Corruption in India (Part 5)

I dream of an India that has rid itself of corruption at the highest levels of its government. (If we start at the top, the clean waters will flow down quickly to the lower levels.) I dream of an India where people in government make decisions that are right for the country, and not for themselves or their benefactors.

I dream of an India that has the money to invest in all the things we should have but never had any leftover money for – education, healthcare, infrastructure, transportation, energy, and more.

I dream that this can happen in my lifetime.

It will probably require a miracle for something like this to happen. But if we stop waiting for this miracle, perhaps we can work together to make that future happen. I don’t know how. What I do know is that right now a Few are holding Many to ransom. They have done it for 60 years, and unless we do something different, they will do it for 60 more. We can sit back and let that happen, or let our blood boil enough that we will want to do something about it.

India needs a Second War for Independence. This time, we need to fight some of our own.

64 thoughts on “Corruption in India (Part 5)

  1. It is important that we dream of a Corruption Free India in our lifetime. Such dreams would however, not materialise out of thin air. A lot of like mindede people will need to collaborate to realise this dream. Urge you to join us at nobribe.org in our quest.

    Sanjay Uvach
    Corruption Free India

  2. I am sorry to be cynical. I see no way out of this mess. Corruption is very much institutionalised and part of our life and it is going to be that way. I would even go to the extent of saying that we should legalize corruption and anyone taking bribe should be “encouraged” to provide a receipt and probably we should tax 30% of the receivables! 🙂 That way at least instead of locking 100% of the money in black and kept in an unproductive manner, the country can hope to raise its revenues and hopefully the remaining 70% can be spent openly fuelling growth in the private sector. The other option being “patriotic” Indians taking up arms and bumping the politicians and bureaucrats. But let’s get real! We are not in a Bollywood movie!

    Once again, sorry for being cynical. 🙁
    –Santhosh

  3. Hi Rajesh

    Why just blame the politicians ? We see corruption all around. People encroach public land, banks try every trick to squeeze money out of their customers, hospitals are worried only about money, contractors use sub-standard materials and so on. So, the people in power should not be blamed. They were like us when they were amongst us and we would become like them if we became one of them.

    Changing a society is a mammoth task which requires unimaginable sacrifices. You just pick up one person and try to change him for the better. Sometimes it might work but most of the times it just seems like you are hitting a wall. At those times it is just the belief in ones ideals and goals that keeps one going. From that one can estimate what it would take to change such a big society. To bring about such a change the thinking of the people at the grassroots has to be changed. Their world-view has to be changed. There can be no shortcuts because if a country has to change, then its most important component – the people, have to change.

    And this change can be brought by making the spiritual aspect in the society stronger. All the gurus, prophets and saints always taught that you should be good to others, help others, not grab what is others. They taught that no matter how much wealth one accumulates, one has to walk empty handed from this world. One should be at peace with what he has although one should always strive for improving things. When people start imbibing such principles, corruption will be automatically removed because the root cause – greed, has been removed.

    This change is not easy – because it goes against the animal instincts in man. Not everyone wants to listen to such things and very few amongst them accept such things. If one wants to bring real change in the society, then one should work on spiritual upliftment of the people. Rest will follow by itself.

    Virender.

  4. Virender,

    On the change you speak of.. I guess the Father of our Nation said it best : “Be the Change you want to see in the World “…..

    I dont know how effective or not a “top-down” approach to eradicating corruption will be, but I do know that change at the individual level has to coincide for it to work.

    The enemy of Corruption is Integrity, and that integrity has to be realized at all levels – State, Business, and Society- for Corruption to be defeated.

  5. Yes Samridh.

    You are right. Unless one changes oneself, he cannot bring any meaningful change in anybody else. Because sooner or later people will find out that what is being preached is not practiced. So, this is the only approach which can work.

    Swami Vivekanand once asked that he needs reformers. Everyone present raised his hands. Then he said – “I need reformers who can reform themselves”.

    Virender.

  6. dear rajesh
    i just happend to see you articles and let me tell you of us curse corruption yet few of us do little to eradicate. propably we are corrupt genitically and more important is we must find ways to lessen it.

  7. Hi Rajesh,,

    The judeo-Christian values that make up the american creed which is generally known as characteristic of majority of american people have two ideas central to their thought. They are equality and liberty for all.

