Corrupt politicians

THIS, rather, is the height of impropriety. Allegations of human trafficking by some Members of Parliament in India have come as a shock to those who repose great faith in India’s democratic system. Quite possibly, what’s detected, by chance, is only the tip of the iceberg.

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Published: Mon 23 Apr 2007, 9:45 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:51 AM

If members of Parliament (MPs)do not keep up the dignity of the august house, who should?

It is beyond anyone’s imagination that an MP, or several of them as allegations now go, would become part of rackets to illegally take people abroad, and make money out of such shameful deeds. A Gujarat MP had thus been detained at the airport after he was found to be taking along with him a woman in the garb of his wife for a foreign visit. She was to eventually become an illegal immigrant in a developed country. That his personal assistant has been framed for related offences, several of them, including forgery of passport, reinforces the view that the racket was wide-spread, and not a one-time instance.

It is no secret that democratic systems are also breeding grounds for corruption, involving strange nexuses between politicians and bureaucrats, and at times even the judiciary. The more imperfect the system is, as is the case with countries like the Philippines, the more the scope for corruption. India comes somewhat midway in the scale of corruption in democracies, while the strong systems in the developed world, like the US or UK, minimize its scope.

Why should MPs, whose job is to represent the people of a constituency in Parliament and make/amend laws, stoop to such levels? They have been assured of a substantial income to make a decent living; and their perquisites, if not pay, are to anyone’s envy. The grim fact, however, is that some of these men use their influence to escape from the arms of the law, and even manage to carry on with their dirty deeds. Which should not be case.

While India’s is set on a fast-paced economic growth, it must also, with matching resolve, strive to strengthen its systems and discipline its political elite.

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