Fighting Corruption

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 22-08-2011

These days battle
against corruption is taking many parts of the world, including the second most
populous country, India, by storm. 
People come out to the open to expose and fight corruption, and to
demand stricter laws to punish the perpetrators. The hitherto silent majority
of the ordinary people are fed up of the corrupt practices of their leaders in
all spheres which negatively affect the progress of their nations. Corruption
leads to the poverty of the masses while a few, holding power and influence,
get richer by dubious means.  They, in their
greed, bend the rules to swell their pockets.

In philosophical,
theological, or moral discussions, corruption is spiritual or moral impurity or
deviation from an ideal. It's the decaying of a system or even a society as
whole, caused by the abuse of power and influence by some. But in common
parlance, it refers to the distorted and dishonest practices of some
influential people.  It leads to a broken
system. Today the menace of corruption is eating up the entire society and all
its organs in many parts of the world.

            Corruption
starts in the minds of those who practice it. Jesus had warned his followers: “Nothing that goes into someone from outside can make that person
unclean; it is the things that come out of someone that make that person
unclean… For it is from within, from the heart, that evil intentions emerge:
fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit,
indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things
come from within and make a person unclean.” (Mark's Gospel, Chapter 7, verses
15, 21-23). The evil of corruption, therefore, is rooted and nurtured in the
hearts and minds of the people. It happens when we allow the evils such as
greed and selfishness, avarice and deceit to take their roots and grow in our
lives. It is, therefore, the opposite of the basic teaching of Jesus to 'love
and serve one another'.

            For this reason, no
amount of public demonstrations, or even the enactment of the most stringent
laws and judicial apparatus can root out corruption. These can only act as a
temporary deterrent. The eradication process begins with the moral and
spiritual formation of each person's mind and heart. When one is trained to be
honest, sincere, loving and kind, he/she cannot be corrupted by greed,
selfishness, avarice and deceit. Children, from a very young age, need to be
shown the importance of these virtues, not just by classroom lectures, but
first by the exemplary behavior of their parents, teachers, spiritual leaders,
politicians and other public figures. It's only through a total change of our
value system, by changing our minds and hearts, can we end corruption and move
towards genuine progress.

About The Author

Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP

Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP is a Catholic priest of the Society of St Paul. He has been engaged in media activities for several years as General Editor of ST PAULS Mumbai. He believes in God's gift of beauty and goodness in every human being, in nature and in every religious tradition, and shares his views and opinions with others.