Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On Corruption

 More later, but for now, allow me to quote a 1400-year old text:
"While selecting your officers ... Keep them also well-paid so that they may not be tempted to lower their standard of morality and may not misappropriate the cash of the State which they hold in their trust and if after being paid handsomely they prove dishonest, then you will be right to punish them."
In short, first fix the systemic causes/reasons for corruption that were part of the original, colonial, design of our systems. Low salaries for public servants; rules of engagement/procedure geared to control the public and not serve it and so on.

Then we will have the right to expect, much less demand, honesty. Before that, it is either naive, ill-advised, or disingenuous. And I am being polite there.

Extra points for folks that can tell me which text that quote is from--of course, other than followers of the Shia schools of Islam, since most of those brothers and sisters can quote this in their sleep.


Qais Mujeeb said...

Is that Hazrat Ali's qaul?

iFaqeer said...

Yes, Qais, from his letter to Malik Ashwath (if I get the name right), appointing him Governor of Egypt.