruption - the Corporate way!

Corruption is quite a funny phenomenon. We all know it is evil, yet we all do it knowingly or un-knowingly. With Anna Hazare and the Lokpal bill, it was quite a week of discussing corruption and civil activism.

For me, it was a week of intense reading of opinions in every newspaper and on twitter. One of the tweet said, "rallying against corruption is actually rallying against the symptom & not the cause"

So what is the cause of corruption?

Is it in our culture to think of our own selves? In Hinduism, the ultimate aim is to achieve personal Nirvana/Moksh. We dont speak about the community achieving Nirvana. Does that make us think about ourselves, rather than the civil society? Krishna in Mahabharata corrupted Arjun to think that the end is important than the means. Does that have any implication?We dont think before honking. We dont think before throwing a chips packet out of the car window. We cut lanes without thinking about the other cars. We dont think twice before dirtying the Holy Ganga. We dont think before dishing out a 100 rupees note to the traffic policeman for jumping the red light.

We evade taxes. I have seen individuals preferring to donate lakhs of rupees to a temple, rather than pay taxes. The thought perhaps is that donation may help achieve moksh, but taxes would not benefit directly.

All these human behaviours lead me to think that corruption kind of runs in our blood. And there are only two ways that I can think of curbing corruption.

The first is to put emphasis on primary education to develop a conscience against corruption and easy money (short cuts). Young minds develop as per what they are taught. Moral science as a subject should be made compulsory till class X. The syllabus should be developed by experienced behavioural scientists with an intention to develop a positive conscience against corruption.

The second is to learn from corporate management policies. Corruption is minimal in the corporate world among employees. The reason is perhaps the accounting procedures followed in every department and the deterrant that 'careers would get over if caught doing corruption'.

So both accountable processes and a genuine predictability of punitive action prevents corruption in the corporate world. We need to work towards achieving accountability at every Govt. offices. We need to strengthen the police and judicial processes for better predictability of punitive action.

A watchdog like the Lokpal bill can only do the bare minimum.


  1. Anonymous7:56 PM

    valid argument as in corporates there is less nepotism and far more accountability. the only concern is who far some black sheep among those corporates who grease palms and give favours in return of some favours. all those corporates who issue free passes to events, holidays to some preferred, even cocktail and dinner parties. These expenses to corporates are never written off...they get promptly loaded to the cost of products and service and the customer ends up paying for all that. corruption can end by primarily having a fool-proof non partisan non vindictive punitive punishment and x time damages from the acceptor and equally punishment and damages to the giver (who induces the acceptor)

  2. Primary education is also another lever that we should use to inculcate a guilt conscience towards short cuts to success, and other unethical means. We should educate our kids to think about the community as a whole, and not only about self.


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