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Archibald Joseph Cronin, MBChB, MD, DPH, MRCP (19 July 1896 – 6 January 1981) was a Scottishnovelist and physician.[2]

His best-known novel is The Citadel (1937), the story of a doctor from a Welsh mining village who quickly moves up the career ladder in London. Cronin had observed this scene closely as a Medical Inspector of Mines and later as a doctor in Harley Street. The book promoted what were then controversial new ideas about medical ethics and helped to inspire the launch of the National Health Service. Another popular mining novel of Cronin's, set in the North East of England, is The Stars Look Down. Both these novels have been adapted as films, as have Hatter's Castle, The Keys of the Kingdom and The Green Years. Cronin's novella Country Doctor was adapted as a long-running BBC radio and TV series Dr Finlay's Casebook, revived many years later.

Early life[edit]

Cronin was born in Cardross, Dunbartonshire[3], Scotland, the only child of a Protestant mother, Jessie Cronin (née Montgomerie), and a Catholic father, Patrick Cronin. Cronin often wrote of young men from similarly mixed backgrounds. His paternal grandparents had emigrated from County Armagh, Ireland, and become glass and china merchants in Alexandria. Owen Cronin, his grandfather, had had his surname changed from Cronague in 1870. His maternal grandfather, Archibald Montgomerie, was a hatter who owned a shop in Dumbarton. After their marriage Cronin's parents moved to Helensburgh, where he attended Grant Street School. When he was seven years old, his father, an insurance agent and commercial traveller, died from tuberculosis. He and his mother moved to her parents' home in Dumbarton, and she soon became a public health inspector in Glasgow.

Cronin was not only a precocious student at Dumbarton Academy[4] who won many prizes in writing competitions, but also an excellent athlete and footballer. From an early age he was an avid golfer, and he enjoyed the sport throughout his life. He also loved salmonfishing.

The family later moved to Yorkhill, Glasgow, where Cronin attended St Aloysius' College[4] in the Garnethill area of the city. He played football for the First XI there, an experience he included in one of his last novels, The Minstrel Boy. A family decision that he should study either to join the church or to practise medicine was settled by Cronin himself when he chose "the lesser of two evils".[5] He won a Carnegie scholarship to study medicine at the University of Glasgow in 1914. He was absent in 1916–1917 for naval service. In 1919 he graduated, with highest honours, with the degree of MBChB. Later that year he made a trip to India as ship's surgeon on a liner. Cronin went on to earn additional qualifications, including a Diploma in Public Health (1923) and his MRCP (1924). In 1925 he was awarded an MD by the University of Glasgow for his dissertation, entitled "The History of Aneurysm".

Medical career[edit]

During the First World War Cronin served as a surgeonsub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve before graduating from medical school. After the war he trained at various hospitals, including Bellahouston and Lightburn Hospitals in Glasgow, and the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin. He undertook general practice in a small village on the Clyde, Garelochhead, as well as in Tredegar, a mining town in South Wales. In 1924 he was appointed Medical Inspector of Mines for Great Britain, and his survey of medical regulations in collieries, and his reports on the correlation between coal dust inhalation and pulmonary disease, were published over the next few years. Cronin drew on his medical experience and his research on the occupational hazards of the mining industry for his later novels The Citadel, set in Wales, and The Stars Look Down, set in Northumberland. He subsequently moved to London, where he practised in Harley Street before opening his own thriving medical practice in Notting Hill. Cronin was also the medical officer for Whiteleys at this time and was becoming increasingly interested in ophthalmology.

Writing career[edit]

In 1930 Cronin was diagnosed with a chronic duodenalulcer and was told that he must take six months' complete rest in the country on a milk diet. At Dalchenna Farm by Loch Fyne he was finally able to indulge his lifelong desire to write a novel, having previously "written nothing but prescriptions and scientific papers".[6] From Dalchenna Farm he travelled to Dumbarton to research the background of his first novel, using the files of Dumbarton Library, which still has the letter from Cronin requesting advice. He composed Hatter's Castle in the span of three months, and the manuscript was quickly accepted by Gollancz, the only publishing house to which it had been submitted (it was apparently chosen when his wife randomly stuck a pin into a list of publishers).[5] This novel, which was an immediate and sensational success, launched Cronin's career as a prolific author, and he never returned to practising medicine.

Many of Cronin's books were bestsellers in their day and have been translated into many languages. Some of his stories draw on his medical career, dramatically mixing realism, romance and social criticism. Cronin's works examine moral conflicts between the individual and society, as his idealistic heroes pursue justice for the common man. One of his early novels, The Stars Look Down (1935), chronicles transgressions in a mining community in Northeast England and an ambitious miner's rise to be a Member of Parliament.

A prodigiously fast writer, Cronin liked to average 5,000 words a day, meticulously planning the details of his plots in advance.[5] He was known to be tough in business dealings, although in private life he was a person whose "pawky humour ... peppered his conversations," according to one of his editors, Peter Haining.[5]

Cronin also contributed many stories and essays to various international publications. During the Second World War he worked for the British Ministry of Information, writing articles as well as participating in radio broadcasts to foreign countries.

