Corruption is my Birthright

Ok folks, take a deep breath. We all need one…a nice and clean one at it…after all this mess. The last one month has been a markedly grotesque period in my life as I have been witness to the highest number of corruption scams doing the rounds in the media than any other time hitherto in my 24 years of existence. It all started way back during May-June when our beloved Suresh Kalmadi, who holds three sumptuous positions viz. President of the Indian Olympic Association, Asian Athletic Association, and Athletics Federation of India, made some nice pancakes and served them soft and hot all through the Commonwealth Games preparation phase. In the process, he looted some unimaginable chunks of fresh and nice-smelling currency notes.

The media did its job by bloating all of the stuff up to a level where viewers got bored of it and then, as is the practice, dropped the matter completely, one nice moon-filled night, when nobody seemed to notice and moved on to some other ‘BIG’ thing like Dhoni getting married or Shashi Tharoor tying the knot for nobody knows how many times or the Big B blogging against eating oily food or some such news bit.

Next to rock our parliament, people, politicians, media men, sleuths et al was our very beloved A Raja (Hon’ble Ex Telecom Minister). He gave us all some heavy heartbreaks with his 2G license allocation scam. It will take a pen, a piece of paper and more than ten fingers for one common man like me to make sense of the amount involved in the 2G scam viz. 1.6 lakh crores. So folks, then, where are we all headed? Two huge money scams back to back and we haven’t even given a judgment on the previous big scam to rock our bases – The Satyam Scam. But wait, there was more to it.

Next came the Adarsh Society Scam and this one shaped itself in a slightly different form than its bigger and dirtier predecessors. This one bore the signatures of our brethren from the bureaucracy. Instead of the ones of big shot politicos and High Net Worth Individuals. This scam dealt with High ‘Network’ individuals i.e the undercover agents of these HNI’s who on other bright mornings do the spade work and don’t get to the limelight on multiple occasions. That fraternity includes but is not limited to IAS officers, ex army men, IPS officers, Government officials from assorted departments etc.

So that scam did its bit before another tsunami made its way into the ‘Indian’ ocean – The Bank Loan Controversy. Top officials of Indian banks, lenders and financial firms have been accused of taking bribes to grant corporate loans. While the size of the scandal is not known, it would have to be considerably larger than the alleged bribes paid. A bunch of respectable bank officials and executives have been running an undercover episode for quite some time it seems and have eaten up a good amount of other people’s money which now has taken different shapes like “the all new Sony Bravia LED TV’, Samsung Refrigirators, 3 BHK Duplex villas, highland golf courses, private beaches and what not.

So there we are, sitting pretty amongst four huge and shameful scandals that are surely set to damage any sort of respect that our nation has commanded in the past decade. But truly folks, how much more can we crib about this? Our print media have been rewriting this piece of crap in their tabloids and newspapers a billion times already and our country has never ever been shy of some scandal or the other at any given point of time in the past. So then, what the hell are you driving at? One may ask me. Yes, they are all corrupted. Our leaders, Our Masters, Our representatives, Our bosses…but wait, who is not corrupt? Like Amartya Sen pointed out in ‘The Argumentative Indian’ we Indians have some innate qualities which we can never get rid off. And yes brothers and sisters, one of those qualities is to pay-the-extra-bit-and-get-the-thing-done mentality. How many of us have lived a life in this country without paying one bribe or the other, be it small or big for some personal favor? I bet there would be none. There is just one difference between us common citizens and our big voted representatives. They come on the news and the papers, and we don’t. But both of us cheat nevertheless. We do it on a small scale while they are running scams on a big scale. So with one fact understood well, we should carry on with our daily work for nothing is going to change in this country any time soon. The fact being “All of us are corrupt and we shall continue to be”.

Mahatma Gandhi once said “Be the change you wish to see”. So, until one day when all of us unite to be the change we all wish to see, our country will be soaked under the dirty and shameful corruption scandals that has been with us for more than centuries now. So the next time we get our favor with that extra rupee, tell yourself that you are no different from our corrupt babus.

Pradeep Sekhar