Graft epidemic reflections

EducationWorld May 2022 | Magazine Postscript

Over the past 75 years since independence, an amoral lumpen bourgeoisie with rural/small-town origins has risen to the very top of the establishment and entrenched itself in the national and state administrative capitals.

How else can one explain the conduct of Karnataka’s rural development & panchayat raj minister K.S. Eshwarappa and his heartless reaction to death by suicide of Santhosh Patil, a civil contractor who took the extreme step because the minister refused to clear his Rs.4 crore bill unless paid a commission of 40 percent of the bill amount? In a blatant falsehood, the minister claimed he never met Patil. Yet a tarmac road has sprung up in village Hindalga (Belagavi), constructed by Patil. Why would he do that unless he had a clear directive from the minister? The presumptive evidence is overwhelming and the minister’s plea that there was no “written order” to execute the contract and claiming a frame-up is pathetic. This klepto who in Karnataka’s murky corruption-stewed politics had earlier risen to the position of deputy chief minister, must be prosecuted for abetment to suicide.

Yet the deeper explanation behind this latest tragedy is the ingenuity with which Karnataka’s irredeemably corrupt neta-babu brotherhood has succeeded in devising the state’s cast-iron, official corruption system. Every public service has a well-advertised rate card. While academics and media pundits proffer the seven deadly sins as the cause of the graft epidemic in this state, the root cause is deliberate and sustained neglect to reform the education and legal systems. Reflect upon it. Enlightenment will dawn.

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