First step to check corruption? Stop respecting those who have ill-gotten wealth: Justice Hegde

First step to check corruption? Stop respecting those who have ill-gotten wealth: Justice Hegde

Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2016-10-06 14:40 Texas: Former Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde who was responsible for bringing many corrupt – that included a chief minister and high-profile politicians to – book hoped that India, despite the rampant corruption and lack of moral values, will be a prosperous country in the next twenty-five years. Speaking to a packed auditorium at India House in Houston recently, Justice Hegde delivered an inspiring talk on how we can contribute to root out corruption, even if that’s a small gesture. During his five years as Lokayukta, he helped more than 28,000 people to receive justice. Sharing his experiences on fight against corruption, Justice Hegde said in one case, an exasperated old woman with a deaf grandson complained to him that she had to bribe a postman to receive her pension through money order. She had to pay him Rs 25 to receive Rs 250, every month. This was her only source of income. Moved by her plight, Justice Hegde informed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who responded that Rs 25 was too small amount for them to be concerned.     In another incident relatives of a young girl killed in an accident called Justice Hegde for help after waiting three days for her body to be released after a postmortem in a government hospital. When he made a surprise visit to the hospital, of three duty doctors, two went on emergency leave and the other one was too busy treating a patient to answer him. Finally, with Justice Hegde’s intervention, the young girl’s body was released without paying any bribe. A poor parents of a little girl without a rectum sought help from Justice Hegde after a doctor in a government hospital refused to perform the needed surgery unless he was paid. Justice Hegde took the child to Manipal Hospital for the surgery. He was happy to see the girl after four years, when her parents brought her to his office. Justice Hegde urged the audience to shun greed and serve humanity. He also spoke at length on how he exposed three chief ministers and several other high-ranking authorities in the Bellary mining corruption scam. While illegal exporters earned more than $100 per ton, government got less than one dollar per ton! When an honest officer working under the Lokayukta filed a complaint against the guilty, he was suspended by the minister. When Justice Hegde’s efforts to approach the government went in vain, he resigned in frustration. But he withdrew his resignation after senior BJP leader LK Advani promised him that the officer would be re-instated. But, media speculated that Hegde was being offered a parliament seat. However, Hegde rubbished the charges. According to Hegde, even Mahatma Gandhi would not win an election today, and that honest people can do much more from outside politics than within government. Unless Indian society changes and accepts moral values, it is impossible to fight corruption. Hegde insisted repeatedly that society must stop respecting and honoring people who have ill-gotten wealth.