Corruption and Patronage

Corruption and Patronage
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The alternative to governance in Kashmir by the “mainstream” political classes has been the politics of patronage and corruption thereof. The medium of these have even the non political institutions of the region and naturally the sufferers of blatant patronage have been the people of Kashmir. Generally and philosophically speaking, corruption eats the vitals of any given society and hollows it out. In the schemata of corruption and corrupt practices, everyone gets implicated, in one form or the other, by omission or commission, willingly or unwillingly largely because structures get corrupted. Individuals or persons have little, if at all any, latitude and leeway to escape from these imposing and overwhelming structures. Besides this major ill effect of corruption and patronage, both these ills and even evils, lead to unfair outcomes and injustice in society. Say, for instance, a bright young person, burns the midnight oil, so to speak, working toward a career and a life applies for a job. But, he or she is ignored and a blue eyed boy or girl is selected instead. Who where will this victim of injustice turn to? Who will he or she blame? These are not academic examples and issues but real life ones of significant import. And the culprits are mostly most members of the political class. Merely to curry favor with peoples and garner votes, most of these show no compunction in killing the aspirations of the deserving and the needy for merely votes and power. In the final analysis, an unfair society is an unjust society; this becomes more poignant if and when life chances and aspirations of deserving young people are choked off. The question is how can this insidious corruption be eliminated or, in the least, curbed? The Augean stables of corruption and related ills and evils must be cleaned from the top. Those indulging in these nefarious actions which bespoil the entire society, must not only be named and shamed but also made examples of by virtue of strict disciplinary punishment. Too many have fallen victim to corrupt patronage and society has become sullied. It is then high time that society girds itself to the challenge of eliminating corruption from its vitals and frees itself from this blight and scourge lest arrive a time when there will neither be reprieve nor relief from it and lest it be too late.