Can values attenuate corruptions?

It is said that ‘ tant qu’il y aura des corrupteurs il y aura des corrompus’. According to Wikipedia ‘corruption is a form of dishonesty undertaken by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefits’. There are various reasons for both parties to get involved in this malpractice that nonetheless degenerates and turns a society depraved. A grown up generation with such a mindset will obviously find it difficult to part with such gruesome practices.

There are several types of corruption in existence. In some cases both parties arrive to a conclusion to ease the matter as quickly as possible in order to avoid falling in the cocoon of miseries. In other cases the donor seeks favour from the recipient to allow him to get access to some facilities to the detriment of eligible or qualified persons. Corruption may be in form of gift, money or by applying the give and take policy.

The effect of corruptions

Corruption undermines government revenue and therefore limit the ability of the government to invest in productivity enhancing areas. Tax payers help government to carry out his development activities but unfortunately bribers can inhibit this development. Further the higher the level of corruption in a country, the larger the share of its economic activity that will go underground, beyond the reach of tax authorities. Such state of affairs discourage Foreign Direct Investment because people prefer to invest in less corrupt countries. Bribery and corruption lead to other forms of crime because corruption breeds corruption. It tends soon to create mafia and organized criminal groups who use the financial power to infiltrate legal business, to intimidate, to create protection rackets and climate of fear and uncertainty.

To preach values with the objectives to correct corrupt and immoral people is just like putting the cart before the horse. Those who are already entrenched in these vices will find it difficult to get rid of this malpractice. They will rather give a death ear to moral preaching. This practice of getting easy money and the greed to earn more is deep rooted in their nature. They will end up with corruption only when caught red handed and endure rigorous punishment.

Moral and civic education must start at school with the new generation. Information disseminated to them about the negative impact of corruption on the state and the society at large may act as a deterrent factor in practising this evil. Virtues only virtues must be taught to the students thereby denying all vices that corrupt a society. In this optic civic education must be implemented in our school curriculum in order to produce an uncorrupt society.

Gratifying for favour, ‘conflit d’intêret’ nepotism and favouritism are all elements of corruption. Besides, money is root of all evils. Many people find themselves entangled in the vicious cycle of corruption due to greediness for money. Religious people and eminent personalities have fallen in the pitch of corruption because of uncontrolled wants for money.

It is likely waging a battle against corruption. A tug of war may take place between civic education and the corrupt people. Children having access to civic education will be called upon not to emulate the corrupt people. Lesson leading to patriotism, a sense of belonging to the nation and working in the interest of the state will definitely produce a generation who will shun corruption in all its aspects.

Cassam Tupsy