Corrupt? Me? Nah!!!

February 9, 2011
I  have ben tagged by Zephyr in her post Could THIS be the movement?.  I sense a deep anger, anguish and restlessness in her post.  A very poignant writer, Zephyr, has in this post created  furore in the Blogosphere and has started a kind of movement to joining hands against corruption. The sentiments of discontent and anger are shared by many more readers and bloggers.  Interestingly, Ms Kiran Bedi has replied to many of the comments of bloggers. The anger is understandable by everyone, every citizen of the country. EAch day, we are seeing new scams... it's really frustrating undoubtedly.  We don't know whom to see as a role model.

Secondly, Zephyr brought out that the news about the eminent citizens joining to rally against corruption in the country. It was not really covered by the media.  Yes, absolutely agree, i didn't read about it anywhere. Its a big big surprise. if someone knows better about it, do tell me. Citizen's awareness must be there about what's happening in their country... and much more media coverage should have been given to this event.

 And, since I've been tagged by her, here are my views about it.


But before I actually say anything, I would like you to recall that advertisement where on a traffic signal a young girl wearing shorts and a top is riding a scooty.... and is quite upset with the long stoppage time due to the movement of a cavalcade of a VIP (Now, here we are not discussing why VIPs need a cavalcade, save this for another post!)   But she does not give up and tries to persuade the traffic cop her way to go ahead.  Of course she just has to bat her pretty eyelids and pout and smile to bring a toothy grin on sun tan face of the greying, paunched cop.  But even on this when the cop does not budge. So there comes the tantrum of the girl as she behaves like a kid (if I remember correctly racing her scooty to show her sweet anger). Now this guy melts and gives way to this young lass, even when he has stopped the whole traffic, and the girl zips away making way for herself though the VIP cavalcade (don't try it ever, you'll be arrested immediately in real life!!)
Now, tell me honestly, is this not a bribe?? Doling out a smile, my dear, to get your work done is a bribe!! Now, Is the one who takes bribe only at fault? or the one, who wants to get his work done fast, breaking all rules and ready to pay an extra price for that also responsible?

How many times you have bothered to care for the traffic rules? And when you are caught, how many times you are willing to pay the fine? Have you ever told the cop "oh yes officer, I'm at fault, I'm a responsible citizen, so here is the fine, and I'm extremely sorry"  How many times have you haggled with the uniformed guy to let you off by bribing him a petty amount?

While looking for you child's admission to a reputed school, have to tried to find which school has management quota and which contact of yours can be used at this time? A recommendation letter from who's who is what you begin to look for..... hamare contacts kab kaam ayenge? right?

Do you file your Income Tax return? don't you try to hide as much income as possible? How honest are we with it?

There was a time, when people used to stand in queues to pay their bills etc, now online payments have eased a lot of our work.  But, tell me, when we used to stand in a queue, waiting for our turns, how often many of us would try to jump the queue, on one pretext or the other, how often, many of us would find someone known at the counter and become a "staff" to skip the long queue and finish off their work fast.

So, the first things I want to say is that there is not THEY to be blamed in corruption, it is US who is to be blamed. First we got to stop detaching our own selves from the assumed causes of corruption, ultimately, it's you and me who is willing to pay that little extra money so that we are saved from shelling out a bigger amount. 

It is said that you are good only till the time you are not proven as bad.  It is also said that till the time you don't get an opportunity to steal or rob, you don't know whether you are a thief or not.  It's only when circumstances are such that tempting offers are around you and you choose to refuse everything for the sake of your moral values, you should not claim to be HONEST.  Just, merely a lack of opportunity does not make you a saint.

Who are these people who are in the legislature, executive and judiciary?? They are people like you and me. Given a chance, many would have given in to the temptations of money, booze and women.  So, till the time you have not been tempted and till the time you have not decided to resist the temptation to walk on the right path, you have no right to call the other person as dishonest or corrupt. (Again, no sweeping generalization  about people working for the Govt (just like about gender roles) makes you look wise.)

Leave about being in Government, I just enumerated how as a citizen of the country also we are dishonest.  Now, let me come to the private sector.  Do you mean to say that you are sincere with your companies? Never have you used the office resources for personal gains? Official contacts for personal interests? Office time for personal work? Never fudged with the claims of transport or medical claims? Think about it.

