Even as social crusader Anna Hazare forced the government to promise a Lokpal bill, Comptroller & Auditor General of India Vinod Rai on Friday added his voice to the mounting crescendo against corruption, asking people to be active in cleansing the system because the government will never do it on its own.
''We can no longer afford to deceive ourselves that it is the duty of the government of the day to fight corruption and indeed see them fail,'' Rai said addressing a packed hall of chief executive at the annual conference of the Confederation of Indian Industry in New Delhi. "You can no longer remain passive and expect the government to fight corruption. That model has failed. It will not deliver till we make it deliver."
The CAG called for a ''paradigm shift'', from the old paradigm of government action and civil society inaction to one where the ultimate stakeholders take upon themselves the responsibility of improving the quality of governance.
''The idea of bringing civil society to the fore - the time has come to ensure that you motivate and make its voice credible so that it is heard,'' Rai said, referring to the ''kind of things being discussed at Jantar Mantar'' (in the wake of Hazare's massive protest).
The former Kerala-cadre IAS officer also said leaders of opinion have to raise their voice to encourage the people to do the same. "That will make babus like me deliver," he said.
He said that there was a deficit in ethics today - "We are in a situation where we have no hope." But he said the situation could be salvaged, especially since the public had been sufficiently empowered to deal with fighting graft.