TODAY -

Anti-corruption Cell: concerns and connotations
- Imphal Times Editorial :: June 30 2017 -



On 24th March this year, the newly elected BJP-led state government launched the Anti Corruption Cell in an apparent effort to bring down the growing menace of corruption that has been hampering developmental and progressive moves being planned and implemented in Manipur.

The decision itself on the part of the government is significant for it clearly demonstrated that the depth and reach of the menace of corruption has finally been acknowledged by the government and is taking up steps to check it.

Corruption affects everyone in the society in ways big and small.

It goes without saying that the tide of opinion has turned against corruption and the public cutting across communities and faiths is today far more intolerant of the pervasive practice as there has been unanimity on the fact that corruption is detrimental to the interests of the society in general and the poor in particular.

It impedes development and economic progress, undermines democracy and the law of the land and worse of all erodes public trust in the system which invariably leads to the widening of a psychological divide between the government and the public which in turn facilitates dissent, terrorism and all sorts of crimes- organized or otherwise.

While the efficiency of the unit is still too early to be assessed objectively, there emerged certain unfavorable reports of those personnel given charge to handle the matter giving the cold shoulder to complainants approaching the cell for relief.

The disturbing reports and the changing public perception on the whole exercise accordingly does not bode well for the efforts of the state government which is still in its very nascent stage.

No doubt, the people chosen to run the Cell must be highly qualified and knowledgeable, and yet in the absence of empathy and understanding in dealing with the cases, the whole effort could very well turn into an exercise in futility as those seeking the assistance and help of the Cell are people who already have their grievances against the functionaries of the government, and any show of negligence or carelessness, intentionally or otherwise, on the part of the officials will undoubtedly be amplified.

Setting up of the Anti-Corruption Cell is a welcome move, but one which must not be considered an end in itself.

What should matter more is the manner in which the unit is operating.

Corruption in itself is a very sensitive issue, and those handling the matters should do so with tact and understanding.

Developments on the complaints should be made public regularly and any charges, when proven true, should be dealt with severely and without any undue delay. Sacrificing a few small fries to stall genuine cases will incur the anger of the informed public and is sure to backfire.

An independent body should ideally be entrusted to handle the cases and follow-ups should be made. There is no dearth of laws to handle corruption in the country.

The most important aspect in the fight against corruption is the implementation of the mechanisms available to the officials and authorized personnel.

Participation and proactive monitoring by the public will ultimately decide the success or failure of such a public endeavor.



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