Santosh Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge and former Lokayukta of Karnataka, has been very vocal about corruption. During his tenure in Karnataka a number of scams were reported. There he lodged his strong objection to the illegal iron-ore mining case. Excerpts from one of his convocation speeches in Bengaluru:
Today’s occasion is very special for you. After getting the degree, you will enter a new phase of life. Your parents and teachers have contributed a lot in your progress. You should always realize how much your parents sacrificed for you. Life to come will be full of challenges. I hope that failures and difficulties will not spoil your spirits. Whenever you are faced with defeat and difficulties, look back and see those people who despite all the merits and abilities remained behind you. Progress in life is not just determined by position and money. Growth means how responsible citizens you really are. If a person moves ahead ignoring morality and social values, his / her progress is meaningless. Live in today, tomorrow will be fine.
If you have more money, help others. Helping someone weaker than yourself is the greatest benevolence. The passion of helping others is the greatest quality. But today everyone is competing to earn more and more money, as if becoming rich is the biggest goal of life. It is a misconception that corruption only in politics and bureaucracy persists. The reality is that dishonesty continues to dominate every profession. It is not evil to earn money, but it must be earnest. Wrongly earned money weakens the country and society. The biggest reason for the rapid rise of corruption in the country is: attitude of society. People usually decide how successful a person is by looking at their wealth and wealth. This scale is incorrect. We have to differentiate between honest and dishonest people. Those who have earned money through corruption will have to be boycotted. It has to be accepted that corruption is a social evil and fighting this evil is the biggest challenge today. We cannot accept the dishonest and their richness.
After getting the degree you will go into different profession. If you work in the administrative field, you will have the responsibility to give better governance to the people. If you go to any other profession, then your responsibility is not reduced. At least you have to fulfill the duty of a vigilant citizen. You have the responsibility to follow moral values. No democracy can run without social values. Today we have deviated from our values. Therefore, India seems far behind in the list of honest countries. Corruption is a major cause of poverty in the country. Poverty will end by ending it.
The country is going through a difficult period. Today we need skilled politicians who can take the country in the right direction. The country is full of leaders, but there is a huge shortage of visionary politicians. Even after six decades of independence, we have not been able to establish an egalitarian social system. Even today, there is an attempt to divide the society in the name of religion and caste. You have the responsibility to keep yourself away from such disruptive efforts. It is your responsibility to keep the society united. The gap between the poor-rich and the village-countryside is widening. Eliminating this distance is a major challenge.
Promotion and starvation
Claims are made that the country is moving in the direction of progress. If people are still hungry in the country even today, then this promotion is meaningless. Some people do not progress due to getting rich. Has everyone got equal opportunities for advancement in the country? You have to come forward to save the society from starvation and tears. This is a task that your elders have not done, now you have to do this work. You are the future of the country. You have to fulfill this responsibility. I think eradicating poverty from the country should be our first priority. Every person in the country should get the right to live with respect. After all, why did the people of the country live in poverty, while some special people are becoming more rich through corruption?
Right to good governance
It is the right of the public to achieve good governance. Good governance means administration that is sensitive to the needs of the public. Bureaucrats have to understand that they are not the rulers of the public, but their servants. Giving good governance to people is not a favor to them. This is their right. It is the responsibility of the government to understand and solve the problems of the people. To give better governance to the people it is necessary to follow Rajdharma. The main elements of Rajdharma are: selfless service, equality, accountability, honesty, truth, fairness and generosity. Good governance can be established only by following these elements.