DailyPost 2345

Is lack of integrity equal to corruption? Political integrity is most talked about topic in Indian public life. Though it is talked about with a visible passion that can sway anyone, yet in reality finding a true practitioner can turn out to be a Herculean task. Does the lack of governmental integrity rub on the political class or is it the vice versa? The near total lack of political integrity has seeped into the governmental functioning to an extent that it has reached a stage of no repair. Everyone has a different definition of integrity and as per his or her definition of integrity they qualify to be on the right side.

Is political integrity a misnomer? Is it so well camouflaged that it appears very rarely in the public domain? In one of those rare occurrences some worthwhile legal action happens and the culprits are taken to task. In most of the public domain integrity mishaps, there has been a war cry for action and finally it ends as an whimper. In few of those public outcry cases, political history of the country changes, but the criminal cases barely reach its logical conclusion. Strict nit-picking legality with nobody interested in bringing political people to task, has brought us here.

As per dictionary.com integrity is the adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. Was it ever there? Or we have drifted so much, that today we are not in position to make out the starting point. This classical definition might not hold at all today. Political corruption has become synonymous with lack of integrity. Other aspects of morality don’t come into question at all. Nepotism and kinship based political relationships have become acceptable for quite some time. The is the staple and given which no one talks about.

Politics has lots of activities that needs to be performed on a regular basis, inclusive of providing good food, transport etc. to the flag bearers. The number increases manifold during elections and elections are the biggest expenditure for the political party and the leader himself. There are no standard systems of receipts or expenditure. The governmental democratic set up does not fend for most of the things. It subsists on guerrilla style financial operations. They have learned to live off the soil. The nexus between the executive, business class and politics is all too well known. It happens at every level every day. This the magic sauce. From stock markets to huge procurements to daily skimming wherever possible is the order of the day. We will leave the lack of integrity milestones in independent India for some other day.

Sanjay Sahay

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