Corruption is in headlines today but the counter allegation and defence look surprising. Poor public who live in the village are real victims of corruption (nepotism, favouritism, victimisation), but they are laughing at the debate in defence of it.
The poor living in villages always think the anti-corruption campaign is more theoretical than practical with a valid reason. The popular anti-corruption leader Arvind Kejriwal, now chief minister, Delhi with a landslide win was the biggest experiment in anti-corruption movement but doing just nothing.
The poor are suffering from self wreak sense. They pay bribery to get basic services like health and education. 73 per cent of bribes paid in India came from low economy groups, the report says.
Media tends to focus on corruption only in big cases like 2G scam, CWG etc. but there is hardly any discussion on day-to-day corruption that mostly impacts the poor. Such corruption is more about quality of governance so politicians cleverly use it to polarise voters on religion, caste, sex, or community.
Central government claims that they have taken big steps to weed out corruption but it has had no impact in Sikkim. There is no independent anti-corruption mechanism in Sikkim. Many laws currently in the books of Sikkim lack genuine enforcement to combat corruption and promote transparency.
The anti-corruption Lokpal by Anna Hazare after 6 years Lokayuktas Act of 2013, is still in the process of being operationalised in our state. India’s biggest investigating agency, CBI is prevented from holding an enquiry. This sufficiently proves that fighting for corruption was not on the agenda in our state.
But now with his great ability, the Chief Minister, Shriman Prem Singh Golay after taking office has been relentlessly working to make Sikkim a transparent and corruption-free state. The tenure so far has generated some optimism among the poorer section of society.
Steps like white paper, amendment and passing of Lokayukta Bill No.7 in 2019 as watchdogs with true investigative and prosecutorial powers are welcoming steps. I hope the new government will continue to dedicate itself for the poor as they have voted with hope for change.
By Deepak Adhikari, Teacher and a Social Worker, Tumin Barang.
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