24th November 2010
The CVC is a sham – let’s just shut it down
The present CVC Mr. P. J. Thomas is facing a charge sheet in the 1991-92 scam on the import of palm oil in Kerala when he was the civil supplies secretary. Sonia Jaspal has discussed this shocking matter, and related issues, in her excellent blog post here.
But even more fundamental issues are worth considering in relation to this organisation. I will endeavour to show in this post that having a Central Vigilance Commission under the current governance arrangements in India is sheer waste. It gives citizens the appearance that something is being done to fight corruption, but that is a TOTALLY false appearance! The CVC does precisely ZILCH to REDUCE CORRUPTION IN INDIA. It is also totally irrelevant – under the current governance arrangements in India – whether the CVC is personally honest or not. The whole thing about "fighting corruption" is a TOTAL sham. It has been a sham since India became independent and and choose the worst possible governance policies.
1. Corruption in India is a top-down, not bottoms-up phenomenon. The CVC can't catch the Prime Ministers and heads of major political parties. What's the point of having a CVC? The causes of India's culture of corruption are outined in some detail in chapters 4 and 5 of my book, Breaking Free of Nehru. These causes relate (a) to our socialist policies, (b) to the design of our electoral system and (c) to our tenured bureaucracy. Unless these basic causes are addressed, things like the CVC are like putting whitewash over over a rotting, termite-eaten mansion.
2. Our disciplinary laws are full of loopholes. The idea of natural justice, as currently applied, is so broad-based that it can be readily twisted by the corrupt to undermine all disciplinary proceedings.
3. A flourishing legal industry to protect the corrupt: Corrupt officials have VERY deep pockets! They hire the best lawyers to exploit all possible legal loopholes, created through decades of case law on this subject. There is a massive industry of lawyers whose sole job is to support corrupt officials against the law.
4. Connivance from corrupt doctors: The mammoth industry created for the defence of the corrupt includes doctors who give false medical certificates to delay hearings. The corrupt can then happily live off their loot while the legal process languishes for years, and is ultimately forgotten or written off.
5. Corrupt officials have a long political reach. With any change in government, the corrupt will pay off the Ministers, and disciplinary cases are promptly withdrawn. The corrupt are usually rewarded with "juicy" postings where they can now make ten times the money they made earlier..
6.The impotence of the CVC: I haven't heard of any major investigation by the CVC which has led to any results. It simply can't.
India's systems don't punish the corrupt. They reward the currupt, instead.
The cost-benefit of having an office of the CVC under these circumstances doesn't add up. It is best to scrap this sham organisation, and declare publicly that the corrupt will be made kings.
If Indians are TRULY serious about elimination of corruption, they'll have to change the laws, as outlined in BFN. That won't ever be done by existing political parties.- nor by populist outfits like the one led by Baba Ramdev who hasn't the slightest clue about the most basic principles of governance.
A totally new political formation is needed. I would therefore like to challenge those who write about corruption to stop wasting their time on fruitless writing of articles and to directly work toward entering the Parliament and changing India's laws.
The Freedom Team of India is designed precisely for this task – to OVERTHROW THE CORRUPT SOCIALISTS OF INDIA. Join FTI. Support it.
Then, and ONLY then – after the necessary changes in the governance system have been made – will you finally see the India you want to see. I trust you understand this very simple and basic message.
Lose hope with your Congress, BJP, Baba Ramdevs and the lot. Else just suffer. There is simply no other choice.