Corruption is a parasite that is hollowing our economy with each passing day. Today many developing countries like Pakistan are facing a variety of socio-economic problems primarily because of the menace of corruption.
Despite having a promising geostrategic locality and an abundance of natural resources Pakistan is still a backward and under-developing country. Our socio-economic and development prospects are currently stalled due to presence of the shackles of corruption within our society, which has obstructed the whole process of national progress and economic development.
Therefore in order to eradicate this existential threat of corruption from our society the onus lies on the way our society treats this social disease.
Former Indian President Pratibha Patil once said:
“Corruption is the enemy of development, and of good governance. It must be got rid of. Both the government and the people at large must come together to achieve this national objective.”
It implies that getting rid of the corruption is not an individual task but it should be undertaken at all levels of the society, and by all the stake holders, because it is the collective duty of the whole society to fight against this existential threat with all the available means. There are various causes of prevailing corruption within our society, such as the lack of rule of law, poor governance, abuse of discretionary powers and lack of accountability, illiteracy, etc. But the main cause of corruption within our society is the sheer indifference of the general public toward this problem. It seems that our society has taken it as an acceptable social norm, so much so that the soliciting and taking of bribes is not considered as a social evil at all.
Corruption is a multifaceted problem. It not only causes enormous damage to the national exchequer but also creates an environment of social discomfiture by dividing society into the groups of haves and have nots. Therefore in order to tackle the ongoing spree of corruption from our system, our society can play a pivotal role in the prevention of corruption and it’s the responsibility of society as a whole to make some fundamental structural changes into our current social system.
First things first, our education system should be revamped to fit the pressing needs of modern world. “Honesty is the best policy” should be taught to each and every kid from the early stages of his or her life at school and it must be ensured that our schools must nurture some very fine responsible citizens out of students. Generally children tend to get inspired from the environment in which they grow up. So the role of parents, religious scholars, celebrities and most importantly the people in political arena becomes very much prominent, in presenting themselves as the presentable role models in terms of honesty, upright character, righteousness and sincerity, before the children of our society.
On the structural front our society should need to adopt a “zero-tolerance” policy toward the practice of corruption if it has to progress in this era of cut-throat international competition for supremacy and power through sustainable development and efficiency. And the first step in this regard is to make stringent anti graft laws through legislation and effective implementation of such laws through institutions like National Accountability Bureau.
Corruption is so deeply entrenched into our society that it would be a humongous task for anti-corruption departments to root out this evil within short span of time. But as they say that we cannot bring about any change by simply fantasizing big until and unless we start paying attention to the little things. Therefore it’s the duty of civil society, press and media, and of our government to take some serious steps in order to eradicate the menace of corruption from our society.
Our religion Islam strongly condemns the practice of corruption. So the advocacy of fair dealings and transparency can play a substantial role in rooting out corruption from our society. As our beloved prophet has said in context to corruption,
“The briber and the bribe receiver both are hell bound”
A society cannot prosper until and unless it is plagued with socioeconomic evils like corruption, bribery, grafting, abuse of power, and deceitful laws. Therefore it the primary duty of all the citizens of this country to mend their ways and start practicing the elegant notions of Islam like honesty, brotherhood, virtue, cooperation, etc.
Media and press are the newly found pillars of state. It is therefore the guiding principle of media personalities and journalists to reveal all types of corruption with the tools of inquisitive and investigative journalism. No society can turn a blind eye to this type of criminal silence over the issue of prevailing corruption within our society.
According to Transparency International, “Pakistan ranks as the 10th most corrupt country in the world.”
Therefore it’s alarming to note that the sheer survival of Pakistan would be endangered if this endemic of corruption in not nipped into the bud for the consequences of financial bankruptcy would not only leave Pakistan into a lurch but its national integration would also be tossed into a question!