Corruption in my opinion has always drawn ire unlike opinions of many who see corruption as a lesser evil. However, in the past few days I have come across thoughts which, I believe, define corruption at grass root level.
People and Politicians talk about doing away with the menace of corruption but deep inside they all know that all of us are corrupt, if not blatantly at least to some extent. No offence to the people who inculcate Only-Honest policies in their day to day lives by putting in great efforts but corruption – as many have described, is not limited to bribing a traffic police guy or greasing palms of government servants. Such acts are just the tip of the iceberg, the real corruption insidiously plays its game in our day-to-day lives. For instance, not paying the bills in time, thinking against the good of others, buying pirated software or movies, jumping a traffic signal, trespassing in restricted areas, taking credit of someone else’s work or paying less for a costly dress because the shopkeeper botched up with the calculations are all in my opinion acts of deceit – or Corruption of thoughts. These acts, however little they may appear reflect how corrupt we are- because for each of the above mentioned examples one can offer a retort. These are corruption of different kind, but nonetheless corruption. For example, in my opinion downloading pirated movies is a better option then buying an original copy which pinches the pocket, why spend more.
It’s not that people like you and me don’t know what is right, it’s just that we prefer to mold rules and regulations to our conveniences. Moreover, a person who goes by rules in today’s world is rather mocked at. Today, even if I make up my mind to buy original DVDs, my friends will take me for a fool. It’s now a question of smartness, because if you’re smart you’ll not spend on originals, you’ll not pay the actual fine for parking your car in a No-Parking zone and simply slide a 100 Rupee note into the traffic police guys hand, you’ll not return the extra money the shopkeeper gave you while returning the change, you’ll not let someone else’s credit go by etc. In a nutshell, abiding by rules isn’t endorsed well anymore. Again, exceptions are always there.
If you take a closer look, you’ll find out that we all fancy negativity. Here, by negativity I mean endorsing the role of ‘Don’ more than the role of the good guy-Vijay in the movie Don. Negative means of doing things always look fancier. They look and feel fancier because they kill monotony and invigorate minds with randomness and uncertainty. ‘Uncertainty’ is the only aspirin which kills Monotony and no one likes monotony-because it makes life boring. When I write about monotony, it’s not the the immediate monotony, it’s the monotony of a longer span.
So, if I don’t jump that traffic signal when the road is marooned, I induce monotony and to kill it I’ll have to resort to acts which have an underpinning of uncertainty-so I’ll jump it without any qualms, and maybe bribe the cop on the way. If I have an urge to roam around in the nearby graveyard in the midnight, I’ll do it because it thrills me-thereby inducing uncertainty, even if it means paying a heavy fine-as greasing palms was never an issue. If I intend to watch a movie whose tickets aren’t available easily and I go and buy them in black, I’m inducing uncertainty. The real fun begins after a rule is broken. These incidents become topics of discussion, and bring laughter and joy to our lives and it happens all the time. How often do we end up praising the negative acts, for example, how a friend’s brother crashed into a police man’s bike owing to drunkenness- again for desire of uncertainty, and got away by just paying 200 bucks. A person who abides by rules-who cuts down on petty thrills, has lesser things to discuss about than a person who breaks them often. Obviously, it doesn’t make the latter a better person but it does give him an over-all edge in his day-to-day life.
It’s questionable, why then countries like US fare good in terms of non-corrupt practices. Why people there aren’t exposed to spells of such thrills and don’t end up bribing to get there way out. The answer is simple, these countries have surpassed the hurdles India faces in the present day scenario. India is still a developing nation, still shackled by poor pay to government servants, widespread poverty, lack of infrastructure and lack of education. These challenges will be overcome in time and will require dedicated efforts.
Therefore, in my opinion, ‘Urge for Uncertainty’ is the root cause of corruption, and it should always be kept in mind that moral corruption is no different than the actual corruption. Country is no bar to a person who has a habit of smoking, he’ll smoke everywhere. So, the solution is not a strong Lokpal, but stronger rules and regulations – by introducing heavy penalties and simultaneously increasing the pay of the government servants. This will curtail the corruption in limelight, and the corruption of thoughts- little acts here and there, I believe are the required ingredients of life. 🙂