Who is Surprised ? Corruption is Everywhere.

There is suddenly a lot of hullabaloo recently about corruption. It is as if a very honest society suddenly discovered that its ministers and politicians were corrupt and the civil servants and army were not completely above board.

On the contrary, it is obvious to anyone who has some understanding of the country that corruption permeates every aspect of life. The constable lets you off by taking fifty rupees, the provident fund clerks want money to disclose your own balance, the income tax officer takes money to release your returns and some schools want money under the table for a child’s admission. The engineers take money from the contractors, the doctors demand money from patients in government hospitals and the bank manager expects to be bribed for approving a loan. The more powerful bureaucrats and politicians dispense favours from their discretionary powers and plunder the state happily knowing that nothing is going to happen to them. They want free passes if you are holding events, premium plots if you are selling land and petty cash if you want their signature.

This is now part of the work fabric of the Indian officialdom. Barring honourable exceptions everyone knows this. This is an open secret. Yet in the public theatre of day to day life, this is discussed only when somebody is foolish enough to be exposed. In fact the ones who get caught are either stupid or too greedy. The savvy operators keep amassing wealth merrily and not leaving any evidence behind.

The much bandied amount of 1.76 lacs cr is only a notional figure. The money actually exchanged in the 2G saga may be chicken-feed compared to the systematic everyday loot by the various state players.


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