January 2003




JANUARY  2003 Contents


 Peace in South Asia
 - Is it attainable?
 Read what they have 
 to say:


 Swami Agnivesh &
 Rev Valson Thampu

 Ardeshir Cowasjee

 Lt. Gen Arjun Ray 

 Raju Narisetti

 Waheguru Pal Singh 



 Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
 - 50 years of sarod


 Secular symbols of
 Sri Lanka

 2002 Round-up

 Books 2002

 Sports 2002


 Raju Nasiretti

 Mahreen Khan

Real Issues

 Corruption vs. NGOs


 Letter from Pakistan


 'India in Slow Motion'
 - by Mark Tully

 Serialisation of  'Knock at every alien 
 door' - Joseph Harris



 South Asian Events in
 London &  Washington DC

 Editor's Note

 the craft shop

 Lehngas - a limited collection

 the print gallery


 Silk Road on Wheels

 The Road to Freedom

Enduring Spirit

 Parsis-Zoroastrians of

The Moonlight Garden

Contemporary Art in










   about us              back-issues           contact us         search             data bank


  craft shop

print gallery

Page 2 of  2





Isidore Domnick Mendis


Founder: Anil Sood

corruption-3.jpg (58110 bytes)
"In a country where lawbreakers become lawmakers one can expect even worst. Not just our politicians, almost 80 percent of the bureaucracy is either comatose or busy making money."

Says Anil Sood of Chetna, an NGO that has taken up cudgels against corruption and has filed numerous Public Interest Litigations against many government departments, " The Transparency International report has just scraped the surface. In a country where lawbreakers become lawmakers one can expect even worst. Not just our politicians, almost 80 percent of the bureaucracy is either comatose or busy making money."

Sood who is employed with a public limited company as a senior manager, enumerates some of Chetna’s achievements in its fight against corruption.

" We exposed a Rs. 330-crore scandal where autorickshaws and taxis in Delhi were fleecing commuters by tampering meters. But no one was bothered till the High Court intervened. Only then did the transport authorities, traffic police and Controller of Weights & Measures wake up and made electronic metres compulsory."

According to Sood the biggest problem that hampers the fight against corruption is the non-cooperative attitude of the people. " No one wants to stand up and say no to corruption. Everyone is happy to pay the price of convenience. This compounded with the complete lack of administrative and political will has helped corruption thrive.


Founder: Manish Sisodia

Another NGO, Parivartan has been fighting cases on behalf of people against the income tax department. " The idea was to help people get their income tax refund without paying bribes. It was a real tough job. Today our efforts have borne fruit and the process has become simple and transparent," says Manish Sisodia of Parivartan

The NGO also took up cases against the Delhi Vidyut Board [earlier the Delhi Electricity Supply Undertaking]. Says Sisodia, " We began camping outside offices of DVB and asked people not to pay bribes. We received death threats from touts and staff members and we were shooed away. But the public response had to be seen to be believed. Finally the DVB chairman set up a system to get public grievances resolved."

Today Parivartan is looking into other public dealing departments." We are motivating people to fight against the corrupt system," says Sisodia, a journalist by profession who says his organisation does a follow up after exposing cases. " We do not take up corruption cases for thrills. Most of the time we choose our work area on the basis of our knowledge and experience"

However, says Sisodia, "If someone comes and tells us that a particular person is demanding bribe we follow it up. Unfortunately our system does not have any law to enforce accountability so even if we get people apprehended, chances are no action will be taken against them. It tantamounts to encouraging corruption. We need more like-minded people to fight this scourge. "

Dr. Kiran Bedi
Indian Police Service

corruption-2.jpg (26380 bytes)

Kiran Bedi, India's first woman police officer is one of them. She's been fighting corruption for years and isn't surprised by the Transparency International report. " The only solution is to elect clean politicians. Upright political leadership is the key. Integrity at the top prevents dishonesty. Even a policeman who is viewed by people as a symbol of corruption will change if we have clean leaders."

But as of now that seems a far cry and people can just dream of the day when people at the helm will rise above the loaves and fishes of office. Till that is done India will have to contend with its 72nd. position in the list of 102 most corrupt nations in the world.




Copyright © 2000 - 2003 []. Intellectual Property. All rights reserved.