India against Corruption : A Myth

 

In the recent days we hear a lot of propaganda against Corruption in India. Many students have literally come on to the roads to fight against the corrupt politicians. Most of them have a feeling that our nation is against corruption and some bugs in the system are eating away the wealth. Is India really against corruption?

Let’s go into a classroom where the future of India is built and search for truth.

‘Here is an examination going on in a class. The students just got seated in their assigned positions. The Invigilator distributed the question papers and the examination started. Some of them started writing seriously and some looking around. The Invigilator got a call and left the room to attend it. The real drama starts now. The heads were no more looking into their sheets. The eyes lifted and the concentration drifted. Data transfer took pace. For some its the need and for others its greed.The place where honesty meant to be seen in the purest form, lost its way.’

This might be a common scene

for many of us. But, Ironically, the same students go on to the roads fighting against the corrupt politicians. And the same students become the future working class – officers and politicians. You can just imagine what happens after they become one. Massive Corruption has its root somewhere deep inside every one of us. The difference is only in numbers and ways.

One may argue that he is honest, never indulged in taking bribes. But that doesn’t end the story. Is not only about taking, but also giving. How many of you got your passports verified without paying a bribe? How many of them are actually registering their lands without paying a tip? You can try making a list of them which turns out to be a rainfall measure in a desert! In fact, many of them doesn’t even resist when asked for one. This doesn’t confine to a particular department, but it has its wide-spread roots. People want to get their work done, though that costs a few bucks more. It has become okay for many, to pay the tip before the meal!

Why doesn’t people resist? For answering this question, let’s see what happens in a classroom.

If a student fails in a test, he feels bad. If some of his friends too fail, he feels better.If everyone in the class fail, he feels happy!

Though his personal academic status remains the same, there is a lot of difference in the attitude of this student in looking at the problem. Now, its easy! Everyone is giving a bribe. So what if I give? Similarly in the officer’s point of view, ‘Everyone one is taking, so what if I take?There are bigger fishes. I’m not the one eating everything.’

In this context, I get reminded of a scene in a movie.

A person in trouble visits an astrologer, seeking solace. The astrologer examines his horoscope and says, ‘Your Rahu, Ketu and Saturn (Sani) are in hostile places. You are likely to have such problems for three more years.’ The excited man asks, ‘What happens after three years, Guruji?’ The astrologer says, ‘you will get used to them Son.’

Such passive resistance of corruption is very common in India. It is not exaggeration to say, Corruption has now become a part of Indian culture.

There is a common misconception that corruption only means bribery. The actually reality is something different. Though, bribes constitute the major part of the corrupt system the other forms are not ignoble. Many respected professionals in fields like law, medicine, real estate, accounts, auditing and so on, do not declare their real income, as a matter of practice. It is this income, generated by avoiding tax or stealing from public funds, that has created a situation where black money in India is estimated to be 50 percent, if not more, of the India’s GDP. This black money is the oxygen for corruption, just as corruption is the oxygen for black money!

It is very unfortunate to have a society in which corruption is an unwritten clause of the culture. Students, Lawyers, Doctors, Chartered accountants, nevertheless Politicians, their Bureaucrats, everyone, a part of this game. The number of honest personnel might be increasing, but it’s still a far way to go. One may boldly say,

“Not being corrupt isn’t dignity, Its mere lack of opportunity !”

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