Posts Tagged ‘Corruption in India’

Are We Indians More Corrupt than People of the Develope World?

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Are We Indians More Corrupt than People of the Developed World?


Col (Retd) Bhaskar Sarkar VSM

There was a category of elite, England educated or English speaking wealthy Indians in British India who believed that “West is Best” and Indian natives are incapable of governing the country. They wanted India to remain a British colony. These people who worshiped the British, loved all things foreign and criticized all things native over pink gin or whiskey sour at their favourite clubs were known as Westernized Oriental Gentlemen or WOGs. They along with the Hindu Mahasabha and RSS did not take part in the “Quit India Movement” or the independence struggle and drowned their sorrow in their liquor of choice on 15 August 1947. Though the British have left, there are many WOGs among us, particularly foreign returned, who find nothing right in today’s India. They naturally think that India is more corrupt than the developed world and “West is the Best”. This article seeks to look at corruption in the developed world so that my readers can assess the truth for themselves.

Corruption is essentially of two types, political corruption and government departmental corruption. Politicians have to fight elections which cost money. One way of raising this money is doing favours and accepting illegal gratification. Politicians think of this as acceptable. Soon the greed of getting rich overtakes need and corruption increases. Political corruption, as we shall soon see, is a worldwide phenomenon. Government departmental corruption is not as widespread. It is very widespread in India and needs to be tackled on war footing. Parties in power do little to curb it as the parties collect funds through these officials for party coffers and public functions attended by leaders. When political leaders of the ruling party hold huge election rallies, foundation stone laying or tape cutting ceremonies, someone has to pay for the stage, seating, auditorium, electricity, public address syste, conveyance and payment to muster crowds. This is a justification for ignoring departmental corruption.

Corruption in Japan

I was always under the impression that Japan was one of the most disciplined, ethical and honest country. I was surprised to see that corruption has been a fixture of Japanese politics for a long time. Japanese don’t seem to be upset or outraged by it. Much of the corruption revolves around construction companies trying to secure money for infrastructure projects. A common practice is for bureaucrats to award a contract to a construction company and for that company to reward the bureaucrat with a high-paying job when he retires from the government. Perhaps this is why there is a lot of emphasis in the BJP Government on road projects and very little on water supply, public health and education.

Small-scale corruption is common. Much like in India, businessmen give expensive gifts every year to the bureaucrats, and politicians. American businessmen doing business in Japan say that a little “grease” is necessary to quickly get through the bureaucracy.

Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka was forced to resign in 1974 because of corruption allegations. He was arrested for taking bribes in 1976 when scandal came to light in which the aircraft maker Lockheed paid top officials in the Japanese government in return for their help in a deal to sell L-1011 Tri-Star jets to All Nippon Airways.

Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita was forced out of office in April 1989 after members of his party, the LDP, were implicated in the shares-for-favors Recruits scandal. LDP leader Shin Kanemaru was among those forced to resign. One of Takeshita’s top aides committed suicide. Does it sound like “Vyapam Scam” in MP.

Two Ministry of Finance officials were arrested for demanding that bankers take them to restaurants where waitresses in short skirts with no panties serve guests, and for a $100 tip will bend over for the customers. The bankers dished out over $100,000 to avoid investigations into bad loan scandals.

In April 1998, two former Finance Ministry were indicted for receiving $69,000 in bribes from five companies in the form nights out at restaurants and golf trips.

About 90 percent of the road contracts in 2006 was done without bidding. According to one tally nearly 60 percent of the 1,248 former bureaucrats involved in road work got jobs after they retired with one the top 10 companies that do road work.

In May 2007, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Toshikatsi Matsuoka, committed suicide by hanging himself when faced with tough questions on the spending of $240,000 over five years on water, heating and other expenses that are provided free to lawmakers.

These are just a few examples. Those who are interested in knowing more about corruption in Japan are requested to visit .

Corruption in UK

The list of political corruption in UK is huge. I will list a few major ones that took place after 2010.

On 29 May 2010 Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws resigned from the Cabinet after the Daily Telegraph newspaper published details of his claiming around £40,000 in expenses on a second home owned by a secret partner between 2004 and 2009 which was illegal.

On 14 October 2011 Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox resigned from the Cabinet after he allowed his personal interest and government activities to become blurred.

