mid-day editorial: Army paper leak just the tip of the iceberg

Feb 28, 2017, 06:19 IST | mid-day correspondent

In a coordinated pre-dawn operation, police in Pune, Nagpur and Panaji have detained 21 people suspected of leaking the question papers of an Army recruitment exam. Incidentally, the detainees include a retired Army officer and a senior paramilitary officer. Apparently, the question paper was being circulated via a cellphone messaging service.

While paper leaks have become an unfortunate but deep-rooted fact in our education system, the exposé has sent shockwaves throughout the defence department as the men in uniform are still perceived to be above any sort of corruption.

The revelation of retired defence officer being a part of the scam leads all to wonder if any department is sacrosanct or above corruption, after all. Most people in our country still share the idealistic view that the fauji — retired or serving — has a moral compass that is quite different from fallible civilians.

While the jury is still out on this alleged corruption in the defence system, such scams certainly blight the image of the security forces. We praise the quick action by investigators in nabbing the culprits and it's praiseworthy that this probe has been exempt from red-tapeism.

The scale of the investigations — spanning more than two cities — reveals how deep the menace runs in the state. It's true that some rotten apples cannot ruin the entire basket, but the scale and ambit of the crime hints at a larger racket. Authorities must probe the epicentre of this crime as this incident may just be the tip of the iceberg, if one can refer to it as that.

Some naïve notions should be allowed to survive, some ideals and idols should still be up there in our pantheon. We pray for some immediate and strict action in this case to ensure our faith in the defence as well as the education system is reinstated.

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