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Right-wing and left-wing corruption

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

Right-wing and left-wing corruption
Nino Pagliccia
2 September 2011

The government of India is allegedly plagued by major corruption. Recently a protest against corruption was staged by an individual, Anna Hazare, who went on a hunger strike. The protest immediately gathered thousands of supporters across India. 

By the time I arrived in India Hazare ended his fast and is currently on a speaking tour, received as a hero everywhere. The buzz still continues and corruption is receiving a lot of coverage. An op-ed in the Times of India acknowledges what is called "high-level corruption" - at the government level - that started with "neoliberal" reforms of the 1990s. Virtually absent in Indian politics in the 1950s, it is now been equated to a "devastating bubonic plague".

Clearly the more recent growth of corruption in India is being associated with the growing right-wing political environment. 

While I am trying to understand this complex issue in India, half a world away, in Venezuela, groups opposed to the Chavez government are reporting the alleged corruption of the president of a large corporation. However the case is not made against corruption - little founded information is reported - but rather against the Chavez government. Chavez has run mostly on an anti-corruption platform. 

Observing the two events about corruption I can't avoid noticing how a legitimate case is made against what appears to be systemic corruption in India and how a single unproven case is used as a political tactic to discredit the whole government in Venezuela. 

Corruption must be rejected in all case, even more so when it occurs at high levels, but it must never be used as a political tool to promote one's ideology. In fact corruption is the antithesis of ideology. 

There is no such thing as right-wing or left-wing corruption. Corruption does not have a political origin - although it may appear to be more frequent in political spheres. Corruption has a human origin often triggered by the opportunity. I am reminded of the story of a greedy man whose daily prayer was: "My God I do not ask you that you give me, but that you put me where I can take."

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