Monday, May 6, 2013

Corruption: The Real Culprit?

Issues and Votes

Are there issues that voters care about and don't vote on the basis of?  Seems quite possible there are many issues that any individual cares about both Economic(inflation, jobs, income) and Social (caste, religion, personal). But at the time of voting either their traditional allegiance or one or two issues probably drive final choice.  The issue that drives different people are probably different.  Till about a decade ago, surveys routinely showed  inflation to be the number one concern of voters. Nevertheless, fluctuations in inflation did not seem to lead to changes in votes for the incumbent party. 

Anti-Corruption Movement

More recently, particularly since the Anna Hazare agitation, the issue of corruption seems to have caught the attention of the electronic and print media as well as the social media.  Yet the recent elections in Karnataka suggest that voters did not vote on this basis.  Firstly, the BJP which had removed Yeddyurappa, the person responsible for corruption as chief minister, lost 11% of its earlier votes.  Second 9% of this vote went to Yeddyurappa, the presumably corrupt person.  And finally the Congress party, which at least at the State level, was not seen to be corrupt, increased its vote share by only 1%.  These three facts suggest that voters were not unduly swayed by the issue of corruption.  The division of votes within the BJP seems to have been a more important factor in the Congress party emerging with the highest number of seats.


Clearly if the politicians do not pay any political penalty for running a corrupt political system they will have no incentive to change the pervasive system of corruption that now characterises our government from the top down to the lowliest Safai Karamchari in the municipal corporations of India.  So is the voter therefore the real culprit in the corruption that we see around us?  No I don't think so.
        The real culprits are the academics, the intellectuals and the elites (Boston Brahmins) who are more concerned about great philosophical ideas, legalistic rights and paper allocations and plans than about outcomes, results and achievements.  They are the Queen Bees of the hive who deal only with great ideas, the nature and difficulties of implementation, the corruption that permeates the system and makes it difficult or impossible to implement anything, let alone grandiose ideas, is not their concern.  That is the job of the drudges, the drones, the worker bees in the hive (New Kshatriya-The bureaucrats).
         In an earlier Blog, "The problem is not in the implementation," I showed how this is fundamentally flawed (  The philosopher Kings/Queen Bees/intelectual Brahmins have never given governance and systemic corruption the attention and importance that it deserves.  They do not understand how fundamental it is to achieving the welfare goals and inclusion that we all want (Report 5 at


 If the academics and intellectuals do not understand the vital importance of governance and systemic corruption in achievement and failure of public projects, programs and plans how can we expect the politicians and the public to under stand?  Now that at least parts of the elite and some intellectuals are taking an interest in this issue, we must press on and convince the general public and the voter and perhaps even a few politicians and leaders about the importance of reducing and ultimately eliminating systemic corruption through institutional reforms (

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