India, which was once famous for being the land of cultures, diversities and ethnicities, is today known as the place where corruption and scams rest. The country which, once proudly resonated with unity and honesty, has lost its freedom when it got in the hands of money-grubbing statesmen.
And, what are we doing to save our nation? It’s no good burying your head in the sand, when the country that attained freedom long ago is now at the mercy of its politicians and aristocrats.
We all know that it took decades for our freedom fighters to attain freedom from British, and they achieved it too, but for whom? For a future where people will be blind with greed? Definitely we owe our freedom to those who struggled to bring us out in the open, but it is also true that a look at the country’s present plight would easily tell anyone that our self-esteem & beliefs are now long gone. Just after attaining Independence, India recorded a few lakhs of corruption in the 1950s, and the amount increased drastically and crossed crores right after a decade, i.e. in the 1960s. Then we crossed the limit of even thousand crores, as we reached the 1970s.
But, did the situation take a U-turn? Not at all!
Of late, corruption stirred up a real hornet’s nest when the amount of scams like the 2G Scam and the Coalgate Scam touched a huge number of Rs 1.76 lakh crores and Rs 1.86 lakh crores, in that order. #IPL scam #Vyapam scam, the recent additions. This list is endless and apart from political scams, India has been shamed by corporate scams like #Satyam scam too.
At the core of corruption is self-indulgence. When power is exploited and self-indulgence is fed, self goal emerges and corruption thrives. Have you ever wondered why India is still not a developed country even when we have completed 68 years of independence? What is wrong with the nation where talent and skills are said to be deep rooted? Well, the reason why our nation has not been able to progress is because of the ineradicable corruption that exists here, and the use of the country’s hard earned money to make ill-gotten gains. Take a look at the way our public sector organisations run and you are sure to find faults by stating that they are flooded with inefficient systems, red tape and weak laws that do not punish the ‘wrongdoers’ – which are usually the big shots of the Indian politics. Talk of Indian politics and it is an undeniable fact that entrenched corruption stands firm as a major limitation in the nation’s holistic development. At several instances you would feel that politics is no longer done for the welfare of the common people. It has become a monkey business.
The reality, no matter how difficult it is to be absorbed, remains intact with the fact that scams can never be completely stamped out of our system. Master minds are going to exist at all phases of our nation’s growth; and these minds will generate newer ideas to bite the hands that feed them.
From threatening the voters to caste their vote, to buying them off – any and everything is possible on this land. It is also not wrong to state that elections are, perchance, one of the biggest sources and cultivators of corruption in the country.
In point of fact, the education sector is also not left safe and sound from the evils of bribery. The recent Vyapam scam is a typical example of how politicians, senior officials and the bigwigs of our country have made a mockery of the recruitment system in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The word ‘Vyapam’ is an abbreviation of Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal, also called the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB). The board is responsible for conducting entrance exams in order to find suitable candidates for recruitment in government jobs and admissions in educational institutes of the state. Several undeserving applicants suborned the ‘mighty’ political figures of the state along with MPPEB officials, just to get the ‘so called’ high ranks in the tests.
This cash-for-jobs scam that has been the grist for the gossip mill for the past few years, has now completely shook the faith of honest candidates who prepare for these entrance tests and fight tooth and nail to clear the exams, with the hope of building a bright future. However, there are people amongst us only, who shatter the dreams of the deserving candidates, just to make the future of our children or relatives, who do not have to study hard to clear these exams, thanks to their deep pockets!
And, then we blame the politicians for these scams!
A narrow escape, I must say! Isn’t it?
Think of this with all your conscience – Are ‘the politicians’ the only ones to be blamed for these scams and the ever increasing rate of corruption in the nation?
Aren’t we also responsible for the dire straits of our country?
We, the citizens of India, knowingly or unknowingly contribute towards the sustainability and growth of corruption. As a matter of fact, many of us have been the backers of the contemporary sharp practices. Think about your life, and you will definitely agree that at least once, you have either been on the giving or the receiving end of corruption. And this is something that we all can approve easily for our personal drives, even when we do not take long to rant and rave about the country’s political system and its relationship with venality.
We are not only dwelling in, but also nurturing the parallel economy of bribe & corruption. A closer look into the lifestyle of the common man would reveal that bribe has become a part and parcel of our society.
Do you need to elude paying a Traffic Challan? Just shell out a couple of hundred rupee notes from your pocket and pay them to the Traffic Police! I am myself guilty of doing this.
And if you want your child to study in the top notch school of your area, pay lakhs in the name of donations, and your child’s admission will be done!
Everything in this nation is as easy as pie! Don’t you agree? And, this is not all!
There are as many domains as you can think of, which have flourished due to the ‘adjustable’ corruption-tolerant generation of today. When it comes to corruption expanding its wings we have left no domain unscathed. From conducting property transactions in cash and fostering black money in real estate, to evading tax payments, many of us would have done it all!Similarly, you can get your passport issued by paying some thousand bucks for police verification – and this is something more than eighty percent of the passport applicants do!
And, you thought politicians are the only ones who are corrupted? Well, not really! We are the root cause of corruption. It exists, only because we let it do so.
The renowned Indian cricket commentator and journalist, Harsha Bhogle, rightly said, “Everywhere you turn there is the aroma of corruption in the air. I wonder if that is the new graduation degree you need.”
And, I have no hesitation in agreeing to what he stated.
I personally believe that we, the ‘common citizens’ of our country, are very much responsible for spreading disgruntlement and suspicion in every sphere by bribing those who ‘demand’ it. We spoil the soil we are proud of being born on, and then we whine of it not remaining pure any more.
So, what should we do to bring a change in the country? What should be our action points when it comes to doing our bit to fight against corruption – not only ‘verbally’, but ‘practically’?
I believe the time has come when we need to shift our mind-set from personal gains to collective gains. The time has come when we should think about what is right and wrong before we take a step towards corruption. The time has come when we need to inculcate moral values deep within ourselves, that the mere thought of getting a favour done by paying even a marginal sum of money should shake our soul.
We need to be united and stand tall against the long drawn brawl against corruption and scams, with a conscience that helps us keep the immoral intentions of indulging and being a part of a corrupt world at bay.
In addition to the alignment of our individual values with that of the society, we need a true democratic set up where the citizens are aware of the way our country’s administrators are working, to ensure that there is nothing to sweep under the rug. Common men require transparency and openness in public administration – so that those who have ‘the power’ should understand that they are answerable to the citizens of the country. It is time to put an end to the law of the jungle, step by step.
In my personal opinion, the moment we incorporate a system where trust is the cornerstone, we would step towards a better nation. Many of us may think that the promise of living in such a nation is nothing but a pie in the sky, may be because corruption has embedded within each one of us beyond recall. But, I am not going to lose my faith.
I know that it is not easy to stop the rot instantly. And, I am not even dreaming of that. I just aspire of a place which is free of corruption – if not now, then may be years later.
All that I need to do is to have my conscience guide me at all the phases of my life, and inspire others to do the same, so that we ‘together’ can bring a gradual change — just to make sure that our future generations can spend their lives sans corruption.
I am not over confident. Nor, am I going to be hopeless like many of our compatriots who have lost their faith in the system. I can see light at the end of the tunnel, and I believe that you can too… you just need to clear the view…