Influence of The Citadel[edit]

The Citadel (1937), a tale of a mining company doctor's struggle to balance scientific integrity with social obligations, helped to incite the establishment of the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom by exposing the inequity and incompetence of medical practice at the time. In the novel Cronin advocated a free public health service in order to defeat the wiles of those doctors who "raised guinea-snatching and the bamboozling of patients to an art form."[5] Dr Cronin and Aneurin Bevan had both worked at the Tredegar Cottage Hospital in Wales, which served as one of the bases for the NHS. The author quickly made enemies in the medical profession, and there was a concerted effort by one group of specialists to get The Citadel banned. Cronin's novel, which was the highest-selling book ever published by Victor Gollancz, informed the public about corruption within the medical system, planting a seed that eventually led to reform. Not only were the author's pioneering ideas instrumental in the creation of the NHS, but the historian Raphael Samuel asserted in 1995 that the popularity of Cronin's novels played a substantial role in the Labour Party's landslide victory in 1945.[7]

By contrast, according to one of Cronin's biographers, Alan Davies, the book's reception was mixed. A few of the more vociferous medical practitioners of the day took exception to one of its many messages: that a few well-heeled doctors in fashionable practices were ripping off their equally well-off patients. Some pointed to the lack of balance between criticism and praise for hard-working doctors. The majority accepted it for what it was, a topical novel. The press attempted to incite passions within the profession in an attempt to sell copy, while Victor Gollancz followed suit in an attempt to promote the book, all overlooking the fact that it was a work of fiction, not a scientific piece of research, and not autobiographical.

In the United States The Citadel won the National Book Award, Favorite Fiction of 1937, voted by members of the American Booksellers Association.[8] According to a Gallup poll conducted in 1939, The Citadel was voted the most interesting book readers had ever read.[9]


Some of Cronin's novels also deal with religion, which he had grown away from during his medical training and career, but which he reacquainted himself with during the 1930s. At medical school, as he recounts in his autobiography, he had become an agnostic: "When I thought of God it was with a superior smile, indicative of biological scorn for such an outworn myth." During his practice in Wales, however, the deep religious faith of the people he worked among made him start to wonder whether "the compass of existence held more than my text-books had revealed, more than I had ever dreamed of. In short I lost my superiority, and this, though I was not then aware of it, is the first step towards finding God."

Cronin also came to feel that "If we consider the physical universe,... we cannot escape the notion of a primary Creator.... Accept evolution with its fossils and elementary species, its scientificdoctrine of natural causes. And still you are confronted with the same mystery, primary and profound. Ex nihilo nihil, as the Latin tag of our schooldays has it: nothing can come of nothing." This was brought home to him in London, where in his spare time he had organised a working boys' club. One day he invited a distinguished zoologist to deliver a lecture to the members. The speaker, adopting "a frankly atheistic approach," described the sequence of events leading to the emergence, "though he did not say how," of the first primitive life-form from lifeless matter. When he concluded, there was polite applause. Then, "a mild and very average youngster rose nervously to his feet," and with a slight stammer asked how there came to be anything in the first place. The naïve question took everyone by surprise. The lecturer "looked annoyed, hesitated, slowly turned red. Then, before he could answer, the whole club burst into a howl of laughter. The elaborate structure of logic offered by the test-tube realist had been crumpled by one word of challenge from a simple-minded boy."[10]


It was at university that Cronin met his future wife, Agnes Mary Gibson (May) (1898–1981), who was also a medical student. She was the daughter of Robert Gibson, a masterbaker, and Agnes Thomson Gibson (née Gilchrist) of Hamilton, Lanarkshire. The couple married on 31 August 1921. As a physician, May worked with her husband briefly in the dispensary while he was employed by the Tredegar Medical Aid Society; she also assisted him with his practice in London. When he became an author, she would proofread his manuscripts. Their first son, Vincent, was born in Tredegar in 1924. Their second son, Patrick, was born in London in 1926. Andrew, their youngest son, was born in London in 1937.

With his stories being adapted to Hollywood films, Cronin and his family moved to the United States in 1939, living in Bel Air, California; Nantucket, Massachusetts; Greenwich, Connecticut; and Blue Hill, Maine. In 1945, the Cronins sailed back to England aboard the RMS Queen Mary, where they stayed briefly in Hove and then in Raheny, Ireland before returning to the U.S. the following year. They subsequently took up residence at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City and then in Deerfield, Massachusetts before settling in New Canaan, Connecticut in 1947. Ever the nomad, Cronin also frequently travelled to his homes in Bermuda and Cap-d'Ail, France, where he summered.

Later years[edit]

Ultimately Cronin returned to Europe, to reside in Lucerne and Montreux, Switzerland, for the last 25 years of his life. He continued to write into his eighties. He included among his friends Laurence Olivier, Charlie Chaplin and Audrey Hepburn, to whose first son he was godfather.

Although the latter part of his life was spent entirely abroad, Cronin retained a great affection for the district of his childhood, writing in 1972 to a local teacher: "Although I have travelled the world over I must say in all sincerity that my heart belongs to Dumbarton. ... In my study there is a beautiful 17th century coloured print of the Rock... I even follow with great fervour the fortunes of the Dumbarton football team."[11] Further evidence of Cronin's lifelong support of Dumbarton F.C. comes from a framed typewritten letter hanging in the foyer of the club's stadium. In the letter, written in 1972 and addressed to the club's then secretary, Cronin congratulates Dumbarton on their return to the top division after an absence of 50 years and recalls his childhood supporting the Sons (the club's nickname) and on occasion being "lifted over" the turnstiles (a common practice in times past so that children did not have to pay).[12]

Cronin died on 6 January 1981 in Montreux, and is interred at La Tour-de-Peilz. Many of Cronin's writings, including published and unpublished literary manuscripts, drafts, letters, school exercise books and essays, laboratory books and his M.D. thesis, are held at the National Library of Scotland and at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas.



