Graft in various organs of state and radicalism are linked, and need to be addressed together
The other day a civil servant along with his friends were sitting next to my table in a restaurant and laughing away to kingdom come. The irony was that the same morning his name has appeared in many news papers after a raid by the lok ayukta and findings of couple of crores of unaccounted wealth from his home.
He was not only cheerful but his friends were in awe of him. There was no sense of shame or regret. He was more like a hero.In the fifties and sixties corruption was considered as a menace to be tackled with.
Somewhere in the eighties it was considered as an inevitable byproduct of our system and in the late nineties it acquired respectability.
Today attitude towards corruption is benign and slowly we are entering a phase of admiring corruption. We have reached a situation where corrupt are glorified and appreciated in society.This does not augur well for our societal existence since we are facing a major threat from terrorism and it will use corruption and bribery to destroy our society.It is important to realise that terrorists do not arrive from alien planets, or are they air-dropped by our enemies in our midst.
They are present in our midst even if they are citizens of Pakistan, who are sent here to create havoc. Of course they are facilitated by good number of Indians since they require place to stay, transportation facilities food clothes and importantly materials for making their deadly weapons.It is important that a thorough analysis and study is conducted regarding the methods by which they get identity, transportation and weapons.
The role of corruption in facilitating terrorism is least discussed and analysed by our media which is always interested in breaking news which has the same impact as that of breaking wind in a crowded bus.The entry from other countries is the starting point. We carry the slogan atithi devo bhava to absurd extremes.
The entry from Bangladesh is facilitated by corruption at lower levels of security forces and the chalta hai attitude of our system. After entry in to India the person concerned is interested in somehow establishing an identity to get benefits and help.The primary identity in India is through the ration card which is used for procuring food grains from the public distribution system and also it a passport to get all other benefits like voting card, gas connections, bank accounts etc.
The first level identity namely getting a ration card is full of corruption in many states. It is possible to pay Rs 500 to1,000 and get a ration card.The Bangladeshis in Assam or West Bengal or Delhi or Mumbai or in Bangalore first try to procure a ration card since it denotes identity like the social security number in the US. It is not easy to get a social security number in the US by bribing relevant authorities. Once a ration card is obtained then other identitybenefit issues are tackled.
The second aspect is related to getting facilities to stay. The implementation of laws is very weak in this context. Many a regulations are present before taking a tenant etc.It is not practiced and also reeks of corruption. The terrorists need place to stay and also facilities to monitor the locations which they plan to hit. Without local-level support it is not easy to conduct reconnaissance of the sites. Again the issue of getting driving licenses?
It has been observed that the road transport authorities in various states are one of the most corrupt organisations and it is possible to get driving licenses by greasing the palm of appropriate officials.Acquiring scooters, cars and even bicycles require proper identification in all the developed countries. But in India without much effort by paying the amount one can acquire these items easily. In the secondary market the issues are more complicated due to lack of papers and proof.
There are reports which suggest that the ammunitions are either stolen or sold for a price. There are reports that even the security forces sell it and claim later that they were attacked and the riflesammunitions have been seized.The level of corruption in police and lower level of judiciary has been discussed ad nauseam but not in relation to terrorism.The availability of easy bail —- when people who should get anticipatory jail get anticipatory bail —- and long drawn out proceedings further facilitate terrorism since retribution is not swift and severe.
The lower level police are very critical in fighting terrorism and unfortunately that is in bad shape to day.
It is the human intelligence which is most useful to preventing terror activities and that cannot be substituted by any amount of sophisticated gadgets.But the lower level police are weak and corrupt to the extent in many states the postings are decided by auction or bidding since some postings are considered lucrative to earn.
Raids conducted by lok ayukta on many lower level police officials and the crores of assets found disproportionate to their known sources of income reveals the rot we are in.The society should realise that corruption facilitates terrorism and whatever is the other issues associated with corruption the issue of preventing terror is most critical. Unless we recognise the correlation between the rot which has set in the form of corruption in the various organs of state and the radical terrorism which is able to hit India with impunity, we will not be able to deal with the issue.We are not only a soft state we are also a corrupt state. This combination is adequate to destroy us with a little help from radical terrorists.