It relates to the aspect of ethics and morality which is underlined in the name of science and rationality. On the contrary, the Bureaucracy has often been engaged in scramble for grabbing whatever they can get through means more often foul than fair.
While large sections of the society are far from meeting their basic human needs in spite of a life time of sweat and tears, some people’s greed is apparently unlimited. Everyone seems to be in a hurry to find the key to short-cuts at the expense of others. India adopted a British model described as ‘Steel frame’ of administration.
But, no thought was paid as to how an institution geared to serve the interests of colonial masters could be an instrument of change and development. No attention was paid to revive and rejunivate the age-old system of Panchayats which delivered Civil as well as Criminal justice in India. During the early days of British administration, corruption was mainly confined to lower levels. The Second World War period provided opportunities wherein corruption engulfed the entire machinery of administration.
A number of war related civil work provided impetus to rising instances of corruption in the departments of central and state government. There was continuity in the ethos and practices of administration as far as corruption were concerned. If anything, there was rise in such instances. Santhanam Committee Report (1964) observed “we heard from all sides that corruption in recent years spread even to those levels of administration from which it was conspicuously absent in the past.” This continuity could be explained partly in terms of increasing role of state in reconstruction and development, partly in terms of social structure of the machinery.
The elitist life style of the Bureaucrats turned them to engage in easy money making exercises. Lack of technical expertise on the part of leadership strengthened this trend. When the leadership realized the corrupt network, they themselves became part of it.
The nexus between public servants and the corrupt politicians devalued the aspect of honesty and integrity from the realm of public life. Very soon the vigilance, policing, grievance redressal machinery was also under its ambit. In recent times, Vohra Committee on criminalization of politics found an unhealthy nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and criminals operating as law unto them.