A First Estimate Of Petty Corruption
The crime may be small in monetary terms but the punishment was exemplary. All punishment is meant to be exemplary because no system can ever catch all offenders. When a thief is caught, he is subject to exemplary punishment as a warning to potential thieves. The inequity in the system however lies in the fact that while this gent got caught and was suspended for petty corruption, those who transact in crores almost always go scot-free.
The corruption of the big, “grand larceny”, says a report of Transparency International India (TII), “by its very nature is difficult to detect. Both the giver and the taker are beneficiaries of the corruption.” When exposed, as in the case of Bofors, Hawala and the Tehelka scams, such big corruption makes big news but rarely is there any exemplary punishment. When caught, corrupt politicians often use the so-called “verdict of the electorate” as a smokescreen to escape punishment by manipulating the system. To do this they often subvert the law and order machinery and co-opt the law enforcers. Little wonder then that in public perception the “most
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