By Nitusmita Saikia

A burning question gives rise to many more other questions like, “What is the need to be corrupt?, Why bribery?, Who are to be convicted for both?”

If we see all developed countries of the world, we find there are some beautiful things with the basic requirements which are responsible for their growth. They are not only the wealth, investments, infrastructures, but most importantly they have an organized force of very honest and hard working citizens, motivated with national mottoes and etiquette.

Ancient empires like Guptas and Maurya flourished not just because of their kings or warriors, but because of their citizen who worked hard and hand in hand with their ruler. Thus, it is the people of the country who are the first and last responsible, for the growth of a nation.

Another great example, may be the best one, is the country of Japan, land of volcanoes and Samurais, one developed country that dared to invade the land of America once. How come such a geographically small piece of land becomes so powerful and independent, that it has successfully seized the world of modern technology! Definitely the Japanese people! Who are known to the entire world’s public as the most punctual, patriotic, hardworking and united citizens.

Therefore when the citizen of a country honestly perform their duties, ‘be it either a consumer or a service provider’, a nation and a society cannot stay remote. When these people get infected by the diseases like corruption and bribery, destruction starts to take place at first on a personal level, then at the social level, and finally at the national level.

This destruction has already engulfed our country of India, but no one knows when and how. In India, the picture is totally dark and misunderstood.

Here I quote an example:

A lady teacher was waiting outside the office of a School Inspector, to get her papers related to her service signed by him. After waiting a whole day, she finally asked the personal assistant of S. I., to take the papers to his table. When the assistant heard the teacher, he became very much conscious of all possible opportunities and immediately demanded Rs 100/-, for that simple work. At this, the teacher decided herself to enter the S.I. office directly, ignoring the shrewd assistant who had tried to take advantage of her, and when she did, she was shocked to hear another demand of Rs 500/- from the S.I. himself, for just his signature.

Cases like these too are routinely witnessed:

• Head Master of a school arrested, for selling the government rice in the Midday Meal Scheme.

• A political leader found guilty of confiscating government money from a development scheme.

• Illegal appointments in government departments.

• Question paper sold out before exam.

There are many more dishonest or illegal plans or activities, especially those for receiving illicit money – recorded in India’s history of corruption.

The astounding fact is that, in India, law makers are the ones who break the laws first, and it is an open secret to all Indian citizens.  In India, an uneducated grocery shop owner is also well educated in cheating his customers, especially the villagers. The middlemen of all business affairs benefit the most, and catching them red-handed is very difficult.

This is the scenario in all social, political, and official affairs of India. From the very junior most to the level of very highest authority in any field, most are now corrupted. The puddle of this mud is so thick, that no one can escape from its stronghold. If anyone wants to go against the flow, he will either be dead or will be made to go along with the system, rather than lose his social reputation and family security. Thus everyone feels the severity of the extent of corruption, in our socio-political system.

Our uneducated slot of population is not the only victim of corruption. Even the educated people are not free from its claws. These corrupt groups of people lead to crimes like human trafficking, theft, rape, kidnapping and so on, in a very long list of crimes.

How and why do the educated tolerate corruption; how do they benefit from it?

Now, the ultimate question arises: Why corruption? Many would have various reasons. Inequality of wealth, injustice, thirst for power, greed for money, desires to have luxuries in life and so on. Before knowing the answer to these questions, it would be very essential to know who is corrupt, and who encourages corruption.

Hope, it would not be wrong to say that, we, the general people of India are only responsible for encouraging corruption. Our meekness to all these filthy practices, and our surrendering attitude to them augments the confidence of corrupt people to indulge more, in their menacing motives. Thus, a favorable environment is there for corruption in India, for which the root of corruption is so deep.

Do we feel lazy to fight back? Perhaps we have become so busy in own life, that not a single moment we want to spend to think about all these. Undue importance to self interest is the source of all these misuses of power and opportunity.

We know that a giver and a receiver are both involved in bribery. If one breaks the chain, refuses to take or give, bribery will not take place.

The public, who are allowing all the filthy practices are equally corrupt, with the one who is practicing all these. Thus the tradition of bribery is still alive in our society because we public, are giving bribe. In India the condition of citizen is like pretending to be dumb and blind.

Nobody is corrupt by birth. Changes that take place in one’s thinking will affect that person’s mindset, and brings corruption into practice. Every social phenomenon, theories of this world, is the invention of the human mind. So corruption is also a child of the human mind only.

These changes are in the direction of negativity, which motivates to gain the desired thing at any cost, for which the person becomes impatient and get involved in practices against the set rule. In other words, a weak person can do corruption for convenience, or is vulnerable to bribe. When our minds get infected by extreme greed and jealousy, we become selfish, and that gives birth to corruption. Thus, here you find some important aspects of human nature working together. They are selfishness, conscious of social status, greed for money, hypocrisy, pride and power.

Measures could be adopted to eradicate corruption in India, but the whole process needs personal interest of the people of India, to bring changes. The entire population would have to be aware of his or her duty and rights towards himself/herself, and towards the society. A conscious group of citizen will make a conscious society and ultimately a country as a whole. Developments of mind and spiritual growth with positive and good thinking, may reduce the level of corruption from the society.

Execution of law can be a secondary remedy, to control corruption and bribery – a fail safe.

Spiritual classes can be included in college education as mandatory syllabus. At the same time, information about laws should not be confined to some educated category, but, in my opinion, for the greater welfare of society, the public should become aware of laws under mandatory execution through government. Execution of law can be a secondary remedy to control corruption and bribery, that is strict government involvement against corrupt people. These are some probable measures to fight back against corruption in India.

Although measures can be adopted, as outlined above, but it would be required to remind us again that the whole process needs personal interest of each and every citizen of India to bring changes.

Some of the above remedies already have been introduced in the country. But the follow up of those methods are not properly being executed, because of the men who hold those responsible offices for the said job. Thus, objectives are not delineated precisely in their mind, we may assume.

Therefore Government must work actively against such loose performers. To take out unwanted foreign object from a body, a doctor needs sharp instrument. Sharp action is needed to throw corruption out of the country.

However, the same fact comes forth again to tickle our mind. Corruption takes place because of two kinds of persons – one who commits corruption and the ones who suffer from it.

Therefore at the end of all above discussions, the right thing is to say that we, the citizen of the country can take stance against corruption and bribery as and when required. We must take bold steps against such abuses, with the assistance of responsible officials in government, who share an obligation to support the well being of our society.

I would invite all my readers to take a pledge that “Let us fight back and stand against corruption. No bribe, no bribery at all.”