Collusive corruption among big business houses and the government is the main cause of India's economic debacle, former Supreme Court judge N. Santhosh Hegde said here Thursday.
Hegde was addressing a panel discussion on 'The Role of Indian Youth in Democracy', organised jointly by the Asian School of Business (ASB) and Young Indians (Yi).
"Corruption in Indian society has today grown to such a monstrous level that it is wrecking the economy and growth. Corruption is not something of recent origin, but it was never openly accepted by the society. It is the growth of corruption that is harmful to the society. We need to fight this," said Hegde, who was the Lokayukta (ombudsman) for Karnataka from 2006 to 2011.
Calling upon students to show courage and commitment to oppose corruption, Hegde, who has publicly fought the corrupt, advised them to never condone corruption under any circumstances as it can be deemed as an encouragement.
"Every child should tell his father that he or she does not want anything bought from corrupt earnings. Corruption has taken away money that should have been legitimately available for development needs and our people," said the former judge.
He also pointed out to a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India which showed that during the year 2006-07, as much as Rs.51,000 crore of money was unaccounted.
He also did not spare the judiciary and pointed out that today it is well known that corruption exists there also.
"Our society today is seeing a downfall of ethics, morality and rise of senseless greed among human beings," he said and advised students to inculcate values and morals.