I have been pondering over this much talked about topic of corruption, trying to find out the root cause for corruption in our society. I find that a man’s greed, impatience and his unwillingness to follow rules of thland helps corruption to spread like cancer. Besides corruption in our country is a part of our culture. It startswith our system of `bribing` the God to get what we want. For the last 42 years I have been offering the elephant God (Vinayaka) 108 coconuts whenever I am facing a crisis or before I get involved in a major project.
Each one of us in our own small ways is contributing to corruption. Let me explain. Take the simple case of a traffic offence. While your vehicle is stopped by a traffic constable for some offence and he tells you that if he books the case against you and you have to go to the court, you will end up paying `X` amount; but if you agree to pay him `X` minus `Y`amount on the spot he will let you go, without registering the case. What do you do? Most of us would obviously take the second alternative because it is hassle free and costs less. The cop is happy and you are happy because you have no time to waste! You have inadvertently contributed your bit to corruption.
Similar thing happens when a person applies for a driving license or goes to a Registrar`s office for registering some document, or when Corporates have to close any kind of tax related issues be it income tax,, sales or service tax. The list is endless. To escape the harassment and accompanying waste of time, people agree to pay the bribe demanded by the officers concerned, albeit after some negotiations. Even if our books are in perfect order and as per the rules; we have no patience to fight the system because of the hassles involved. We are in a hurry to get over a problem fast , at any cost!
It is this inherent unwillingness of the public to fight the unreliable system and the delay in meting out severe punishments to those who indulge in corrupt acts, which is the cause for all types of corruption.
Ultimately the giver of a bribe is as guilty as the receiver when we talk about corruption. It is wishful thinking to believe that `Lokpal Bills` or enactment of Laws will eradicate corruption. As I said earlier, as long as a human being wants to cut corners or break rules to achieve his goals, there will be corruption. Indians by and large do not consider giving or taking bribes a great sin!
While I have followed the `No give No Take ` policy in doing business, I must confess that I am equally guilty of going with the system when it comes to a simple traffic offence, which I seem to commit more often these days because of old age. And even today, as a faithful Indian(!) I continue to bribe my `Gods` seeking special favours!