By Wangkheimayum Bhupendra Singh
Well, where do I start? The nature of the topic is such that there would not be enough space in a day’s publication of paper to jot it all down. With years of experience in the great art of corruption there are in-fact people who could be put on a pedestal and worshipped as Gods of corruption, people who are so much engrossed in the art that they could forget who they are and what their basic responsibilities are.
Let’s have some examples. Let’s start with a story concerning a traffic policeman, one who mans the flow of traffic at every street. One day as I was trying to pass through a very busy transaction in the city, I was left amazed and left wondering by the guts of this traffic police personnel, who while ignoring all the traffic and horns around him, stepped down from his platform and went directly for a rickshaw for his daily dose of 10 rupee note. It was the way he came down from his platform, ignoring all the onlookers as if he was made to take the ten-rupee note from the rickshaw puller. As if the king was ascending from the throne, he came down and after his brief but beneficial sojourn with the rickshaw puller he returns to his platform as if nothing unusual has happened.
Do we see the making of a great politician in him? Yes I do and a pretty good one at that. For starters he has the nerve to ignore the onlookers, the people whose eyes were aimed straight at him. And don’t forget his ability of merging his act of taking bribes with that of his moral obligation of performing his duty.
My other story happened to a friend of mine and it concerns our energetic and young Village Defence Force personnel or volunteer as they are generally known. This friend of mine was one day in a hurry coming back home when he was stopped by the VDF personnel for routine checking. After standing for about a minute or so he was asked upon by this dutiful personnel to produce the RC book of his vehicle. My friend who was in a hurry handed the issue book of his Gas agency, which he was carrying at the time instead of the RC book to the personnel. Well the VDF personnel who seemed to be in a greater hurry checked the credentials of his issue book and returned it with a stern warning to paste his photograph at the earliest, to the astonishment of my friend who had by that time realize his mistake, but then realizing the even more aggravated folly of the personnel came back with a smile on his rounded face.
It certainly was not his mistake; it is the out come of the mistakes committed by his family members who thought getting a government job would help him earn his livelihood as if there are no other options. The satisfaction of getting a government job is tremendous amongst the people of the state. Well its not their fault with not much private sector exposures in the state there is always the tendency to fall back on the government jobs which mostly comes with a price tag ranging from a few thousands to lakhs. In trying to get a well paying job for their ward, the parents have somewhat forgotten, the harm they are doing to the society at large and their own ward in particular, by using corruption as a means of survival.
This certainly could be the sprouting buds of corruption; parents bribing officers so that their sons or daughter could get a job and sustain their respective families. What could be more fatal than a father teaching his own son or daughter the powers of bribery? Why condemn a corrupt government when we ourselves are corrupted? Who are we to judge a government, when we ourselves are unable to judge ourselves?
Well I have had the pleasure of sitting in an examination hall for a government post and then being told that the concerned department had forgotten to get the question papers of the examination. Well there were not much candidates just about the twenty of us or so, however, the concerned department, which was holding the examination to fill up a post (that of a computer operator) lying vacant in their department, had forgotten to get the photo copies of the question paper.
Well I am not in the least trying to say that the concerned department is corrupted; however, I could not pass on the incident as a simple incident without any significance, however hard I might try to do so. I could not fathom the kind of negligence that the concerned department showed while choosing their own staffs.
Certainly we are not that naïve that we do not know when we are wrong, or is it that we have been so much engrossed in our own world that we have forgotten thinking about the collective good. As a society and as a group of people living together in a small piece of land, we should not forget each other. We should think of the kind of the society that we would like to live in. No one will probably ever come knocking at our doors to spell out where we have gone wrong. It is in our hands whether we are looking for a bright tomorrow or a decayed future.
What I am trying to say here is that our society has at large started going towards the end, and it is up to ourselves to save our society, and for that we need to fight corruption with a united hand.