‘Lokpal not the sunlight to dispel mist of corruption’
By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: From the Shillong Times group of publications comes another language daily, Sangbad Lahari, Meghalaya’s first Bengali newspaper. Sangbad Lahari was first launched in Guwahati in 2009.
On Friday, Governor RS Mooshahary released the first copy of the paper published from Shillong.
Addressing the audience, the Governor who did not speak from a prepared text but launched off into the theme discussed by the panel about whether Lokpal was a panacea for corruption, Mooshahary said the Lokpal has some good elements which could check corruption. He however felt that the Act is only as strong or as useful as its enforcement.
Lauding the media for tracking corruption Mooshahary said, “If today people like A Raja and Kanimozhi are tasting the food of Tihar jail it is because media has meticulously investigated cases of corruption and pursued those cases doggedly.”
Making a personal observation Mooshahary said, “It is my finding that politicians have a higher social commitment than bureaucrats. All social legislations like the RTI, RTE and even the issue of reservation have been legislated by visionary politicians. Left to the bureaucracy these social legislations would not have seen the light of day.
Mooshahary however agreed that politicians are susceptible to corruption because they wield enormous discretionary powers. The Governor urged the audience to name and shame the corrupt and to socially ostracise them.
“Those who have built mansions without being able to explain the source of their income should be castigated by society,” he said.
Taking a dig at organisations that take up every issue under the sun but leave out corruption, Mooshahary said students’ bodies make a noise about many issues but refuse to talk of corruption in high places.
Corruption is all pervasive and has become a low risk, high return venture, the Governor said, adding that the younger generation are only aping their elders.
Earlier the Minister for Information and Public Relations, AT Mondal, who was present at the function, said it is unfortunate that the panel discussion targeted mainly politicians. “Money alone cannot only buy votes. If that is so all the wealthy people would have been elected. My experience is not all voters can be bribed,” Mondal said. He pointed out that the need today is for good leadership which can usher in change in the political and social ethos.
Welcoming the eclectic audience to the launch which was preceded by a panel discussion on the Lokpal Bill, Manas Chaudhuri, Managing Director, Shillong Times group said the Bengali edition of the newspaper is not a money-making venture but a social service since there is a huge chunk of Bengali speaking population in Meghalaya who would be served by the paper.