Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Anti- Corruption Movement in Mizoram

Proceedings of an egg-theft case, in the Mizoram village during the British Rule has paved way to the formation of a new idea in tackling corruption in their state. Vanlalruata, president of a prominent civil society organization, PRISM (Peoples Right to Information and Development Implementing Society of Mizoram), explained the nature of operations of their organization. People are encouraged to write down the name of the corrupt official, and the specific charge against him and drop it in the secret ballot called eiru bawm. On a specified date the box is opened in a public meeting, and the name of the officer or officers is read and further investigation is conducted to bring the truth to light. In some cases Right to Information Act (RTI) is used to further elicit the truth of the matter. Out of 100 odd cases, 40 are found to be concrete and further investigation is on way. Most of the complaints are against officials and ministers who have amassed considerable wealth at such a short span of time.

Mr. Vanlalruata, believes that eiru bawn, will strengthen the RTI Act in the state, as suddenly the empty coffers in certain government departments are overflowing with funds as the corrupt officials are returning the money they embezzled. Recently, the Gauhati High Court had ordered the State Anti-corruption branch to probe on the disproportionate assets of former Chief Minister of Mizoram. These kinds of raids and arrest of higher officials are motivating factors as people see that no one is above the law.

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