Essay by 1234569High School, 11th gradeB+, December 2014

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The word corrupt when used as an adjective literally means "utterly broken". The word was first used by Arist o tle and later by Cicero who added the terms bribe and abandonment of good habits.[2] Morris,[3] a professor of politics, corruption is the illegitimate use of public power to benefit a private interest. Economist I. Senior defines corruption as an action to (a) secretly provide (b) a good or a service to a third party (c) so that he or she can influence certain actions which (d) benefit the corrupt, a third party, or both (e) in which the corrupt agent has authority. Kauffman, from the World Bank extends the concept to include 'legal corruption' in which power is abused within the confines of the law - as those with power often have the ability to shape the law for their protection.

Corruption is not a new phenomenon in India.

It has been prevalent in society since ancient times. History reveals that it was present even in the Mauryan period. Great scholar Kautilya mentions the pressure of forty types of corruption in his contemporary society. It was practiced even in Mughal and Sultanate period. When the East India Company took control of the country, corruption reached new height. Corruption in India has become so common that people now are averse to thinking of public life with it.

Scholars have defined corruption variously. But the simple meaning of it is that corruption implies perversion of morality, integrity, character or duty out of mercenary motives, i.e. bribery, without any regard to honor, right and justice. In other words, undue favor for any one for some monetary or other gains is corruption. Simultaneously, depriving the genuinely deserving from their right or privilege is also a corrupt practice. Shrinking from one's duty or dereliction of duty are also forms of corruption. Besides, thefts, wastage of public property constitutes varieties of corruption. Dishonesty, exploitation, malpractices, scams and scandals are various manifestations of corruption.

Corruption is not a uniquely Indian phenomenon. It is witnessed all over the world in developing as well as developed countries. It has spread its tentacles in every sphere of life, namely business administration, politics, officialdom, and services. In fact, there is hardly any sector, which can be characterized for not being infected with the vices of corruption. Corruption is rampant in every segment and every section of society, barring the social status attached to it. Nobody can be considered free from corruption from a high-ranking officer.

To root out the evil of corruption from society, we need to make a comprehensive code of conduct for politicians, legislatures, bureaucrats, and such code should be strictly enforced. Judiciary should be given more independence and initiatives on issues related to corruption. Special courts should be set-up to take up such issues and speedy trial is to be promoted. Law and order machinery should be allowed to work without political interference. NGOs and media should come forward to create awareness against corruption in society and educate people to combat this evil. Only then we would be able to save our system from being collapsed.

- Ram Darshan