The Corruption time-bomb

Corruption is in focus not only in India but also China. In his farewell speech, outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao warned that corruption could kill the Communist party. In India, the ruling Congress party, which has been unable to regain popular support after the Bofors scandal, has a new bugbear in Arvind Kejriwal.

he Chinese Communist party has expelled Bo Xilai, who now may now face trial for his alleged misdeeds. But Bo seems to be paying the price for his political ambitions rather than misuse of power. An article in the New York Times highlighted the rags to riches story of the outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao’s family, something many Indians would recognise. Power has been shortcut to financial emancipation from times immemorial in the country, and Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, is the latest relative of a big fish to be  exposed. The original Gandhi and father of India, the Mahatma had sounded the warning bells way back in 1947. Bapu had written:[quote align=”center” color=”#b64736″]…It is the duty of all leading men, whatever their persuasion or party, to safeguard the dignity of India. That dignity can’t be saved if misgovernment and corruption flourish. Misgovernment and corruption always go together. I have it from very trustworthy sources that corruption is increasing in our country. Is everyone then going to think only of himself, and not at all of India….[/quote]

A Chinese proverb warns that “a man can never be perfect in a hundred years but may become corrupt in less than a day”. The common denominators for corruption in both the nations are crony capitalism, nepotism and the belief that one will never get caught, as long as there are powerful patrons. The two Asian giants face the prospect of another faceoff between the haves and have-nots. Disproportionate aggregation of wealth is a ticking time-bomb that needs to be defused, before it is too late.

By Ashutosh Misra

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