What should be the start?!
Well, for me, to start with, ‘corruption’ is a word and something created, used and meant relatively!
Strictly as per the dictionary, “Corruption is:
a) dishonest or illegal behaviour, especially of people in authority;
b) the act or effect of making somebody change from moral to immoral standards of behaviour;
c) the form of a word or phrase that has become changed from it’s original form in some way”.
And yes,the prevalent terminology of corruption refers to the definitions as in the points a) and b). And again, some more simple yet complicated terms are used and referred to define it!
The words being used to define the term are again simple to pronounce, not so difficult to explain, but the most difficult to put in practice.
Yes, daily, we are involved in doing certain things some or the other way, which one is tempted to say as committing corruption. For some, it’s kind of a kick-back not to raise the voice and do the right against corruption or restricting to only certain issues. But to that my response is:
Does it mean we are killers or murderers if we walk or do certain things that result in the death of some flies, insects or so?! Not certainly! Even we have to kill mosquitoes, bugs, cockroaches deliberately and honestly to protect ourselves and/or keeping our environment and people healthy and safe. And that’s not a crime in a world of the alive! If still per the religion and in the purest of forms, we should avoid any life-or-anyCreatureHoweverSmallOr Visible-killing act knowingly and unknowingly, then let’s do those right actions and acts so as to stay away from those creatures through cleanliness, and hygiene practices and measures.
So is corruption, or be it mind or money or whatever other terms it’s attached to or can be attached to.
Corruption results or originates from our own thoughts, greed, insecurity, over-indulgence, non-orientation towards values, principles; and the very environment we live or make ourselves live.
Corruption is not there in the system just like that. The people who are involved in corruption are not out of the world or creation. They are very much part of this system as us. Encouraging corruption, or doing nothing against it, is itself corruption as we allow ourselves being in the shell and indirectly and subconsciously supporting corruption. So even by the languages’ dictionary definitions ( b) ), it’s also corruption. The same in every language irrespective of the word coined for it.
Some instances and life examples…
1. During my higher studies, I faced a particular situation. One institution-cum-hostel-peer cheated me after taking money from me in the form of a membership fee towards the institution. I was not returned my money as simple as that even after follow ups! It was not a matter of just some money – the hard earned money of my mother. The guy wanted to cheat if not me, somebody else just as to prove himself ready for his own-version politics so as for the high post in the student union. That was corruption for me. So I stood against the corruption. I knew some people were in his support politically. The thing spiralled into a dispute and even I was attacked suddenly just as I was coming out after having my meal. The attack resulted in an injury to me obviously and the most affected part had to be stitched. But all my inmates, friends, hostel dwellers knew the truth and cooperated with me in the rise and fight against this corrupt act positively. (Few people also joined for their own political reasons.) The rise was not against the money but even for a bigger cause, against the corrupt thoughts and to make those responsible realise of their act of deed, so that nobody else including them do the corrupt deeds again ever to any body else. The rise was very positive as it reinstated our togetherness ultimately as I am sure at least one of those in the supporting of the corrupt act realised sensitively. The guy responsible in the root cause though said sorry for all, but I am not sure how honestly it has been followed in the life. The rest is history and I need not go into all those details at this point of time. Nor am I keen here to go into the details of all those others involved. Wishes for the Rightly Happy Life for all as ever!
2. During my school studies, I won scholarship. But when I had gone to collect the payment from the respective regional govt office headquarters, the assigned clerk accountant kept some money out of my scholarship for himself and told me not to tell it to any body even my mother. I didn’t complain to any body as I thought the person was in some need and what a big matter if I shared some of the money with him for his cause. But very late I realised the man was not honest. So after being a victim of this corruption the next time when I won scholarship subsequently, I ensured the corruption was not committed again.
