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.

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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.