If you want corruption to end, you have to end the charade that corruption is only about you personally not taking a bribe. If corruption is happening right in front of your eyes and you do nothing ab out it, it is passive abetment of corruption.We know that both Manmohan Singh and AK Antony are personally incorruptible, but corruption flourishes right under their noses (2G, CWG, Coalgate, Vadragate). But they either refuse to look at it, or pretend they have not noticed. They are only bothered about their personal reputations, not the country.However, is providing a cloak under which big-time corruption takes place any less corrupt than actually taking a bribe?In the current UPA dispensation, where power and responsibility have anyway been divorced – with power residing with Sonia Gandhi and responsibility with the government – we now have a situation where “honest” people like Manmohan Singh and AK Antony are used a cover for corruption. We are essentially being told that since they are honest no corruption can take place when they are the No 1 and No 2 in the UPA government.This excuse will not wash anymore. In government, responsibility cannot be evaded by claiming you didn’t take a bribe. If you know someone has taken a bribe, morally you are equally guilty for not acting to prevent it. If you cannot or will not prevent corruption, you have to carry the can for corruption.
I do not believe that either Manmohan Singh or AK Anthony is corrupt or helps protect the corrupt. In fact, it is convenient for critics of both these worthies to accuse them of shielding the corrupt in the Congress or the UPA, because this is the closest that one could get to tarnishing their reputations. Since they are both above suspicion, accusations are hurled at them any time someone in the ministry is tainted. So far, after years of such accusations, no slur has stuck to either. In the current era of hypercompetitive news media, it is well nigh impossible to hide transgressions. If either was corrupt, or even complicit, there would be a comment, a notation or a signature uncovered, and they would have been caught. They haven’t.Because neither is corrupt and neither is shielding the guilty.