ByÂ Shivam Sisodia:
Sixty-four years ago, the indian motherland was freed from the clutches of the tyrannous british rulers with the impetus of one of the greatest upheavals of history. It was undoubtedly a glorious achievement of the people, for the people and by the people that demonstrated exemplary courage, patriotism and sacrifice for the nation. It was thought that the nation was seized from its greatest adversary, and quite so at that time, it was. However, a far more vicious and opportunistic enemy had laid sight upon our, then infant, nation as it crept in the darkness to spread its outset on the nation like fangs of a cobra. It intended to seep into the hearts and minds of the nationalistic individuals of the country who served it with highest levels of loyalty and faithfulness till the spirit was broken.
Today sixty-four henceforth, the Indian nation suffers with the acute disease of corruption which has embedded itself in any and every form into the very roots of the modern Indian state and is causing an incessant decay. Simple day-to-day instances and flavors of its manifestation are quite apparent on every level, be it the highest level bureaucratic proceeding or as simple as police catching somebody jumping a signal. However, corruption that has evidently become rampant in the government, and politics in general, is the most alarming as well as frustrating. In many states, the government itself plays the double role and plays the villain and the hooliganistic outfit that uses the force of fear among the general masses to run its self-benefitting, of which individual politicians mostly are the beneficiaries, schemes and policies. Various forms of exploitation of loop holes in the law makes them almost invincible as they continue to amass vast fortunes that are besmirched from the, what one may say weak and general, masses. Various scams that account to multi-million treachery to the nation, its law and, especially, its people, who out of unreasonable foolishness, or rather a veil of deception, choose them to lead the nation, as is supposed to happen in a democracy.
Its not the only front where such display of corrupted mindset has taken its toll. Its consequences have trickled down and spilled over to other fields and fronts as well. The high level politics and corruption in the private sector has also risen to new levels. Hence corruption has been able to steady its feet in the general people.
The state of policing at the ground level is another example of, what in one’s perspective can be associated to, a concoction of “overhead pressure” and rampant instances of bribery. Bribery has almost become a way of life not just in the case of policing but also in almost any and every field, be it education, be it jumping signal, and especially the impetus it gives to drive home, a file, in almost any random government office-from peon to the head civil servant. It cannot be denied that the people have also become more or less corruption driven and are deterred only by the fear of being caught red-handed and, unfortunately, not by the mere sentiment of honesty. At almost any given professional workplace, the competition for promotion is won not always by the most intelligent and industrious professional but by the one who can take care of the wishes of his superior counterpart, hence watering the already huge tree of corruption.
It does not seem to hard to figure out the manner in which the competition in the country, as well as internationally to a considerable extent, has grown at exponential rates in so many years post independence. It has become from one-wish to the only-wish for each and every individual to excel in their lives and achieve, what is thought as by almost everyone as, success, unfortunately, by hook or by crook. A string of reasons and explanations can be attributed to this single minded race to achievement of success such as modernization leading to fast lives, stronger will to flourish, inclination towards a self-centred approach, and most importantly the sudden explosion in the population which has triggered an unprecedented competition amongst the masses for the limited sources available such as food, water, clothing and shelter as its scarcity still exists in the country and bares itself to the naked eye at many fronts. Moreover, nobody seems to be satisfied with whatever one has, unlike the previous times where social progress was given more weightage, and incessantly strive to amass more and boundlessly more wealth, from a daily wage laborer to the mightiest politician. The most general example can be considered like this :
An innocent and naive villager aloof of the city trends comes dreaming about living and flourishing in it comes to hustle-bustle of the city and is compelled to face the hard reality that its not that easy, so he looks for a temporary job through which he can feed himself temporarily. He also has a fairly big family and he must feed them too and hence seeks for a many opportunities of any kind to pounce on. Hence, an inner charectar of being opportunistic develops. He is treated unfairly, understands the concept that he would have to bribe around to go about whatever the small way he wishes to, and is hassled by already corrupted cops. So, he develops a general disliking and hatred towards the city and now looks for the easiest paths which leads to unfair means such as taking a commission, bribery to be frank, for everything he does and hence submits to corruption. The policemen, already on the wrong path, choose this way because of the pressure of various high authorities over him that he must follow to feed himself and, ofcourse, the dependents.
An honest one fails to understand the mechanism of policing when his orders defy his conscience. Moreover, he pays for his inability to understand this deeper mechanism which pivots on his senior officials and their questionable intentions who, in turn, are dictated by the government people, hence frustrated at many times thus looking for opportunities to make a quick buck which also serves their ego that eats over their conscience and patriotism at such position and power. Hence the ground level policeman gives himself away to a corrupt public servant, partially due to his inability to change and partially due to the resultant greed that suffices due to an inapt and the lowly income he earns. Then, the people who loath such display of lack of charectar at every level in the government offices and the unfair competition that is faced at their own workplaces to excel and achieve temporary feats, in order to keep themselves momentarily satisfied before they are prepared to strive to conquer more. The organizations, on the other hand, try to extract highest from their employees at minimal cost-to-company, i.e. salaries as they too need to compete in a ruthless market populated by equally ruthless sharks of profit. These organizations also need to satisfy the hunger of politicians in order to satisfy their own lust for movable as well as immovable assets and run scams running into multi-million values.
It is worthwhile to note that at each level, a person is primarily driven by two forces, the one to acquire more in order to achieve, apparently, enough to not just satisfy their own basic needs, though that too are hard to come by in our country even today, but also the quest to flourish and also, to some extent, satisfy their own ego; two, to be able to have a false peace of mind to avert the slightest sense of insecurity for their own family members. Such a mindset can be attributed to elevated levels of competition for, almost in, every walk of life, every discipline of every field that may come to the mind. The urgency of the situation can be ascertained by accounting the prevalent use of anti-sleep drugs and other harmful stimulants by the medical students who require days and nights at a stretch to study and complete their syllabus. Hence, those who can do such irreversible damage to themselves can find nothing incorrect to do any harm to the nation by adopting corruption in their lives, and the seeds of corruption in the youngest citizens of the country are, hence, sown.
The competition that is faced in this world today is though undoubtedly one of the harshest and insensitive but also the most relentless one and equally unforgiving. Hence, any person would humanly find it tempting to make a quick buck at the cost of his human values and moral ethics. It, surely, is the easiest to follow but, in a longer run, is very corroding in nature to the society as well as its inhabitants and can only spark a stronger will for wrong means and hence further degrade the society. It must be understood that the true benefit of all lies only in the overall welfare of the entire society and hence one must put away his petty desires and work for the society and with the society.