While speaking to the Indian diaspora in Washington DC on Monday, Prime Minister rendra Modi sought to project his government’s success in fighting terror and corruption. He said that there has not been a single blot of corruption against his government, and that no country has questioned the surgical strikes conducted by India across the border. He also held out the promise that there would be a supportive environment for developing India matching the progress in the United States. Referring to corruption as the root cause for which previous governments were changed in India, Modi claimed that his government had emerged corruption free in the past three years. “Governments were changed because of corruption. The common people hated this... There has been not a single blot on our government in the past three years. And governce is being modified so that honesty becomes an in-built process,” he said. He was of the view that technology was helping in creating a more congenial climate for honesty. “Increased usage of technology brings transparency in systems. When I think of a developed India, I think of a healthy India, particularly the good health of women and children of our tion,” he added.
There is no denying that a society that has been exposed to corruption for decades needs to depend more and more on technology in order to reduce dependence on the human factor that is supportive of corrupt practices. While there is general agreement that corruption has been reduced to a great extent during the last three years, the tion needs more time than just three years to assess whether the present climate of a relatively corruption-free administration is likely to be sustained on a permanent basis or whether it is a sort of investment to ensure that the BJP is returned to power again in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019. Even if the present ambience of reduced corruption is no more than a kind of political investment, the very fact that people are happier to be in a less corrupt environment acts as a strong incentive to remain honest and avoid corrupt practices. If the corruption-free environment can be sustained for two more years and then again for five more years, the tion itself will perhaps take very firm steps to sustain a corruption-free ambience. There is no denying that greater dependence on technology and stronger steps to keep out the human factor from most of our activities will go a long way to elimite the possibilities of sustaining corrupt practices. The ‘supportive environment’ for a corruption-free society that Prime Minister rendra Modi spoke of is not something that is gifted to any society by any divine power. This supportive environment is something that people create for themselves by rejecting all corrupt practices. It is an environment created by a strong will to reject all dishonest practices and initiatives at all times and to prefer clean and transparent modes of conducting business. There is no denying that creating such a supportive environment in a culture that has got used to a wide range of corrupt practices will be a Herculean task. Nevertheless, it is a task that the tion cannot escape if we are at all serious about tackling corruption in the country. But what makes the task extremely difficult is that corruption has become a major vested interest for a whole lot of very influential people. And considering that their very survival depends on their ability to sustain corruption, those who are thinking of a crusade to end corruption have a very arduous task ahead of them. However, the choice is very clear. We either take up this challenge and decide to see it through to a happy conclusion or let things drift as they are until we reach the inevitable destition of the kind of hell that we had not bargained for.