  • Hatter's Castle (novel, 1931), ISBN 0-450-03486-0
  • Three Loves (novel, 1932), ISBN 0-450-02202-1
  • Kaleidoscope in "K" (novella, 1933)
  • Grand Canary (serial novel, 1933), ISBN 0-450-02047-9
  • Woman of the Earth (novella, 1933) ISBN 978-1543185812
  • Country Doctor (novella, 1935) ISBN 978-1523347100
  • The Stars Look Down (novel, 1935), ISBN 0-450-00497-X
  • Lady with Carnations (serial novel, 1935), ISBN 0-450-03631-6
  • The Citadel (novel, 1937), ISBN 0-450-01041-4
  • Vigil in the Night (serial novella, 1939) ISBN 978-0-9727439-6-9
  • Jupiter Laughs (play, 1940), ISBN B000OHEBC2
  • Child of Compassion (novelette, 1940), ISBN 978-1530135349
  • Enchanted Snow (novel, 1940), ISBN 978-1523950119
  • The Valorous Years (serial novella, 1940) ISBN 978-0-9727439-7-6
  • The Keys of the Kingdom (novel, 1941), ISBN 0-450-01042-2
  • Adventures of a Black Bag (short stories, 1943, rev. 1969), ISBN 0-450-00306-X
  • The Green Years (novel, 1944), ISBN 0-450-01820-2
  • The Man Who Couldn't Spend Money (novelette, 1946), ISBN 978-1530135349
  • Shannon's Way (novel, 1948; sequel to The Green Years), ISBN 0-450-03313-9
  • Gracie Lindsay (serial novel, 1949), ISBN 0-450-04536-6
  • The Spanish Gardener (novel, 1950), ISBN 0-450-01108-9
  • Adventures in Two Worlds (autobiography, 1952), ISBN 0-450-03195-0
  • Beyond This Place (novel, 1953), ISBN 0-450-01708-7
  • Escape from Fear (serial novella, 1954), ISBN 978-1523326921
  • A Thing of Beauty (novel, 1956), ISBN 0-515-03379-0; also published as Crusader's Tomb (1956), ISBN 0-450-01394-4
  • The Northern Light (novel, 1958), ISBN 0-450-01538-6
  • The Innkeeper's Wife (short story republished as a book, 1958), ISBN 978-1543220940
  • The Cronin Omnibus (three earlier novels, collected in 1958), ISBN 0-575-05836-6
  • The Native Doctor; also published as An Apple in Eden (novel, 1959), ISBN 978-1523392537
  • The Judas Tree (novel, 1961), ISBN 0-450-01393-6
  • A Song of Sixpence (novel, 1964), ISBN 0-450-03312-0
  • Adventures of a Black Bag (short stories, 1969), ISBN 0-450-00306X
  • A Pocketful of Rye (novel, 1969; sequel to A Song of Sixpence), ISBN 0-450-39010-1
  • Desmonde (novel, 1975), ISBN 0-316-16163-2; also published as The Minstrel Boy (1975), ISBN 0-450-03279-5
  • Doctor Finlay of Tannochbrae (short stories, 1978), ISBN 0-450-04246-4
  • Dr Finlay's Casebook (omnibus edition – 2010), ISBN 978-1-84158-854-4
  • Further Adventures of a Country Doctor (twelve late-1930s short stories, collected in 2017), ISBN 978-1543289190

Selected periodical publications[edit]

  • "Lily of the Valley," Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan, (February 1936), ISBN 978-1543220940
  • "Mascot for Uncle," Good Housekeeping, (February 1938), ISBN 978-1530135349
  • "The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met: The Doctor of Lennox," Reader's Digest, 35 (September 1939): 26–30.
  • "The Portrait," Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan, (December 1940), ISBN 978-1543220940
  • "Turning Point of My Career," Reader's Digest, 38 (May 1941): 53–57.
  • "Diogenes in Maine," Reader's Digest, 39 (August 1941): 11–13.
  • "Reward of Mercy," Reader's Digest, 39 (September 1941): 25–37.
  • "How I Came to Write a Novel of a Priest," Life, 11 (20 October 1941): 64–66.
  • "Drama in Everyday Life," Reader's Digest, 42 (March 1943): 83–86.
  • "Candles in Vienna," Reader's Digest, 48 (June 1946): 1–3.
  • "Star of Hope Still Rises," Reader's Digest, 53 (December 1948): 1–3.
  • "Johnny Brown Stays Here," Reader's Digest, 54 (January 1949): 9–12.
  • Two Gentlemen of Verona," Reader's Digest, 54 (February 1949): 1–5.
  • "Greater Gift," Reader's Digest, 54 (March 1949): 88–91.
  • "The One Chance," Redbook, (March 1949), ISBN 978-1543220940
  • "An Irish Rose," Reader's Digest, 56 (January 1950): 21–24.
  • "Monsieur le Maire," Reader's Digest, 58 (January 1951): 52–56.
  • "Best Investment I Ever Made," Reader's Digest, 58 (March 1951): 25–28.
  • "Quo Vadis?", Reader's Digest, 59 (December 1951): 41–44.
  • "Tombstone for Nora Malone," Reader's Digest, 60 (January 1952): 99–101.
  • "When You Dread Failure," Reader's Digest, 60 (February 1952): 21–24.
  • "What I Learned at La Grande Chartreuse," Reader's Digest, 62 (February 1953): 73–77.
  • "Grace of Gratitude," Reader's Digest, 62 (March 1953): 67–70.
  • "Thousand and One Lives," Reader's Digest, 64 (January 1954): 8–11.
  • "How to Stop Worrying," Reader's Digest, 64 (May 1954): 47–50.
  • "Don't Be Sorry for Yourself!," Reader's Digest, 66 (February 1955): 97–100.
  • "Unless You Deny Yourself," Reader's Digest, 68 (January 1956): 54–56.
  • "Resurrection of Joao Jacinto," Reader's Digest, 89 (November 1966): 153–157.[14]

Film adaptations[edit]

