The other side of corruption

Thanks to the unprecedented levels of corruption, the media spotlight and the Anna Hazare phenomenon supported by the groundswell of support from many Indians, Lokpal seems a real possibility.

But what about the other side of it, the human angle?  There are 2 facets to corruption, one that is demanded and the other that is more voluntary.  I want to touch on the latter in this post.

What would you call going through an agent in RTO or passport office as? Convenience, perhaps but there is an underlying tacit corruption there which is hidden in the form of service charges. I had earlier talked about paying road tax where I spent an hour or so but it would have been avoided had I paid Rs.100 more to an agent.  When I asked why this huge “service charges”, the agent replied that the moment the RTO officials see my face, they would ask for money and hence even though it is a routine affair involving no transgression, one has to shell out an extra amount.

The Government can legalize this by a Tatkal scheme (like they have done in train reservations and in Passports) where for a higher fee, the citizen will get his work done quicker.

Corruption stems from our attitude that we want to trade off discipline with a payment of money as is evident from the thousands of instances where we pay Rs.50 or Rs.100 to a traffic cop when caught for not wearing a helmet or not carrying the correct documents.  I have seen many riders tagging their helmets to their seats or asking their pillion to carry it rather than wearing it and when asked why  they have replied “Who will wear this nuisance?  If caught, I will pay Rs.50 or 100 and go my way”.  We are ourselves creating an opportunity for the traffic cop to demand money and are willing to pay?

Why cry about corruption when we are the source of it?

I am not saying that there is no corruption and that there are no demands for it even when we are in the right. That is the right place for the proposed Lokpal to step in and take action.

But if we look at the numerous incidents where we are creating avenues for corruption for our convenience, no Lokpal can do anything about it!!

Given the huge levels of awareness amongst the general public and the resistance to the Government-sponsored corruption, it is high time that we start looking inwards to the menace that is slowly but surely eroding our own lives by our actions abetting corruption.

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1 Comment

  1. August 22, 2011 at 4:27 am

    […] my opinion, there are 2 kinds of corruption viz one sponsored by the state and the other by the citizens themselves.  If we look at the mega scams like the 2G, CWG, they are the ones that are conceived by […]


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