Broken whistles

Remember Satyendra Dubey? The engineer who was murdered since he blown the whistle in a corruption case in the NH Authority’s Golden Quadrilateral project. Recently, a Karnataka official SP Mahantesh, said to be a whistle-blower in controversial land allotments by societies, was brutally murdered. The list of whistle-blowers and RTI activists who have been murdered, is huge.

There has to be a large number of government and corporate employees, who possess the information on corruption going on in their departments. In a number of cases, they may also be in possession of evidences, which would establish corruption beyond doubt. However, most of these men will not complain or report these, simply because they do not have faith that the existing government mechanisms would take their cases to logical end. They also fear professional and physical victimization. With no legal protection for whistle-blowers in India, what can they possibly do? Jeopardize their and their families lives for public money and ethics?

If we fail to protect the honest, the corrupt will prosper. Activists are seeking a quick passage of the Whistleblowers Protection Bill in Parliament. The bill is hanging in parliament for the past 2 years. The demands are that a law should be framed to protect whistle-blowers  who facilitate the disclosure of information and uncover corruption in organisations. Government of India has also empowered the CVC to address complaints from whistle-blowers and provide protection to them. However, there is still a strong need for civil society initiative to inspire confidence among the potential whistle-blowers to come out and report corruption. If we fail to protect the men fighting corruption, it will be impossible to uproot corruption at the ground level. After-all, not everyone has a fan following like Kejiriwal or Anna.

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