AISV President’s Message

I have read excerpts of the book “Inglorious Empire. What the British Did to India?” by Mr. Shashi Tharoor. His book tells the real story of the British in India, from the arrival of the East India Company in 1757 to the end of the Raj, and reveals how Britain's rise was built upon its depredations in India. India was Britain's biggest cash cow, and Indians literally paid for their own oppression”

I agree to some extent with his sentiments but ask Mr Tharoor as to what has changed in India since the British left India in 1947. ”Are Indian’s still paying for their own oppression, this time at the hands of their own Indian politicians and corrupt businessmen?”

Indian Politicians, both at Federal and State level and big Indian companies have continued to plunder the nation of not only its wealth but also its morality. This plundering of nation’s wealth of trillions of dollars is resulting in generations of Indian people living in poverty and its poor going hungry every day of their life even today

The Nehru Gandhi dynasty and the congress party of which Mr. Tharoor is not only a member but also was a minister in the congress government at one point in time. The congress party ruled the nation for over seven decades after Independence. The political leaders of the congress drove the nation to financial and moral bankruptcy. The people of the country saw what their politicians were doing, took it to be a normal part of daily life and they themselves became a fabric of India’s corrupt practises.

I now firmly believe that corruption is entrenched in the gene of every Indian living in India. To survive in India an honest individual has to bribe to get work done and the person giving the bribe to get his or her work done inadvertently gets caught in the vicious cycle of corruption. Even the law enforcing agencies like the police and the judiciary and even the armed forces of India are entrenched in corruption. And what hope is there for the honest person to survive in this culture? “Mr. Tharoor, India is now a country where one gets away with murder and serious crimes with the right contacts and money. I don’t think this happened in India under the British Raj”.

Transparency International recently published this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index. The agonising facts revealed journalists and activists in corrupt countries risking their lives every day in an effort to speak out.

Australia was number 17 of the least corrupt countries while New Zealand was number one in the least corrupt nation in the world scoring 90 points out of 100. India ranked 81 with a score of 40 out of 100.

“According to Transparency International, we need to call on our politicians and public officials to be accountable for their actions. How can we trust them if we don’t know what they’re doing? We must demand that they put in place regulations which will force them to act openly. Then corruption can’t hide. And our trust in the political process will improve. When leaders act transparently, showing us clearly what they do, we can make informed choices when we vote. And we can hold them to account once elected”.

The people in today’s India need to use people power and drive out the corrupt politicians and governments before irreparable damage is done to the welfare of the future generations and work towards India becoming number one amongst the least corrupt nations in the world. This is my dream.

Dr. Gurdip Aurora
President AISV
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