Basically, the problem is not of CORRUPTION IN GOVERNMENT, the problem is our eroding moral values, rather changing perception of moral values.  The bad of yesteryear's is the good of today, see the glorification of immoral but helpful heroes in movies (Alka Gurha, our co-blogger wrote about it).  The changed definition of a good-bad-man is reflected everywhere.  A girl would have died of shame if she was defamed in society a few years back, but,today proclaims her infamousness with elan (munni badnaam hui). And many more examples are there, we know it. So, being greedy, being corrupt, wanting quick buck, quick success and paying any price for it, is all because, we are not bothered about building the character of our children, and resultantly, we are churning out street smart generation, and the real man is not even a desirable character now.

Now, lets talk about the possible solution/s or a road map to freeing our country of this evil.

But do you really think a movement of this sort, a rally, an article is going to make a difference?? Will it?  I know I sound like a pessimist.  I am a highly optimistic person.  And I feel it would be a folly to believe that such talks are going to bring about a change in the system.  Corruption is very very deep rooted in our society.  And believing that merely creating a protest like this will eliminate this evil is impractical. 

For a mamoth of a problem, there has to be change of  mind, right from the top, only then will it trickle down to the lower rung of the system.  A long term plan has to be drawn out... it's a huge system, huge machinery.... with lots of powers delegated at each step of the hierarchy.  The one's who know the game, know how to play it (read twist the rules of the game) and never get caught too.  It's not as simple as it looks.

So, what we, as citizens, can do about it? Yes creating awareness, spreading a word is fine, but being the change we want to see is equally important. First we got to stop pointing that finger towards others, only then we'll be able to find a solution or else a little glimpse of hope.  First we got to analyze where WE stand, and only then, we'll be able to act rightly, only then we'll be able to inculcate those values in our children.  We must take stock of things.... yes... enough is enough.... but we got to begin with the fact that we are dishonest.... we are crooks.... period.

Think about it.


RESTLESS

PS: Promote at Indivine

20 comments:

Prashant said...

mmm... long one.. would have to read it carefully...... and then will write..comments.....

zephyr said...

I tagged all the right people and every one of the posts is one better than the other and all of them better than mine :)Your post is so comprehensive that it covers all the possible points. And thanks for the wonderful words about my writing. :)

You are right that we have to start with the individual, with us. No we are all not crooks. (You are breaking your own rule of not generaling by saying this)

What we are talking about is the changing of the psychology of a person and the habits cultivated over time. While that is the ONLY long term solution to the problem, it should go side by side with the enforcement of the laws of the land so that the short term gains of this can be complemented by the long term goal of self improvement.

Otherwise, we have to live with it because even one person who refuses to is disinclined to change for the better can poison an entire system and here we are talking of a billion and more.

Prashant said...

ah! this topic i have lots to write about.. and when i did.. it has to be long enough.. sorry that i took so much time to post this....

One of the main problem with our democracy is that the one in power is behind the veil, and the answerable one is powerless. The basic necessities of the needy are ignored. Come election time and these people will introduce various schemes and do u-turn.

This article I should say is brilliant to the core, except for the fact that it finally asks us all about following the Mahatma Gandhi dictum of ‘being the change that you want to see’… but how..? just by standing apart from the crowd and watching the world zooming past by?

Of course, this initiative was not covered by the media. Why would they? These people who are behind this initiative as called as ‘civil societies’, and they are the enemy of the corporate world of which today’s media is the infantry force... People like Arvind Kejriwal or swamiAgnivesh, Mallika Sarabhai and Saeed Rizvi are detested by the corporate world and why would they air this?....

this article is to the point and a hit below the belt... Anyhow, just as Zephyr’s, the tenor of the same has been predominantly that of anguish and anger. As you say, it is high time moved forward from just being angry. What we normally do is to be angry and then conveniently forget the issue once we had a fancy discussion on the same during our lunch hours and coffee breaks. We need to move forward from this stage.

Prashant said...

You are right to the core when you say that it is the society that is reflected in its polity. If we have elected a corrupt polity, then it is because the very society that elects this polity is corrupt. We all don’t mind taking our office stationary out of our office to gift them to our cousin’s kids. Having grown with this mentality, we grow on the become telecom secretaries and isro chairmans and dole out ‘specrtrum’ and ‘minerals’ to our cousins…we can only steal what we are capable of….it is as simple as that…!

Ya.. the private sector and the corporate sector is more corrupt than the government sector. Only difference is that we don’t see it. A satyam scam that came in the news was an abberation in this regard as also we tend to close our eyes as and when the stock markets gets manipulated so as to get the big bull’s pockets…and in that way.. our pockets as well.. however small amounts it may be.. yeah it is true.. corruption is no corruption till the time it proves good for us… the moment it turns bad and start affecting for us, we start crying hoarse. Infact, these days it has become a distinguishing fact that the public system has been infilterated and subverted by the private and corporate interests…and this has resulted in an erosion of moral values on this aspect. Its dog eat dog….and you have to survive no matter what.

