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The Charlatans At The Core Of India's Corruption

17/11/2016 12:33 PM IST | Updated 30/11/2016 12:06 PM IST
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The 2011 census shows that we have 73% literates in the 7+ age group, 69.3% literates in the 15+ age-group. The 2013-14 figures released by the government boast of 1,42,5564 schools, 712 universities, 36,671 colleges, 11,445 stand-alone institutes. The 2011-12 expenditure estimates for university and higher education was above ₹69,000 crores. The enrolments are no less encouraging. The 2016 stats are undoubtedly going to be far rosier that the ones that I have quoted. This simply means that there should be no dearth of academically sound people to be considered for appropriate positions everywhere.

Will someone please explain why out of the thousands of academically sound people only the scheming and corrupt minds get chosen for plum postings and coveted assignments?

Despite these facts, all that we get to read in our newspapers and the online media is that we have the wrong set of professionals managing to rise to positions of power. Will someone please explain why out of the thousands of academically sound people only the scheming and corrupt minds get chosen for plum postings and coveted assignments?

Let me begin with the charlatans in Indian politics. Many of those sitting in the Assemblies and the Parliament pretending to decipher our woes and conceptualising legislations may have bank accounts and lockers over-flowing but the only certificates and degrees that they have will be of their expertise in hoodwinking the nation and for promoting and protecting criminals. Who hasn't heard of the Commonwealth Games scam of 2010, the Telgi scam of 2002, the Satyam scam of 2009, the 2G spectrum scam of 2008, the Indian Coal Allocation scam of 2012, the Bofors scam from the 80s and 90s, the infamous Fodder scam and the Hawala scam of the 90s, and then there are the scams that revolved around Tatra trucks, Adarsh Housing, cash-for-votes, Bellary mining, Taj corridor, UP-NRHM, to name just a few. There is a long list of scandals and Wikipedia has dedicated an entire page to them. There are politicians involved in most of these scams and scandals.

Bureaucrats, doctors, and engineers are not lagging far behind. It isn't necessary to rake up the past years to list corruption. Just one day of reading a newspaper is enough to cause the happiness genes in the common person to shrink and shrivel in despair. Let now pick up just one date and turn the pages of the newspapers that I subscribe to and see if 2016 is getting corrupt or removing corruption. The Indian Express of 18 August speaks of the Army Chief stating: "V K Singh tried to deny me promotion via false charges, malafide intent." Mail Today hyperventilates on learning about "a radiologist treating athletes" in the Indian contingent at the Rio Games. TOI reveals a new scam: "Treat for dog bite, bill for cancer." HT voices its despair on learning that "UP tweaks law to get around SC ruling on ex-CMs' houses." Pick up any newspaper or browse any news portals and all you get to read is how desperately the BCCI is looking for an escape route from Justice Lodha's recommendations to clean up this sports body. All you can find in almost every position of power are foggy-headed and corruption-riddled personalities. Education is not spared. Sports bodies and even teams are full of nephews and nieces. Hospitals fleece. Doctors thrive on "cuts" from other specialities. Engineers in the PWD twiddle their thumbs as they wait for a contractor who offers the most lucrative bribe. The censors wield their knives and scissors for the most flimsy reasons. There are middlemen and lobbyists pushing the most harmful actions to be initiated. We have scientists and researchers willing to fudge figures and stats for a consideration.

Don't let the charlatans who form the core of corruption in India thrive anymore. Speak out. Now is the time.

Spammed and scammed, the common person is yet urged to stop worrying and to start living his dreams. Aren't you pained to find the high and mighty of the country neck-deep in loot and yet asking you to go on living as if all this was correct and unblemished? What is the sort of dream that is left for the common person? The country is poised to suffer a painful end if this nonsense does not end soon.

Mountebank.

Yes, that's the one word that defines India now. Trickery and story-telling for their objective gains seems to have become a personal necessity. We know of how the ratio of officials vs. the sportspersons generally is in our contingents... and yet the IOA VP has the nerve to protect a radiologist attempting to do the job of a specialist in sports medicine and adding that the hullaballoo is because "players are not performing well." I agree that a radiologist isn't an "illiterate" but he is certainly not an appropriate choice. Sunil Shinde at one time surprisingly said on the coal scandal that "the public forgot Bofors, soon they will forget this as well." Dear Mr Shinde, scams are not born to fade away. They stay in the memory of people and have an uncanny knack of jumping out and scaring their masters. Chidambaram made us nervous when he justified price rise by saying that if "you can buy ice cream for ₹20, why complain about price rise?' Babulal Gaur had the temerity to say that so far as rapes are concerned "sometimes it is right, sometimes it is wrong." There are politicians who talked about there being "no loss to government due to coal mining scam." And funnily, these are the sort of people leading our march into the future. I'm afraid the future doesn't seem bright at all.

We live in a nation that thrives on justifications. Our State is riddled with pot-holes that pop up at an alarmingly consistent rate to kill and maim, even as the department responsible to maintain roads forever "looks into this serious matter" and does nothing at all. We build and construct to benefit a powerful and closely networked set of individuals and everybody else is in some kind of a stupor or awe because they never say anything. Don't let the charlatans who form the core of corruption in India thrive anymore. Speak out. Now is the time. You have the freedom to raise your voice... do it, as this might just save us all.

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