Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability.
Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the “start-up costs” required because of corruption.
India unfortunately is badly afflicted by the menace of corruption. Despite plethora of laws, and social-leader’s campaign the menace of corruption shows no sign of abating. Transparency Internations’s 2017 Corruption Perception Index ranks India at 81st place out of 180 countries. The causes of corruption in India include excessive regulations, complicated tax and licensing systems, numerous government departments with opaque bureaucracy and discretionary powers, monopoly of government controlled institutions on certain goods and services delivery, and the lack of transparent laws and processes.
Corruption is a world-wide concern. On 31 October 2003, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption and requested that the Secretary-General designate the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as secretariat for the Convention’s Conference of States Parties. The Assembly also designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it.
Corruption eats into the vitals of a nation. It creates social chasm, which translates into social unrest and pushes the country to the path to anarchy. Therefore, it is in our interest we should do whatever we can to contain corruption.
Public Policy and Media
Public policy can be defined as the principled guide to action taken by the administrative executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs.
Policy is seldom a single action, but is most often a series of actions coordinated to achieve a goal. The foundation of public policy is composed of laws and regulations.
Public policy making can be characterized as a dynamic, complex, and interactive system through which public problems are identified and countered by creating new public policy or by reforming existing public policy.
In public policy making, numerous individuals and interest groups compete and collaborate to influence policymakers to act in a particular way. They use a variety of tactics and tools to advance their aims, including advocating their positions publicly, attempting to educate supporters and opponents, and mobilizing allies on a particular issue. However, government ultimately chooses the ‘public policy’.
Media, as a reflector of public mood and aspiration play an important role in public policy formation. It acts both as an active player and a platform for other stake holders to air their views. It acts and is acted upon. That makes media’s role in policy formation interesting and that is why media needs to take its role seriously.
Megha Paul, my student at Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Dhenkanal, presently working as a journalist in Delhi has written this letter to December. It is so enthralling that I can not resist the urge to share it. Here it is:
Here we meet again. I probably haven’t told you this ever, but you have always been my favourite. For some unknown reason, like I love the dusk over dawn, I love you the most. You bring along with you a fresh hope for new promises, new beginnings and a tiny hope that burns like a fire by the time you leave.
They call you the month of miracles, but I know you don’t believe it because there are miracles everywhere, just that we need to look. And I know that the days will end and nights will too, one after the other like a never ending dance. There isn’t a greater miracle, the one that is called life. So, this year, let’s try and laugh with abandon.
This year, let’s be kinder to each other, December. The parties will go on, the lights will eventually fade, the makeup, like a second skin, must be taken off at regular intervals. But we are going to exist irrespective of these, aren’t we? Let’s try and do it all again, December, one step at a time, each day.
Let’s find more reasons to stay the course, bleed, cry, shout and still fight.
Let’s eat to fill our heart than our stomachs, take pictures, make new friends, explore new places, and dance away all night.
Let’s breathe with every ounce of air our lungs can fill in and every bit of hope our hearts can build in. Let’s laugh until our sides hurt, steal chocolates and hearts, dress to kill and find little miracles along the way.
Let’s love passionately, even if it destroys us in return; for despite its failings, love still makes the world go round. Let’s find ourselves and pay attention to this beating heart that refuses to stop believing.
Let’s celebrate being a living, breathing, pulsating little beam of life that has a chance to make a difference every day.
Let’s be happy for the privilege to enjoy the smaller things.
Let’s live a little more.
7 types of Cheese
Teacher: Name 7 different types of Cheese.
- Swiss blue
Teacher: Wait a minute, what are ‘Bekhudi’ and ‘Zindagi’?
Banta: Hosh walon ko khabar kya, ‘Bekhudi’ kya ‘cheese’ hai. Ishq kijiye phir samjhiye, ‘Zindagi’ kya ‘cheese’ hai….
The teacher is in coma.
Tailpiece: Calm Wali
Ladies feel a sense of relief when they see their maid in the morning….
That is why she is called ‘Calm Wali’
Mrinal Chatterjee, a journalist turned media academician presently lives in Dhenkanal, Odisha. He also writes fiction.