  • 1934–Once to Every Woman (from short story, Kaleidoscope in "K")–directed by Lambert Hillyer, featuring Ralph Bellamy, Fay Wray, Walter Connolly, Mary Carlisle, and Walter Byron
  • 1934–Grand Canary–directed by Irving Cummings, featuring Warner Baxter, Madge Evans, Marjorie Rambeau, Zita Johann, and H. B. Warner
  • 1938–The Citadel–directed by King Vidor, featuring Robert Donat, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Richardson, and Rex Harrison
  • 1940–Vigil in the Night–directed by George Stevens, featuring Carole Lombard, Brian Aherne, Anne Shirley, and Robert Coote
  • 1940–The Stars Look Down–directed by Carol Reed, narrated by Lionel Barrymore (US version), featuring Michael Redgrave, Margaret Lockwood, Emlyn Williams, Nancy Price, and Cecil Parker
  • 1941–Shining Victory (from play, Jupiter Laughs)–directed by Irving Rapper, featuring James Stephenson, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Donald Crisp, Barbara O'Neil, and Bette Davis
  • 1942–Hatter's Castle–directed by Lance Comfort, featuring Robert Newton, Deborah Kerr, James Mason, Emlyn Williams, and Enid Stamp Taylor
  • 1944–The Keys of the Kingdom–directed by John M. Stahl, featuring Gregory Peck, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, Rose Stradner, Edmund Gwenn, Benson Fong, Cedric Hardwicke, Jane Ball, and Roddy McDowall
  • 1946–The Green Years–directed by Victor Saville, featuring Charles Coburn, Tom Drake, Beverly Tyler, Hume Cronyn, Gladys Cooper, Dean Stockwell, Selena Royle, and Jessica Tandy
  • 1953–Ich suche Dich ("I Seek You" – from play, Jupiter Laughs)–directed by O. W. Fischer, featuring O.W. Fischer, Anouk Aimée, Nadja Tiller, and Otto Brüggemann
  • 1955–Sabar Uparey (from novel, Beyond This Place)–directed by Agradoot, featuring Uttam Kumar, Suchitra Sen, Chhabi Biswas, Pahadi Sanyal and Nitish Mukherjee
  • 1957–The Spanish Gardener–directed by Philip Leacock, featuring Dirk Bogarde, Jon Whiteley, Michael Hordern, Cyril Cusack, and Lyndon Brook
  • 1958– Kala Pani ("Black Water" – from novel, Beyond This Place)–directed by Raj Khosla, featuring Dev Anand, Madhubala, Nalini Jaywant, and Agha
  • 1959–Web of Evidence (from novel, Beyond This Place)–directed by Jack Cardiff, featuring Van Johnson, Vera Miles, Emlyn Williams, Bernard Lee, and Jean Kent
  • 1967– Poola Rangadu (from novel, Beyond This Place)–directed by Adurthi Subba Rao, featuring ANR, Jamuna, and Nageshwara Rao Akkineni
  • 1971–Tere Mere Sapne ("Our Dreams" – from novel, The Citadel)–directed by Vijay Anand, featuring Dev Anand, Mumtaz, Hema Malini, Vijay Anand, and Prem Nath
  • 1972–Jiban Saikate (from novel, The Citadel)–directed by Swadesh Sarkar, featuring Soumitra Chatterjee and Aparna Sen
  • 1975–Mausam ("Seasons" – from novel, The Judas Tree)–directed by Gulzar, featuring Sharmila Tagore, Sanjeev Kumar, Dina Pathak, and Om Shivpuri
  • 1982–Madhura Swapnam (from novel, The Citadel)–directed by K. Raghavendra Rao, featuring Jaya Prada, Jayasudha, and Krishnamraju

Selected television credits[edit]

  • 1955–Escape From Fear (CBS), featuring William Lundigan, Tristram Coffin, Mari Blanchard, Howard Duff, and Jay Novello
  • 1957–Beyond This Place (CBS), featuring Farley Granger, Peggy Ann Garner, Max Adrian, Brian Donlevy, and Shelley Winters
  • 1958–Nicholas (TV Tupi), featuring Ricardinho, Roberto de Cleto, and Rafael Golombeck
  • 1960–The Citadel (ABC), featuring James Donald, Ann Blyth, Lloyd Bochner, Hugh Griffith, and Torin Thatcher
  • 1960–The Citadel, featuring Eric Lander, Zena Walker, Jack May, Elizabeth Shepherd, and Richard Vernon
  • 1962-1971–Dr Finlay's Casebook (BBC), featuring Bill Simpson, Andrew Cruickshank, and Barbara Mullen
  • 1962 & 1963–The Ordeal of Dr Shannon (NBC & ITV), featuring Rod Taylor, Elizabeth MacLennan, and Ronald Fraser
  • 1963-1965–Memorandum van een dokter, featuring Bram van der Vlugt, Rob Geraerds, and Fien Berghegge
  • 1964–La Cittadella (RAI), featuring Alberto Lupo, Anna Maria Guarnieri, Fosco Giachetti, and Eleonora Rossi Drago
  • 1964–Novi asistent, featuring Dejan Dubajic, Ljiljana Jovanovic, Nikola Simic, and Milan Srdoc
  • 1967–O Jardineiro Espanhol (TV Tupi), featuring Ednei Giovenazzi and Osmano Cardoso
  • 1971–E le stelle stanno a guardare (RAI), featuring Orso Maria Guerrini, Andrea Checchi, and Giancarlo Giannini
  • 1975–The Stars Look Down (Granada), featuring Ian Hastings, Susan Tracy, Alun Armstrong, and Christian Rodska
  • 1976–Slecna Meg a talír Ming (Ceskoslovenská Televise), featuring Marie Rosulková, Eva Svobodová, Petr Kostka, and Svatopluk Benes
  • 1977–Les Années d'illusion (TF1), featuring Yves Brainville, Josephine Chaplin, Michel Cassagne, and Laurence Calame
  • 1983–The Citadel (BBC and PBS), featuring Ben Cross, Clare Higgins, Tenniel Evans, and Gareth Thomas
  • 1993-1996–Doctor Finlay (ITV and PBS), featuring David Rintoul, Annette Crosbie, Ian Bannen, Jessica Turner, and Jason Flemyng
  • 2003–La Cittadella (Titanus), featuring Massimo Ghini, Barbora Bobuľová, Franco Castellano, and Anna Galiena

