News / Asia

India's Business Elite Urges Government to Stamp Out Corruption

Activists of Communist Party of India Marxist CPI hold a cartoon placard portraying Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a protest against the telecom corruption scandal, New Delhi 10 Dec. 2010.
Activists of Communist Party of India Marxist CPI hold a cartoon placard portraying Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a protest against the telecom corruption scandal, New Delhi 10 Dec. 2010.

A group of prominent Indians has called on their political leaders to address rising corruption and a governance deficit in the country. Graft has emerged as a key concern in India after several corruption scandals hit the headlines in recent months.    

The 14 signatories to the "Open Letter to Our Leaders" include heads of some of India’s top companies, such as Wipro Limited and the Godrej Group, bankers and judges.    

They want corruption to be tackled on a war footing, saying its corrodes the fabric of the nation. The letter also expresses alarm at what it calls a widespread governance deficit in the government, business and institutions.

The spotlight has been on official graft after allegations that sale of telecom spectrum in 2008 was mishandled, resulting in losses of billions of dollars of revenue, and that kickbacks were involved in contracts awarded for last year’s Commonwealth Games.

Independent political analyst in New Delhi, Prem Shankar Jha, says the letter reflects the growing concern about the impact that graft could have on the spectacular economic growth India has had in recent years.

"I think there is a widespread fear in the middle class and in the new industrialist business aristocracy that the progress that India has been making is not sustainable if there is not political reforms to accompany the process. The political system we have today is corrupt beyond belief and the rebellion is coming out against it from all over," said Jha.

The Congress-led government, whose credibility has been hit because of the allegations of corruption, has promised to punish those found guilty of graft.  

The head of the ruling Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, has called corruption a "disease spreading in our society," and says measures must be adopted to curb it.

It is widely accepted that graft, which ranges from petty bribes to bigger kickbacks, is a part of life in India.     

The letter by corporate leaders - the first of its kind - wants the government to establish independent anti-corruption bodies so that investigative agencies are free of political interference.

The letter also calls on leaders to take steps to restore the self-confidence and self-belief of Indians in themselves, the state, business and public institutions.

Political analysts say the signatories to the letter have unimpeachable credentials and the concern they are voicing should be a wake-up call for the government to clean up the system.











You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs