India Where Corruption Is The Only Way of Life

Articles India Where Corruption Is The Only Way of Life

There has been lot of expectations from Anna’s tirade against corruption and lot of enthusiasm about its outcome. Hope it and historically contributes in eradicating flaws in India’s system of working.

But before we set our expectations to soar we need to do some introspection. Are we asking for too much? Would we ever be able to achieve a clean system? The answer is No, simply because when we ask for it, we ask from others to behave or conduct themselves in a particular way and we don’t apply those standards to ourselves. So the question is are we prepared to contribute by coming out of our comfort zone and pay the price attached to it?

Even if drastic steps are taken to revive the system by introducing effective checks and balances & stricter penalties and punishments as deterrent, the bottom-line is that the system does not runs on its own. It has a chain of human beings who are the eyes, ears, hands and brain of it, who are the custodians, who can nurture it or can toss it into shambles on their discretion.

We Indians are basically system unfriendly if left on our own. Any law or enforcement is only as effective as the society is naturally and willingly adaptive to it. Don’t we argue & throw names when we are caught by traffic cop & when it doesn’t work we try and bribe our way out to save some bucks. A small example of our attitude towards any system is our behavior at railway crossings. It has been seen umpteen numbers of times and again and again daily every hour in the city of Delhi our capital...or at any busy railway level crossing across the country. When the barriers are down the traffic on either side of crossing forget the basic “keep left” traffic rule and encroach the right hand side road as well, in the foolish greed of crossing the crossing, as the first among equals when gates open. Eventually when the gates do open it resembles like two armies approaching each other for a head on collision.  A 20–30 minutes honking, jam and pollution are always preferred over 5 minutes clearance through disciplined smooth flow of traffic.

It is we who don’t want & let the system work when we are at the receiving end. Do we not prefer short cuts? For long we have seen it all. From underweight cooking gas cylinders to adulterated fuel, milk, ghee, sweets, spices, and even chemically ripened fruits. Spurious drugs to greedy doctors, the money chasers don’t let it go even after death of patients. All professionals from engineers, lawyers, lawmakers, policemen, and heavyweight bureaucrats to small babus, businessmen, traders, god men are all out to grab whatever they can lay their hands on to. Once sacred institutes like schools are now money minting houses. Examination paper leaks to false degree certificates every thing is at your service. Bribes are asked and duly paid even by a retired govt. employee for getting his dues and   pension released from his own department. Bribes or recommendations from powerful can make a pilot out of below average good for nothing person.

Show me the Money I want & get the work done...whatever you want. This is the Mantra and the work ethic of people, from those who can exercise miniscule authority to the people who are top shots of power corridor in unison. A mad rush of amassing wealth runs in the underbelly of our system.

Late Rajiv Gandhi very honestly said in 80s that only 5 paisa reaches to the people intended to out of Re 1 sanctioned / released.

Is the common man at receiving end?  Yes he is, and not getting his share and stands to lose. But he has no right to complain either. Because since he is the common man he does not have privilege to lay hands on resources. It is to an extent lack of opportunity & being at lower rung of socio - economic strata the common man is unable to participate in this all gulping race. But make no mistakes, if by some grace from heavens this group gets  empowered, the same common man would most likely choose the same path of squeezing the country.

There is no doubt that there are some people who are empowered and do not believe in such practices and are clean, but they are in minority. Out of these how many stand up and speak against prevailing systematic and well entrenched corruption? Unfortunately they confine themselves to refraining from such activities but do not proactively protest such practices taking place around them.

There are no quick fix solutions though, but there is an urgent need to implement our value system which our rich culture and heritage has to offer, which is till now only talked about, but rarely practiced, the time is to bring it to action right away. It is also required to impinge  upon one and all, that we have lot of everything  required to lead a good life, and there is absolutely no need to snatch away others share.

A reference to Japanese values will be beautiful example in this context. Braving the harshness of multiple calamities recently, the people with tears in their eyes having lost their loved ones, quietly and gracefully queuing up for receiving aid with unprecedented patience. No chaos, no one making any attempt to jump the queue, no urgency or panic or thought of aid getting dried up before their turn and nobody snatching or forcing their way. Just a dignified calmness and pure determination that we will remain gracefully in life and death without compromising our belief and values. I salute their resilience.

Had Ravindranath Tagore alive today he would have promptly written:

Where the mind is without fear & greed,
And the head looking beyond the self
Where knowledge is put to intended use
Where the resources are not being eaten up
By the narrow minds of custodians of my nation
Where words still have grace of some truth
Where Masters of embezzlement could see the great divide of imperfection
Where the rationale has not lost its meaning
Into the deadly desert of greed and selfishness
Where the mind is not led away by thee
Into ever - widening desire & lust
Into that hell of a nation,
My father let my country awake

Written by: Anand Brijmohan
Dated: 3rd June 2011

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