Economy India
Bharat Parivartan Abhiyaan

Still Media Has Miles To go in combating corruption

Still Media Has Miles To go in combating corruption

 Manohar Manoj

Corruption is a cancerous evil for society, and this sentence has become a buzzword in our contemporary arena. It is just demolishing the developing and progressive order of the society to which all endeavors have been going on from the very past. Psychologically we can say that this is the human tendency, which acts as a two-edged sharp weapon, which thinks of construction as well as destruction also, it feels of betterment as well as annihilation  As we all know we are suffering from that era of human civilization, which is full of wonder and pride in achievements but it is accompanied by the manufacturing and storage of many destructive weapons also, which is sufficient enough for the dead-end of the world humanity. The same thing applies to corruption also. So on one side, mankind crafts a system, an institutional or an organizational order for spreading the development and percolating the welfare deeds to the masses, on the other the same mankind, (may not be all man) creates the loopholes in this very order and commit corruption just for individual sake and appeasing own self-interest or organizations’ interest.

This is the mindset of some section of mankind that creates these sorts of problems for the community and system as a whole. This mindset is similar to those nations involved in an arms race without considering the plight of Humanity of other nations. But mind it neither all people nor all countries are the same. That is why optimism has not faded away from society. Some countries have set a great example by not participating in the race. Japan is a great economic power in today’s world but it has always kept it away from the weapon race. Because it has learned a lesson from its history. When we talk about corruption this same example becomes relevant. That is why committing corruption is not a universal characteristic of all mankind. Mankind may have a two-edged sharp weapon mind but he doesn’t need to be using it all the time. A right-thinking person always uses only one side of the sharp-edged weapon just to promote the well-being of a law-abiding society and in the interest of better prosperity of his nation.

So here, there is a need for the emergence of an ideal system that could always monitor it and immediately apply self-corrective measures. And in this process of correction media act as a great tool. Because no system in the world can be said ultimate and utmost good. Any system can be prey to disorder and fall under the trap of wayward decisions of the concerned authority. So in this reference a society or system needs to create environments where only the right-thinking persons can survive, honest work culture can persist, and zero tolerance for corruption can exist. Those who are working on this path have to be given moral support or kind of economic incentives or rewards and foremost thing they should be given publicity and fame even on a local level. So In order to bring a corruption-free society, we need to create an opportune condition for honest and law-abiding people and at the same time severely punish the corrupt element provided with more and more deterrent conditions for them. Therefore the role of mass media greatly emerged here. Apart from the law and criminal justice procedures, mass media have a very crucial role in this regard. If a renowned surgeon of Bombay hospital gets detected while doing the racket of Kidneys and his photo comes in the newspaper, he looks ashamed covering his face so that the masses couldn’t recognize him. Actually, it was the feeling of community shame, which forced that doctor to cover his face. When noted singer Daler Mehandi was found convicted in the case of illegal deportation of some people he was more concerned about his image rather than imprisonment or any kind of penalty.

Mass media is such a kind of institution, which has a multidimensional role in combating corruption and in the establishment of a corruption-free society. Because Corruption may have so many causes. We cannot make only one or two people responsible for corruption, If you take any big corruption scam when it is get properly investigated we find it has so many interlinks. So the media must take corruption as not a person’s failure but the system’s failure. Several official rules and procedures also promote corruption. That is why it is generally said corruption comes from the top and spreads over the bottom.

The second thing is that generally, men have a very Hippocratic character, over the issue of corruption. Even a corrupt official criticizes corruption but when the time of his role comes he is not concerned about his duty or social responsibility. A corrupt person must also think that he also faces ill corruption while rendering his work. A survey conducted by Bhartiya Yuva Patrakar Sangathan, asked with the respondents whether they would accept a bribe or wine while casting their vote for some particular candidate, effects of nobody answered this question, in the same way, it was asked them whether they would like to exchange dowry for their son or daughter’s marriage, nobody honestly answered this question. When it was asked whether they would want their son to earn extra money while doing the job. About fifty percent of respondents answered yes. Here we can easily imagine the dual Hippocratic character of mankind who behave not in a uniform manner over the issue of corruption.

This is a very obvious fact corruption is not one person’s deeds; it is a consequence of many interrelated elements. So here the role of media is urgently required to go to the bottom of the problem. Highlighting the corrupt element and promoting the image of an honest person very from bottom to top level. The real role of mass media is to create awakening, to be acknowledgeable about the system’s procedure, and to disseminate it to the masses and make them informed. Above all the media’s role is lying in making a strong public opinion against all kinds of defined and non-defined corruption. Because it is not necessary that all persons, officials, or organizations that are involved in corrupt activities may be detected by the investigating agencies. There are a thousand types of corruption which is existing in society plus there are millions of cases of corrupt activities going on in society, So it is not possible to just check it at its very source unless a very strong public opinion and vibrant social culture are prevailing in our whole system and set-up. Only the media here can play the role of harbinger because only it can tell the people at a large scale that corruption is detrimental to the larger interest of society and in the future course of an individual’s life. Corruption is not bad because public money meant for public welfare work gets siphoned but people must think that ultimately it will destroy the social fabric and core of the nation.

