Corrupt and bankrupt Tamil Nadu

corruptionTamil Nadu was in the forefront of clean politics and development once upon a time. Now the situation is topsy-turvy. Neither politics nor development is clean. Both have become notorious and denting the image of Tamil society. Corruption every where and development losing sight in the industrial sector are the twin assaults on Tamil Nadu.

Nevertheless Tamil Nadu is better in urbanisation and per capita increase in the country. Its health indicators are showing a good progress. Although government hospitals and schools are spruced up there are very few visitors to it. Agony is more in the schools.

Corruption is dancing happily from hospital to the very top of the administration. The worst scenario is the fixed bribe rate for each posting and transfers. Almighty Amma must crack the whip and eradicate the corrupt party men, women and officers. Unless this is done, the state will lose in the national race. If it is done, Almighty Amma will be revered forever.

Times of India writes on 10 March 2015

Rumblings against corruption in the state administration are getting louder after former agriculture minister SS Krishnamurthy’s unceremonious exit from the cabinet over the suicide of an agriculture department executive engineer S Muthukumarasamy in Tirunelveli last month. Krishnamurthy’s office had allegedly harassed the official to manipulate the selection process for recruitment of drivers in the department. Not able to bear the ordeal, the official jumped before a running train.

Muthukumarasamy’s suicide was not a one-off case, said CPM state secretary G Ramakrishnan. “There is corruption in appointments, promotions and transfers, largely at officers’ level, in every department. Straightforward officials suffer because of this,” said Ramakrishnan. Both AIADMK and DMK governments have nurtured corrupt practices and it has gained alarming proportions in the last 10 years, he said.

Every department has shocking tales to narrate about corruption. A powerful VIP convened regional meetings of aided college principals and secretaries about two years ago to raise money from appointments of assistant professors. One of the college secretaries, who attended one such meeting at Tirunelveli circuit house, said, “The VIP’s PA had summoned both principals and secretaries. The meeting started in the night and the VIP called us one by one into his room and said unless we paid money to him, appointments of new assistant professors would not be approved. He demanded Rs 5 lakh per post from minority institutions and Rs 7 lakh per post from non-minority institutions. If we could not collect money from the candidates, he said he himself would identify suitable candidates”. Since then, most college managements have been collecting extra money, over and above Rs 5-10 lakh they collect from candidates, for appointing assistant professors.
In the police department, deputy superintendents of police and inspectors pay money to middlemen to secure transfers to preferred locations. “While DSPs pay Rs 4-10 lakh depending on the district and city, inspectors pay Rs 2-3 lakh for transfers,” said an official. “A relative of a senior official in Chennai is a prominent collection agent. Anybody who gives money to that agent gets the posting of his choice,” the official said.

Corruption has pervaded all levels of the state administration that people now take it for granted, said MG Devasahayam, a retired bureaucrat. “It has destroyed the basic fabric of the administration, because people get into a position by bribing and also stay there by bribing. There is money in appointments, postings, transfers and stopping transfers. Only the level varies depending on the capacity of politicians to demand and officials to pay. When an official pays money to get a post, his or her effort is focused only on collecting several times more of that from the public,” said Devasahayam.

Everyone seems to be benefitting from corruption in Tamil Nadu, said a retired director general of police. “Since those sitting at the top take money, people below also have a field day,” he said. Ramakrishnan said CPM would hold a series of agitations to put an end to corruption in government administration.