Monday, September 20, 2021

Eroding value system

Good governance has today become a buzzword in daily life and the term symbolizes the paradigm shift of the role of governments. Good governance means that government should provide accountable, responsive, transparent and participative administration. The biggest challenge in improving governance is to act against corruption, which has permeated the entire social fabric and has led to large scale mis-utilization of resources. Good governance means that the processes and institutions produce results that meet the need of society while making the best use of resources at their disposal – which means that all the stake holders in the society are to be served in a reasonable time frame. Delay in delivery system/disposal of cases is one of the methods of harassing citizens and extracting bribes. The experience of a common man while availing services has not always been positive. And also the general weakness of accountability mechanism is an impediment in improving service delivery. And many a times it becomes difficult for a common citizen to navigate the systems for timely and quality delivery of services. Earlier it was only the public sector and its allied agencies that would breed corruption and boost favouritism but now every section of the society, one way or the other, encourages favours against consideration (graft). Dishonesty and exploitation are as old as civilization. However, the grade of evenhandedness within a society depicts the real health of that social order. Religious belief plays a crucial role in containing fraudulence both in individuals and society. By the grace of God, we are extremely religious or maybe at occasions suffering from religiosity, but even then the inoculum of corruption lies and thrives well within the society. The faulty system and rules for delivering services, providing justice and misinterpretation of law and regulations are two main aspects that encourage the unscrupulous elements within the system of governance to misuse powers vested within their authority. The misuse is intentional and against consideration, and thus, the cycle of corruption gets completed. The process of corruption and favouritism is a long chain of political masters, executors, and beneficiaries. Political bigwigs most of the time patronize corruption to secure their political constituencies. The unethical moles in the system always on prowl exploit the situation to fleece the gullible and shower undue favours to hawkish materialists and shameless career hunters. Here it can be said that corruption and incompetence are twins. Not in the sense that those who are corrupt are necessarily incompetent. We can have a reverse combination of corrupt but competent on one side and honest but incompetent on the other. What makes one bracket the two vices together is an argument which ostensibly sounds too weak to stand ground, but actually makes some sense when looked deeper into. First they are twins as all of us speak unambiguously against the two. Waxing eloquent on weeding out corruption and removing the human deadwood from the system is everyone’s first priority. None of the two can be put to debate where we expect votes in favour or against. No normal mind can campaign against honesty the way we have people campaigning against corruption. Second and the most striking similarity between the two is that those who practice it deplore it. Bribery will be paradoxically condemned by those who can’t breathe without being bribed. Ineptitude is the favourite subject for the most inept. It’s a human tendency to apply a theory on anyone other than one’s own self. We love to cast light on others to expose the blemishes. Today corruption has entered so deep into our system that it has become a necessary evil. It has severely hit the proper and peaceful survival of the common man and pace of development in the state. A lot of people in the past raise the issues of exploitation and try to agitate but unfortunately a sizable section of the society has got so adapted to corruption they feel as if it is part of the administrative system. Fortunately individuals whose integrity is above board and whose honesty unimpeachable have not completely vanished. We do have people to whom values still matter. So if they lament on the fast eroding value system, they have a reason. But it really aches when the most corrupt souls feel `visibly disturbed’ about the menace of corruption which they want to eradicate. What will happen if it’s really eradicated? They can’t imagine the horror.