Some Person And Institutions Can Act As A Role Models

We have so many honest persons who are dedicated to the greater societal and community interest. These kinds of people and institutions can act as an example and their performance on this front can generate an element of optimism, which will ultimately become instrumental in combating cancerous evil like corruption.

To what extent I have assumed corruption which is prevailing in our society, is not felt on a very serious note by administrators and as well as opinion makers. Individually some may have very bitter experiences of corruption in their private or public life but this problem has not yet been perceived as a very serious threat on a whole community basis. First of all to regard this corruption as a root cause of almost all the problems which we are right now facing in the country. We have not regarded this corruption as our topmost priority of the problem. When we take this problem as the biggest hindrance factor in bringing public betterment then we can assume about this menace of society. See if a contractor with the help of a corrupt PWD engineer makes a lesser quality road that cannot survive even a single rainy season, it gives a disadvantage to that contractor also along with innumerable people who go through that road. But for the sake of his monetary benefit, the contractor harms the causes of the community.

Protecting its self-interest is a very natural and psychological character of every mankind but the only difference is that some people have consideration for their own interests whereas some have community consideration also. These kinds of persons think and act in a wider sense and perspective of society.

Checking Corruption from the polity, society, and the different layers of bureaucracy can’t be made possible by any sort of direct measures. There may be law and criminal—justice systems. There may be a moral boycott of corrupt people, there may be making the name of the corrupt official public likewise. We know we have all these kinds of measures and systems for combating the problem of corruption but despite that corruption is flourishing in our society in a hurricane manner. If we measure the economics of corruption prevailing over different kinds of institutions whether it is govt. offices or departments, religious trusts, educational institutions, and even media houses this size of corruption is enormous.

We all know that about 40 percent of our wealth is on unaccounted means, which is called black money, this is the money not earned by fair means or it has not been kept in the knowledge of tax officials. A man’s earning tendency is not an unfair thing but to the persons who want money earn by adopting shortcut measures, by using their own position and post in a wrong manner, and by misusing discretionary powers, they try to play with a lot of lots of citizens. Making money by corrupt means is just like trying to climb up the mountains by crushing the necks of poor people.

When we diagnose the whole structure of corruption we find there are more than several causal factors of corruption, only a highly sensitive die-hard dedicated, and honest leader can cleanse this system. There are some examples where a particular administrator has shown his willpower and success in making the system comprised of a lesser degree of corruption. One who wants to launch a crusade against corruption for them the thing has not become dark. Still, there are so many elements of optimism. Many institutions have modeled them as honest and efficient organizations. Here media has also a role to play in projecting them as great models for society. So far the role of our Indian media is concerned their role in combating corruption has not been very substantial. They become a bit active only when some big scam gets leaked then they repeatedly cover it. In the meantime, they forget about all the upcoming and occurring incidents of corruption. We know that corruption is not an issue for which we must wait until any Scam gets leaked. corruption is occurring everywhere in each walk of life. People are suffering, whether from police officials, the judicial system, or the ration office, for getting a driving license, getting a reservation ticket, getting a loan, or any kind of official work. There is adulteration; there is the existence of commission in all kinds of construction and in the approval of tenders like that.


For the media, corruption is masala, not a mission

Media take the issues of corruption just as masala news, not in a missionary manner; otherwise, in newspapers, we have been getting most of the news daily on corruption-related things. You diagnose any problem, whether it is population growth, poverty, starvation, or even unemployment. Whatever resources we have if it would have been properly utilized should have a greater impact on a lot of common people. We all know money has been vastly misused by the officials given on account of population control. We know there is a big racket working on drug purchases in govt. hospitals. If the media is vigilant or we see day-by-day investigation reports on these topics we have more restrictions on the corrupt activities of the official. It is true media can’t check corruption directly But it has its role which is a multiplier effect over the restriction on corrupt practices.


Role of media in social awareness

Apart from the above thing media has a role in the making of that kind of society, which has a greater degree of resistance to corruption: it is only possible when media create an ideal civic environment. In a country like India where democracy is not mature enough, There are so many institutional barriers like aristocracy, feudalism, and babudom. These are the factors, which is still governing our society. Here public has no direct say over the officials because they are ignorant and illiterate; they are living in remote rural areas. Still, the rural people respond to emotional appeals made to them by competing groups of the ruling class, in the name of religion, caste, ethnic origin, or language, and as a consequence issues like corruption go in the dark. The bottom layers of each of the groupings are used as cannon fodder in the intra-class war of the elite. Under these circumstances, the media has to tell the people, what the schemes meant for them, and what procedures they have to follow because the bureaucracy is not interested in making the people aware and acknowledgeable of all pronounced govt. schemes. So here right to information has a great relevancy because this is the issue by which corruption will be getting its great remedy and under these situations, officials will be more accountable to the public and then they will not feel that any help given to the poor class is not from their pocket but out of public money. So only media can create such a type of environment. Any step that goes for the right to information, right to know, and right to exploit the opportunities for living a better life and making oneself prosperous, will create a corruption-free atmosphere.

the writer is the author of the book ” A Crusade against Corruption, on the Neutral Path”

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