Corruption- where are we headed?

N.J Kodikal

The fact that corruption is endemic in India is common knowledge. Everybody in India faces the brunt of corruption on different levels, but over the years corruption has seeped into society, and now like cancer is destroying the fabric of the nation.

While most of us deeply dislike corruption, we are hamstrung and cannot stop it.

I remember the time when I had to get my birth certificate and had to make 5 visits to the Municipal Office, and on every visit was given a new story of why my certificate could not be provided to me. The objective of the guy in the municipal office was to frustrate me to the extent that I will come to the point where I will be willing to part with additional money to get what I need.

The problem is individuals cannot singularly fight a corrupt system or organisation. This has to be done en-mass.

It can only happen when the bulk of the society stands up and says – enough is enough.

There was a time when private sector jobs were sought after due to the prospect of better pay. However, the tide has shifted and Government jobs are sought after today, not for the high pay or perks, but those jobs have powers vested in them, and these powers can be worked for significant personal gain. In addition to the official payment for work required, bribes are given to keep everybody in the system happy right from the peon to the senior most official passing your case file.

Nobody seems to ask questions any more, of why a politician with limited known official sources of income, drives around in a car costing 50 Lakhs or is doing a deal to buy real estate in hundreds of cores.

Politicians are voted into office for uplifting the society, giving a decent quality of life to the masses. They are expected to right the wrong, bring development to areas that are undeveloped, ensure that growth and prosperity is brought to the masses, that the cities and towns are kept clean and all basic amenities are provided.

But alas, this is not happening. The cities are looking shabbier than 15 years ago, development is happening but without a master plan, rules are flouted and individuals or corporates with deeper pockets and access to powerful politicians can get things done – their way.

The citizens with lack of access to the good life in India are looking to move to western countries, where you are not compelled to bribe to get basic needs.

The recent drive by Anna Hazare and India Against Corruption activists, Arvind Kejeriwal, is just the first step in the frustrated citizens telling their leaders to get your act together!

Like the Arab Spring revolution where country after country stood up against their politicians and where once all-powerful leaders like Gaddafi, Mubarak and their stooges were knocked off, our leaders in India, by their continued wrong acts, are questioning the intelligence of their citizens and testing their patience.


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