The last two decades of the existence of independence, India has seen a steep upward trend in the graph of existing corruption. The media, the public, the variety of forums for discussions and debates for the higher intellingensia are all neck deep buried in highlighting the rampant corruption in every sphere. In this debate the rural folk are also not far behind.
These days they are also very well aware of the malpractices in the highest of levels of all places. So much so that now, the average Indian has reached the highest level of disgust and disappointment at the way things are moving in this country.
Let us first of all understand what is meant by corruption and corrupt practices. In brief, anything that is below all standard norms of morality in a country, is called or defined as corruption and corrupt practices. These norms are a fixed standard in any given society, and when these are broken we say that, a society is getting corrupted. This corruption as we see it today is not a development that has come overnight, it has been a continuous process for the last several decades and, to – day it has seeped into the very blood stream of the system.
What we have to study next is, why and how this monster of corruption has taken such a firm hold on India so much so that, the country of the legendary Harischandra, the honest has reached the position of one of the top ten or so of corrupt countries of the world. This is no mean achievement, and has taken a few decades to fructify. It is not that, corruption did not exist earlier, it is not that to – day there are no honest people, then why do we all yes, I say all feel that, corruption is rampant everywhere and all the time. This is because of the simple reason that this malady has spread through the entire length and breadth of our social fabric and gone down to the deepest levels. How has this come to be? Would be quite a pertinent question.
The corrupt practices have now become our lifestyle to such an extent that, we do not seem to feel that there is anything wrong in what all we are doing., and that things should not be as they are. We, on the contrary are inclined to justify all wrong saying that, without doing wrong we cannot exist or be functional.
When we start thinking that corruption is a must, then I feel that the situation has reached a point of no correction. This present apathy shows how far the degradation of our values have reached, and how low the system has dipped. When we start justifying all the wrongs we do, it is the beginning of the end., as, we are not only doing wrong, we are at the same time thinking that it is correct, then where can the scope be for correction? It would be rather interesting to note and specify as to how this process of continuous degeneration started, for it is the root that grows into a magnum tree. It is thus of great value to know who put the seed that grew into this poisonous tree. In this connection, it is understand that, this degeneration started from the top echelons of society, and then percolated downwards, without a hurdle.
Who is at the top or the apex of our society? It is the set of people who have all the power that is invested in them by, us the people. Now, it is for the goodwill of this top layer of society to give the country’s society the trend it deems fit. Now, this layer at the top has been the politician who rules the country, and to say that the seeds of India’s corruption were sown by this class of our society, which has been at the helm of affairs of the country and today they have brought us t this point of no return as far as corruption is concerned. Where are politicians like Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, and above all, the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi? It appears that India has stopped producing men and women of such integrity. Perhapse the breed of such politicians and other men have stopped taking birth. Where is that erstwhile political party, the Indian National Congress, that loyally fought for the freedom of the country, where is the discipline to follow the clarion call of Mahatma Gandhi? All it seems to have been lost, and the same Congress that fought against foreign rule and ousted the foreigners is now all set to install a foreigner as the head of Independent India. What has all this come to, what can be the implications of a foreigner as the head of the state seem to be lost to this Congress which worked to oust the foreigners – what a degradation of values. Have we Indians lost all self respect, that we ourselves invite a foreigner to rule us? I dareasay we have become so immune to all finer feelings that we do not mind doing anything as long as we meet our ends. All this is the ugliest face of the corruption in India.
All our ethics, our self respect and love for our motherland is lost somewhere in the last fifty years. Today we are standing at the threshold of a new millennium with, the eerstwhile Indian National Congress and many other parties without a single leader of stature. What does this show that, in the span of more than century, Congress has failed to produce a single leader, leave alone a leader of the stature of Sardar Patel and the like. Today the sets of politicians of all political parties are just money spinning actors just working to establish estates for their seven generations. The vision of a great India in the yes of the freedom fighters has been lost somewhere in our move in the last fifty years.
When the oldest political party, the Congress presents such a dismal picture of honesty loyalty and service, what can be said or expected from the other much younger political parties. They are all bound to follow the footsteps of this erstwhile conglomerate of greedy money spinning politicians. Today, all the new political parties are following the path tread by the elder brother, the Congress, resulting in a mushroom growth of political parties all of the set pattern with no goals, no ethics, no ideals and no ideologies.
This level being the highest level of our society is seen to have become most corrupt in the last two decades and the public is very well aware of the multi-scam decades of the eighties and nineties. Now, the scenario at the very top, can hardly allow for any space for any honesty to persist in any other layer of society. So, from this topmost layer, corruption has percolated to all levels and in all spheres of activities, and all this sure enough because it suits the politician. The politician has encouraged the bureaucrat to be corrupt, and in turn the bureaucrat has enjoyed the protection of the politician, in all his nefarious activities. From the senior bureaucrat the virus of corruption has slowly and steadily seemed down to the lowest levels of functionaries. This has become a totally corrupt and incorrigible institution.
The Indian society in all its entirety is corrupt to the core, and now corruption is like a drug, without which the addict finds it difficult to survive. With this slow and steady and continuous spread of the fangs of corruption, today the situation is such that, there is no place or activity which is bereft of the fruits of corruption. Now, corruption has become our way of life and to uproot it is a Herculean task.
The tentacles of corruption can be dealt with only with an iron hand, and above all, must start cleaning from the top echelons of society. However, as we have seen umpteen times, this does not happen. Our experience shows that, as soon as a big name is involved in any corruption case, there is a lot of hullabulloo for some time, and it all dies down with the passage of time and the corruption continues unabated. How does this happen? This is very obvious for all those who have to be at the clearing end are bought, so, no damage can ever come to the so called high ups. This is the main reason why there is never any breakthrough in any scam. In this situation it will be a wonder if anything tangible can really be achieved for, the high ups cannot be touched, and the lower formations need not be touched – so we remain where we were at the beginning of any case.
The scams which have come to light in last one decade have amounted to multi – crores, they are being dealt with but, it is so shocking that no politician has yet been punished for siphoning off so much of wealth of a poor country, what can be expected in a country when its protectors themselves become criminals. When the senior can not be punished how can there be any cleaning at the bottom. It would not even be fair to punish the lower rungs of the ladder when the higher rungs continue to bask in the sunshine of their riches. The way in which these cases are being dealt with clearly indicate that no one will be hurt as, all those, yes all those who matter are involved in corruption. So, at present, the situation is of “who will bell the cat?” Everyone knows who the corrupt are but, the irony of our system is such that no one can be touched. If this situation remains any longer, it is a wonder if there could be any light at the end of the tunnel.
India is reaping what it has sown, and the seed of corruption has grown up into a full size magnum tree which perhapse cannot be changed, replaced or cut. It appears thus that for the time being at least, we have to bear with it. Only God can do some magic.
Irrespective of the status of the wrong doer everyone, big or small, high or low, must be dealt with an iron hand, and that also at a fast speed. What is the use of just a show of dealings against corruption, while in reality all cases are just quietly shelved banking on the fact that, public memory is very short. All these cases are just a farce into which now, the Indian public an not be very easily fooled. At present there is no remedy for this tragic situation we are in, except pray to God that, HE gives unto us a dictator who is capable enough to deal with this ogre of corruption with a strong hand or else it appears that we are doomed to drown in the deepest depths of corruption and that, we will soon find it impossible to come out of the labarynth knit around us by our own men – yes our own men