Monday, April 11, 2011

54. Lok Pal, need one for each neighbourhood

So goes the adage, one is honest as long as not proven corrupt. Isn't it a fact that each one in a billion-plus country knows who the corrupt are: in the neighbourhood, at their respective workplaces, amongst the public servants and amidst the high and the mighty? Then why is it that the system, made up of these people, remains oblivious to the devil within?

Not only is it insipid and innocuous, corruption remains a faceless reference in most drawing room conversations. A traffic constable, a ticket collector, a tax officer, a municipal staff and a local legislature are part of a middle class script on corruption in public life, which conveniently misses out on the disproportionate assets amassed by a neighbour or the nefarious deeds of a close relation. Why should we, let someone catch them first!

Notwithstanding the legacy of failed public institutions to root out corruption in this country, hope has been pinned yet again on another institution to catch them. The child within us is ecstatic with the promise of a new toy, a Lok Pal. Curiously, neither does one know how the toy may look like nor is there any clue on how it may work! Till the toy arrives, corruption around us flourishes with impunity.

Unbelievable though it may sound, a forest range officer minced no words recently to tell the wife of his senior colleague that `the shopping bags she was carrying were the outcome of her husband's illicit income'. Courageous and fearless, this young hero has evoked the `lok pal' in him to expose and isolate the enemy within. After all, public knows more than what a Lok Pal might know - yeh to public hai ye sab janti hai!

(the picture above is from a popular Bollywood film of the 70's Roti starring Rajesh Khanna (right) and Jeevan (left)


Vijay Rai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vijay Rai said...

We have no dearth of nicely worded laws on almost everything. I think in this country laws have not failed us but the people who make them or those who are responsible for its up-keep.

Unless we improve our investigating agencies and the law-lakers, Lok Pal bill will make no change in the level of corruption. But we will be able to gloat "see, even our PM can be summonred by the Lokpal!"

The question is will that stop corruption and scale at which it is rampagnt?

-Vijay Rai