Kautilya once said, ”Just as it is not possible, not to taste honey or poison placed on the surface of tongue; similarly, it is not possible for an individual dealing with money- not to taste it, however small the amount is.”
Many of us believe that India is one of the most corrupt countries, and we keep talking about how corruption has bitten the people, the nation, in the form of favouritism, nepotism, bribery, blackmailing etc. But according to a report by World Bank, 70% of Indians themselves agree to pay a bribe to get their right works done at the right time. Corruption, therefore, is just like oil that helps in lubricating the wheels of progress.
Corruption is not something that has developed overnight or over the past few years. It's a gradual process developed over a due course of time. As they say, ”History repeats itself”- Alaudin Khilji, well thanks to the movie Padmavat- he’s today famous as an emperor who fought a whole war to get another man’s wife. But, not many of you might be aware of the fact that he perhaps was the only ruler in history who curbed inflation and fixed the prices of items back in the era when exploitation of weak and poor was a norm. Yet even he failed to control corruption in his empire. Not just the officials, bureaucrats and traders but also the gatekeepers were corrupt. And fariyaadis? They had to bribe their ways to court.
There’s another incident in history when Birbal first went to meet Akbar; he was allowed to meet on a condition to part with half of what he’ll get from the emperor. Aurangzeb, yet another Mughal Emperor who established himself as a firm and upright ruler, even he could not control his officials from being corrupt. Time passed, and next came the British rule- and corruption, it became a hallmark of its officials. 1947, India got freedom from the British rule but still, it could not get rid of its corrupt leaders, leading to a long list of scams like- Bofors Scam, The Fodder Scam, 2G Spectrum Scam, Commonwealth Games Scam, Indian Coal Allocation Scam to name a few.
We saw a ray of hope in 2014, Lok Sabha elections when the Bharatiya Janata Party got an overwhelming majority, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself declared that he’s India’s best bet against corruption. But what happened at the end of the first year at the office? A corruption scandal rocked his party’s government in Maharashtra.
Demonetization till date is thought to be a historic step to curb corruption, but it merely added the bank officials to a long list of public servants who abused their public power for their private gains. On the one hand, where other government agencies and officials were running around to implement the drive against corruption, these bank officials from nowhere emerged and plundered the loot. At the peak of the wedding season, when the common man was forced to stand in long queues just to get his four thousand rupees exchanged, Janardhan Reddy, one of the politicians managed to arrange a lavish wedding for his daughter, which approximately cost 5 billion.
Isn’t it sad how we still fall into the fake promises of politicians who say they would make the country corruption-free; who promise that they would get the nation rid of this malice- the malice that we all are born with, the malice that is very much there in our blood?