Corruption levels have increased by leaps and bound in Himachal Pradesh. Increased economic activity is one main reason for the rise of the corruption monster. Earlier it was the hotel boom when all non-Himachalis built hotels in the state against all norms. It was mainly done under benami deals. The authorities knew all about this but chose to remain silent as their mouth and pockets were stuffed with money. The second big opportunity for our leaders and the govt. babus came in the form of Industrial package allotted to the state. Baddi, Barotiwala, Nalagarh (BBN) turned into cash cow for all those who mattered. Babus paid in lakhs to get a posting in this industrial corridor so they could mint crores. Sher Singh Thakur was just one example how our bhola bhala pahari babu could make crores while being a drug inspector.
The leaders remained busy minting money and our babus too remained busy counting the same all these years. Suddenly March 2010 appears on the horizon when the party ends. The package which was originally till 2013 was curtailed to March 2010 later. Our leaders and babus are worried the money tree from the BBN belt may take a flight. These days the right kind of noises are being made about the great ‘injustice’ being done to Himachal by curtailing this package. In all this melee and mela our leaders and the enforcing agencies forgot that Himachalis were supposed to get 70% jobs in the units in BBN. There are not even 10% Himachalis in the work force in the entire BBN belt. The work force is entirely from the UP Bihar, transportation business is entirely controlled by the Punjab transporters; So how did Himachal benefit? Only our leaders and the babus made a killing out of this ‘package’.
This article is not about BBN but the entire business of corruption in the government. Corruption thrives because government has a monopoly control and therein lies the possibility of corruption. A state like Himachal has 43 departments, numerous boards, corporations and commissions to run the state. This means more cars with flashing red lights on top. The ministers, the commissioners, the departmental heads and more bureaucrats to support them. Lots of files, notings, granting of permissions. And we all know the end result is zero when it comes to implementation.
Buses keep going off the road regularly. The Chief Minister expresses ‘grief’ and his transport minister expresses ‘shock’ every time there is a bus accident. The transport department could not tame the private bus operators in Shimla in terms of over crowding and music in buses. How does one expect them to tame the buses plying in the interiors? More the fact where is the will to enforce the regulations? Every Monday in Shimla, a Travera bearing a govt. number is parked behind the RKMV. All private buses plying on long routes have a mandatory stop in front of this Travera. And this ‘grief and shock’ business continues.
One can cynically observe that corruption is a horizontal issue that runs across all the verticals, and indeed they are all ministries for corruption.
We all need to understand that corruption breeds from the Top. This is no rocket science. Let me explain:
- If the boss is honest, he will not tolerate dishonest business under him.
- If the boss is dishonest, the people under him have his permission to be dishonest.
- If the boss is dishonest, the people under him are safe being dishonest as he can not take action against them because they can implicit the boss.
- If the boss is dishonest, he will not tolerate honest people working for him as he cannot have a hold on them and they can again implicit the boss.
- If the boss is dishonest, he will eventually convert those working for him to be dishonest.
In any organization, the degree of corruption increases with the level in the organization. If the lowly clerk at the government office is corrupt, it means that the whole structure is corrupt and the most corrupt are at the top of the organization. Government organizations draw their inspiration from the top. The government is a collection of such organizations. The people who form the top level of the government can therefore be expected to be the most corrupt.
Corruption is so endemic to the class of politicians that it does not evoke even mild surprise, leave alone any outrage.
(A part of the article is referenced from Atanu Dey’s blog)