The Chief Minister of Assam is reported to have taken cognizance of the findings of corruption cases and massive fincial irregularities in the Directorate of Economics and Statistics in the State. He has issued instructions to the departmental officials to take action against those involved in such corrupt practices. However, there are quite a few issues that he must take cognizance of if he is determined to take the bull by the horns in his laudable crusade against corruption in the State. The first is that corruption is not confined to just one department or just a few officials. It is far more widespread than he imagines. Can he really be absolutely certain that the officials of the Directorate of Economics and Statistics are totally clean and above board? Can he count on them to take action against their brother officers for what they might themselves be guilty of? What is more important is that punitive action for corruption is soon forgotten if the action is not stringent and swift enough. One important principle is that any officer convicted for corruption must not be able to get his job back in government. Nothing short of this will suffice to put the fear of God in such officials. An officer convicted of corruption will do everything possible to recover all the years of graft that the government was able to take away from him if provided an opportunity to do so. What needs to be remembered at all times is that the officer resorted to corruption largely because he was never learnt to live within his means. And old habits die hard—especially in the case of corrupt officers.
Action against the Corrupt