Culprit for Corruption: Person or Power?

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ImageIn the Corruption Perception Index-2013 published by Transparency International, Nepal ranks 116th, with 31 points on a scale of 0-100. Last year Nepal stood at 154th position with 27 points. This situation seems improving, however Nepal still is one of the most corrupt country in the world. The Index scores 177 countries and territories on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). No country has a perfect score, and two-thirds of countries score below 50. This indicates a serious, worldwide corruption problem. – See more at: http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2013/results/.

If a question “Why is Nepal underdeveloped?” is blindly thrown to the air in Nepal, it is more likely to receive the same answer “Corruption”. This may be probably none of us have been left sacred out of corruption directly or indirectly. The sectors most seriously affected and involved in corruption in Nepal are: Bureaucracy, Politics and Business, however there’s no place left without corruption.

Corruption, in general, refers to the abuse of power and/or resources for the personal, professional or financial gain. Why do people abuse their power? I had a similar post on “Who is the culprit, Politicians or Power?” I am no expert, but I believe I have come to understand human nature up to some extent. Of course, its the person who become corrupt, but its not who the real culprit is. Blaming a person for what his corruption and chatter that you would never have been corrupt, if you were in his place would just be an utopia. I say, most of us are not the corrupt one, simply because we do not have power to be so. If only we had the chance to corrupt and had an easy escape, most of us would also have been the same. A human is not born with corruption, he acquires it from the surrounding by his experience of exercising power. “Had there been no power in an individual to abuse upon other, would there be corruption?”

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It is we who invited corruption in our society. It is we who provided an individual a greater power then others, that made him indifferent from other, to have the authority to exercise power upon others. Its we who provided him power to impose his decisions on others. Its we who had him the only alternative so he could conceit in his power and tend to take the benefit of it. As quoted by Lord ActonPower tends to corrupt”, I believe its the power we grant to people or group of people that tends to corrupt rather then the man himself. For me, “the man is just a vector”. Had not he been in the place, there would be someone other doing the same or similar.

However, its not my point that corrupt people are innocent. My point is, they are not the real culprit. The system of rule by a person is the main culprit. Its however there is still a question unanswered; “Rule of Law: Will the Dream come true?” In my view, not only Nepal, but in every nation, unless and until a person or a certain group of person is powerful than law and have the power to play the law, Corruption never fades.

Talks on Minimum Wage

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People tend to believe that government must fix the minimum wage level for any task, and they should increase the amount timely. We used to have various discussions when I was in college. We do study for years with a large amount of economic investment? And what we get? A job of 12 thousands salary per month? (around 15 thousands in discussion nowadays). It will take 3-4 yrs only to earn the spent money and do not know when to save the amount that was invested. Then whats the use of studying years spending hundred thousands of sum? Therefore the government must make the minimum wage/salary laws: this was what used to be the conclusions of most of the discussions.

But after my college, there have been more discussions about the minimum wage laws and increasing the amount. Unions organize various strikes for the issue, political parties supported the strike. Surya Nepal Private Limited had  to shut down the company permanently because of the strike organized by the unions. There are many other examples shut down of industries because of the disharmony between the employee and employer in Nepal.

I was just going through an article: Minimum Wage Laws: Sabotaging the Ladder of Economic Opportunity . I thought this is just the issue we go through many of the times, motivating me to write this content.

Anybody establishes a firm with the purpose of making profit and runs the firm to make better profit. The firm may be different, service may be different, strategy may be different, but the final motive is always making better and better profit may be in terms of money, share, goodwill or any other they believe to be profit. Every will be doing it, including me. And this particularly in not an offense. Every body have the right to make his living without coercing the right of other.

How does an employer hire employee? How does he pays?

The factor that matters to any businessman is profit. He does not bother to hire more and more workers until and unless he thinks he can make better profit from the hiring. Better profit may include the better working efficiency or the better efficiency to salary ratio. I believe nobody bothers to pay more if he can make more from him. The employer never hires men for $10 to have the output of $9.99 (just for an example), he would rather not perform the task. But I believe he would be pleased to pay $15 for the output of lets say $16, that makes him profit.

What’s bad in Minimum Wage and what’s good?

What’s good? Employee gets better salary for their job.

What’s bad? Employers get less attracted in hiring the manpower. Cut offs of job. Increase in work pressure. Unemployment increase. Unexperienced get lesser chances to get the first job. Production cost increase. Cost of the product increase.

What in my view :

Many high school students come to me and ask a question: Which subject has a better scope? Which subject shall I study and/or try to study? I generally answer: “There’s no relation in the subject you study and the altitude you reach after the study. The same study has made people earn 4 digit salary and the same study has made people earn 6 digit earning and this occurs regardless of the subject you study. What height you receive in your career depends on our own ability regardless of the study or profession you choose. Therefore, its better you choose your field of interest”. This however is not the answer I made myself. I know this because I had once the same question and had got similar answer.

