21 June, 2021

Sleeping With The Evil

A direct result of Indian polity or a devil despoiling our lives, it's a plague we must deal with

Sleeping With The Evil
Mahatma Gandhi would have liked to wish it away: "Corruption and hypocrisy," he told the press rather wistfully in 1934, "ought not to be the inevitable products of democracy." But nearly 70 years later, corruption and its handmaiden, hypocrisy, are faring much better than our democracy. From the farmer and shopkeeper who steal electricity to the housewife who bribes the electricity and telephone department workers to reduce her bills to the neighbourhood policeman with his hafta charges to the army officer who brokers deals for a bottle of Blue Label whiskey and, of course, the politicians, Indians are redefining the meaning of corruption and honesty. Along the way, we have tenaciously held on to the distinction of being a top ranker among the world’s most corrupt nations, coming 22nd last year in Transparency International’s annual index. As cpi national secretary D. Raja says, "Corruption, like God, is everywhere."

"I sometimes wonder who is corrupt," says a young sub-inspector who joined Delhi police seven years ago. "Is it me, because I’m the police, or the...

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