Selected radio credits[edit]

  • 1940–The Citadel (The Campbell Playhouse – CBS), featuring Orson Welles, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Ernest Chappell, Everett Sloane, George Coulouris, and Ray Collins
  • 1970-1978–Dr Finlay's Casebook (BBC Radio 4), featuring Bill Simpson, Andrew Cruickshank, and Barbara Mullen (rebroadcast in 2003 on BBC 7)
  • 2001-2002–Adventures of a Black Bag (BBC Radio 4), featuring John Gordon Sinclair, Brian Pettifer, Katy Murphy, and Celia Imrie
  • 2007-2009–Doctor Finlay: The Further Adventures of a Black Bag (BBC Radio 7), featuring John Gordon Sinclair, Brian Pettifer, and Katy Murphy

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Salwak, Dale. A. J. Cronin. Boston: Twayne's English Authors Series, 1985. ISBN 0-8057-6884-X
  • Davies, Alan. A. J. Cronin: The Man Who Created Dr Finlay. Alma Books, April 2011. ISBN 978-1-84688-112-1

External links[edit]

Rosebank Cottage, Cronin's birthplace
Cronin with family in 1938
  1. ^Before 16 May 1975 Cardross was in Dunbartonshire
  2. ^The University of Glasgow Story: Biography of AJ Cronin
  3. ^Before 16 May 1975 Cardross was in Dunbartonshire
  4. ^ abLiukkonen, Petri. "A. J. Cronin". Books and Writers ( Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 25 April 2011. 
  5. ^ abcdeHaining, Peter (1994) On Call with Doctor Finlay. London: Boxtree Limited. ISBN 1852834714
  6. ^Cronin, A. J. Adventures in Two Worlds. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1952, pp. 261–2.
  7. ^Samuel, R. (22 June 1995). "North and South: A Year in a Mining Village". London Review of Books. 17 (12): 3–6. 
  8. ^ ab"Booksellers Give Prize to 'Citadel': Cronin's Work About Doctors Their Favorite–'Mme. Curie' Gets Non-Fiction Award TWO OTHERS WIN HONORS Fadiman Is 'Not Interested' in What Pulitzer Committee Thinks of Selections", The New York Times, 2 March 1938, page 14. ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851–2007).
  9. ^Gallup Jr., Alec M. (2009). The Gallup Poll Cumulative Index: Public Opinion, 1935–1997, p. 135, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 0842025871.
  10. ^Cronin, A. J. Adventures in Two Worlds, Chapter 40 ("Why I Believe in God," in The Road to Damascus. Volume IV: Roads to Rome, edited by John O'Brien. London: Pinnacle Books, 1955, pp. 11–18)
  11. ^Letter quoted in obituary of Cronin in Lennox Herald. There is a photocopy of this obituary (undated) at "Cardross and A. J. Cronin Part 3"
  12. ^A.J. Cronin. The Ben Lomond Free Press (28 November 2007)
  13. ^
  14. ^Dictionary of Literary Biography

अवैध निजी लाभ के लिये सरकारी अधिकारियों द्वारा अपने विधायी शक्तियों (legislated powers) का उपयोग राजनैतिक भ्रष्टाचार (Political corruption) कहलाता है। किन्तु सामान्यतः सरकारी शक्तियों का दुरुपयोग (जैसे अपने राजनैतिक प्रतिद्वंदियों को सताना/दबाना, पुलिस की निर्दयता आदि) राजनैतिक भ्रष्टाचार में नहीं गिना जाता।

परिचय[संपादित करें]

भ्रष्टाचार (आचरण) की कई किस्में और डिग्रियाँ हो सकती हैं, लेकिन समझा जाता है कि राजनीतिक और प्रशासनिक भ्रष्टाचार समाज और व्यवस्था को सबसे ज़्यादा प्रभावित करता है। अगर उसे संयमित न किया जाए तो भ्रष्टाचार मौजूदा और आने वाली पीढ़ियों के मानस का अंग बन सकता है। मान लिया जाता है कि भ्रष्टाचार ऊपर से नीचे तक सभी को, किसी को कम तो किसी को ज़्यादा, लाभ पहुँचा रहा है। राजनीतिक और प्रशासनिक भ्रष्टाचार एक-दूसरे से अलग न हो कर परस्पर गठजोड़ से पनपते हैं। 2004 की ग्लोबल करप्शन रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक इण्डोनेशिया के राष्ट्रपति सुहार्तो, फ़िलीपींस के राष्ट्रपति मार्कोस, ज़ैरे के राष्ट्रपति मोबुतो सेकू, नाइजीरिया के राष्ट्रपति सानी अबाका, सरबिया के राष्ट्रपति मिलोसेविच, हैती के राष्ट्रपति डुवेलियर और पेरू के राष्ट्रपति फ़ुजीमोरी ने सैकड़ों से लेकर अरबों डॉलर की रकम का भ्रष्टाचार किया।

