Wednesday, December 08, 2010


It is often said that it takes years to build reputation but it can be wiped out in one stroke by a bad behaviour. This appears to be true both for the individuals as well as the nations.

In the last one year, so many scams have taken place in India that now the world looks upon India as one of the most corrupt countries, where corruption has become the order of the day. Though it is known for quite some time that India has low standing in the corruption guage developed by institutions like Transparency International, many thought that India would be able to overcome the forces of corruption and redeem itself. The recent occurrences have shown that it is unlikely to happen in the immediate future.

While those Indians living in the country attribute several reasons for this despicable scenario and are drawn in lengthy national debates which appears to have become a national obsession, those Indians living abroad face the humiliation most.

The business men and technologists who have to deal with the international companies or overseas clients often find that their assurances and agreements are viewed with suspicion and are double checked very carefully. India is no more viewed as a trustworthy partner because of the terrible damage that has been done to the image of the country by the massive and scandalous corruption that have been seen in commonwealth games , spectrum dealings etc. The Indians abroad often find it difficult to explain such conditions to others and feel small in public gatherings vis a vis those from other countries particularly the developed nations.

Of course, no country in the world today is free from corruption including the most advanced ones but the level and intensity of the corruption in India and the helplessness of the Indian society is something that makes a huge difference between the happenings in India and several other countries.

Now, who is responsible for this condition and how will the country get rid of this unenviable situation and that is leading to loss of reputation?

One cannot but blame Dr. Manmohan Singh for this sordid situation, as he is the man in charge and leader of the government. It is strange that in spite of this present scenario, there appear to be many pledged admirers of Dr. Singh in the country who argue that the present conditions are not due to him but inspite of him. But, this is an unacceptable explanation in defence of Dr. Singh, since his approach to the issues , whether one would call it as ineptitude or soft style of management is the principal cause for the problems. The grim fact is that the country is suffering enormously due to Dr. Singh’s leadership or the lack of it. This country cannot afford it any more nor the citizens deserve it.

Goodness in a person is no substitute for good leadership quality, particularly when it concerns leading a nation. Obviously, a good person that Dr. Singh lacks many leadership qualities that are today needed by a country with enormous problems and at the same time with great opportunities. There is no time or case for experimenting or giving more time, particularly when it concerns the country with millions of people looking for quality leadership and now groping in corruption and consequent darkness.

The crisis of leadership is as evident as the sun in the day light. Under Dr. Singh’s government, there have been many corrupt ministers and bureaucrats and who seem to have taken Dr. Singh for granted. There is no alternative other than the fact that Dr. Singh has to give way to some one else and provide the country an alternate choice of leadership. May be, the country would get a leader stronger and with a greater will to govern.

GRI Columnist:
N. S. Venkataraman