By Sudarshan Pukale
Corruption and bribery have become today’s buzzwords. In our daily life, we encounter with many instances of corruption and bribery. Usually, it’s seen with the people who have an authority for something, and are demanding certain extra benefit for doing the things they are duty bound to. We come to know of corruption and bribery primarily in following ways:
- Our own experience.
- Reading and watching news.
- Through conversation with friends, relatives and associates who share their experience.
Hence, usually it comes to our mind that corruption and bribery are part and parcel of our life, whether personal or business.
First we need to know the meaning of corruption and bribery, before going ahead. Corruption means the dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery. Bribe means dishonestly persuade (someone) to act in one’s favor, by a gift of money or other inducement. And bribery means to offer a bribe.
After understanding the meaning of both the terms, we come to know the following two important aspects:
- Corruption is related to the act by a person who is having an authority, agrees to do the work dishonestly, and demands some favor. In short, we can say the receiver of bribe.
- Bribery is related to the act by a person who wants to get something done from other person, by offering something in the form of money or gift. In short, we can say the giver of bribe.
Chanakya had stated in 300 BC, about corruption in government departments in his classic book Chanakya Niti. He states lack of knowledge and skills, laziness, gluttony, over-indulgence, lustiness, anger, fear, greed and misuse of knowledge, power and designation are the sources of corruption in the government employees. Chanakya clearly speaks about the personal traits of the people having authority, which are the major reasons for corruption.
Thereafter, in all eras from the Mughals to the British people who came to India, we find the glimpses of corruption and bribery. After independence, we have seen sharp increase in the corruption and bribery cases in India.
If we look at the present demographic situation of India, we find as compared to other nations we have higher percentage of young population in our country. However, considering the overall population, we also find that the number of dependents in the form of children, and old people is also more. This can be considered as one of the important reasons for corruption and bribery in India.
Corruption has affected India’s social and economical development on a large scale. A study conducted by Transparency International in 2005 recorded that more than 92% of Indians had at some point or another, paid a bribe to a public official, to get a job done. In a study conducted in 2008, Transparency International reported that about 50% of Indians had a first-hand experience of paying bribes or using contacts to get services performed by public offices. Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perception Index ranks India as the corrupt country # 79, out of 176 countries.
In short, the above figures speak a lot about corruption in India.
The socio-economic system of a country plays a vital role in respect of corruption and bribery. The causes of corruption in India include excessive regulations, complicated tax and licensing systems, numerous government departments with opaque bureaucracy and discretionary powers, monopoly of government controlled institutions on certain goods and services delivery, and the lack of transparent laws and processes.
Of late, recently, the government has taken many initiatives to eradicate and control corruption and bribery in India. The measures of demonetization and the enactment of Goods and Service Tax have been the milestones. Also, the government is reducing the formalities of licensing and compliance to the minimum, through which the government has shown its commitment to wipe out corruption and bribery, from our country.
Root Cause is in the mind – Subconsciously thinking, speaking, feeling and acting
All the above mentioned causes of corruption and bribery are the outer reasons. And, with this we start blaming the government, the system and other people. But, we never introspect ourselves and try to find out why we are behaving in a dishonest manner. We don’t we try to go into the deep, and try to find out the root cause, which is within us.
If we carefully look, we can find that the root cause of corruption and bribery is in our mind. Since childhood, we hear our elders speaking and discussing about corruption and bribery cases. Also, we do offer chocolates or other gifts to our children and demand to do study, or to act in a certain manner.
This affects the mind of the children and they start demanding more of such favors in future. Once they start acting in such a dishonest manner at home, they extend such acts out of home i.e. at workplace. This takes roots as they grow up, and gets multiplied, when they get a personal experience.
As we consciously think, speak, feel and act in a dishonest manner this thought of corruption and bribery impresses our subconscious mind in such a way, that it becomes our habit. And, once it becomes our habit, we start living by our habits. We either demand a favor if we are in a position of authority, or we offer a favor if want to get something done from others. And gradually, we start feeling that what we do is right and what others do is wrong.
Steps to overcome
After knowing that the root cause of corruption and bribery is in the mind, the next question comes ‘can we overcome it?’.
Answer to this is in affirmative. Yes, we can clean corruption and bribery.
Following are the steps to overcome corruption and bribery:
- Consciously, bring a clear thought in your mind that hereinafter you will live your life with the principle of honesty.
- Start speaking up about honesty and its benefits at home, at workplace and at social gatherings.
- Once you start following honesty, you will have new experiences. Start sharing your experiences and benefits of honesty, with other people.
- Once you start thinking, speaking, feeling and acting about honesty, it will wipe out the old impressions of corruption and bribery from your subconscious mind, and impress it with new thoughts of honesty.
- As a starting point of honesty, you begin to live a life of honesty, impress upon other people’s mind, and induce them to be honest, by sharing your experiences and benefits of honesty.
- In this way, the lamp of honesty gets spread from one person to another until it enlightens everyone.
For this to become true, in reality, we need to first have faith in our ideology about honesty. Next, we need to be determined to live by the principle of honesty. Lastly, we need to take earnest action on persistent basis until we see our thought into reality.
Looking at the facts, the reasons and the steps to overcome, we can certainly conclude that we can clean corruption and bribery not only from India, but from the world at large. The reason behind it is, we are overcoming ourselves and accepting honesty as a way of life.
In short I say, “Yes we can clean corruption and bribery”.