June 26, 2011
“Kuchh Kharcha Paani ke liye nahi dijiyega saahab?”. I guess, it’s a very common word in our day to day life. While Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev and a quite important chunk of the population are fighting and shouting against corruption, the thought of writing this article came to my mind.
Sometimes, I feel that corruption has become the DNA of Indian blood. Only in some people the DNA is dormant.
I believe, people give and take bribe for three major reasons.
- For doing something wrong or something that the person is not supposed to do. For example, you are caught by the traffic police for not using the helmet. You bribe the police for not fining you. Or say, a judge giving influenced judgment. Or a police hiding some major proof or witness. These matters, I believe are universally accepted as crime.
- For influencing a third person for the benefit of first and second person. Bofors is the classic example. And why hide the truth? I witness many businessmen providing ‘benefits’ to person who influences a prospect to buy a product.
For doing the right thing or what a person is supposed to do. Very common in all the Govt. offices. Leave behind clerks, even officers say, “bhaiya, itni dur tel jalake aaye hain. Uska paisa to aa jaana chahiye.”. This, is not considered as a crime by many people. The person is doing what he/she is supposed to do. But, he/she will ask for bribe.. sorry kharcha paani to complete your work smoothly. Whom to blame? If in a restaurant, you pay the waiter some tips, isn’t that a bribe too? After all, he is doing what he is supposed to do. We argue that we are giving it to him happily for the good services.
In many Govt. offices, it is impossible to forward your file unless you provide some benefit to the officials. “Salary to sirf haziri banana ke liye milta hai. Kaam karne ke liye to upari kamai chahiye”, is the mantra. This remains the truth of the inefficient Govt. class. Forgive me for being so harsh. But this is the truth.
Let us try to find out the reason behind corruption and the reason behind failure of Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare, if you would permit.
The business class, understands the benefit of money, the cashflow. They realize the fact very well that if they give 50 paise to some for a profit of 100 paise, it’s not at all harm to them. Rather it provides them an easier way to do business. I guess, It’s time to blame the business class as well for the corruption that’s taking place.
Next comes the education. People in our country actually grow up knowing that with money they can buy anything. The lesson learnt in childhood remains forever.
And they do not consider it to be a major crime. Thoughts beyond a particular boundary is very rare.
And this is where lies the root cause of corruption. Unfortunately, our rural mass which is the major chunk of the population is unaware of the evil. We may be promoting a lot of videos and campaigns against corruption, but one should realize that it reaches only upto 15 % of the Indian population. Remaining 85 % are unaware of this. To them, this is a custom or regulation, whatever you say.
It reminds me of the naxalite movement in Kolkata. I’ve only heard about it. In Kolkata (Then Calcutta) the participants were all from elite backgrounds. The best brains of the state, doctors, engineers etc. participated in the movement actively. But then, why the failure? I’ll never say that there motive was wrong. They were also fighting against corruption. They were also fighting against the monarchy in the name of democracy. But the failure was due to the fact that the rural mass could not be conveyed the actual message. The meaning of the movement. Same holds true for the present situation. Unless the rural mass understand and perceives the concept, nothing can help.
Since education is the major key behind all these, I strongly believe, the Govt. deliberately neglected this area till now. Providing package is not enough. Implementing is where lies the key role. This is something what the so called similar communist Govt. (which I found is nowhere near to communism) has been doing in West Bengal. Employing only the strong party supporters, (read believers) as teachers in primary school. When a child, from an early age learn that Indira Gandhi was a great prime minister and Rajiv Gandhi was “dhowa tulshi pata” (A very pious man), how can you expect them to think beyond that? How can you expect them to find out the ‘why’ behind emergency and ‘2.5’ billion dollars in Swiss Bank account.
Arguments will continue. And so will the corruption in India. People (read morons) like me will continue writing and promoting in internet, but, nothing will change. Even proper Lokpal won’t be able to change anything unless the rural mass becomes aware of it and starts taking action.
You and me will continue bribing people for our benefit. It is not the takers, but the givers who need to wake up. But why should they, when they see benefit in this? 90 % of the people who are active in the movement will become mum if they are given 1 crore each. And this will remain the truth till ages to come.