In April 2014 Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary resigned following an investigation into her past expenses claims.

For more on political corruption in UK please visit

Coming to departmental corruption one in 20 people in Britain say they have paid a bribe for services. One in five Britons said they had resorted to bribing people in the judicial system, while almost one in ten said they had paid a bribe while in contact with the police. Seven per cent said they had bribed education officials, while 11 per cent of people who had contact with the registry and permit services or land services said they bribed officials.

The UK has been a prime location for stashing away illicitly gained wealth and sanctuary for economic offenders from all over the Commonwealth. Its anti-money laundering systems are weak. Transparency International said that tens of billions of pounds of corrupt money are being laundered through the UK each year. But most Britons do not seem bothered by this. In 2012 HSBC, the UK’s biggest bank, paid a record $1.9bn fine to settle claims by the US authorities that it had allowed Mexican drugs traffickers to deposit thousands of dollars a day in HSBC accounts. For more details see

Corruption in the US

Some forms of corruption like lobbying are legal in the US. Here I present some cases of corruption which took place in Barack Obama administration (2009–2017).

Cornie Brown, a Congresswoman was convicted of 18 federal counts including tax evasion, fraud, wire and mail fraud and sentenced to five years in federal prison in 2017

Bob Menendez, an U.S. Senator, was indicted on charges of accepting bribes in 2015.

Congressman Chaka Fattah was found guilty on 23 charges which included racketeering, money laundering and fraud. He was sentenced to 10 years and resigned from Congress on June 23, 2016.

Congressman Aaron Schock resigned from office after evidence surfaced that he used campaign funds for travel and redecorated his office with taxpayer funds in 2015.

Congressman Rick Renzi was found guilty of wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, racketeering, money laundering, and making false statements to insurance regulators in 2013.

Congressman Jesse L Jackson pleaded guilty of fraud for using $750,000 of campaign money to buy personal items such as stuffed animals, elk heads and fur capes.

Congressman Michael Grimm pleaded guilty to tax fraud on December 23, 2014, and was sentenced to eight months in federal prison.

Fred Pagan, Office Administrator to US Senator Thad Cochran was sentenced to 30 months in prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in 2016.

Eastern Louisiana Federal Judge G Thomas Porteous was unanimously impeached by the US House of Representatives on charges of bribery and perjury in March 2010.

For more on corruption in the US see


I am not trying to condone corruption in India. Corruption, both political and departmental is bad for the country and needs to be rooted out. But it is not as big an issue as our beloved PM and his cronies would like us to believe. Neither is Congress Party the fountain head of corruption. It is just that they have been in power for most of the 70 years of independence. The other parties are equally corrupt and enrich themselves whenever they are in power.

There are more important issues facing the country like providing drinking water, creating jobs, stopping or taxing imports from China and other countries and creating a level playing field for our manufacturers, solving the problems of our farmers, filling up vacancies in government and judicial organization and setting up fast track courts for tackling corruption.

I also belive that communalism, caste based violence, and politics of hate are more damaging to the country than corruption. Mistakes will occur when work is done and some corruption is inevitable. But we cannot stop economic activity and development to stop corruption as demonetisation did.

I do not agree with some of my WOG friends and relatives that we need to hang our heads in shame because of corruption in India. What we need is zero tolerance to corruption. We need to appointment Lopkpal and Lok Ayukts with dedicated investigating resources, the Whistle Blowers Act, strengthening of RTI and fast track courts to deal with corruption. We also need to get tough with countries like UK and Switzerland which shelter our economic offenders and break off diplomatic and economic relations if they continue with their support to money laundering and economic offenders.

Who Will Save India??

Thursday, November 1st, 2012


Bhaskar Sarkar


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“Yada Yada Dharmashy Glanirbhabati Bharata!

Abhuthanamdharmashy Tadatmanang Srijamyahan!!

Paritranaya Sadhunang Binashaya cha Dushkritam!

Dharmasthapanartha Sambhabami Yuge Yuge!!

Geeta Chapter 4; Slokas 7 & 8

The above ‘Slokas’ mean “Whenever spirituality decays and materialism is rampant in India; O Arjuna, I reincarnate myself. To protect the righteous, to destroy the wicked and to establish the kingdom of God, I am reborn from age to age.”

