Surety of Punishment, Not Severity Will Act as Deterrence to Corruption, Says
Friday, July 16, 2010
Surety of Punishment, Not Severity Will Act as Deterrence to Corruption, Says

New Delhi: Three youthful and iconic politicians - Mr. Jyotiraditya Scindia, Mr. Sachin Pilot and Mr. Kalikesh Sigh Deo, acting as pall bearers of corruption, today gave vent to their ire at one of the biggest ills plaguing Indian society.

Speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Change Agents of Indian Politics’, organized by Young FICCI Ladies Organisation (YFLO), Mr. Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, prescribed a solution to rid the society of corruption by setting examples. His prescription was plain, though, not so simple. “Get a couple of people indulging in corruption and slam them. Instilling a sense of fear at being nabbed and punished severely would act as a big deterrence, he said.

His colleague in the government, Mr. Sachin Pilot, Minister of State for Communications & IT, differed, but only in form. The way to get corruption out of the way was to ensure surety of punishment rather than severity of punishment, he proffered. The perpetrators and purveyors of corruption should not be allowed to get away, was Mr. Pilot’s recipe.

Mr. Kalikesh Singh Deo, Member of Parliament (Biju Janata Dal), expressed grave indignation at the institutionalization of corruption. It had become imperative to conduct the affairs of the government and society with transparency and removing discretionary powers at various levels. The need of the hour was to frame and implement policies that were altruistic, he declared.

Mr. Scindia listed out five tenets for the change agents. A change agent, he said, primarily needs to be a visionary, an optimist and a realist, rolled into one. He must
possess commitment, courage and the conviction to stick to his principles. A true leader
has to be known by his team. To be successful, it was important to institutionalize leadership, and above all, a leader has to be caring and have genuine love for his team.
Mr. Pilot said that politicians must see themselves as a bridge to connect with the
people and it was imperative for them to have their priorities in order. “We have to
divide our time, give 80 per cent of it for developmental work and the remainder for
electoral politics.”

Mr. Kalikesh Singh Deo said that the primary job of a politician was to serve the people.
“We need to concentrate strongly on livelihood issues. The young population of this
country has to be used productively and it was therefore important for the government
and the private sector to work together. A big challenge, he said, was to move people
from agriculture to industry as agriculture contributed 18 per cent to GDP while the
dependence on it for livelihood was 75 per cent.

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