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Sunday, August 15, 2010

The System of Corruption and Helplessness of Common Man

Another news item in the paper inspired me to write this….! Last week, I saw a news that the Gram Panchayat (GP) Secretary of Pudussery Panchayat (This is an Urban Panchayat situated in Palakkad district) got caught red handed by Vigilance while accepting bribe from a proposed small scale industrialist. The Kanjikode New industrial area in Palakkad district partially falls under this GP and as a matter of fact, there are hardly any new industry commenced in recent years….!!

This news reminds me of another incident! One of my friends, who works in the capacity of Deputy Secretary in a GP (Name not disclosed deliberately), recently went on a long leave due to the pressure from the GP secretary to budge himself to accept bribe and pass certain bills which are highly manipulated…! My friend was not willing to budge to the offers and threats subsequently, but found it quite difficult to sustain in the office as he had no support!
In a moment of frenzy, he called me and asked for suggestion and I had asked him if he could verify the scope of work executed before passing the bill and gave him a case study like below and sought him answer before suggesting a solution….

“ Suppose, originally the estimated cost of the work is Rs.100/- and the inflated bill is for Rs.500/-, you shouldn’t mind sanctioning it in the current corrupt system, provided you get some assurance on the fact that Rs.100/- had been spent as per the plan and there’s no compromise in the quality of the work..! ”

Though this is not the ideal solution to be suggested, this is the only ‘work around’ solution practically possible in this corrupt system!

However, his answer was very complex and he told that though he is the one to sign the passing orders, he doesn’t have any authority to assure that the work is executed without compromising the quality, because it is checked and authenticated by somebody else (the so called technical department), who are also a part of the nexus…!! This is the point where I could empathize with his helplessness and asked him to go ahead with leave application as he had 180+ days of earned leave available with him!!

The corruption in our society is in such heights that these incidents are happening when there are huge debates going on in the media on the magnitude of the corruption in organizing the Common Wealth Games!! People are least bothered or just do not care about any of these developments as they all know that nothing much happens even if caught! Instead, acquire more money so that portion of it can be used to set you free in such occasions!!

This is shocking and disgusting! I used to draft out some pragmatic solutions to various issues whenever I come across and used to have that pride in myself about my ability to solve issues! Suddenly, I’m brought down to earth by the incapability of my thought process to bring about a solution and when I tried to put myself in his position, it was really paining…!! Moreover, he would be forced to return to the same dirt after completion of him leave period and face the same music again…?!!

The only solution to this cancer is removal of that part from our system, which in democratic terms, should be a rigorous punishment to those without any compromise through the law of the land, which may definitely require some additional legislation to make it tough for the tainted..! Then only a gradual change in the mindset of the people will happen and which will, in turn bring back the courage to fight..!

Having written this, I would also like to point out at the fact that there is a necessity to analyze the root cause of the corruption in our country as well and we as a society and the Governments need to interfere on other aspects of life, such as cost of education, cost of essential commodities and cost of health management to list a few…!! I believe a vigilant control over these very primary citizen rights will, to a definite extent, eliminate the unhealthy greed (need) to demand bribe from the common man!!