One of the biggest continuous concerns of most citizens of India across all regions, strata and political inclinations has been corruption. Seasons of sudden hope for a fightback came sporadically, turning an unknown person into an icon, but they faded without delivering much. Institutionalised corruption only became stronger, rent seeking a given.
In Telangana, chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, emerging stronger from his stern, no-nonsense response, airing a politically incorrect reply to the arm-twisting tactics of RTC trade unions, is now on the cusp of making history by seeming firmly to go ahead and break the most corrupt of systems in any state government — land revenue.
The tragic incident, in which Ch. Vijaya Reddy, mandal revenue officer of Abdullapurmet in Telangana, was burnt to death in her office on Monday, has our heartfelt condolences, but the accused, who suffered partial burns, was apprehended by police within less than an hour. The three-day bandh call by revenue officials is prompted not by any love for the memory of their colleague but is a disguised resort to putting pressure on the government to not bring in the new Land Revenue Act.
No citizen has yet recorded her or his name in history for having got land registered, bought or sold it, or had grievances settled, without having to pay a bribe. Let an inhuman murder not distract us from the tragedy that is corruption by MROs, VROs and the like.
Mr Rao, who has long ago etched history by successfully leading an agitation for a separate Telangana, must now storm ahead and stamp out corruption in revenue. Mr Rao can, and should, revolutionise our revenue system; land records must be digitised, buying, selling, managing, owning and renting land or property in Telangana must be made a 21st century experience. We can learn from the Indian passport issuance experience.
“Kill Corruption in Revenue” — that should be the new identity for KCR. Other Indian states would be grateful to Telangana for leading the way....