The thing with corruption today is that we have failed to connect with it.
We expect others to fix our problems. We think AAP or Anna hazare or somebody else will come and fix it for us. We want our presidents, prime ministers, the government officers & everybody else to be honest and fix all our problems but us. And 30 years back our parents wanted somebody else to fix the system for them. But those Maseeha’s never arrived or delivered.
We don’t want to change ourselves because it takes effort, time, dedication & discipline at our end, but what we are ready to do is stand up and rally and go around shouting slogans and sporting armbands and fancy caps once in a blue moon because that ways, we are living the dream of being a hero, we are in a group of many others & if a crackdown happens we are sure we will not be targeted alone and worst of all ridiculed. We will also take along with us our friends & post pictures of ourselves supporting a noble cause and if we are lucky enough our pics may also be in media, It is a day’s job or two or just a couple of evenings.
But then we are happy to pay a bribe of 200 rupees for a license or to give something to the peon and so forth. We bribe our kids with goodies on clearing an exam & punish them for failing. The concept of a material benefit on doing something is ingrained into us quite early in life. The emphasis is not on the right thing or the wrong thing or morality, it’s about convenience. The problem is we have been conditioned to be corrupt and to abuse our power.What we will not do is not pay a bribe at the RTO for a license or take no matter how many tests or re tests it takes and still not pay the bribe. Because that wastes our time and our same friends who gifted me a IAC cap for free and asked me to join the procession against corruption the other day will think we are being insane. We will not blink an eye to ring up all our references and drop all those names even if we are connected only remotely to get our job done or get a job in the first place, we don’t want to risk going in there based on our talent alone, our excuse, it is already rigged and if I don’t use my influence, it will be unfair.
Power is inherently corrosive and corrupt :
There is no limit to the examples of power corrupting anybody. On this note, I am quite impressed by the legacy communism & socialism has left this planet.
Almost each of the coups that has happened in the countries with repressive regimes Cambodia, Cuba, Ghana, Chile and many others at the time had very noble intentions the people leading these overthrow of powers were distinguished people in their societies who were fed up with the troubles of their people and that also was a major reason in the success of their campaigns but almost each leader has demonstrated a significant rot as soon as they came to power, trying to cling to the hollow walls of power even at the cost of their own stated principles, their people and eventually led to the ruin of their country & eventually themselves.
When Che Guveria joined hands with Fidel Castro to overthrow Fulgencio Batista’s regime in Cuba those days, one was a young Doctor & the other a young lawyer with progressives ideas and their whole lives ahead but shaken by the troubles of the people of Cuba, they joined hand and after a couple of failed attempts finally marched into the capital like gods from heaven to giving a ray of hope to the people of Cuba. He (Castro) brought sweeping changes in governance & wowed not to cling to power and hold fair elections in a short time, but that day never came & he went on to rule Cuba for 34 years. That’s just one small example of power gone wrong, the history is flooded with such stories, including some big nations claiming to be the moral police of today’s world.
Looking back into our own politics, we have had some really promising leaders in our country who had a great vision for the country and have on many instances delivered on them, but over the years as they mature as politicians or in power they rot like the hardiest of trees in stagnant water. There is no dearth of examples both regional and national leaders who joined politics because they believed in something, wanted to bring some real change into this society and leave it better than they had found. They have also delivered on those promises time and again but then they started getting more frequent on the corridors of power and then eventually started to rot. Leading us today, to a total disgust and mistrust for all people involved in politics.
But, we keep forgetting that each person we accuse of being corrupt is our own reflection, the people who represent a society are a reflection of the society, it is a result of our own failures (yes in plural ). We have failed to vote, to take time and effort to ask questions and see if the person is really worthy of our vote. Because we want to catch up with our friends or a movie or do anything else but vote on the election day. And we think they landed straight from the skies. People say they buy votes and rig elections but even in major cities where the educated population is a majority we don’t go and vote for the right person, we just carry on with our lives while they scheme to plunder and stock up.
And more importantly if we expect change in the system, we have have to bring change from within ourselves, we have to be ready to take some pains for the larger good. Stop paying those small bribes, even if it takes a couple of more trips to the government office, got to be ready to challenge, no matter who it is to do the right thing. Stop expecting favors, because we know somebody somewhere. Stop stealing tax and many more such small & tiny things. It is not impossible to root out corruption, especially in recent times we just have to take interest and ask questions and know what’s happening around us and connect with it, because as they say the muck around is the muck we have created.
Let hope & peace prevail.