Friday, April 15, 2011

“Remember - upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all”

The title of this post is a well known quote of ‘Alexander The Great’ . Very apt - at a time when a good part of the Country’s population has been swept with the sentiment surrounding Anna Hazare’s ‘fast unto death’ as a means to force the Government to get the Lokpal Bill moving.
People of all age groups and from all walks of life came forward to support Anna Hazare’s battle to eradicate corruption. All these people are convinced that all Netas and Babus in this Country are completely corrupt, and all Indians have suffered at their hands. This is the time and the opportunity to being them to book. So all these people gathered at India Gate, shouted, cursed the corrupt politicians and the government, raised slogans. And when the Government ‘gave in’ to the demands of the fasting Gandhian, it was victory for everyone ! According to this group, something really good had happened, at least a beginning, and now there was hope.
“How naive people could be?” – I had thought then, and now. Where does corruption start? And who is responsible? Is it only the bribe taker? Who pays bribes to the Neta or the public servant? It is the citizens. We pay bribes to cut through the long and painful red tape. Or we pay bribe when we err on the wrong side of the law, and want to get away scot free. Corruption is a two way street, isn’t it?
What Alexander The Great said, was in a ‘millitary’ context, but the principle fully applicable to civil society. Simply put, unless each one of us does his own small bit, the society at large will not change. And each one can contribute in many ways. Here are some
  • Use the power of your vote to elect only those politicians who are honest and capable. Reject those whose character is questionable.
  • Respect and obey systems and laws. Even if this means delays, harassment and frustration.
  • Stop considering dishonesty and unlawfulness as something smart. Look down upon those that display this behaviour in society.
And last but not the least – lead by example. For it is we who have to change – not any nameless, faceless villain amongst us.

1 comment:

  1. If we can't get rid of the dowry system how are we going to get rid of bribery? Shame perhaps? Public humiliation seems to work in Singapore and for some things in L.A. as well.