ये भ्रष्ट नेता बिना नौकरशाही की मदद के सरकारी धन की यह लूट नहीं कर सकते थे। ख़ास बात यह है कि इस भ्रष्टाचार में निजी क्षेत्र और कॉरपोरेट पूँजी की भूमिका भी होती है। बाज़ार की प्रक्रियाओं और शीर्ष राजनीतिक- प्रशासनिक मुकामों पर लिए गये निर्णयों के बीच साठगाँठ के बिना यह भ्रष्टाचार इतना बड़ा रूप नहीं ले सकता। आज़ादी के बाद भारत में भी राजनीतिक और प्रशासनिक भ्रष्टाचार की यह परिघटना तेज़ी से पनपी है। एक तरफ़ शक किया जाता है कि बड़े-बड़े राजनेताओं का अवैध धन स्विस बैंकों के ख़ुफ़िया ख़ातों में जमा है और दूसरी तरफ़ तीसरी श्रेणी के क्लर्कों से लेकर आईएएस अफ़सरों के घरों पर पड़ने वाले छापों से करोड़ों-करोड़ों की सम्पत्ति बरामद हुई है। राजनीतिक और प्रशासनिक भ्रष्टाचार को ठीक से समझने के लिए अध्येताओं ने उसे दो श्रेणियों में बाँटा है। सरकारी पद पर रहते हुए उसका दुरुपयोग करने के ज़रिये किया गया भ्रष्टाचार और राजनीतिक या प्रशासनिक हैसियत को बनाये रखने के लिए किया जाने वाला भ्रष्टाचार। पहली श्रेणी में निजी क्षेत्र को दिये गये ठेकों और लाइसेंसों के बदले लिया गया कमीशन, हथियारों की ख़रीद-बिक्री में लिया गया कमीशन, फ़र्जीवाड़े और अन्य आर्थिक अपराधों द्वारा जमा की गयी रकम, टैक्स-चोरी में मदद और प्रोत्साहन से हासिल की गयी रकम, राजनीतिक रुतबे का इस्तेमाल करके धन की उगाही, सरकारी प्रभाव का इस्तेमाल करके किसी कम्पनी को लाभ पहुँचाने और उसके बदले रकम वसूलने और फ़ायदे वाली नियुक्तियों के बदले वरिष्ठ नौकरशाहों और नेताओं द्वारा वसूले जाने वाले अवैध धन जैसी गतिविधियाँ पहली श्रेणी में आती हैं। दूसरी श्रेणी में चुनाव लड़ने के लिए पार्टी-फ़ण्ड के नाम पर उगाही जाने वाली रकमें, वोटरों को ख़रीदने की कार्रवाई, बहुमत प्राप्त करने के लिए विधायकों और सांसदों को ख़रीदने में ख़र्च किया जाने वाला धन, संसद-अदालतों, सरकारी संस्थाओ, नागर समाज की संस्थाओं और मीडिया से अपने पक्ष में फ़ैसले लेने या उनका समर्थन प्राप्त करने के लिए ख़र्च किये जाने वाले संसाधन और सरकारी संसाधनों के आबंटन में किया जाने वाला पक्षपात आता है।

राजनीतिक-प्रशासनिक भ्रष्टाचार को समझने के लिए ज़रूरी है कि इन दोनों श्रेणियों के अलावा एक और विभेदीकरण किया जाए। यह है शीर्ष पदों पर होने वाला बड़ा भ्रष्टाचार और निचले मुकामों पर होने वाला छोटा-मोटा भ्रष्टाचार। सूज़न रोज़ एकरमैन ने अपनी रचना करप्शन ऐंड गवर्नमेंट : कॉजिज़, कांसिक्वेसिंज़ ऐंड रिफ़ॉर्म में शीर्ष पदों पर होने वाले भ्रष्टाचार को ‘क्लेप्टोक्रैसी’ की संज्ञा दी गयी है। किसी भी तंत्र  के शीर्ष पर बैठा कोई बड़ा राजनेता या कोई बड़ा नौकरशाह एक निजी इजारेदार पूँजीपति की तरह आचरण कर सकता है। हालाँकि एकरमैन ने भारत के उदाहरण पर न के बराबर ही ग़ौर किया है, पर भारत में पब्लिक सेक्टर संस्थाओं के मुखिया अफ़सरों को ‘सरकारी मुग़लों’ की संज्ञा दी जा चुकी है। न्यायाधीशों द्वारा किये जाने वाले न्यायिक भ्रष्टाचार की परिघटना भारत में अभी नयी है लेकिन उसका असर दिखाई देने लगा है। दिल्ली में हुए राष्ट्रमण्डलीय खेलों के आयोजन में हुए भीषण भ्रष्टाचार के पीछे भी नेताओं और अफ़सरों का शीर्ष खेल ही था। टू जी स्पेक्ट्रम के आबंटन में हुए भ्रष्टाचार को भी क्लेप्टोक्रैसी के ताज़े उदाहरण के तौर पर लिया जा सकता है। निचले स्तर पर होने वाला भ्रष्टाचार ‘स्पीड मनी’ या ‘सुविधा शुल्क’ के तौर पर जाना जाता है। थाना स्तर के पुलिस अधिकारी, बिक्री कर या आय कर अधिकारी, सीमा और उत्पाद-शुल्क अधिकारी और विभिन्न किस्म के इंस्पैक्टर इस तरह के भ्रष्टाचार से लाभांवित होते हैं। इसी तरह ज़िला स्तर पर दिये जाने वाले ठेकों के आबंटन में पूरे ज़िला प्रशासन में कमीशन की रकम का बँटना एक आम बात है।

