Corruption begins at home
As various disclosures pour in about common wealth games becoming individual wealth games and the shadow of corruption taking over the spirit of the games, the nation fumes over the enormosity and blatant nature of corruption by the organising committee. From the tea stall benches to tweets the anger is simmering but what is this anger all about? The quantity of corruption or the corruption itself? Sadly, it seems to be the enormosity of corruption. If the scale of the corruption was within few crores , CWG episode would have gone unnoticed. So the simple point is – Is the anger just masking our jealousy or is it that we are insensitive to corruption to certain scale?
How many of us are corruption free? To bribe and getting bribe are crimes according to our law. People bribe their way out when caught by traffic cops, we bribe different agencies while constructing home, we bribe for reducing the property tax, we bribe to move our files in government agencies, we bribe the railway TTE to get berths and the list goes on in our day to day life. We don’t feel guilty paying bribes within our reach to get our things done. It is the same common man of India who also receives bribes and gives bribe and is the same common man of India who complaints and fumes at the blatant corruption at the higher levels. The difference seems to be only in the number of zeroes.
A common friend of mine narrated an incident with pride on how he got away from a traffic cop by bribing him with just a packet of cigaratte. He felt it as an achievement that he avoided the fine amount for driving in no-entry zone. A real estate developer once told me that he had to pay 2 million rupees to a panchayat officer to get no sanction letter for the property he was developing. He had no regret over it as though it is THE common norm. The bribe range from cigaratte packets to millions depending on the job and we have no qualms paying it if it is within our reach. I am not justifying the corruption in the CWG but as we say charity beings at home, NO to corruption should also begin at home.
Will average Shyam, Karim and Peter who has no qualms in bribing in his day to day life be clean handed when he sense an multi-million oppurtunity deal? In most cases, the answer is NO. We blame politicians, we blame bureocrats, we blame cops, we blame each and everyone. When will we blame ourselves? Its not aliens who take bribe or give bribe. Its the same society which does as well as blame. Call it split personality or sheer jealousy. If someone is really angry over the corrupt practice, they should also fight the corruption at lower level. The rot begins at roots and spread upwards. It has become convinient to blame, a habit to be cynical but unwillingness to change and fight. We all need someone else to fight on behalf of us , a super hero rather than be the hero. India does not heroes , it needs responsible citizens who will be the change rather than just doing the talks and wondering who will bell the cat?
A 2005 study done by Transparency International (TI) in India found that more than 50% of the people had firsthand experience of paying bribe or peddling influence to get a job done in a public office. Corruption has become a way of life to a certain extend to get things done and unless society changes this outlook, the society compels the law makers to nail the law breakers, we will continue to see treadmills hired for 10 Lakh rupees and toilet tissue for 3,750 rupees all in the name of games.