Corruption:Common problem or practice?

Corruption I guess is one of the hottest topics of our times. It is on everyone’s mouth. It is the commonest discussion of every corrupthousehold. We Indians are discussing corruption over breakfast, lunch, supper and even dinner. Be it with friends, parents, children, teachers, girlfriends or enemies, corruption is one phenomenon that can be discussed with anyone, at any time. We all have faced it and we all want to get rid of it. It is a deterrent that is consuming our nation from inside and stalling its progress. Time and again we have been embarrassed with the deeds of our own men. We have a spectrum of laws against it and more agencies then I can count to keep it under check. Yet it thrives just under our noses and we are unable to do anything about it. Makes me wonder why? To get an answer to this question, I tried to classify corruption into various categories.

  1. Corruption found in officials wherein they pass substandard ‘things’(includes people, raw materials, building plans, everything else) as adequate for personal benefits (Severe form).
  2. Corruption wherein officials charge the citizens to pass standard things as standard (Moderate form).
  3. Corruption wherein officials make use of their discretionary powers or ‘just their discretion’ :p in exchange for money (Mild ignorable form).

These are just three types, but I am sure that if we sit to classify it properly, we will find many more. Having thus divided them, I would also like to point out the fact that corruption is not just about officials. There are always two partners in it. The ‘giver’(us) and the ‘taker’(people in power). If everyone of us would take a close look at the above categories, we would realize that we have been a party to either one of them at least once or more in our life. We may blame it on the officials or other people but the bottom line fact is that we are all corrupt in some form or other. Yet, we are all against it too.

The unfortunate truth in this whole story is that our society has actually adapted to corruption rather than opposing it. For the sake corruption_050112094737of our smooth functioning and vested interests, we all promote it in some form or other. We have lost the virtue of self-discipline and taken to self-gratification. Instead of opposing corruption at every step, we Indians have become participants to it using time constraints, convenience, helplessness and other cowardly excuses as our shields. It dismays me to hear ‘citizens’ calling themselves helpless in the World’s largest democracy. Have we really lost the spirit to resist what is wrong and support what is right? Has India lost the cult of virtuous men and women? Or have we all become so carefree having sought our freedom from foreign masters that we have started taking undue advantage of it? “With great power comes great responsibility”- Spiderman. Our ancestors left us with the power to govern ourselves, having snatched it from the hands of The Oppressor after a long and bloody struggle.If not wielded with caution, this power will soon enough consume us again. It was only after the whole Civil Society stood up to fight that India won its freedom. It is the society that forms the Government and its officials, not vice-versa. The people in power hail from our own society and are a reflection of the same. It is only after our society changes itself that we will be able to get rid of this menace of corruption. Only when we ourselves bask in the light of righteousness, will we be able to compel those who have deviated from the path, to either fall in line or face the consequences.

When I talk about a changing society I must also emphasize the fact that you cannot force a ‘society’ to change by laws and Corruptionrestrictions. Such weapons are effective only against individuals and to prevent them from becoming a rally point for others. Social reforms can only be achieved through awareness and education. The change in the society has to come from within. It has to come from every individual, who forms, the unit of the society. If everyone decides to be ‘the change’ that our society needs, it will automatically transform into a better one but if everyone chooses to do the opposite, we shall but crumble under the weight of our own errors. At the current rate, I am afraid to say that, the day is not far, when our own countrymen will sell us to the dogs for fulfilling personal desires and India shall again lose its glory even before being able to shine.

This Independence Day, let us all resolve to be ‘the change’ we talk of seeing in our society. Let us all swear to shun corruption in all measure even if we have to bear losses for it. Let us be firm and take an unyielding stand against it, not giving in to our emotions or weaknesses. Let us choose neither to encourage it nor to ignore it but to fight it, report it, banish it and cleanse our motherland of this filth. I end this article, beholding in my eyes the vision of a better India, free from corruption and climbing the stair of success, without any constraints to hold it back. Let this year’s unfurling of The Tricolour be the roar of our war trumpets against corruption and let us endeavour to end it by the next.

P.S.-I know it is an impossible task but then, when the word ‘impossible’ itself says that ‘I m possible’ then why not take our chances!india_tricolour_eye_flag

 Jai Hind!

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