A time has come when any intelligent and patriotic citizen has a right to be alarmed at the state of affairs in India. As of today, it is my personal opinion that our political system as reached a nadir. The political ethos of today must be tormenting the souls of the freedom fighters who gave their lives to see an independent India, a vibrant, progressive, strong India. Our educated youth, who are the primary stake holders in India’s future, must also be dismayed and wondering about their future.

India is in the top 20 most corrupt countries of the world. Massive financial scams involving trillions of Rupees in allocation of coal mines, oil blocks and spectrum have surfaced. Government land is given away to the politically connected at a minute fraction of their real value in contravention of the law of the land. Investigating agencies are being used to protect the politicians in power and their relatives and cronies while opposition politicians and whistle blowers are targeted. In an unprecedented move, the US daily, Washington Post, published a sharply critical article on the Indian political leadership, the Congress Party and India itself. About the present Prime Minister, Mr. Manhohan Singh, it wrote, “India’s silent prime minister becomes a tragic figure…… a dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government.”

Many political parties are controlled by dynasties. The Nehru-Gandhi family rules in the Congress, the Badals rule the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Chauthalas rule the Haryana Vikas Party, the Thakres rule Shiv Sena, Devegowdas rule JD (U), Mulayam Singh Yadav and his family rule the Samajwadi Party and so on. There are credible allegations of corruption and nepotism against these families and political leaders like Laloo Prasad Yadav, Ms Mayabati, Bhupinder Singh Hooda amassing wealth far beyond their known sources of income. There is no accountability and investigations and prosecution drag on for decades till the old misdeeds are buried under new ones.

The Governments stand paralyzed by internal contradictions and conflicts of sectarian interests. The law and order in most states is so bad that ordinary people, particularly women, are unsafe. Police who are supposed to protect the people rape women including their female colleagues in police stations. Suspects of minor crimes are beaten to death in trying to extract money. False cases are used for extracting money or favors. Looting the Government treasuries, misappropriation and destruction of public property continues unabated. Governments at center and states do not bother to implement court orders for years. There is no accountability at any level. All Government servants including those employed on essential services like oil sector, transport and banking go on strike and hold the country to ransom. Agitators block trains, burn government properties and beat up police personnel. Millions of tons of food grain is exposed to weather and allowed to rot while millions of the poor go hungry. The Government just refuses to act. It is indeed a sad state to be in the 65th year of independence.

The Parliament has become a farce. The only issue on which our parliamentarians show unanimity is when it comes to increase their own emoluments and perks. The parliament sittings are reducing every year. There is hardly any debate. The members behave in the most undignified manner and egoistic manner.

It is not that people do not know what is wrong. Civil society leaders like Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev have been holding fasts and agitations. Hundreds of thousands of their supporters, members of “India Against Corruption”, have held protests in almost all cities of India. Millions of words have been written and spoken in the media about corruption in high places, about the nexus between the politicians and the criminals, about dividing the country on caste and religious lines in the search of votes that would allow a party to rule the country and enjoy the perks of office. Television channels show advertisements asking people not to vote for criminals and other unsuitable candidates. The right things cannot be done, harsh measures cannot be taken because it may cost votes or annoy coalition partners who are indispensable. The possibility of economic slavery under the developed nations and their multinationals looms large on the horizon.

The situation is perhaps worse than what prevailed when the sons of Dhritarashtra ruled Bharat. Are we going to wait for God to come and deliver ourselves from evil? Or can we try to fight evil in our own little ways?

à        Can the honest politicians and the civil society forget their political leanings and loyalties and come together and assist Kejriwal in saving India?

à        Can the President of India declare internal emergency, dismiss the government, improve law and order and order fresh elections?

à        Can the people of India forget caste and clan loyalties and elect honest and capable people to govern themselves?

Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev may be honest. But they are not politicians. You cannot win battles on valor alone. You need good general or leaders, you need an organization and you need a viable strategy. Can the honest people of India, political leaders, intellectuals and professionals, the youth and the aged forget their egos and come together and support Kejriwal in his efforts to clean up our political system? Kejriwal may not be Lord Krishna but he seems to be the only hope at this moment.