It’s been a few weeks now, and everything seems to have fallen in place, for the Government, the Parliament, for the people of India, for the news channels and the internet. “India Against Corruption”, seems to have shaken up a few people, actually, a whole lot of Indian population, and everyone seems to be talking about it everywhere.
I wonder if anything is going to change. Mind you, I am a very optimistic guy, so, don’t think that I don’t have any hopes. But, when you get to see, or hear about bizzare incidents happening almost every day, all around me, all this boils down to a very basic question.
Are we really ready for this change?
I seriously doubt. There was a case of a truck driver being beaten to death by some policemen because he refused to pay them a bribe. There was another incident, where a toll-gate attendant was shot by a person in a car, just because he didn’t want to pay the toll-tax. I know a friend, who had to pay Rs 2,00,000 to a doctor for getting a certificate(his was a genuine case).
The policemen who brutally killed the truck driver are perhaps sitting in the comfort of their homes. The other person who shot the toll attendant, has probably applied for bail, and his application would be soon accepted. The doctor would have bought a load of gold and stashed it somehwere in his house.
I really wish that one day, India would be on the list of the least corrupt nations of the world. But, I doubt that this will happen in a course of the next few years. It would take generations and decades all-together to bring about this change. It’s not only about the laws, or the judiciary or the punitive actions by the authorities. There should be a change in peoples’ mindset and their thinking.We should change the way we live each day. We should change the way we act each day.
Everyone from the Government that speaks against corruption, doesn’t really understand how to tackle it. Or rather, they don’t really have the will to eradicate corruption. I would agree that, 50% of the governement officials are corrupt, but the honest ones, who are still the half of the system, get branded as corrupt officials. Why is that so?
1. Until and unless I pay a bribe at the passport office, my application would continue gathering dust.
2. Until and unless I pay donation to some MP, I won’t get admission to a private school/college.
3. Until and unless I pay a bribe, my tender would be rejected.
4. Until and unless I pay bribe, I would be the last one to be promoted.
I am not yet talking about the big corporate bribes that large businesses NEED to pay the big ministers to get approvals or licenses to carry on their business. That’s another part of the story. A common man, would probably come across a government official, almost each and everyday, who would shamelessly demand a bribe to do what he is being paid for.
All of us must have seen the movie “Nayak”, where Anil Kapoor was asked to be the Chief Minister of a state for one day. It inspires me a lot. I also feel that whatever has been portrayed in that movie, is very practical. Given a chance, a common man can do a lot better than most of the Chief Ministers of India. But, in real life, nobody would ever get that chance, and so, our Shivaji Rao Gaekwad will always be remembered as a character of fiction and fantasy of the bollywood.
Let’s flip the story. If it were possible, just for a day, to ask Mr. Prime Minister, take leave from his office, to spend a life of a common man, what would he do? I am sure he will be begging for the day to end.
It doesn’t matter if he rides in a BMW. Take away his Z+ security, and let him drive on the pot-holed roads, and get stuck in traffic. Let him try to renew his vehicle insurance. Let him try to get a gas connection for his house. Let him try to get his PF amount withdrawn from the PF office. Let him try to successfully win a contract without bribing a penny. Let him try to dare and complain against a lazy government officer or a dishonest minister. Let him try to register a complaint in the police station about his stolen TV.
I am sure he will have a hard time. Just like each one of us go through all these troubles, every single day of our lives. I understand that a Prime Minister is not a super-man and he can’t really solve each and every problem of our nation. But then, whatever I can see around myself, or read about in the news papers, I don’t really feel that the Government is really trying hard. But again, that’s not the point. Even after we would have all the strict laws and the Jan Lokpal setup, do I really feel that, magically, one fine morning, corruption in India would end?
My obvious response is a big “NO”.
Until and unless we change, nothing’s really going to change. Things like these have to change.
1. People let their children stay in prison for a day or two instead of bribing the police, even if their children are innocent.
2. People don’t produce fake caste certificates to get their children admitted into good schools.
3. People themselves stop taking bribes or offering bribes.
4. People should encourage their children to be honest, not only to them, but to everyone else as well.
5. People stop asking for dowry. That’s also a kind of bribe.
6. People stop giving dowry.
7. Teach humanity. Be more humane. Killing someone for Rs. 5000/-!!!!! That’s not humane.
8. People should pay their taxes honestly, even if they feel that the Government is just eating up their hard-earned money.
So, what am I trying to suggest? As much as we ourselves need a radical change in our way of thinking and acting, our next generation should also be shown the way forward. Only then, the nation as a whole can change. Only then, would we be able to get this contagious corruption thrown out of our culture, our hearts, our minds and our nation.
I have tried very hard to refrain myself for quite a long time writing on this topic. I am in a frustrated state of mind.