WHEN INTO THAT HEAVEN OF FREEDOM, WILL MY FATHER, MY COUNTRY AWAKE?

Today when YSR’s death loomed large over India, the one common comment I heard from a lot of people  is He was a good CM. He did make his money but he did a lot for people and it got me thinking, have we become so immune to corruption that we feel if politcians work for us we can forgive their corruption. Before I proceed further, I would like to make it clear that am not making any aspersion on Mr Reddy and do hope his soul rests in peace. But the fact remains that as common people we are immune to corruption?

There is a common saying in India, that you cannot be in politics if you are not corrupt. And yet every Indian blindly agrees that our PM who is the highest post holder of our democratic system (Presidency is not part of the elected system) is incorruptable. Dr Manmohan even after so many years in office holds the same esteem he held when he started his journey. So doesn’t that mean that if we want we can remain clean even in the most corrupt systems? Then why are so ready to accept corruption in our lives? Why can we not say no matter what good you have done, corruption will not be tolerated?

Corruption isn’t only about money. Corruption can be about power. Our erstwhile US President Mr George Bush was so corrupted that he felt his favourite pastime was to wage wars so that all can say how invincible America is. And so convinced were people that he could save them that many americans voted him back for a second time, forgiving his sins, even though most americans felt he was completely wrong in fighting war specially in Iraq. Thankfully they decided they will say no to his corruption of power and voted the democrats back to power this time and the basic underlying theory behind this presidential election was they said no to corruption – Corruption of power.

Corruption can also be a form of bigotry – something we see so prevalent in India. Yes Mr Modi, our chief minsiter from Gujerat has done a lot for his state and in spite of my sheer disrespect for him I will still accept that and admire it. But does that mean we forgive him for the sheer disrespect he shows to all muslims including justifying the riots? Is development enough to justify that corruption? And if not, then why are we not getting up and saying no matter what good you have done, you are corrupt and I will not vote for you.

And then of course there is corruption of money. Most politcians and bureaucrats in India has money beyond their reasonable means of income and yet we don’t question them. We don’t ask how a LK Advani has such wealth or how a Rahul Gandhi became richer in last 5 years with new shops? We don’t ask how come the police officers have bungalows which are way way beyond their any known source of income. We tolerate it and if they by chance do some good work, we say hey that’s ok. He at least did some good work, as if doing that good work was so unexpected of him. Actually doing any work for which he was getting salary was so unexpected of him.

And of course there is corruption of authority. Our every politician feels they are our Lord and Master. I saw a news the other day where the Rajasthan Govt actually passed an order saying one needs to pay our respect to every MP and MLA who they meet and their were definite guidelines as to what constituted respect. That too is corruption. In a country which is reeling under drought and all politicans find every reason to fight with each other for every reason under the sun, in Karnataka the one bill which got passed without even the slightest of fights was the Bill which increased every politcian’s income by 200% minimum. That too is corruption. For every time that the MPs and MLAs stage a walk out of the parliament and not work, they waste our (the tax payer’s money). That too is corruption. And yet we silently accept it as that is what we are used to.

When will a day come when we say no to corruption? When we get up and say NO MATTER WHAT GOOD YOU DO, I WILL NOT TOLERATE CORRUPTION? When will a day come when we say we wont give bribes, and let me see what you can do? When will a day come when we say we won’t tolerate corruption and will exercise our democratic powers to say no to such corrupt people who stand for elections? When will we realise that politicans and bureacrats doing their work well is nothing great but that is their job and the reason why we elected them and pay their salaries and does not justify corruption. When will the day come “WHEN INTO THAT HEAVEN OF FREEDOM, MY FATHER, WILL MY COUNTRY AWAKE?”

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