I am writing on the hottest topic of the season in India, so that I can more hits in my blog. Its just “Behti Ganga main Haath Gila karna”, which is one of the form of corruption. So I am doing corruption.
Anyways. coming back to topic, the topic has made me to think why we are corrupt. What exactly is corruption & what kind of acts are defined as corruption.
Corruption by dictionary is dishonesty. It is carrying out an act, for benefit of self at cost of others.
Taking bribe, giving bribe (not sure), evading taxes, accumulation of money by robbing others are some of the general forms of corruption. I am not looking here into corruption of mind which leads to more henious form like murder etc.
Now why such corruption happens. And I feel in this there are four reasons:
– Corruption due to basic human/life nature
– Corruption due to basic law of anture: “power corrupts”. I gave it separate point, because of most of wars are due to this. So it deserve a distinct bullet.
– Corruption due to system
– Corruption due to extreme display of selfiness
The first one, corruption due to basic human nature is something unavoidable & will always be there, no matter what. Having zero corruption is against law of nature. In struggle of survival, creatures (read: all flora & fauna) cheat it fellow creature for food, space & energy. This form of corruption is important for survival. It is mantra behind survival of fittest. Similarly human being cheat fellow human being by stealing food or money for survival. Jealousy, again a human nature drives corruption. Thoughts like “Why should I pay him back, when he is rich or draw more salary than me?” results in non-payments of dues. But, although being mandatory or unavoidable form of corruption, this is cause of very small % of total corruption.
The second form: “power corrupts”, is one of the braches of first bullet, but it deserves a special mention because of its applicability in today’s world. The hunger to remain & retain in power, can drive even a saint to corrupt acts. Great examples are Raavan, Hirankashyap. Others examples from today’s world are Hitler, North Korean president, Pakistan army, all anarchists & the list runs long. Even the religion dominion or struggle to become one, has made its followers corrupt. Even democracy has it, since elected representative dearly wants to retain power & so resort to all sorts of way. This form of corruption has only resulted in response like “Arab spring”, “Red revolution”.
Third form of corruption, corruption due to system, in my opinion is reason behind majority of the corruption in today’s society. Again this can be classified into many types:
a) Due to hierarchy system: where the boss forces subordinates to carry out corrupt practices. Very common in all organization, public or private & also in all parts of world. End of the day, everyone fears about his/her bread.
b) Due to Contagious system: Yes corruption is contagious. “He is doing, why shouldn’t I”. Simple examples: faulty house rents to evade taxes. I am sure 99% of people in IAC would be doing this. Just ask yourself, Do you do it or not? “I had to give bribe, so in order to compensate, I take bribe “, initiating bribe chain reaction. Again this reason of corruption is very common in India & can also be found in other countries.
c) Due to administrative system: Huge taxes, no accountability of paid taxes are also cited reason for corruption.
d) Due to status system of society, where a person or family in order to maintain their status, which is a function of lifestyle, resorts in unethical means to accumulate money. Again status symbol driven corruption is common in all societies across the world.
e) Due to societal obligations. This I think is the reason for majority of corruption in India. Societal obligation like raising children, getting children married, dowry aspect of obligations, performing all religious acts in lifetime, taking care of family (immediate & extended) etc. drive lot of corruption. Add to this status symbol driven corruption & scale of population (i.e number of dependents) & what one see is huge scale of corruption. In my opinion this is the biggest reason of corruption in Middle class.
Finally the final reason, Selfness. Although it is a human nature, but very small minority take to extremes. This is most dangerous form, as selfness fuels hungriness for money, comfort all the time. As hungriness no bounds, so would the resulting corrupt act. Corruption becomes a hobby for such people. Telgi, Harshad Mehta, Ramalingam Raju etc. are golden examples. And what’s worse, if unchecked, a single person can siphon off whole economy. This form of corruption is highly undetectable & even if detected not curable.
So having known the reason, what are the way corruption can be stemmed.
Definitely formula will differ from society to society, since the cause of corruption will be very different. In India where majority of corruption is due to either “hierarchical” nature or “societal obligations”. The former one is what the proposed Lokpal Bill tries to stem. It tries to avoid bribe giving at each step of procedure. It tries to bring into account the unaccounted wealth.
The later one, corruption due to societal reasons are hard to stem, unless we change our so called traditions n customs. Any attempt to curb this will result in cultural clash, which is more of an emotional subject. Let’s just take example of marriages, supposedly biggest dreams of all parents n couples. They want to be as glamorous as it could be and for that money is the need. Right from day-1 of birth, planning of this grand occassion starts. Any deviation from this, will be seen in bad taste & will bring insult to family. One deviating would be seen as a villain to customs, traditions n culture. So, I have hardly any idea how this form of corruption can be stemmed in India. And with no solution in sight, I would be surprised to see corruption coming down despite effective execution of a strong Lokpal bill.
Another example, just go n ask your parents to account income for taxes (which you know they had not done). See their response. I bet majority of the response would be “Son/daughter, because of this only you are standing here n talking. Because of this money only you got best education & now you are teaching me”. End. Such an emotional torture it would be that you are bound to choose stay with corruption.
So, I am of opinion that corruption in societies like India where all forms of corruption takes place & majority related to emotions, it will be very hard to curb the menace. Yes, with Lokpal, some big ticket corruption cases like 2G, Telgi, Fodder etc. will be avoided, but corruption of medium n small level, mainly done by middle class cannot be avoided. It will be done, for middle class survival. So, with effective Lokpal, what we also need are laws to bring some change in our culture.