Corruption – Is it inside or outside us?

The recent anti-corruption movement in India brought out several questions and debates on the internet. Though a large amount of people of Indian Origin voiced their opinion I am not sure if there was much coverage of it in world news and among non Indian internet users. The world should follow what is happening in India for two reasons, firstly because India contributes a lot to technology and economy in practically every country in the world and will continue to do the same in the foreseeable future. Secondly we live in a world where corruption is not a one country issue but it eats into every society across the world though in varied colors and forms. The only reason that it is erupting in India is that India is currently in a state of tremendous flux. The new age media, internet, opportunities, entrepreneurship, thinking and everything else is working towards building the nation. The world should be optimistic that the efforts happening in India would be followed up by other developing nations that are in the path of economic growth and that there would be a global concentrated effort to weed out the elements of corruption from our society.

Though the fight is important as individuals and contributors and benefactors of our societies we hold a responsibility to understand corruption and see where we stand in our relationship to it. The multifarious form of corruption throws at us a tough challenge where we might fail to identify a starting point or a root cause for corruption so we can eradicate it in one shot. The fact that corruption is not just a financial aspect alone, but a thought process in itself, reform should start at the individual level.

The fight for corruption has to start with personal integrity, we might win the fight even without that, but we will not sustain without that

No fight will survive if people don’t decide to change themselves and their approach to understanding what corruption means to them. Many of my friends were upset with my recent articles as my opinions supported some leaders of the movement while not others. My posts are not a judgement or report but more of a self exploration into things around me and my relationship to it. One of my dear friends even sarcastically congratulated me on Facebook for my Baba Bashing Articles during the time. I love this friend and I will sample my hand on his cheeks when I meet him next.

While we all fought, wrote and debated with a genuine interest to eradicate corruption there was another sadhu (monk) in Haridwar who had been fasting since February 2011 on a different issue (preventing illegal stone Quarrying near Ganga) and died in the hospital after a 114 day fast. There seems to be a complaint lodged on the possibility of this 36 year old swami dying of poisoning while in treatment. As the media was busy covering Baba Ramdev and his lilas (antiques) at Ramlila maidan there was not much hype about this news. As an individual this news is also equally relevant to us and I wonder why it did not reach out. Was it because it did not matter the whole country? Was it the lack of money power? Was it the lack of importance of the issue? Even if the bigger struggle sees victory, how do we address these smaller fights that leave people (in fact the leader himself) dead in the struggle

I like colors, but would like my facts in Black and White for I can’t make a difference between, race, religions, political affiliations or anything that separates man from man

What we might need is without political or religious taint look at how we can reduce the corruption within the systems we work. One of my other friends commented that he living in India has to first hand face the consequences of widespread corruption and the fact that I don’t live there gives me the liberty to look at the issue of corruption in a more relaxed way. Not the exact words, but close to what I understood. He makes a very valid point, there could be a difference in how we look at corruption and the fight against it. Like how a reporter in the war torn streets reports something much different compared to the one sitting inside the four walls of his or her office room. Again if you ask the foot soldier who is firing and being fired at, he would have a much different version to report. So the same issue can be understood, explained and addressed in different ways.

It is good to know that if the bullet does not hit you; you can be quite relaxed to comment on its trajectory and speed.

Here are a few questions as part of my effort to understand what corruption is and how as a person I relate to it and can position myself to approach it. These are just questions and not judgments or statements of any sort.

An honest retiree who spends most of his life working for the Government without taking any bribe and is now living on his pension and retirement funds finds it difficult to meet the rising cost of living. Was he living a life without being practical? What are we doing to make sure his story is heard? How do we ensure that he is hailed as a hero and not the one who stacks black money and disperses it in scarce quantities to the needy?

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Categories: Articles, Opinions, Politics, Responsibility, Society

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