TODAY -

Who Says We Are Very Corrupt?

Free Thinker *



Many people from outside somehow believe that corruption is rampant in our State. They grumble that Manipuris are corrupt from top to bottom. In a way we donít need to be so depressed about it, because corruption is a universal phenomenon. We come across different kinds of corruption everywhere in the world. There are numerous cases of corruption in Japan, China, Britain, Italy, the USA and so on.

Corruption includes favoritism, nepotism, bribery, bungling, manipulation, taking commission and many other forms of malpractices which are legally untenable. If a ministerís wife gets a government job, there is nothing wrong in it, provided she is competent and deserving. But if the ministerís wife is selected for the job even if she is incompetent and undeserving, that is wrong. This norm is applicable everywhere.

REGULARIZING SOME PREACTICES

Sometimes I feel so sorry rather pity about the so called corruption at the lowest level. A peon taking 20 or 50 rupees for carrying a file may not be construed as corruption, it may be treated as tips. A policeman charging 50 rupees from the small time law-breakers may not be treated as corruption, rather it may be called warning-fine.

A clerk getting 500 rupees for clearing a file is not bribery but showing gratitude by the client. I am not justifying these aberrations, but trying to regularize these innocuous human behaviors. Once I read somewhere that a constable was suspended for taking 200 rupees. It sounds ridiculous. Taking tips or accepting gratitude or imposing some off the record fines must be free from the definition of corruption.

There are also people who thrive on eating dead-money. We heard that there is an officer who normally is privy to the final result of recruitment exams. He canít change the merit list but he can collect money from the selected candidates convincing them that he will do the needful. Many candidates have become his victims but they are not complaining because they got selected for the posts. This is a very smart operation. Such maneuvers may not be termed as corruption.

SOME RELIEF SOMEWHERE

People in Delhi say that the level of corruption has come down in the last one or two years. We donít know whether it is the because of Kejriwal or Aam Adami party Government. No doubt, a change is quite visible. Only the level of air-pollution is on the rise and certainly not corruption. We are not saying that Delhi is now corruption free. The feedback we get from the people is that the police, the babus, engineers, and the bureaucrats are now reluctant to accept bribes. If it is true, it is a wonderful.

LET US NOT LEARN FROM OTHERS

In the 50ís and 60ís Singapore was notoriously famous for bribery, mal practices and all sorts of manipulations. However they had brought stringent laws against corruption. And those laws were strictly implemented. AS a result many powerful people were put behind bars. There was a massive crack down on corrupt practices. Today Singapore is one of the least corrupt country in the world. Can we start doing like Singapore? I doubt, we have already punctured the Lok Pal and Lok Ayukta.

Years back one prominent international news agency once categorized Manipur as one of the most corrupt States. Those days nobody objected . Still I could not digest that malicious news. On what basis the State of Manipur was maligned. Whether they had conducted any survey or study vis a vis corruption. Such news certainly defames our innocent people who indulge in small theft and minor malpractices.

WHERE IS THE MONEY FOR HUGE CORRUPTION?

Do you know the amount of money coming annually to the state of Manipur from the Centre. But I presume it must be about 9000 crores. Out of this, maximum amount is spent on payment of salaries, pensions and interests. A few hundred crores are left for other activities.Where is the scope for huge corruption. Again let us talk about the projects and schemes from the Centre, yes, there are some scope for manipulation and commission. But in the last 10 years or so there is hardly any big project or package coming to the state, involving thousands of crores. What I am trying to say is that where is the money for humongus corruption?

There may be some cases of bribery at the time of appointments, recruitments and transfers. These days I firmly believe that they take money only from the deserving candidates. That is a prudent thing to do. After all we all are humans. Human beings are inherently selfish and corruption is a manifestation of it . Manipur is just as corrupt as any other state in the world. I am not justifying a wrong by another wrong. Rather I am justifying one truth by another truth. The whole world is corrupt and we are not an exception.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express as part of 'Poking nose without malice'
This article was webcasted on December 20, 2015.



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