Are we all just Corrupt but don't know it?



“What do you do?”

We have all lauded Anna Hazare’s efforts, supported the movement through blogs, tweets, facebook updates and the more intrepid amongst us have attended rallies, candlelit marches and chanted slogans while wearing the “I am Anna” cap. We all want corruption to end and hope that India truly shines. Corruption is the bad word and we support all means possible to eradicate it.

But sometimes the choice to eradicate it is easier said than done. In the middle of the night, if we lie in bed can we truly say that we are not “corrupt”? Are we as pure as we think we are? And can we now stop being who we are and stop doing what we did for so long? Can any one of us say we have not done at least one of the things to get our way?

1.       Jumping Traffic Lights – You are in a terrible hurry. The bus moved ahead of you and you did not see the light changing. You will have endless excuses when the cop catches you. But both of you know the truth. The important question is “What do you do?” You can pay the fine, get your license confiscated, go to the court next day, and get it released right? Alternatively, you give him hundred rupees and are set free. After all, you do not have time the next day. Your life is already busy.

2.       School Admission: - Giving the best education to your child is something you feel you have to do. But the most prestigious schools will not let your child in if a certain fee is not paid. It could be called a deposit, a security, or a miscellaneous expenditure. The truth is you are not going to see it again and your kid won’t get in without it. “What do you do?” Yes, it is still a bribe. Is corruption then justified?

3.       Foreign Shores Beckon:- In a once in a lifetime opportunity, you need a passport. You immediately think “Tatkal”! But even the fastest process to get the passport renewed takes two weeks and you need to fly out in one week’s time. “What do you do?” Time to call the friendly neighbourhood tout? After all, it’s ok if it’s an all expense paid trip right?

4.       Rail Travel: - The “Great Indian Railways Family Vacation” with the family is a once in a year experience. But the seats are all over the place. It’s very easy to just stay put where you are. After all, you will be spending the remainder time of the vacation with everyone. Then, what is a little money to the TC for that window seat or the berths together right? What do you do?

5.       IT returns: - Run to the IT consultant, pay imaginary rent, claim rewards (drivers are such a help in every sense) avoid the Tax to the maximum possible extent. Hey, you are still paying tax, so why so serious? In other cases, spend a little on the people who will help clear the fake IT bills. Does a justification that it’s all going into the politician’s pockets make it still ok?

6.       Cooking Gas: - Arrey Bhai, just get hold of the friendly ‘Gaswalla’ give him a little “Bakshish.” Just get this done quickly, it is all right. After all, it’s not your fault that you did not know both your cylinders had finished. Right?

7.       The DVD Walla: - It’s absolutely all right to buy the pirated DVD, which you are dying to see, or to download from free U-torrents. What the heck, everyone does it? The movie guys make a lot of money anyways right?

8.       Buying Property: - Reason it out. As such, the property costs are so high, pay a little “black” money, and pay lesser in registration, stamp duty and all the other things that can save you just enough to buy that new stove you need in your kitchen. Your builder is actually doing you a favour, isn’t he? But “What do you do?”

9.       Commission Fees: - The hand that feeds can also be fed. If the situation is changed “what do you do?” You know you can get the work done as soon as possible and take your “cut.” After all, it is your contacts and all your networking that makes the company what it is. Hard work should be rewarded in commission right? No one will know and the missus is happier. A little reserve to dip into always helps with the luxuries of life.

10.    Add your own. You know what.



Morality is a choice we make every day. Can we still stand and say we are with Anna?

Comments

Shreya said…
yea.. somewhere we too go following corruption like: we agree to give lakhs to get an admission in a good college. No matter if it is encouraging corruption.. at that time we think of ourself only.

The more corrupted, the state the more laws.

http://www.iredeem.blogspot.com/
Anwasha said…
Wow!!!
I am surprised no one commented on this well written article before me. Not a new topic to me, I have spent some time thinking about it myself but you did fantastic job of articulating it.
Kudos
Anwasha
of all the vices that you have mentioned, how many do you have?
@Anindya - My brother's name is also Anindya! Oh and ya - most of the vices!
I went through a similar thought process when I was supporting the campaign. I am guilty of some of the vices on that list of yours and certain others which mostly comprise of pirated books, movies, softwares and music.

But what I have come to realize is that I am not a dishonest person by nature. Which means, most of the vices I indulge in are because of one of two reasons:

a) There is no other way to get the job legally done, thanks to existing state of corruption.

b) Because it was so common (read: everyone I know was doing it) that I would look a like a fool if I didn't.

That said, my argument is that corruption starts at the top. And by that I mean when the boss is honest (and assuming he is not dumb), a subordinate cannot get away with a lot of corruption.

So it kinda makes sense to support a movement to stem it at the very top. Because that is where it all started in the first place.
Yes Mahul, I think the movement needed to have happened. Let's hope things change now.
Anonymous said…
Madhuri, nice to see you highlight our day to day 'corrupt practises'. The law recognises the giver and taker, bot equally guilty. The important point is, "its not a perfect world" and no one expects it to.for every 1 guy who has urgency of a passport or driving etc,there are 10000 who have none. When they are demanded the speed money, when exception becomes a rule and when corruption creeps into our daily routine...its time for Anna to be born. I follow Anna and what he stands for.Please do note, if the cop sticks to his job, and a passport officer follow rules...people will accept and display a truer picture :) Cheers and keep blogging. Vishal Chopra
Vvchopra1@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
Madhuri, nice to see you highlight our day to day 'corrupt practises'. The law recognises the giver and taker, bot equally guilty. The important point is, "its not a perfect world" and no one expects it to.for every 1 guy who has urgency of a passport or driving etc,there are 10000 who have none. When they are demanded the speed money, when exception becomes a rule and when corruption creeps into our daily routine...its time for Anna to be born. I follow Anna and what he stands for.Please do note, if the cop sticks to his job, and a passport officer follow rules...people will accept and display a truer picture :) Cheers and keep blogging. Vishal Chopra
Vvchopra1@gmail.com
SK said…
Hi Madhuri...

I wrote a blog on corruption on 7th June 2011... It can be seen at:
http://eskay-blogs.blogspot.com/2011/06/corruption-im-confused.html

Surprised to see similar thought process on corruption... I'm in a bit of hurry currently but will definitely go through your blogs.

Regards,
Kannan
Anonymous said…
Two observations: 1) Agree with Vishal that if the cop and passport officer stick to their job and enforce specified punishment, we the people will fall in line much sooner. 2) People's anger is against the scale of corruption today. Eve teasing can be ignored but rape (of the country) should not be.

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