When I thought about writing this article, the first word which came to mind was Malayalam. It is my mother tongue, I am a lover of that language, and when I have to convey my emotions with intensity I always use Malayalam. But then so many of my friends (even Mallus among them) don’t know how to read Malayalam! What a shame! (എന്തൊരു പരിതാപകരമായ അവസ്ഥ, സ്വന്തം മാതൃ ഭാഷ അറിയില്ല!) So I am writing this in English, for the majority of Indians to read (I wonder if anyone will ever read this blog) as this is a democratic country.
For the last so many days I have been hearing about the protests back home in India, the candle light marches, Support Anna Hazare Campaign, Jan Lokpal Bill, Parliament walkouts, etc etc etc. Yesterday a new thing cropped up my attention, the reservation quotas and the atrociousness on the new rules regarding examinations conducted by the railway recruitment board.
I haven’t written or said anything on any of these matters not because I am not concerned with what’s happening/I don’t have anything to say, but because I have a lot to say about these things.
Let’s start with corruption first –
1. Comparing Anna Hazare with Gandhi is an insult to the humble and great man. He was fighting for democracy and not blackmailing it.
2. Calling these protest marches the 2nd war of Independence or 21st century’s Fight for Indian Independence is total absurd. Back then (before 1947) every Indian soul had just one dream, freedom, that’s not the case with these struggles as far as I can see.
I am not against corruption. After all, people need money to live. If they can’t get it from their jobs they will start taking bribes. It’s the situation that forces them to do that. Politicians are not the only culprits in this as some of the people wrongly believe.
Like one mafia boss once famously said “You spread wealth, you spread happiness.” Corruption is one of the ways in which money get spread around. In my opinion it is only wrong when a corrupt officer takes money from a person who can’t afford that. There should be some principles in corruption (even the pirates have them!) എല്ലാത്തിനും ഒരു മാതൃക ഉണ്ടാവണം!
My next point – I see every service as a business deal. In a deal both the sides ought to get something out of it, whether the cut is huge or not, doesn’t matter, but they should get something out of it. Even with the politician/ministers too, it should be like that, but only if he/she is doing his/her job properly. That’s precisely why I would vote for Laloo Prasad Yadav as the next PM of India. (പുള്ളി കക്കും, കട്ട് മുടിക്കും, പക്ഷെ എനിക്ക് പരാതി ഇല്ല).
Some foreign economists and finance experts came to study about the railways and the situation a few years back and recommend the changes required to prevent it from going into a financial breakdown. They concluded that Indian Railways will get into a financial crisis so hard that nobody will be able to save it and finally the Railways will cease to exist in 5 years!
Enter Shriman Laloo Prasad Yadav, he changed everything, from that rotten state to the present state (where peeps are now calling rare mishaps with the tag #EpicFAIL). He might have made away with millions, but look at the amount of profit he made for the department.
“When he took over, the Indian Railways was a loss-making organization. In the 4 years under his leadership, it made a cumulative total profit of Rs. 25,000 crores (US $5.2 billion).
He left passenger fares untouched and found several other profitable sources of revenue for the Railways. He also improved on his first year's performance by stating a profit of 14,000 crores with decreased freight and unchanged passenger fares in 2006. Then, in the 2007 budget, he increased the profit level to 20,000 crores with the introduction of cushion seats in all unreserved compartments. In 2008, profits were 25,000 crores (equals US $6.25 billion @ $1~Rs.40)” ~ Wikipedia
So I see him taking money as only taking a commission for the work he and his team did. After all everyone needs money. He and his team need it too. Why does he of all politicians have the most efficient IAS officers? Because he’s the spinner and with him they are guaranteed money! It’s not that he’s taking away all the millions for him alone.
Third Point - Ok, we all know, the value of money is decreasing in our country. Basic science says that value of something decreases when it’s in abundance. Do we have money in abundance? HELL NO! Then? So imagine what if all the money, in the Swiss banks in the names of all the corrupt politicians, comes to India. What will be the value of money then? Haha I fear to imagine! I think it’s better, it stay there only!
Then again you are going to say about the poor man’s difficulties and how that money could help them. I don’t deny that. Yes, it will help them, but will this solve their problems? NO! When the money runs out, they will want more, but none to give then, and they start rioting as is the case with UK. Poor people in UK enjoy benefits which amounts to more than what they can earn doing a not-so-well-paid job. So they find a reason not to work but get the benefits. That’s a worse situation!
I know it’s cruel to say the things I am going to say, I am against it, but when the facts are the truths and our wishes are just wishes, we ought to see them straight. Someone has said that it’s imperative for a nation to have the so called “poor-class” in order to check the rising inflation (see what’s happened in Japan) പോളണ്ടിനെക്കുറിച്ച് ഒന്നും മിണ്ടരുത്! It’s for them that the government is keeping a check on the prices of daily commodities. That’s why we (the so called “middle-class”) enjoy the goods at an affordable price. And still we complain.
As far as corruption is concerned, it’s mainly us (the middle class) who are whining and protesting. Look at the more affluent; they are ready to pay whatever bribes they have to in order to get something done. They can afford it. Look at those BPL classes and the poorest; they are least concerned about bringing corrupt politician into light. Only thing they are concerned about is ‘how to survive/how to get meals at least 2 times a day’. Again it’s the middle class, us, who are very much annoyed with the situation. Why? We want everything to be smooth, but don’t have the money to make things easy for us.
Everyone puts the blame on Congress. But really who are to be blamed? Congress is as inefficient as a ventriloquist’s doll on a toilet pot. But what would have BJP done in such a scenario? Nothing much different from what’s happening now. Then who are to be blamed? I say BJP, especially A.B Vajpayee and Abdul Kalam, during whose tenure as PM and President respectively, we saw a rise in the middle class. The ‘India Shining’ period. Yes, they lifted us, but not completely, but just enough to make ourselves more comfortable than before, and to crave for more and finally start nagging in disappointment!
Let me ask you, how many of you want to eradicate/decrease the extent of corruption for India and the coming generation, and not for themselves? A very few I suppose. For those who care may visit this link >> http://iwillneverbribe.com/ << You can join this petition. What can 1lakh people signing an online petition do? It’s not even 1% of the population of India! But it will certainly help reduce this corruption for the next generation at least.
The same can be said about the reservation quota system or any other corrupted-system which we are complaining about. But the only difference in that is, it’s all tied with the vote-bank politics.
India had jumped into the trap long before, a trap: like a spider’s web; which only gets tighter and tighter, with every twist and turn you do; to get free. But alas, it’s only now that we are seeing what we are in.
As for me, the laptop I am writing this from, doesn’t have any pirated version of games or softwares. All of the things I have in my system have been gotten with the system when I bought it/are free-sharing softwares. Since I live in a country where downloading is illegal, and, if caught strict/heavy punishments/fines are given out, a place where all the torrent sites are banned, I can say my lap is clean, so are my hands!
Also never paid any bribes to anyone. I am not promising anyone that I will never bribe, but I will try my maximum to stay aloof from it.
Malayalis never like anyone getting more (fame) than what they deserve. eg - A world-famous anchor of an inter-galactic-famous Reality TV show, Prithvirajappan and now Anna Hazare !
This is from my (and mine only) POV. This may/may not be the right way, but as a ‘world-famous’ anchor of an ‘inter-galactic-famous’ TV show once said “Everyone has the right to express their thoughts” (I might be going over-board, if I am, please save me! haha)