Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stop Pause Think

I am deeply impressed by the solidarity Indians are showing all over the world against the issue of corruption in India. I won’t call myself a cynic but yes I am having my doubts at this stage specially seeing how things are slowly unfolding.

I would totally agree that corruption is a menace for the society in India. I would also agree that someone somewhere has to take a stand and start working towards eradicating it. So, I was initially very pleased to see that this time some people without a political background and motive were trying hard to do something for the cause. I was initially criticizing people who were not coming forward to support the efforts. I was telling them no matter what their personal agenda is, we should at least not discourage their efforts. What if a bunch of people get some credit and more powers in their hand at the end but at least if they are successful, all of us might be benefited from it. Since everything is going peacefully, all is good.

But I see a sudden change in the air. Things are getting hot. People are getting impatient and specially after the leader of the moment put behind bars there is a rage among the public. From law and order point of view this could lead to dangerous circumstances. Some anti social elements could take advantage of the situation and things could go out of control. At the end, I would not be pleased to hear what once the prominent leader of the party now in power in early 80s (also then in power) said after the Delhi riots. The explanation he gave was: jab ek bada ped girta hai to chote mote ghar to toot te hi hain. I don’t want to see that. So things have to be controlled and taken forward in a meaningful way which could be tough as more and more people take to the streets. So I am a little concerned since yesterday a friend of mine had to postpone an urgent surgery because of road blocks in many parts of Delhi.

Now, I can understand that we need strict laws and better vigilance but somehow I feel making a new body to perform that might not really solve the complete problem. Human beings are opportunists by nature. Who will govern or keep an eye on the people elected to form the committee if at all the bill is passed? What if they themselves become corrupt? Were agencies like the CBI etc not formed to do the precise things? If they can fail to deliver then it is tough to believe other such institutions will not fall prey to the same disease. Because at the end of the day, it is normal people like us who would be working there. I have yet to see a country and/or its politicians totally devoid of corruption. It would be too idealistic to even imagine that. I personally feel that laws should definitely be strict but we must also take some responsibilities in out own hands.

The long term solution for all this in my opinion is to create a more equal society. Of course it is not easy in a huge country like India but we must force our politicians to work more towards achieving that. I find this a more stable solution. It can not be mere coincidence that the Nordic countries considered to be the best places to live in the world also have the least corruption. The reason is a flat society in which even the poor have the basic amenities of life. The rich are taxed more to pay for the more unfortunate. This automatically leads to a stable society with low crime since people don’t have to struggle.

It is no surprise that the police officer in India who works hard an even in odd hours risking his life and paid less than half of what an IT Engineer gets take bribes. He also wishes to provide the best to his family. The same argument holds for other governmental employees. But this is not the case in the Nordic countries or even in central Europe. In Germany, the starting salary for a police officer is almost same as that of a fresh engineer directly out of university.

I have doubts when I see people blindly following something. Many people I know personally who actually have no morals in life, always acted on the chalta hai attitude and made fun of people who acted honestly and morally, are aggressively showing their support for the bill. Some of them have not even read the proposal of the bill or don’t even know where and how it will end if and when the bill is passed. I find people online and on streets with flags and all but somewhere I feel it is like a hollow effort where the finish line is pretty blurred. It appears to me more like a herd mentality where anyone who questions them is considered being not with them and labelled unpatriotic. I hope it is not like Egypt where now after the uprising; life had gone from bad to worse. I personally know a person there who told me that the media does not report the current situation. At the moment there is no law and order in the country. Kidnappings are on a roll. People are scared and life is not yet back to normal.

I just hope and wish that people should stop, pause and think before deciding on their actions.      

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