It was, it is – but it shouldn’t be anymore.

Given so many are taking this opportunity of the nationwide protests for passing the Jan Lokpal Bill to voice their views against corruption – I couldn’t resist speaking out on the same.. ;P

We are Indians – and by birth we know – part of our duties also include bribing – because things don’t move in the system without the use of money power – or without the use of influence. This ideology – though fundamentally very wrong – has been with us for ages – and even though we’ve had numerous people who have been against this dictate – they eventually somehow had to succumb to this so called “societal pressure”.

Take an instance – the traffic police here don’t man the roads, are not there to direct the traffic – but to stand on sides and challan the vehicles – and make money (make money I say because more than half the money is into the pockets – because rarely have I heard people paying the right amount for the challan – but a little less and pass the challan away) – personal experience. The traffic at the junction near our house is always jam packed – and the peak hours make it worse (we’ve a huge office complex near by – which drives crazy traffic all through out the day on that road – opening and closing office hours being unimaginable). And what we have is traffic police vans standing on the side or at some far a distance – not there where they’re wanted – not doing what they’re needed to. And surprisingly – they are always there when it comes to challaning. Having lived in Vasant Kunj and travelled through the Nelson Mandela Marg alomst everyday – it was so occasional to see traffic police stand somewhere in the middle of the long, free stretch from Vasant Vihar to Vasant Kunj – where vehicles are used to zooming into speeds of 80 km/h – which isn’t so risky too – given the road is such – but the speed limit is 60 km/h – and the police don’t leave a moment to challan vehicles even 5kmph above the limit – which would not have been harmless to anyone – let alone be hazardous (I at times feel rules are made more to be flouted than to be obeyed – because otherwise I see no point of a low speed limit at a highway like road :/ ) ! And again (surprising you call – but you should get used to it by now) they weren’t there when the crimes took place on that stretch – and even if they were – the criminals could easily flee away. It is not that I’m being the cribber saying why they are not there when they should be – maybe they were – but being an observer – it’s strange that I don’t find them at the right moment at the place – but always at the wrong moment at the wrong place ! Ok, blame my observation if need be.

Yes, in part we are wrong – as we have been a cause in this corruption – we have taken it easy. If the parking attendant didn’t give us parking – give a 50Rs. note, if a auto wallah doesn’t agree during a crisis time crunch – agree to pay more, if the gas connection isn’t been done due to some reason – pay a little, if the file doesn’t move – pay a little. And paying this little, little – we have fuelled a whole black economy – which can be so very well compared to India’s “white” economy. But what do we do – wait for the babus for 6 months to move a file which should have been cleared in 15 days !? Wait for a auto while knowing none will agree given the unions they form !? Wait for the gas connection which is stuck for one paper work – which the office has ignored and please itself into forgetting and moving past !?

Yes all this is mutual – start with yourself – and others will stop – but why should we be the sufferer in this process !? Should I keep waiting to get my file out of the government offices before the termites eat them out just on the hope that yes, the people working there are honest, and I shouldn’t be fuelling corruption – while knowing the fact that if not the peon, the clerk might, if not the clerk, the manager might and if not the manager, the head officer might somehow keep the file in his inbox waiting for it to be buttered !

That is where the Jan Lokpal Bill comes into practice – and to good use. It makes each and every person in this system – be it any branch – responsible for their duties AND know the fact that they CAN BE penalised if not found aligned with the deadlines and required procedures.

You might say RTI already did this to some effect – but seeing the recent MCD reply to an RTI application – so well laced with abuses – I think something stronger would only set the mindsets right.

We are always in hope for a great future ahead – but amazingly we have to fight our very own appointed people to gain the same vision from the system.

But then the only thing I would say:

Chalo koi ni, yeh bhi sahi..

Agar zarurat padi toh ladkar hi apna hakk lenge..

Apne bharat mein apne adhikaar le kar rahenge..

Aakhir hum mein hai hero ! ;)

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