Essay on the Causes of Corruption

1. Economic Insecurity:

This is regarded as the most important cause of corruption. The poor people become corrupt in the hope of becoming rich. The rich indulge in it for fear of losing what they have. The rich have craving for luxurious goods and imported commodities, such as — dresses, telephone receivers, calculators, cosmetics, transistors, air conditioners, T.V.s, wrist watches, etc. This encourages smuggling on a massive scale.

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2. High Rate of Income Tax:

Since tax rates are comparatively high in India even the honest people are often tempted to escape from it by making false returns of their property and income. Many of the officers in the Income Tax Department are also equally corrupt and they thrive on bribery.

Income tax officers, policemen, sales tax officers, excise inspectors and others started mint­ing money not only from the black marketers and tax evaders, but also from innocent people who gave bribes in order to avoid suffering and humiliation at the hands of these officials.

3. Meagre Salary Being Paid to the Government Servants:

Employees in some of the government departments are paid comparatively very less salary. This situation is said to be the cause of corruption in administration. Clerks in the court, peons and attenders in all government departments, police constables and such other employees draw poor salary.

They expect tips and bribes even for doing their regular or routine duties. It has been estimated that 60% to 70% of the officers are corrupt in one form or the other. [C.B. Mamoria]

4. Emergence of New Sources of Wealth and Power:

The modern political economic setup provides a chance for the politicians in power to make money through illegal means. As Lincoln Steffens has said, “the politicians took bribes because business men gave them and businessmen gave them because they had to.” This unholy understanding between the businessmen and the poli­ticians always encourage corruption.

5. The System of Democracy:

The present style of functioning of democracy in India, also contributes to corruption. All parties, especially the ruling party spends crores of rupees on each election. This money comes from the big businessmen, industrialists and such other rich men who have their own vested interests in financing the elections.

They supply money to the party elections in the form of “black money.” This in turn, gives them licence, a ‘moral’ justification for accumulat­ing “number – two” money [unaccounted money] in different forms.

6. The Very Presence of Black Money:

Existence of large amounts of unaccounted black money is one of the main sources of corruption. “This money is obtained by various ways, namely, tax evasion, smuggling, speculation in immovable property and shares and stocks, receiving fees and remuneration partly or wholly in cash without showing them in the accounts, trading in licences and permits, etc.” [C.B. Mamoria]

7. Social and Economic Modernisation:

It is said that modernisation breeds corruption in industrial society, which “offers prizes for doing evil; money, position, power”, besides bringing about attitudinal changes in the system. New loyalties and new identifications emerge among indi­viduals and groups. This contributes to an increase in the incidence of corruption.

As Huntington said, “corruption in a modernising society is in part not so much the result of deviance of behaviour from the accepted norms as it is the deviance of norms from the established patterns of behaviour.” More than any other thing “the get-rich quick” motivation inspires a large number of people both at the top and bottom of the society to become corrupt.

All the factors mentioned above have generated a favourable atmosphere for corruption.

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