When I was in the college, I heard the public declaring that the corruption was on the rise. In the ’Seventies, corruption used to be looked down upon as something abhorrent, and bribe-takers were talked about for being the anti-social lot.
Today, however, the perpetrators feel unabashed when society itself takes them for granted. The rousing reception extended to tainted corroborates this fact. Nevertheless, the credit goes to the political class when corruption is their ticket to the party, it being the latter’s foundation. Eventually corruption is becoming the warp and woof of many commercial and social transactions. The prices of some services/goods have a corruption angle to it, covert or overt. When quoting the price or cost of something, traders are prone to demand something extra from the users, which is said to be going into the corruption kitty. The muggers in the darkened alleys can be safely called the odd jobbers in the beginning of their career.
People stopped questioning why they are made a party to the seamy side of the various transactions. Do they have any other option than to live and get along with their day-to-day life? Pity our times, when an explanation has to be given to the spouse, why bribe is not insisted upon and collected up front, from the end users for some of the dearer commodities or services. On the other side of the irony, the bribe-giver too should explain to the spouse, how best the whole deal was negotiated to their advantage, very deftly.
Those tainted with the accusations or punishments for graft gloat on their ‘achievement’ feeling as if they are promoted to a new social strata of repute. One need not be shocked to come across a person telling with a glee that his or her property was recently raided by tax officials.
The public looks at the corrupt as the heroes. This is seen in movies as well. The erstwhile villainy is rubbed on to heroes and the people are strangely identifying themselves with the latter-day Robin Hoods. Voters forget this subtle change while they vote in favour of the politicians who are tainted with corruption charges.
In economics too, new theories are gaining ground: but for the black money there will not be enough purchasing power with the people to keep the wheels of economy rolling, that it would be not possible to achieve a higher growth rate to be eventually unaffected by the global slowdowns, etc. The boom for the luxurious commodities is on the rise, thanks mostly to the ill-gotten money plush in the society’s hands, that comprises a majority with a limited means.
It is time the mindset of our society is changed for good. All the sleazy monies and property attached by the government should be utilised for making the society conscious of this evil menace, and teach them how to distance themselves from such practices and yet live a decent life.
Corruption in whatever form and at whatsoever level is a blight or plague to the society and the same has to be rooted out from the psyche of all. Finally, all the dealings involving a million rupees and above, will have to be cleared by a corruption monitoring cell in all the departments. A loyal citizen of reputed credentials should be co-opted for this purpose. Let our society treat the corrupt as weeds and pests to be exiled lock, stock and barrel.
At the end of the day, it is ridiculous to hear pots calling kettles black in election speeches.