3. Work: Some years back, I was in a discussion with some people in a train trip on why I was not changing my work company so that I could get better package. I told it was my passion for the organisation, money is not everything, and the moment I realise if there was any bad practice, or injustice, money corruption, or any corruption, or non-transaparency, bad politics, or unethical things or even a slight hint of any of it, I would resign and leave the organisation as soon as possible if my attempts to rectify and improve the process didn’t come off positively. Very soon after that meet, exactly such situation happened. I didn’t get my salary and insurance for some gap in the process work flow not my fault. My follow ups and all the pain, honest attempts though resulted in some corrective action from the higher authorities but very late and not enough. And some situations (even though not my fault) exactly reflecting some kind of corruption also surfaced as a combo multiplying my genuine grievances. I had even had to write email; to that I was told by one in the management that even the supreme boss (withholding the name here) would not have written a long mail in his defining days. To that I thought, there was no email system in practice during those times, so the letter did it all. I was also told that I would realise it after 3 years that ‘I should not have written any email ever’. (Any way I had not fired the email to the super boss nor did I feel I should do. ) And I knew I was right and the respective person would get the answer even quite before 3 years. And so I resigned and left the company at the earliest. And not long back in the wake of the infamous 2G scam, came another public letter – a long letter / email in the media from that super boss. So I know the person would have got the answer which probably was known even when I was told!
And the person had also told me that the person was not in any knowledge of my identity, otherwise the person would not have let any thing happen such that the sorrow and regretful situation was avoided at the outset itself and I would not have been ever the victim or at the helm of all the happenings. In fact, even my career would have been even prolonged and brighter and in the higher ranks further. And exactly that’s what I had not wanted to let my identity revealed in the beginning of the tenure itself for; my goal was to prove the perception wrong among the people in that area that persons with similar identity as mine in the past were helped partially in the career and all. What if it resulted in somewhat avoidable situation to myself, a situation and grievances avoidable had I revealed my identity at the outset!
4. Crime for Corruption? I was in a particular city and some people came to know I was a US return.
And they demanded a good amount of money and more from me just like that as to their perception, I was hugely rich in terms of money at least. I didn’t know it would result in an attack and attempt to murder or so. And one night, I was attacked suddenly without any slightest of hint. I was attacked with the weapons that it’s just a miracle and for God that I have been alive after that, as logically may be I would have been spot dead then and there itself instead of just injury. The act of theirs ( those though partly drunk or fully) was a crime and also a corruption and even heinous overall, and I took them to police and booked. It was even more disturbing after knowing those people’s true identities during the police investigation. Any way after few days and nights, I finally agreed to the thing after police also suggested that let them be released and sent back home as they had families and little children.
5. It’s kind of a common fact that how some, though not all, in the traffic police or other public service servants/employees/authorities/entities resort to the common practice of trapping and demanding bribe from their own country-men for whatever reason unless genuine. Needless to say, how big and common this corruption is! Yes, I have also been in that situation. I had to pay to the so called on-duty traffic police men on some occasions despite honest pleading, persuasion, request and some camera clicks. The success ratio was not bad though, but I have had to resort to my existing art of acting for the right cause successfully as why should I pay money or so as I have not been at fault all.
6. The pension corruption, which is again very common. Even till today, we have not got our father’s state Govt pension for his earlier services as an officer in the labour department, even after decades of his demise in a train accident. The central govt pension for his corresponding services was though available from time to time after certain follow ups.
This particular situation and the practical knowledge had been an important factor for me to decide my career not as an IAS officer or so even though that career was my father’s dream for me.
With respect to Democracy:
Democracy in the simplest form of definition (and I don’t need a dictionary quote): “Democracy is of the people, by the people and for the people”.
So what’s the issue? Not just democracy,the very humanity,the very life entitle us as our birth-right to do the right things.
With respect to religion and duty:
it has been the world of good vs evil! Or God’s vs Evil/Devil. Dharma-Adharma! The dharma or the duty for the religion has been that we should as true followers of God-Good-Truth, should and must fight against the evil/devil/Shaitaan. And the truth/good prevails in the war, if it’s.
Corruption is a devil, evil, shaitaan within us and in our surroundings that we must fight and continue to fight to make our lives purer and truer…
We should remain focussed, in fact, attached to the good, the values, the practice yet detached specially from our favourable targets, expectations, end results.
~ Prabeen Kumar Pati