यहाँ इन दोनों तरह के भ्रष्टाचारों के मूल्यांकन संबंधी विवाद का ज़िक्र करना ज़रूरी है। सार्वजनिक जीवन में अक्सर यह बहस होती रहती है कि क्लेप्टोक्रैसी ज़्यादा बड़ी समस्या है, या फिर सुविधा शुल्क? समाज शीर्ष पदों पर होने वाले भ्रष्टाचार से अधिक प्रभावित होता है, या निचले स्तर पर होने वाले अपेक्षाकृत छोटे भ्रष्टाचार से? इस बहस के पीछे एक विमर्श है जो क्लेप्टोक्रैसी से जुड़ा हुआ है। सत्तर और अस्सी के दशकों में देखा यह गया था कि कई बार शीर्ष पर बैठे हुए क्लेप्टोक्रैटिक शासक या अफ़सर निचले स्तर पर होने वाले भ्रष्टाचार को नापसंद करते हैं। उन्हें लगता था कि इस छुटभैये भ्रष्टाचार से व्यवस्था बदनाम होती है और अवैध लाभ उठाने की ख़ुद उनकी क्षमता घट जाती है। इस दृष्टिकोण में निचले स्तर का भ्रष्टाचार प्रशासनिक अक्षमता का द्योतक था।

यह सही है कि छोटे स्तर का भ्रष्टाचार रिश्वतखोरी को पूरे समाज में विकेंद्रित कर देता है। एकरमैन ने भी अपनी रचना में इस पहलू की शिनाख्त की है। भारत में इसके सामाजिक प्रभाव का एक उदाहरण विवाह के बाज़ार में लाभ के पदों पर बैठे वरों की ऊँची दहेज-दरों के रूप में देखा जा सकता है। लेकिन दूसरी तरफ़ भारतीय उदाहरण ही यह बताता है कि भ्रष्टाचार का यह रूप न केवल शीर्ष पदों पर होने वाली कमीशनखोरी, दलाली और उगाही से जुड़ता है, बल्कि दोनों एक-दूसरे को पानी देते हैं। पिछले बीस वर्षों से भारतीय लोकतंत्र में राज्य सरकारों के स्तर पर सत्तारूढ़ निज़ाम द्वारा अगला चुनाव लड़ने के लिए नौकरशाही के ज़रिये नियोजित उगाही करने की प्रौद्योगिकी लगभग स्थापित हो चुकी है। इस प्रक्रिया ने क्लेप्टोक्रैसी और सुविधा शुल्क के बीच का फ़र्क काफ़ी हद तक कम कर दिया है। भारत जैसे संसदीय लोकतंत्र में चुनाव लड़ने और उसमें जीतने-हारने की प्रक्रिया अवैध धन के इस्तेमाल और उसके परिणामस्वरूप भ्रष्टाचार का प्रमुख स्रोत बनी हुई है। यह समस्या अर्थव्यवस्था पर सरकारी नियंत्रण के दिनों में भी थी, लेकिन बाज़ारोन्मुख व्यवस्था के ज़माने में इसने पहले से कहीं ज़्यादा भीषण रूप ग्रहण कर लिया है। एक तरफ़ चुनावों की संख्या और बारम्बारता बढ़ रही है, दूसरी तरफ़ राजनेताओं को चुनाव लड़ने और पार्टियाँ चलाने के लिए धन की ज़रूरत। नौकरशाही का इस्तेमाल करके धन उगाहने के साथ-साथ राजनीतिक दल निजी स्रोतों से बड़े पैमाने पर ख़ुफ़िया अनुदान प्राप्त करते हैं। यह काला धन होता है। बदले में नेतागण उन्हीं आर्थिक हितों की सेवा करने का वचन देते हैं। निजी पूँजी न केवल उन नेताओं और राजनीतिक पार्टियों की आर्थिक मदद करती है जिनके सत्ता में आने की सम्भावना है, बल्कि वह चालाकी से हाशिये पर पड़ी राजनीतिक ताकतों को भी पटाये रखना चाहती है ताकि मौका आने पर उनका इस्तेमाल कर सके। राजनीतिक भ्रष्टाचार के इस पहलू का एक इससे भी ज़्यादा अँधेरा पक्ष है। एक तरफ़ संगठित अपराध जगत द्वारा चुनाव प्रक्रिया में धन का निवेश और दूसरी तरफ़ स्वयं माफ़िया सरदारों द्वारा पार्टियों के उम्मीदवार बन कर चुनाव जीतने की कोशिश करना। इस पहलू को राजनीति के अपराधीकरण के रूप में भी देखा जाता है।

चुनाव प्रणालियों का भ्रष्टाचार की समस्या के आईने में तुलनात्मक अध्ययन भी किया गया है। कई विद्वानों ने एक अध्ययन में दिखाया है कि आनुपातिक प्रतिनिधित्व (जैसे अमेरिकी चुनावी प्रणाली) फ़र्स्ट-पास्ट-दि-पोस्ट (जैसे भारतीय चुनावी प्रणाली) के मुकाबले राजनीतिक भ्रष्टाचार के अंदेशों से ज़्यादा ग्रस्त होती है। इसके पीछे तर्क दिया गया है कि आनुपातिक प्रतिनिधित्व के माध्यम से सांसद या विधायक चुनने वाली प्रणाली बहुत अधिक ताकतवर राजनीतिक दलों को प्रोत्साहन देती है। इन पार्टियों के नेता राष्ट्रपति के साथ, जिसके पास इस तरह की प्रणालियों में काफ़ी कार्यकारी अधिकार होते हैं, भ्रष्ट किस्म की सौदेबाज़ियाँ कर सकते हैं।