I remember the former CVC, N. Vittal, who said that corruption in India was a low-risk and high-profit activity. So appropriate are these words in this present context of the alarming decline in India's public life, where good and people of integrity shun public office and the greedy ones pack themselves around power with great delight!

Prashant said...

So what can be done..? well, that was the moot question of this article..! is creating awareness enough? No.. ya.. one can be the change that one wants to see as said earlier.. but how easy is that…? How will you survive being the sole dolphin in a sea full of sharks…? if you remain the sole flag bearer, sooner or later, either you will be shunted out, or you will inturn get consumed by the system....

This article effectively points to how do I as a citizen actually encourages the system. One can put a piece of the responsibility on the reader, but this makes me think of how I have to face up to this huge responsibility of changing things alone. if everyone thinks that way we can turn the tables, but even then, how much of a majority as WE?

We generally think and the feeling is ya…we can fix it, but as long as I don’t have to make any sacrifice. It is easier to blame the system, but a lot harder to look in the mirror to make ourselves part of the solution. This is what you have attempted in this post.. and I commend and salute you on this endeavour.

As a last word, I for one think that in such a situation, our country’s best bet perhaps are us only, who will resolve not to submit to bribery on the part of any public servant, or vote for such corrupt leaders in the general elections.

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

Well, I believe that if we change ourselves a bit, not to suit our convenience, but to the law and what is right, India will shine in a relatively less time than it otherwise would take. Who cares about India these days? When we are all entrenched up in our own little selves.

Nice write up.

Cheers,
Blasphemous Aesthete

Jack said...

Restless,

A very hard hitting and factual post. We are scared to introspect on this issue as hardly anyone will pass the muster honestly. There is a very thin line between PERKS OF THE CHAIR and CORRUPTION. If I am entitled to office car and I drop/ pick up my wife as her office is enroute, it is former but if I send the car specially to do so or deviate route to do so it is later. As it is said CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME, so we need to make ourselves clean first before we embark on cleaning the system. It needs a very deep thought to find ways to fight this cancer and we all need to contribute to it by sharing our methods.

Take care

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Zephyr - Thanks, if u found this post good :) But I feel inspired by your writings and u deserve the praise.

I did generalize, i know, because each of us would be doing something or the other, or would have done something or the other in our lives, which does not qualify us as honest... attaining upmost honesty is very difficult in this time and age. Our biggest problem is that we feel what we are doing is right, and what the other guy is doing is wrong, even if both of us are doing the same thing, varying in degrees. So i said, we are crooks, you look around... u'll find it.

You are absolutely right, the change has to begin at individual level only, and the law of the land can make a big difference in it too.

regards

RESTLESS

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Prashant,

I'm pleased to see that you read my rather looong post with such interest and hae written so much... am really happy to c that... long comments are welcome, anytime :)

u're right about the second para, there are fall guys ready for any cause!

I share the helplessness with you, i think, we all feel the same.

U seem to have an indepth knowledge about what is what... thanks for sharing... i was quite clueless about it.

Rightly said, we like to talk about it and then resume back to our normal lives

..ghatna ko ghatna samajh lete hain
bheed ki tarah
phir ghar laut aate hain
bheed hi ki tarah....

We really need to move ahead with some action on it.

RESTLESS

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Prashant,

very well said!!!! we can only steal what we are capable of stealing!!! Kudos for this!!

Read the whole thing, yes, probably we didn't bother till corruption really didnot hit us hard, it was always there.

True, it's difficult to the sole dolphin in a sea of sharks. It's foolish rather. Times have changed so much, that we as parents even would not like our kids to be so honest that they become fools. We want them to be smart, so as to survive. It's disturbing, but the hard fact.

But somewhere I don't see the hope fading forever.... i still believe, the power lies within us. The day we actually say (here again WHO is WE?) we are not going to bribe, come what may... let's c... really don't know.

because there will be wealthy lot, powerful lot, who don't care of those extra bucks to be paid as a bribe, becoz the gain is too high. It's just the middle class, the salaried class which will have to rise one day.

The stakes are too high, the risk equally high, becoz none of us wants to be burned alive, shot point blank, run over by a train or hit by a truck one day....

But let's not lose hope, is all i can say.

RESTLESS

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

BA - so right, we are so lost in our little gains, our little circle...that is what went wrong may be.

thanks!