Regarding the minimum wage: Its only the job of union leaders, so that they get an issue to get support of the existing labors and bargain management. Political parties favor them to get the votes. Of course increment of earning of workers in itself is good but what comes up along with it should never be blinded. While completing a cycle, I see no profit to the low income people themselves. Its just the numeric value increase not the living standard while completing a cycle. (Cycle: Minimum wage increase — cost of production increase —- cost of product increase — consume the product in increase price). Only the thing that happens in between is the Government collects higher tax and this is fruitful only for a corrupt leaders and government. I would better prefer in increasing the skills of an individual so as to be able to increase the earning.

Who is the culprit, Politicians or Power?

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Two centuries ago, an army Commander Bam Bahadur Thapa had said “Sak6au jagir nakhau, sakdainau jagir khau : Jhanda muni basa tara durbar napasa” in English: “If you can do not get employed (work under other esp. government), if you can’t then get employed : Remain under the flag, but don’t enter the palace”. This was the period when politics was concentrated in and around the palace and he got fade up from that. As the politics started to come out of palaces and to more then hundred parties and numerous number of leaders, politics has been becoming even worst and the number of people to blame it has rose abruptly.

Is politics really bad? Can the politics never be good? Or the way of politics has become bad ? If the way has been bad, why do we blame politics, which is just the victim of amoral politicians?

From my childhood, I used to believe the reason for this is bad people getting into politics and therefore good people should enter politics to reform it. But thus far I have seen Nepali politics, the people I believed to be good and hoped that s/he would change the bad pattern of the politics turned out to be even worse when they reach to the power. So, now I believe the present scenario of politics is not the outcome of bad people in politics, they became bad after they went there. And thus I don’t blame to the politicians, not even in my heart.

I tried to figure out what makes a good person bad after they get indulged in politics. And now I have the answer “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. It not the people, the culprit is the power, – the power to have control over other people, the legal authority to think about the good and bad of other people, and the power to deviate people in the direction they want through the amendment of constitution, law and policies. And once they experience this power, the desire of more as a human nature, turns even the good ones to bad.

I therefore find, the power to change the life style of a large group of people, the power to direct people to the ideology they want leaving behind no alternative, the power to force people to sacrifice their rights in the name of common good and many other powers that make some people to be superior then others to impact as their desire is the culprit, that has made the current unpleasant political environment.

I dream of the society ruled be law and the law not to be changed by the desire of some countable intellectuals. I dream of a free society, where one does not have to compromise his/her rights in any moment of the life. I believe when the power of people in government and parties, over others people starts to be limited, the reform of politics gets started. Its a long way but not an unachievable target.

Rule of Law : Will the dream come true?

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After the failure of “Constitutional Assembly I”, Nepal completed its “Constitution Assembly Election II” on Nov 19, 013. The vote obtained in this election is drastically different from that in the previous election, most likely because of the failure of previous Constitutional Assembly. Nepal has already tried various Constitution and various governance so far, after the end of the domination of Ranas in 1950, when King Tribhuwan declared “Democracy” for the first time in Nepal.

The term “Revolution” may indicate to a great cause and change in other parts of globe, but in Nepal it has already been an ordinary term with lots revolution and changes of rule and governance. Looking back to the two decades in Nepal, the government has changed the number of times as the number of years have past. At present Nepal is a Democratic republic country, which is preparing to be federal in few years along with the formation of new constitution in Nepal. The political inconsistency of back few decades and insolvency of the present have brought some political awareness in people up to some extent and still its much below the need. The industries are subsequently closing and/or migrating, unemployment is increasing, living has become fearful, and compulsory charity demand from the goons and political parties have badly impacted the life and freedom of people causing skilled  and capable manpower to drain abroad.

However there are some more issues that constantly strike to my mind. I expect one day the “Constitution” will be formed. And on that day, will there be the “Rule of Law”? Will every citizen be subject to law? Or there still prevail a special grading of citizen in reference to the approach in government. Will a minister get the same punishment as a common man when they both commit the same crime. Will the country be free of the threatens of the leaders of Political Parties? How can we imagine those threateners to contribute to form the “Constitution” of the country where they themselves will be bound to law.? Are they fools to end up their corrupting power themselves? Or are we fools to believe them to do so?

Every day different kinds of threatens are being heard from the various political parties in the name of maintaining the peace and formation of Constitution. Alliance of Major parties have made the “Interim Constitution” a doll and amend it upto 4-5 times a year. Leaders are playing with the law in the name of making law.

But Nepalese people are waiting for the answer of their question : Rule of law: Will the dream come true?

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