इस विमर्श का दूसरा पक्ष यह मान कर चलता है कि अगर वोटरों को नेताओं के भ्रष्टाचार का पता लग गया तो वे अगले चुनाव में उन्हें सज़ा देंगे और ईमानदार प्रतिनिधियों को चुनेंगे। लेकिन, ऐसा हमेशा नहीं होता। अक्सर वोटरों के सामने एक तरफ़ सत्तारूढ़ भ्रष्ट और दूसरी तरफ़  विपक्ष में बैठे संदिग्ध चरित्र के नेता के बीच चुनाव करने का विकल्प होता है। एक अध्ययन में तथ्यगत विश्लेषण करके यह भी दिखाया गया है कि फ़ायदे के पदों से होने वाली कमायी, विपक्ष की कमज़ोरी और पूँजी की शक्तियों के बीच गठजोड़ के कारण सार्वजनिक जीवन में एक ऐसा ढाँचा बनता है जिससे राजनीतिक क्षेत्र को भ्रष्टाचार से मुक्त करना तकरीबन असम्भव लगने लगता है।

बीसवीं सदी के आख़िरी दशक में राजनीतिक- प्रशासनिक भ्रष्टाचार को नापने के भी कुछ संस्थागत उपाय हुए हैं। लेकिन, किसी देश में सार्वजनिक जीवन की पारदर्शिता का सूचकांक क्या होना चाहिए— यह विवाद का विषय बना हुआ है। ट्रांसपेरेंसी इंटरनैशनल करप्शन परसेप्शंस इनडेक्स, ब्राइब पेयर्स इनडेक्स और ग्लोबल करप्शन बैरोमीटर तैयार किया है। दूसरी तरफ़ एकाउंटेंसी फ़र्म प्राइस वाटरहाउस कूपर्स ने ओपेसिटी इनडेक्स की रचना की है। सेंटर फ़ॉर पब्लिक इंटेग्रिटी ने इंटेग्रिटी इनडेक्स तैयार की है। समझा जाता है कि इस समय कोई बीस सूचकांक एक-दूसरे के साथ प्रतियोगिता कर रहे हैं। सबकी अलग-अलग रपटें जारी होती हैं। 2009 में करप्शन परसेप्शन इनडेक्स ने 180 देशों की पारदर्शिता का अध्ययन करके न्यूज़ीलैण्ड को सबसे कम भ्रष्ट और सोमालिया को सबसे अधिक भ्रष्ट देश करार दिया था।

सन्दर्भ[संपादित करें]

1. सूज़न रोज़-एकरमैन (1999), करप्शन ऐंड गवर्नमेंट : कॉजिज़, कांसिक्वेंसिज़, ऐंड रिफ़ॉर्म, केम्ब्रिज युनिवर्सिटी प्रेस, केम्ब्रिज.

2. जोंग-सुंग यू और संजीव खग्राम (2005), ‘ए कम्परेटिव स्टडी ऑफ़ इनयीक्वलिटी ऐंड करप्शन’, अमेरिकन सोसियोलॅजीकल रिव्यू 70.

3. रोज़र मेयरसन (1993), ‘इफ़ेक्टिवनेस ऑफ़ इलेक्ट्रोरल सिस्टम फ़ॉर रिड्यूसिंग गवर्नमेंट करप्शन : अ गेम-थियरिटिक एनालिसिस’, गेम्ज़ ऐंड इकॉनॉमिक बिहेवियर 5, .

4. जेम्स स्कॉट (1972), कम्परेटिव पॉलिटिकल करप्शन, प्रेंटिस- हाल, एंगिलवुड क्लि क्रस, एनज.

5. आर, क्लिटगार्ड (1988), कंट्रोलिंग करप्शन, युनिवर्सिटी ऑफ़ कैलिफ़ोर्निया प्रेस, बर्कले.

बाहरी कड़ियाँ[संपादित करें]

  • राजनीतिक भ्रष्टाचार-भाग-1
  • On Tackling Corruption: A Non-Economist's View by Alum Bati
  • Global Integrity Report – local reporting and scorecards on anti-corruption performance in 90+ countries
  • United Nations Convention against Corruption at – fully indexed and crosslinked with other documents
  • PolicyPitch seeks to hold politicians accountable for their actions by providing more transparency. It allows people to track and comment on local legislation, contact politicians, and propose your own policies.
  • Money and Politics – Political Finance & Public Ethics – links to news articles, resources and handbooks on political corruption, political finance and campaign finance issues around the world
  • UNODC – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – on corruption
  • UNODC corruption campaign – Your NO counts!
  • World Bank anti-corruption page
  • The World Bank's Private Sector Development Blog on Corruption
  • World Bank's Worldwide Governance Indicators Worldwide ratings of country performances on six governance dimensions from 1996 to present.
  • contentMDK:20850389~pagePK:210058~piPK:210062~theSitePK:384455,00.html Corruption Literature Review World Bank Literature Review.
  • UNICORN: A Global Trade Union Anti-corruption Network, based at Cardiff University
  • The Committee for Fighting Corruption (Inter-Regional non-governmental organisation)
  • Corruption Perceptions Index 2009 Map Source Transparency International
  •, McGrath, Amy. Chapter Seven “One Vote, One Value: Electoral Fraud in Australia”. Proceedings of the Eighth Conference of The Samuel Griffith Society.
  • National Seminar on political corruption in India. 20–21 जनवरी 2011.
  • Reducing corruption in public governance : Rhetoric to reality
  • Prevention: An Effective Tool to Reduce Corruption
  • Reducing corruption at the local level
  • Corrupt Cities : A Practical Guide to Cure and Prevention (162 pages
  • Corruption through the programme cycle by TI
  • Understanding and preventing police corruption : Lessons from the literature
  • Resources on corruption, environment and development
  • Index of Economic Freedom
विश्व के विभिन्न देशों में भ्रष्टाचार का अनुमान (ट्रांसपैरेंसी इंटरनेशनल)
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