RESTLESS

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Jack uncle,

well said... but people take it the literal way "charity begins at home"!!

yes, only individual efforts can make the difference, hopefully.

RESTLESS

p00ja said...

This is realyl true, and most of us agree with it, we blame the society and than fall in line with what is happening.
In life we always want to take the easy way out, we dont want to fight and take the other route, here I'd like to share an experience of mine with you.

Recently while getting my daughter's passport, i was asked to pay an additional amount so as to "Speed" up the process, but i was in no rush, i said i shall wait for it. Here let me mention the amount was merely Rs.250, but it was the attitude i did not like, so i put my foot down.
After that i waited for more than a year, for the police inquiry to come, but it dint.

Upon Inquiring i was told, that the police officer had sent a negative report, saying that the child did not live there, and he did not even see the parents on 2 of his visits.

Next time i applied for her passport from my maternal house and got it in 5 months time. I did not forget to pay the right amount of bribes this time.

Tell me what do you think?

tweedlethumb said...

Well..nice but the article is more fiction than it is socially and politically relevant. The kind of corruption that you are up against is enormous and so widespread that practically speaking there can be no solution to that.

Corruption is a huge issue and when you chose to deal with something like that..you could have put in more relevant stuff and some facts, stats and figures...especially since there is a lack of awareness among many people.

Corruption is in our minds. To end corruption, we need to take a positive step forward..and for that we need to cleanse our minds..purify our thoughts..which by the way..is never going to happen.

Spread the word. Hope floats. :)

Vivek Chamoli said...

Hi,

how you doing?

Cheers , Good news Defiant Hosni Mubarak has to step-down ...Democracy is about to take the control ..just a matter of time.

Hmm corruption had shaken the whole country and its citizens ..everyday there is a new corruption coming up ..where is the hard earned money going to these mentally and characterless people Pocket ..the taxes we pays ..there are lots of adds that comes on Tv channels on IT return etc.. and where the money is being used in national infrastructure.. if thats the way it goes ..I would better do charity for the needy.

These are the people which are the real hindrance in the development of any country.

But how it can be handled..the answer to it is simple By making and amending the yrs old Laws ..and give judgement should be given the day proofs are there.

Overall its all about the values we innate ..one become .. what one has inside the devil or else angel.
Its just the choice one takes in Journey of life.. and how throughly one analyses where he/she moving in that ..journey ..


take care
ks :)
GWE

Babu said...

@vivek..

well.. good.. that mubarak was finally out.. but as for the time being.. teh military is controllign the country... it looks a little sad when we see people like Obama orating on world tv that history has been made.. after hosni mubarak stepped down.. it seems liek he is the general of the winning army announcing to the world that they have won the war...

anyhow.. wiht egypt in its kitty.. almot all of teh suez canal can be controlled by america. so that US can ship all teh oil back..as also.. with the protests sweepign across hte middle east, israel can also sleep peacefully..

Alka Gurha said...

As you said, even i wonder if honesty is merely a lack of oppertunity to be corrupt..Palms itch and need to be greased. At some level we are all to blame...the degree differs.

aakash said...

Minds, young and mature, worried about nation. It's always a good sign to see sparks around. Do agree completely on the part of other's being our own reflections, say apart the conditions.
But you know the solution defies our fundamental principles of living. We all want to contribute to the country.We all watch RDB, border and feel that wave of 5-minute patriotism. We want to help but we want to 'fit' it in our lives. Let me study and work and raise a family, and I'll do my small bits in the process. How many would put up their life, their future on stake for the cause?
I am not sure, I will. Sorry, if this is pessimistic, it's reality too
aJ

Vee said...

i agree with you Restless. We should all be honest at our own individual levels. And in being so, we can all contribute to the society better.

But, in general, a person who robbed 100 Lakh Rs is expected to receive severe punishment compared to a person who robbed 100 Rs. And all I'm asking is can a person who robbed 100 crores Rs be punished and can something be done about it? And these people who happen to steal hundreds of crores have access to junta's money. money that has to rightfully go to the farmers, to the small entrepreneurs, to the poor, apart from the middle and the upper class people.

And that being said, I also don't want one crore of the common people to rob 100 Rs each. It'll do equally bad to the nation.

puneet3210 said...

Hi, good to see your blog & your interest in the nation, politics & issues like corruption. I had been to Freedom Park, Bangalore to support the Anna Hazare team recently. I have shared my experience on my blog http://puneet3210.blogspot.com/2011/08/anna-hazare-freedom-park-bangalore.html . Do have a look. The same is shared on IndiBlogger also at http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=72809 :) Puneet

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