Friday, September 26, 2008

The Good, Bad and Corrupt...

: Do you believe in the devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man?
Hobbes: I'm not sure that man needs the help."

With that, I am here again to talk about my second most favorite topic after global warming - and that is... corruption. Well, it came to my notice that there actually was a way to measure corruption. A relative measure of course. A Global Civil society organization called Transparency International had conducted a study and the results probably didn't surprise many. At least it didn't surprise me. Some may have gone into a denial mode, but in such things there can hardly be any argument.

Talking about India in particular, it ranked at the 85th spot. I initially felt extremely happy, because my initial assumption was that we would be leading the list of the most corrupt, at least in the top ten. And now i saw that we were in the 85th...! I thought i owed all the politicians and bureaucrats an apology for my constant criticism. But soon i found out that i had got it all in reverse. The survey ranks them in ascending order of corruption. Which means the most noblest of nations would be on the top. So now the picture was quite clear. We were somewhere in the middle of the list. Apparently we had even slipped 13 places since last year's survey. Neither the worst and not the best either. And also now i didn't owe an apology to anyone. If my earlier assumption was really true, i don't even mind apologizing.

A few things to be taken into note is that most of the countries on the top are really small nations. Smaller population means, better governance and greater accountability. In a country like India, ideals and virtues could very easily get lost in the crowd...! The vast country requires a lot more decentralization and distribution of powers amongst a long hierarchy of functionaries. More the crowd in the party, more the chance of someone involving in something dirty. Fodder scam, stamp paper scam and even the Kargil coffin scam to just name a few. From land, bridges, roads, sports and even to votes, corruption is involved everywhere...! Unfortunately even after knowing all this, we cant do much, because the law is inefficient and even the law enforcers are corrupt...!

And the poor common man...? He gives because he doesn't want to spend months together in the government office for a job that takes hardly five minutes. By doing this even those work, that normally should take a certain amount of months, get cleared up in minutes. By the lure of easy money, those in the seat of responsibility, ask even more, even to those who cant/wont give any. Those who refuse or cant afford it, are tormented to their wits end...!

Some would say that it isn't so bad what we have achieved in spite of all the odds, and feel happy that there are even worse nations. But seriously, whom are we kidding? This is really a sorry picture for an emerging "super power" with thousands of years of a rich cultural heritage. Don't those ancient values hold no bearing in these modern times? Oh well... maybe i am stretching it a bit. Anyway, there should at least be some bare minimum amount of shame involved when someone takes a bribe. Or at least think of the consequences of taking it and doing something wrong. Or taking it and doing something which was actually his job in the first place. I suppose they have enough money to send their conscience on a long trip to Europe...

This survey should not be too much of a surprise for someone who has spent quite some time in the country. We know how rampant corruption is here. And almost everyone has been a part of it, either this side or the other. From a traffic constable to the district collector, from the corporation worker to an MP in the parliament. We all know how well versed they all are in the art of passing the buck. The common man of course has become quite used to this entire affair. Yes a few may still be really honest and virtuous, but they definitely face a lot of resistance in their life. And unlike in a movie, the good guys don't always win, because its the bad guys who write the script.

After seeing wads of 1000 rupees in the parliament, my scant regard for the sincerity of politicians and our entire system, had hit the dirt. And it continues to remain buried there...


Visu said...

Like you said before, corruption : a sad reality. All we can do is rant, do we actually contribute in eradicating that? NOPE. How many of us follows rules, simple, traffic rules. And if caught, how many of us are ready to be penalized by the court, NO ONE. We'd give 100rs to the H'ble traffic sergeant and evade. Selfish concern!! I want my work to get over, i don't give a damn about law. If i hesitate to bribe the PC for passport, my PP is uncertain. It all happens! And some people say that Youth will change this scenario, Hell with it. Who wouldn't want to earn money? Infact it starts right away with bribing to get the Job.

As I'd say, ENISP.

"From a traffic constable to the district collector, from the corporation worker to an MP in the parliament"

I thought, promotion hierarchy. :D

Bhargavi said...

'I suppose they have enough money to send their conscience on a long trip to Europe...'

Politicians! We lack good leaders. The country is lead by people who have corruption charges against them. This scenario should first change.

I recommend Aslam to contest in the elections.

Not kidding!

Aslam said...

Well, i am happy u think i am worthy enough to lead a few people. In fact i am choking with emotions as i type this...!!!

But do u think i have the cut-throat competitive spirit, aggression and the "talent" to beat the others...??

naah.. i am too much of a "nice" guy and a gentleman ( u may or may not agree ).. but at least i feel so.. (sigh) :(

But...hmmm... maybe its possible ;)

Visu said...

Yay! We have got a new LEeEeEader...

Aslam said...

huh..?? dudes.. stop it..!! u know what happens in this state when such slogans are raised...?? i might somehow mysteriously disappear..!!

Bhargavi said...

Watched 'Mudhalvan' movie today? :P

Go for it man! Why are you hesitating?

Don't like Manisha Koirala is it? ;)

Chindu's biography said...

Ah.. its a nice write up.. Its really gud to aspire someone with leadership qualities.. Keep going...

Aslam said...


Eh..? manisha koirala..?? No way..! Not even if her dad had won the elections in Nepal...!

Anyway.. that is a good movie, but other than the part where the CM has to thrash the bad guys on his own..

Harish Subramani said...

hehehe, enna da dai, next party in the forming ah. You can rely on me to garner NRI supports, though i am no Mittal, i offer my small services.
i just wanted to tell that these guys do have a sense of shame when they ask for money. I realized this on my very last day in Chennai, before boarding the flight. My baggage was 5 kgs overweight and i was asked to pay a fine of about Rs1000 or Rs 2000, i don't exactly remember. An airport staff who governs the lines, tried asking the Air France personnel to do away with the fine. But the personnel was unrelenting. So this guy took me through the laborious procedure of having me baggage checked in the proper procedure after payment of fine.
So at the end, i thanked him, for which he replied, that it was his job and that he would like something in return and hinted at the remaining indian currency that i had left in my pocket. i wsa surprised, but since i was tired and waiting to leave Chennai, i didnt quarrel and offered him Rs 100. To my surprise, he gave me a cold stare, and said if i could give him more. When i replied in the negative, he wished me for my journey and walked away.
See, they do have a sense of shame :)