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High Cost of Elections Fuels Corruption, Says Sam Pitroda, Staining Democracy

Renowned technocrat and political advisor, Sam Pitroda, has highlighted the corrosive impact of corruption on democratic systems. He asserts that the exorbitant costs associated with elections are a primary driver of corruption, perpetuating a cycle of crony capitalism and undermining the integrity of democratic institutions.

Global Perspective: Corruption

The Corruption Perception Index 2021, published by transparency.org, underscores Pitroda’s concerns. It reveals a direct correlation between well-protected civil liberties and higher scores on the CPI, indicating that countries upholding civil liberties tend to have lower levels of corruption.

Pitroda’s assertion resonates with the reality of modern democracies where electoral campaigns demand significant financial resources. In the pursuit of funding, political candidates often align themselves with wealthy donors, leading to expectations of favorable treatment post-election.

Despite widespread awareness of this phenomenon, the public often tolerates the cozy relationship between political elites and business magnates, perpetuating a culture where fundraising eclipses legislative responsibilities.

Misinformation and Social Media

The advent of social media has exacerbated the spread of misinformation, posing a grave threat to democratic processes worldwide. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been exploited to disseminate falsehoods, sow division among communities, and manipulate public opinion.

Political entities leverage social media as a tool to propagate false narratives, tarnish opponents’ reputations, and stifle dissent through intimidation tactics. This weaponization of information undermines the democratic ideals of transparency and accountability.

Path Forward: Strengthening Democracy

Despite these challenges, there is hope for the revitalization of democracy. By fostering a culture of civic engagement, promoting transparency, and reinforcing institutional integrity, nations can mitigate the detrimental effects of corruption and misinformation.

Gandhi’s Vision

Echoing the sentiments of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore, the essence of democracy lies in uplifting the marginalized and fostering an environment where fear has no place and dignity prevails. This ethos underscores the imperative of continual refinement and improvement within democratic systems.


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