Corruption by lesser mortals

150

Free Thinker

On various graft charges 6 peons were dismissed, 5 constables were terminated, 7 clerks were given force retirement, 4 SOs were suspended, 8 Under secretaries were transferred, and 3 Deputy secretaries were served memos and warned. Thank God our higher ups are not corrupt. We are very lucky that the corruption is taking place only at the lower level. So far not a single Minister or Secretary is caught indulging in corrupt practices. Otherwise it could have been a blot on clean image of the State and also on our long standing prestige and dignity.

Another fortunate thing for us is that the amount of money involved in bribery cases is not very high. One VDF was caught red handed taking 10 Rupees from a Rickshaw puller. He was immediately removed. A policeman collecting 20 Rupees each from the hawkers was instantly kicked out of the service (to be reinstated later with some give and take). One peon was arrested for taking 100 Rupees for moving a file; he was instantly fired on the spot.
Any impairment of integrity is corruption. In fact the gamut of corruption is very vast; it includes bribery, favoritism, nepotism, manipulations, kickbacks and even jumping the queue. It is a global practice. No civilization or society is free from corruption. The so called developed nations are not free from this malaise. Ultimately what matters is the degree and magnitude of corruption? Our main concern is the rampant practice of bribery in the State; but money involved is negligible in terms of global practices.

Cleaning the system from bottom to top is a workable proposition. But whether the cleaning process will come up to the top level is not very sure and too early to anticipate at this juncture. Anyways something is being done and something is much better than nothing.

Once in the court of Emperor Akbar a mother came with her son, a young brat in his early teens. The mother pleaded the emperor to tell her son (who is a non-stop jaggery eater) to stop eating jaggery. Emperor was surprised by the request; then he said, “you are the mother and you can simply tell him to stop eating jaggery and why you are taking the trouble to come to me”. The poor lady responded, “Hazur my son says he will stop taking jaggery only when the emperor tells him to do so”. Emperor Akbar remained silent for a while and said, “ both of you come after a fortnight.” After a fortnight both the mother and son appeared before him. Then the emperor told the boy to stop eating jaggery. Mother was extremely curious to know why the emperor did not say the same thing on the first day when they met him. She asked the emperor, “Jahapana you could have said the same to my son on the first day itself”. Akbar giggled and said “two weeks ago I was also a jaggery addict”. The moral of the story is – “as long as you carry a peculiar habit you don’t have the moral authority to command others to refrain from such similar habits”. It applies to corruption too.

There are corruption cases in Japan also. But the big difference is that once they are charge sheeted they simply resigned; even their prime ministers had resigned. Here in our land whenever there is a case of corruption we constitute inquiry commissions or committee or refer the matter to CVC / CBI / Courts etc. Again, corruption cases take many years to come to the final conclusion; sometimes the cases continue even after the alleged main culprits have reached heaven.

One student in a class asked the teacher, “ Ma’am you said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then where does our principal stand? “. Poor teacher fumbled but replied, “our principal is not at all corrupt”. Student again retorted, “Madam, you mean to say that our principal is absolutely powerless “.

Do you think that you can live in a corrupt society without being corrupt? After all what do you achieve when you are isolated or ostracized or call you crazy? You are trying to behave as if you can stand right outside the system. If you can’t change the system, change yourself.

Today I feel like standing up for those lesser mortals who are allegedly ‘corrupt’ and spurned and discarded. Don’t condemn the pickpockets when the bigwigs remain scot-free.

Source: The Sangai Express

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