Thursday, February 3

Fighting corruption

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Transparency International defines corruption as:
abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It hurts everyone whose life, livelihood or happiness depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.
Watching the founder of Transparency International, Peter Eigen speak at TED (see the video below) on ways to fight corruption, reminded me once again of brutal reality of Azerbaijan- corruption- that is everywhere and has taken over. And it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that is everywhere- kindergartens, schools, universities, hospitals, including on government level. 

In Azerbaijan, people like to talk about its rich history, its honest people, the dignity and ethics of its people. I don't refute as there are still many honest people in this country. And yet, there are children of school age who are taught from a young age, dishonesty when their teachers demand money for grades or when a doctor won't see a patient until money is slipped "under the table". Where is dignity and honesty in this? Corruption has been institutionalized in this country to an extent that when you don't have to bribe your way, it is shocking. 

Corruption exists in legislation too. According to a report released by the Council of Europe's Group of States against Corruption (GRECO):
there are major shortcomings concerning legislation on corruption and transparency in party funding [...] 
the concept of "official" used by the relevant bribery provisions does not cover all civil servants ad public employees. The offer and the promise of a bribe as well as the acceptance of an offer or a promise do not constitute completed crimes [...]
Corruption should not be seen as part of the country's culture or custom nowhere and by no one. Its another disease infecting governments that are already authoritarian and dictate the rules of the game. In Azerbaijan it has taken over and will continue its existence as long as parents of those children stop giving, patients stop slipping, teachers stop demanding, students stop giving. The change lies in the people themselves not in someone else. People should stand up for their rights and though its hard and complicated and lengthy, it is a step that should be taken at some point if of course those very people want an end to this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Most of the communities in India (such as Bengali), are succumbed in 'Culture of Poverty'(a theory introduced by an American anthropologist Oscar Lewis), irrespective of class or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is at all ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-administrative system, weak mother language, continuous absorption of common space (mental as well as physical, both). We are becoming fathers & mothers only by self-procreation, mindlessly & blindfold. Simply depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a decent, caring society, fearless & dignified living. Do not ever look for any other positive alternative behaviour (values) to perform human way of parenthood, i.e. deliberately co-parenting of those children those are born out of ignorance, real poverty. All of us are being driven only by the very animal instinct. If the Bengali people ever be able to bring that genuine freedom (from vicious cycle of 'poverty') in their own life/attitude, involve themselves in 'Production of Space’(Henri Lefebvre), at least initiate a movement by heart, decent & dedicated Politics will definitely come up.
- Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, 16/4, Girish Banerjee lane, Howrah-711101, India.