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Did The Massive Anti Corruption Movement Even Scratch The Surface? Doesn’t Seem So!

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By Soumya Raj:

Our country is a well-oiled machine that works on the fuel of money. Like a vending machine, for each and every thing that needs to be done, a crisp 500-rupee currency note needs to be deposited from whomever the services needs to be extracted. In India, the duties and rights are only skin deep, they should not be confused with more important “virtues” like selfishness and dishonesty. Corruption in our nation is a very human character with a very human personality. Its presence can be felt in almost every office of our nation. This entity feeds on wealth and conscience of the leaders of our country, growing fatter everyday while we amusingly ask ourselves, “Where is all our money going?

anti-corruption

If one closely observes the leaders we have today, we will notice that they have started resembling corruption in astonishing ways. The same serene, deceptive, plain white kurtas and pajamas that cover the round, raindrop burlap sack-esque pot-bellied politicians, bureaucrats, authority and office holders everywhere, each and every one of them resembling the newest Deity of Unfair Means on the block. Amidst this new-found faith that dictates the “hands” that govern our Republic of Incredible India, transparency and integrity are attributes as evasive as snow in Sahara , “hands” I say because our leaders believe that service to the country must be done through service to ourselves, self-service before service to country above all. Who knows how many calluses those hard working hands bear, swapping bundles of cash under their tables which enable them to serve our country better?

Surely, our leaders shouldn’t be the only ones to be blamed. We, as countrymen, are equally responsible, we have apathy ingrained in our senses to the extent that we do not bother finding out where and how the finances are traveling. And when we finally did care, our front-runners left no stone unturned voicing their opinions — certainly their work is more important than being pulled within the ever sharing shade of RTI. We will not be a part of it, they said. It is central to us that our hard work not turn transparent, they thought. How many of us have heard of the former President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica? Deemed the poorest President in the world, he donates 90% of his $12,500 salary and retains only the remainder. Leadership and selflessness are two attributes that go hand in hand. Neither can exist without the other. Sense of righteousness cannot be store-bought, like volition it comes from within oneself.

We are the largest democracy in the world, with the best constitution too. But we lack the candor and willingness to implement such laws. We want to remain indifferent as long as loosening our pockets a little gets our work done quicker. For me it is utopia, imagining India without the termites of corruption gnawing at its roots. What would it be like not standing frustrated in queues, garnering joy from our work, having hopes from the government? Indian politics revolves around the pivot of sleaze and venality. Getting in, it is inconvincible that one will not dirty their hands or hearts. Eventually the mighty appeals of power and position drag each one of them in, even with those we have the highest hopes, even those who plunge in saying they will make a difference. Who will make a difference, how and when? Will our leaders drink money to the dregs and leave our expectations as a hollow shell? Or will a Jose Mujica be born in India too? Our system is a scavenger and feeds on honesty, tearing pieces away and politics is simply, the ghost of its corpse. In a country where money acts as an incentive even for God, it is a long, uneven road, waiting to be paved yet.

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  1. Raj

    Corruption will always be there were you have a bunch of people spending someone else’s money on someone else. I am happy that the Lopkpal movement did not succeed in dumping more of the same filth that breeds corruption. Why do you rely so much on selflessness and altruism? Why do you think they are good things, when they are the root of misery? Let there be an element of self-interest too.
    You quote one off example of Uruguay. Why not quote the example of Singapore whose L. Kew ensured the least amount of bureaucracy, allowed rampant capitalism and paid Govt. servants a lot? I would prefer Singapore’s prosperity over 90% of $12,500.
    People are not jealous of rich people who have achieved their wealth through productive and mutually beneficial means. People hate it when the ones who contribute nothing but suck away money like parasites.

  2. Soumya Raj

    Hello Mr Raj, Thank you for your comments foremost. You provided a very nice aspect, an element of self interest. I would go for it if I didn’t know that our front-runners have already managed their self-interests by looting the public money. Unnecessary money, that could be used elsewhere gets used on frivolous things like correcting statues and air expenses. Shouldn’t our politicians mellow down a bit, maybe really genuinely do something for the welfare of the society rather than the welfare of the parties? You are absolutely right, I quoted just one example. But that amount of respect and selflessness, even maybe shadows of it aren’t seen from the people in power of our nation. They only respect their position so much so that their luxuries and qualitative lifestyles are met immaculately. Why not construct a few orphanages, invest in better education schemes or female emancipation? Even for the Uttarakhand’s Himalayan Tsunami, every state donated a meagre amount of 1cr,2cr,5cr so on. If I haven’t made myself clear I’ll explain myself again 🙂

    1. Raj

      But these politicians are able to do so because they have been given the power to spend public money! Why give them the power? We did through our socialist systems. Why not spend your money yourself for whatever reasons. Why have ministries and departments in which you have politicians and bureaucrats spending somebody else’s money on somebody else? But your unbounded altruism has made you give up your power to the selfish Govt. which is taking advantage of you.

      And regarding the example of selflessness, you see even more of it in USA , among the most richest and prosperous nations in the world. Despite being on the face of it, USA seems to be the most self-interested and capitalistic nation, yet they have the greatest charitable organizations and builds products that have helped not millions but billions. Why not emulate them instead? USA has had (and even today still does) the least amount of regulations and rules, the least amount of welfare schemes during the time when they were poor like us.

      Except in times of crisis, in general, humans tend to be remarkably selfish. We take care of our own kids far better than we take care of somebody elses kids. We take care of our property far better than others. Even in business the owners take care of their business far better than the managers or the employees. And even in business, do employees work for charity? If you can’t expect the CEO of an MNC to work for charity, why do you expect the CEO of a Govt. Dept to work for the same?And would you work for peanuts(without your parents or spouse to support you) and sacrifice your upper-middle class lifestyle? I bet you wouldn’t since you are selfish enough to following your own wills and desires

      Regarding “constructing a few orphanages, investing in better education schemes or female emancipation”, why do you want the Govt. to do these things? It should be the concerned people who should do these things since they are genuinely interested in it, not some politicians and bureaucrats who are least interested in it. Remember the Govt.’s money is YOUR money which you earned through productive work. The Govt. by itself produces nothing just transfer wealth from here to there and prints more money when it can’t balance its books. The Govt. should do only the things that protect the society from external and internal threats and coercion i.e. defense and law/order. And little else

      Your further views are most welcome!

  3. Baldeep Grewal

    Till corruption is not eradicated from our country we can never be free. I sat down one day and tried to determine exactly how much black money does an average politician have. The rough, estimated figure astounded me. I could have bought mcAlluTikki burgers to feed the whole country with that kind of money.
    Its a painfully circular argument – we are corrupt because we are corrupt. I wonder if all countries faced corruption in the initial years after achieving independence. We are a young nation and hopefully one day we will be old enough to step out of corruption :/

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