Monday, December 8, 2008


As I read the blogs being posted about the Mumbai attacks and the state of the country, I find one issue to be, if not THE cause, then at least a very big cause of all our troubles. Lots of folks have addressed it as well, so its nothing new that no one hasn't noticed so far.

It is corruption, bribery, nothing getting done without greasing a few, actually more than a few, palms! What finally prompted me to write this is what happened to the Project Why folks. It made me realize how corruption is pretty much accepted as "part of the process". And if you don't go with the flow, you suffer. Your work never gets done, or if it does, then it is so late that it hardly even makes a difference, or at the very least you have sustained some losses because of it.

Often times I hear folks from India very proudly saying, Oh, I never have to wait in line, I have insider connections". Yes, we are proud of our corrupt ways!!! Even if these "inside connections" don't ask for bribes, they do give their friends and relatives preferential treatment, making other common people wait in line. Or they will expect similar favors in return in future.

We see it in each and every corner of our day-to-day lives! From trying to get basic necessities like gas, electricity, ration cards to a step further to getting admissions in schools, getting proper medical attention to bigger issues like running a business, you name it, and there it stares back at you in the face!

How did this become the norm? How did this become the way of life? How did this become acceptable?

The problem is very basic, there are not enough resources to meet the needs of our vast population. And those in power are making the best of it. We may say we condemn it, but have little power against it. What would you do if no school is agreeing to accept your kid without "donation"? What would you do if no doctor is willing to see your child/parent/spouse without some "fees" first? More often than not, you will give in.

But on second thoughts, I feel there ARE enough resources for everyone, but they are just not distributed well enough. This is also because of the corruption! The rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Oh what a catch-22 situation!

It is such a deep-rooted problem that completely eliminating it is not quite possible in our lifetime. But we can, and definitely need to start doing something about it right now.

What can we do?
On a day to day basis...
Refuse to grease those palms whenever the Project Why team did. I guess we will be forced to bend in situations where we need medical assistance, but where possible, just say no!

If you know someone who indulges in this (say a doctor or some other professional like that), bring them out in the open! Write about them, tell your friends and family, THEIR friends and family, some how try to expose them, bring them to shame.

File a complaint against them. I am sure there is a consumer forum that needs to look into things like these.

On a larger scale...well I don't know :( But there HAS to be a "weed-killer" out there for this problem!


Ankur said...

u know i tell u a personal instance. While i was coming back from home on Diwali, i always prefer train as its cheaper, but my ticket wasnt getting confirmed, so i had to go to the railway counter and one of my uncles wud have called the ticket issuer there( he is a GM in Railways), and irrespective of the line, i wud have got the tatkal ticket in the first place... now when i went there, i cudnt do it, i stranded there for 15 mins, then came back home and try the same using online... but the ticket was gone!! at 8:03 in the morning, i had another waiting of 70, which was supposedly not to be cleared!!!
i had to fly... somehow i always try and pay the fine rather than paying the bribe, it proves costly but i do it!! :)

i am just trying to say... its the hard way, but then we have to do it... we have to start with ourselves if we wanna make this country free of corruption!!! :)

The same thing comes to security checking.. we all say, govt is doing nothing, but when we get stuck... oh god... we are the biggest losers then and we just cuss the govt!!

I have seen in even multiplexes how people jump the queue just to save 5 mins... may be their time is costly, but they are learned too... if they behave like that, i dont blame the aam aadmi at all!! :)

I am soon gonna write a post about it...

I am said...

hmmmm...thoughtful post

but why don't we have to bribe any here in the US for our daily work?

I don't know about CA but here in UT, i did not have to bribe anyone for anything over the past 6 years that I have lived here!

We have a problem of lack of enough resources in our country, hence it is a 'survival' of the fittest strategy. You cheat, you bribe, you win. your goal is to survive at whatever cost.

Corruption is an outcome of poverty, unless we address the root cause manual weed removal won't fetch us anything.

And it has trickled so deep in our system that its hard to think of an executable way to address it

I am said...

some other solutions that pops up in my mind :

1. What if we have Community Colleges or School where you get quality education for children why would I then a pay donation to educate my children?

2. Why would I need to look for extra money if I get paid more than enough as a govt official?
(you cannot contest human greed over here,but in general people are more vulnerable to greed if/when they are in crisis)

Anonymous said...

Hi a first timer here.
You have given some good points on tackling corruption. I get the idea that you feel strongly and have a clear thought process.

Can I expect an article from you how to tackle this menace of terrorism in your blog?

Nidhi from India.

aneri_masi said...

Ankur, are you sure you didn't wait for your turn simply because you wanted to stay home longer ;) Jokes apart...this is the behavior that all of use need to adopt. A few good men will do little good, we need at least 50% of the population realizing this and waiting in line instead of "stealing" someone else's turn!

D said...

I have never paid bribe for anything in India. And my work still gets done. That's because I'd rather spend extra time fighting the corruption than taking the easy way out, greasing someone's palm and getting my work done. Also, it helps to be on the right side of the law. When you don't do wrong, you don't have to go looking for the under-the-table solutions to your problems.

aneri_masi said...

D, that's the spirit we need in the majority out there :) Thank you for being the way you are! And am curious...what business do you have?

Anonymous said...

I actually accept the fact that I have done it :(
And I am not happy abt that :(

For my liscence that is :()

But you r right! I think I will never do it again :(

Another thing is if u go abt reporting.. there the police is also corrupt and the fear of getting pulled down too much is also a thing people fear!

In these cases i really remember Munabhai 2. It had so many good examples!