If we want clean India, why do we vote corrupt?

The Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari, was once asked in a television show as to why the Congress had given a parliamentary ticket to Mohammed Azharuddin, the former Indian cricket captain found guilty of match-fixing and banned for life from the game by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

“We have only given him a ticket,” said Tiwari with a smirk, turning to the audience, “but you have elected him.”


Ashok Sanjay Guha of the school of international studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, in The Telegraph, Calcutta:

“Why does the Indian electorate persistently reward crime? Why do we elect and repeatedly re-elect to seats of power those whose rightful place is in prison cells meditating on their sins in mournful solitude? Are we a basically corrupt and criminalized society which regards honesty as folly and idolizes thieves, cheats and murderers? Why is a society of predominantly honest people so profoundly pervaded by dishonesty? Why do we, regardless of our personal ethics, tolerate, and indeed reward and lionize, corruption and crime among our representatives?

“Obviously, the problem lies not in our genes, but in the systems we have produced and nurtured, systems that create what the economist calls ‘moral hazard’, rules that generate incentives for cheating and corruption. The main feature of these rules is the discretionary power they vest in particular individuals to control the economic destinies of others. Discretion implies an irreplaceable element of personal judgment which others can question only within very narrow limits. If bureaucrats or politicians are empowered to use their judgment in punishing or rewarding people, in awarding or denying them contracts, in licensing them for, or barring them from, specific activities, the temptation to use this authority for personal enrichment becomes intense.

“If even a handful of those tempted succumb and offer favourable decisions in return for bribes, the beneficiaries of such decisions acquire a competitive edge over honest rivals. The latter must then emulate the former or be driven out of the market which then becomes the exclusive domain of the dishonest. Either way, the proportion of bribe offers to decisions increases. And though one may not agree with Henry Ford that “every man has his price”, many of them undoubtedly do, so that more and more decisionmakers are lured away from the straight and narrow path. Venality becomes all-pervading.”

Read the full article: Carrying the albatross

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13 Responses to “If we want clean India, why do we vote corrupt?”

  1. Sanjeeva Says:

    Manish Tewari is very correct in his statement. As to the question why do we vote corrupt is an innocent as well as a serious question. It would be interesting to see the opinion of the readers. As for me, when the choice becomes choosing between a pick pocket, a rowdy, a rapist, a nuisance etc. , I prefer to sit at home and curse the system.

  2. the colonel Says:

    where in the world are the corrupt punished?????

    that moron tiwari was right

  3. twistleton Says:

    Because when everyone’s corrupt then no one is.

  4. Jayashree Says:

    We must only vote for people who feel proud to be Indians, irrespective of the circumstances.

  5. the colonel Says:

    dear jayashree,

    Then on voting day stay at home or go on a picnic or meet your friends and condemn your mil.

    Or get the EC to place a last button in RED which states NONE OF THE ABOVE and this vote MUST be counted and if in a majority no one represents us.

  6. Yella Ok Says:

    Manish Tiwari’s statement sums up the attitude of every political party – blame the other side (voter, other political party, EC, etc). A self respecting politician should have made it a point not to give tickets to people like Azhar; but instead he has the gall to point fingers at others – sad that we was not slapped in public for such a statement. what he does not (conveniently) recognize is that there are gullible voters who rely on brand congress (or brand bjp, etc) and vote irrespective of the candidate.

  7. mounaprasad Says:

    Manish Tiwari is spot on in his reaction. The indian voters sells himself short in every election and then keeps complaining for the next 5 years that the government is inefficient and corrupt. I believe, the going rate RS.2000 per vote in the recent bypolls in andhra which is roughly 1 rupee per day for the next 5 years for the voter. That is how cheap indian voters sell themselves during election. It is high time the voting rates are revised :)

  8. Narayana Says:

    Great suggestion. I am adding more twists. Against each name, in addition to a vote button there should be a “laath” button. Each “laath” should get counted as a negative vote. Candidates getting negative vote should get as many lashes in public on their bare bums.
    I am roiling in laughter imagining all the red bums in Parilament.

  9. Jayashree Says:

    Dear Colonel,
    I do not know as to whether you are an ex Army, I am a house wife.
    So Rahul Ghandi who feels ashamed to be an Indian will be our PM and you will vote for him!

  10. Abhi Says:

    Obviously, problem lies not in our genes,

    Not very obvious looking at the results.

  11. Shetty Says:

    Despite all the crude and extremely selfish corruption in every facet of daily life, a fact that is a open secret now: all over Karnataka if not globally, the cat with 9 lives, Yeddi may continue, thanks to his routine payouts to petty trader Gadkari and huge black money assigned to a perpetual ‘operation kamala’.
    Let us accept it: SC strictures, open loot of natural resources, unheard of corruption and complete failure of law & order…etc ..have no effect to crude money power in Indian democracy.
    Well, it is indeed a shame and absolute insult to all kannadigas….especially to those in every middle class family, who had so much belief in the BJP, I mean: once upon a time.
    Sadly and most tragically, we have no alternatives either….!

    While in the BJP, everyone knows how most loyal RSS talented worker Ananth Kumar danced to Niira Radia’s tunes and both made easy billions, the Eswarrappa, Ashok, Reddy’s, Renukacharya.et al are better not discussed. After all they have already made their billions long ago, all safely stashed away.

    Regretfully, the JD-S stink’d of obscene corruption in the past (although we must give credit to Kuamaranna’s recent crusade to completely expose Yeddi despite the odds) just as the Cong-I’s key leaders (semi-retired yet dreaming as well as the young ocal turks) are among the most hated in the state, many of whom are actually well-known stealth cohorts of Yeddi & family!

    Unlike, West Bengal or Tamil Nadu and very soon Andhra, it is perhaps Karnataka’s bad luck and tragic fate to see such a dismissal future…

    Who and what idea can fill the void?
    Of course, considering the extraordinary intellect of the state, there are definitely enough personalities who can fill-in!
    Who will take the initiative asap and capture the masses imagination and dreams?

    Well, that’s a key question and top-of-mind issue, a crying need that is probably going to see the most interest locally among Kannadiga’s, before the next key elections!

    Think this over, next time you buy a cup of by2 chaa or probably by4 kapee to your friends a ice-cream to your kids or fill in petrol….Rs 5 more or will it soon be Rs 10 more?…

    How can you help change your own future?
    Who can help us?

  12. vikram Says:

    well KRV can easily capture the masses imagination and dreams. they only have to beat the crap out of outsiders just the way MNS did. :)

  13. Shyam Says:

    true… not sure who said this, but it still rings true: Cutting up fowl to predict the future is, if done honestly and with as little interpretation as possible, a kind of randomization. But chicken guts are hard to read and invite flights of fancy or corruption.

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