Monday, January 10, 2011

Why Blame Only the Politicians?

Wish everyone a very Happy New Year to all. Hope this year brings you all new hopes, new desires, and new aspirations. If we talk about the current situation, am pretty sure that Corruption is the hot topic, and everyone has witnessed it in some form of the other.

2010 may as well be known as the Year of the Scams for India. CWG Scam, Adarsh Scam, 2-G Scam, and the list goes on and on. Most of us common people feel frustrated, angry, helpless after witnessing such venality, but how many of us have actually tried to do something about it?

We Indians are number one, when it comes to complaining and blaming others, no doubt. [I have written an entire post on our Querulous nature, you can read it here]. It is quite easy to point fingers at politicians and bureaucrats, and exclaim-‘These corrupt people have destroyed Indian economy, culture, etc and are responsible for widespread theft, hooliganism for which common people have to pay.’ But has anybody wondered how tough it is to actually contest elections, and perform the duties of a politician, or even that of a government official? I am not saying that politicians are not corrupt, many of them are. But we should avoid extreme Generalization[Such as all lawyers are liars, all bureaucrats are inefficient, and so on]. The fault is not just with the politicians, it is with each and every one of us.

I have heard many people complain- ‘The entire system of governance is corrupt.’ Now let me ask them-‘Who created the system? Did the system create us or did we create the system?’ It is the common man[or at least most of them] responsible for electing the politicians as a representative. Moreover, am pretty sure that most of us have paid bribes at some time or the other, and indulged in other nefarious activities which are considered normal and acceptable in today’s scenario. Most people are in too much of a hurry to battle corruption. They want quick solutions, and to avoid waiting, are willing to degrade to any level. And later they moan-‘That idiot stole my money.’ But who gave it to him in the first place? By law, both the bribe giver and bribe taker must be considered as criminals. By that definition, most of us are criminals. So why just blame the government? We are just as responsible for the spread of corruption as the politicians are.

The truth is that most of us have a subservient attitude. We do not have the temerity to deal with corruption. We let things remain as they are- Pleading helplessness. At max, we complain, shout, destroy public property, raise rallies, but we fail to take any concrete, positive action. We demand that politicians be punished, but at the same time we continue to give bribes for our own needs. Such sort of hypocritical behavior will lead us nowhere. If we want a corruption-free, efficient government, then all of us need to contribute. Sitting back and complaining about corruption will just not do. Let us do our bit in this battle.

Simple things matter. Avoid paying bribes at any cost. If you have not done anything wrong, there is nothing to be afraid of. Learn to be patient, it will help you in the long run. If you see a person indulging in corrupt practices, then complain to the head of the company, police, or anyone in-charge. Yes it is true that many police-men are also corrupt, but there will definitely be at least a few honest workers ready to help you. Form a group- It always helps, rather than trying to do everything on your own. Raise awareness about corruption- Many people are cheated into paying extra for things/services for which they should not. Do not pay more than the MRP mentioned. Always ask for a receipt while purchasing an item/offering donation/etc.

If you believe that tackling a bureaucracy in an honest way is impossible, then I would suggest you read the brilliant autobiography of Captain Gopinath- Simply Fly. It will tell you how this person dealt with the bureaucracy with an iron-hand: He simply refused to bribe anyone.

Let us all join hands and look forward towards a corruption-free new decade. For a better India and a better world.


Purba said...

We created the system, we are part of it and yet we crib about it.

An Interesting & thought provoking write up.

Shilpa Suresh said...

Good Post! Maybe you know this already, but there is an organization called 'Fifth Pillar' which rallies against corruption. They issue Zero Rupee Notes to be given to officials who solicit bribe. I'd attended a seminar of theirs and it was inspiring to listen to their anecdotes of success.
Hope such groups flourish!

Motifs said...

How come my earlier comment didn't get posted....anyway, multi-talented writing eye opener once again..Congratulations for taking the initiative to write on such a subject,so brilliantly..can I share it..would love others to read this..maybe it might touch someone's inner self.

Satwinder Singh said...

@Purba: Thank you maam, and yes you are absolutely correct. :)

@Shilpa: I didnt know much about it, thanks for letting me know. Now its research time. ;)

@Motifs: Definitely Maam, you dont need my permission to do so. :)

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