    Only in american society and the so called western nations, these two values are commonly seen and experienced even by migrants.

    In india, the fog of religion, region and nation doesnt let us se the central thought at the core of indian society and by which we see those around us and interact with them.

    That ccentral character in india society is CASTE.

    Only through caste we try to find understanding about those around us in india and try to form opinions, judge them and interact with them.

    For ex, the agrawal 8 gotras, are commonly known as baniyas and its understood that their primary motivation comes from money. No matter where they are serving and what they are preaching, its considered fair to club all those under this caste as people who would go extra mile only for money.

    Similarily, I have seen that its fairly common to club Jats as hard working and at the same time borderline personalities when it comes to arguments with them. I can go on and on….

    In doing so, its quite apparent that our society is racist to the core and doesnt believe in the equality.

    By the same token, if the CM’s car is on the road, its conssidered OK if all other traffic is made to stop till he is through. Or if a rich man has a spoilt son, its considered OK and infact people look forward to the day when their son would also have enough women, money and chamchas to look after him and would make the headlines.

    With equality not in existence, the question of liberty doesnt even come. A poor or one ranked lower in the rank is expected to BEHAVE and OBEY.

    We must touch the feet of elders, the juniors in colleges esp engineering call their seniors SIR, every stranger our daddy’s age is our UNCLE and so on and so forth.

    In india, the fix MUST start at the school level. We MUST change the NEW generation and force them into THINKING EQUALITY, LIBERTY, SELF RESPECT AND THEIR RIGHTS.

    Only then, by the time we are 60 or 70, we would witness an INDIA and its politician’s which would not be afraid of behaving PROGRESSIVELY.

    With Regards,
    Rohitaash

  8. Hi friends and teachers,
    I agree with rohith in “the change should start from school itself or from home. One of the main problem we have is we talk much and act less.
    I believe all our sincere talks should make some action otherwise it is waste.
    We have started a program “Mentorindia” in which we are trying to give students an opportunity to interact with experienced persons of the field. Through the program people like you, who really want a change in present india can convey your ideas and thoughts to young people of india .
    Please see our website

    http://www.navabharath.org
    or
    http://www.mentorindia.org

    I believe if I change myself thousands will change automatically.
    Some believes that changes are impossible, they blame others. They are not ready to make changes.Every body used to blame politicians remember there are politicians who are working about 20 hours each day for the nation and its people.
    “Do what you think and think what you did?”
    Sree lal

  9. The “Corruption” posts have struck a cord with me. I just happen to be re-writing an article (as part of a book) that looks at the issue of large scale change values-based change over 2 generations. One cannot really hope to get the level of change that India (or an other suitably large scale grouping) in less than two generations.

    You need at least one to get the changes occurring and at least one to start putting them into place. It is largely a developmental issue. One needs to setup the basic conditions of change and then move developmentally through a series of stages (not easy!).

    Hmmm — let me see if I can clean this article up and make it relevant. I have always had positive experiences by my experiences as well as frustrated at how somethings get done. I would really like to be part of something that would create positive impact for India in the way that is being discussed here.

  10. It is possible to change the attitude one step at a time.

    BUT the problem is best stated in one line from a song called “Yeshu, Allah aur Krishna” from my favorite band Swarathma: “yeh breaking news nahin hain, magar phir bhi yaad hai”
    ( full video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAJDr9neYf8 )

    The janta feels patriotic on Independence Day or after watching Rang De Basanti, but the effect only lasts for a few hours.

    I think ethics and it’s effects should be taught at the school level. That’s the only way out of this mess.

  11. Agree with Samridh Goyal #4 that “The enemy of Corruption is Integrity”.

    Those with Integrity who see corruption will want to report it. These are the brave whistle blowers. They do it at their own peril.

    India needs whistle blower protection acts urgently.

    Today’s whistleblowers must rely on the interent and use it. This makes it even more easy for the corrupt to harass him or her with the help of draconian Indian cyber IT laws and an even more draconian police willing to harass people at the behest of private interests who want to prevent things coming to light.

    The archaic criminal defamation laws of India are also abused for this purpose to put a lid on free discussion and investigative new media.

    Maldives has decriminalised defamation, as civil remedies are sufficient. This is a good step for India to follow:
    United Nations Radio: UN expert welcomes decriminalization of …

    Today the old media is part of the corruption. The only hope is through the new media.

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