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Friday, April 15, 2011

Corruption …. Is it a Symptom or Disease

Anna Hazare has caught the imagination of the educated public in India and has led a massive protest to force the government in Introducing the Lok Pal Bill which has powers to take action against the corrupt public officials. Does this mean that there would be a end to the corruption in India… no it will not be for, Corruption  cannot be rooted out of any society even the developed western nations whom we hope to emulate for people are not saints.

 A lively conversation by a friend of mine on the Face Book made me ponder the reason for corruption being rampant since my friend had answered that it was because the people were greedy !!! Yeah quite possible for corruption takes place when each one of us are greedy. Now take the instance of a common man likes of you and me wants to register a property in India, we would undervalue the property so that we pay a lesser registration fee to the government and to facilitate this process we pay a bribe to the Registrar to over look the under valuation and in the end it is a win-win situation for both parties and at that point of time we do not give lectures of corruption etc… why so????Greediness. 

Corruption is almost inevitable when the policies are left to discretionary power of few individuals whether in the public office or in private sectors and to root out this we need to change the system and the operating procedures thereby having no loopholes to bypass the same. Here is an example of the system being in place….earlier in case we needed passport urgently we needed to pay a hefty sum to the middlemen usually travel agents who in turn used to pay good amount of money to the public officials in Passport office to speed up the issue of a particular passport. This led to various issues such as criminals and terrorists getting Indian Passports at their will. With the introduction of Tatkal services , online form submission and physical presence of the person applying for passport most of the avenues of taking or giving bribes have been closed and system has been operating good without the stamp of being a corrupt office. There are so many examples in all walks of life and if I start listing each one of them then I think I need to keep writing continuously for a long time.

Corruption also takes place when a person wants certain services before his/her turn for which he or she is willing to pay the additional monies or give favors. In other words the person giving bribe is an equal party to the crime and he or she cannot hide behind the fact that without the bribe they would not have got the requisite service … again it is the persons greed which has prompted to give bribe !!! The recent elections in Tamilnadu the candidates to get the votes were wooing the voters by offering freebies like Cash, Color TV, Laptops , Mixer and Grinders, Concrete houses for hut dwellers and in one case Nano Cars … much money being spent by individuals to get into the seat of power. Is there any action being taken by the government or the public to put end to all these acts?? No … it goes on as usual. 

Where there is corruption there is greed and where there is greed there is corruption and today they are seen in the entire world… though most media state it as a third world problem. Corruption and greed has no boundaries of nation, religion, race and is a global phenomenon varying only in the quantum of it. I doubt  if we could stamp it out altogether from the society but then if all of us make a conscious effort to root out this evil practice then we will be able to minimize the corruption. 

I end this piece here with the conclusion that Corruption is not a disease for it cannot be eradicated totally …. But a symptom governed by human nature…Greed!!!!