Need for vigilance awareness
Dr. Daleep Pandita
Recent instructions issued by Vigilance Commission to government departments to celebrate vigilance week with full enthusiasm is merely a symbolic tokenism for such a short period that has been continuing for the past several years without sustained efforts all along the remaining year. Addressing this vital issue seriously that is actively eating our nation assume utmost and urgent importance. Counting on accountable governance, public at large expect concrete steps against corruption, at least to have mass awareness against this evil that produces more importantly a deterrent effect rather than punitive results.
Creating sustained public awareness campaign against corruption is an exercise where not only government departments and their employees are to be involved but people amass need to play their responsible role for ending up anti corruption mission a great success. Government need to be serious in its commitment towards implementation of anti corruption measures by regularly sensitizing their employees continuously throughout the year. Commission associated with vigilance must be equipped with well trained and honest manpower who are dedicated towards the cause. Stress must be laid on granting them adequate judicial authority rather than empowering them with vast administrative jurisdiction. They need to be more accountable and result oriented so that people have faith and develop confidence in such institutions. At the same time, there is need to have proper check and balance on their functioning , so as not to misuse such agencies for settling personal scores and taking political vendetta.
Simultaneously media has tremendous responsibility to deliver anti corruption message to all classes of people. It must not only act as a watchdog over the functioning of government departments but also need to ensure result oriented efforts at various levels of the society by creating wide spread awareness campaign against corrupt practices. Concerned agencies must identify the seriousness of this malignancy and establish a connect with the people for not only to expose it completely but to generate sufficient knowledge about its consequences especially among the uneducated and rural poor. Voluntary citizens and nongovernmental organizations, who work with limited resources and strive for creating awareness against corruption need to be recognised and encouraged.
Role and responsibility of a common man to create vigilance awareness for eradication of corruption menace is essentially important. It needs to be activated and channelized properly with the patronage of government, particularly through educational institutions and law enforcing authorities.
We need to understand the types and genesis of corruption so as to tackle it more specifically rather than accordingly. Corruption in our society is perceived to be crime having financial implications. Actually corruption is much more broader term having wide ambit and different ramifications. It ranges from intellectual corruption to physical corruption, to sexual corruption, to moral corruption, to social corruption, to emotional corruption, to religious corruption, to ethnic corruption and very many types of corruption, all having negative implications on our growth and development. Basically corruption is either by need or by greed and both these modes are directly related with the mindset of an individual. It is fundamentally connected with moral and ethical values those develop during the upbringing of a person, society only shapes such ethos.
Vigilance is the main weapon to fight corruption and has two ways in dealing with this menace. One aspect is punitive vigilance that deals with creating much needed awareness so as follow thumb rule of “prevention is better than cure”. It not only creates feat in the mind of corrupt due to horrible end results of corruption but also builds morale against unfair and illegal practices that ultimately lead to self satisfaction of a person. All actions under this exercise are aimed to create deterrent effect in the mind of a common man. This approach is purely educative, informative and propulsive.
The other part of vigilance activity is punitive vigilance that provides punishment after committing the crime or acts of commission or omission. It is reformative that corrects human aberrations and serves lesson for others. Having major drawback that it can be used as a tool for victimisation and vindication, so in practice it is less encouraged to preventive vigilance.
Together with the government, we need to change our mindset, feel consciously responsible and fight for our rights by creating much needed vigilance awareness to fight against corruption menace prevalent in our society. Compromising with our moral and ethical values by succumbing to this evil for our petty gains, destroy us and our nation, which we cannot afford at any cost.