Bengaluru: “Fighting against corruption is not a battle, but a journey in progress that we as citizens along with the government should work together for,” said Samuel Paul, Founder-Chairman of Public Affairs Centre, on International Anti-Corruption Day .
At a programme organised by the Coalition Against Corruption, he elaborated how the government and civil society should work for a corruption-free society. “Over the years, the standard of public life seems to be deteriorating.
The clear example is the way our political parties and elections are being funded. They have no accountability. We, the citizens, should also be held guilty, for helping the guilty officials indirectly by not standing up for the truth,” he said.
Paul said there are four barriers in solving the problem of corruption – mobilisation of election funds without transparency, falling standards of public life, failure in the enforcement of anti-corruption laws, and society’s ignorance and lack of knowledge on its rights.
He emphasised the need to embrace new technologies like e-governance. “It brings down the scope of corruption. If people can pay taxes and other levies online, there will be no scope for under-the-table dealings or involvement of any third party,” he said.
Former Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde gave away prizes to schoolchildren who participated in a painting competition on corruption. He said, “India has been facing corruption since 1947. The time has come for us to fight corruption. Had the ‘Anna movement’ started in the early 1960s, the scale of corruption that we see today would be lesser,” he said.
He also advised the youth to earn money legitimately and to be content. “It is impossible to become a human without humanity. Humanitarianism is acquired,” he added.
A. Ravindra, adviser to the CM on Urban Affairs, said, “Unearthing scams does not solve the problem of corruption. Society and government should work together to fight corruption”.