One word which is most often used in today’s times, be it in newspapers or on television, is CORRUPTION. Everyone is up in arms against the C word. Everyone wants change but the problem is nobody WANTS to change – whether it’s the corrupt politician or the corrupted public at large or the lowest rung police hawaldar or the high ranking official at Mantralaya.

Politicians have been the most corrupt in this scenario because that’s where it all starts from – the root of all evil so to speak. Right from awarding tenders to non-deserving candidates or siphoning off monies meant for organising a prestigious games event. They are like the virus which is eating away into the very fabric of Indian society. Sometime’s it feels like, that the pre requisite of becoming a politician is the absence of conscience, guilt and transparancy. I wouldn’t want to put a blanket on all politicians but a majority of them seem to be falling into the bracket of irresponsible citizens who have been instated into positions requiring great responsibility.

In the past three years some of the biggest scams have hit the nation, the 2G scam or the Commonwealth Games ghotala being the most prominent ones. Every other week, one reads about a lot of lesser evils being picked up and put behind bars but most of the major players are still unassailable, which I think is the most frustrating part of being an Indian. It is akin to the driver of a influential man being jailed for a hit and run committed by the owner himself. Most of these powerful politicians enjoy some kind of diplomatic immunity which makes them above or at least beyond the law of the land and they roam freely thinking up more ways to scam the Indian.

Then there is the corrupt cop hiding behind a tree waiting to pounce on an errant driver who has jumped a signal or hasn’t buckled up!!! They are never visible before you have broken a red light, which makes one wonder whether they are there to prevent the law being broken or to actually facilitate it! Had he been standing at the crossing, the driver wouldn’t have broken the signal in the first place. And then the proverbial 100 rupee note exchanges hands but to give the Indian police force its due, let me quote Mr bachchan from one of his most popular movies – ITNE PAGAAR ME GHAR NAHI CHALTA, IMAAN KYA CHALEGA, COMMISSIONER … its tough to put your life on the block when your own family is living hand to mouth..

And that brings me to the most corrupt of all – The Indian populace at large! We are probably one of the most easily corruptible nations in the world. Think about how many times you have greased the palms of an official at MTNL to get a telephone connection out of line, how many times have you slipped a 100 rupee note to the traffic hawaldar saying bachchon ke liye mithai le lena,how many times you’ve even given a sizable donation to the school of your choice so that your child gets good education. In other words, our lives start with a bribe. We are not the mirrors of purity and definitely not above corruption so unless ‘WE’ change, no LOKPAL bill will have any windfall effect on the country and its administration. The people and their psyche have to change. Easier said than done I know, but we have to start somewhere so instead of protesting and holding dharnas for the release of Anna Hazare, start thinking like Anna and SAY NO TO CORRUPTION IN YOUR OWN LIVES!