My father was a bank manager in the 70s and the 80s. My mother constantly complained that forget about accepting bribes or gifts from clients, my father used to put in his own meagre resources to help budding entrepreneurs. He always said, “Bank will not give them a loan, but they have good ideas. Let me at least help them and the country.” Though most of the time, he did not get back the money, he got plenty of help whenever he needed it (the law of Karma). He was content with that. This story is common in many families all over Bharat. There were many like my father who did not believe in accepting bribes, followed the rules strictly, but still helped complete strangers. What’s changed in our country that the whole system is believed to have collapsed and a Nirav Modi got crores of rupees fraudulently thanks to bank employees? Are all bank employees, government servants, police personnel, etc. really so corrupt? Can our country never turnaround?
It is no secret that bribing became a disease that ate into our cultural fabric during the rule of the UPA with Congress at its helm. Regional parties also used their political clout to either bribe and get the work done or use muscle power to get their work done. But it is my strong belief that even today more than 60 percent of the government servants are honest. From among the rest also, most are those people who keep silent when someone is being bribed but don’t indulge in it themselves. It is only the rest who are actually corrupt. Don’t believe me? Do read on …
POLICE: The most ‘notorious’ ones… I doubt if there is anyone who will believe this if I were to say that most of the police personnel do not wish to be corrupt. Do take a look at the strata of the society from where most of the police constables join. Look at the houses they live in during and after service. You will find that they live in conditions which definitely do not suit one who is being bribed every day. What about their seniors? While I cannot say anything about the one right on top, most of the other senior officers too do not live in luxury after retirement. And the biggest proof for me is Uttar Pradesh. UP CM Yogi Adityanath cracks the whip, and who supports him the most? The Police. Do you think they are being bribed to do the work? No. They must have always wanted to do their duty but were unable to do it because of the interference of the political class. Else there is no way that so much could have been done in just six months!
BANKERS: The ‘silent killers’ … While everyone claimed to know that bank officials were corrupt, especially after the Nirav Modi fraud, I feel that it is not true. If one were to see the lifestyle of most bankers, especially after retirement, one would have to agree that it is not possible for one who earned commission for looking the other way, leads such a simple life. Yes, there are rotten apples, but these are few and far in between. Fact is that most of the wrong sanctions are done at the behest of the politicians, and under protest. Don’t forget that the first time a banker was arm-twisted to retire early was due to pressure from Sanjay Gandhi – R K Talwar of SBI insisted that a certain cement company had to change its top management if they wanted to restructure their loan. The owner was a friend of Sanjay Gandhi and the latter insisted on removing this condition. Talwar refused, was forced to retire and this gave a leeway to future politicians to arm-twist bankers to pass loans to their friends and family. The recent example of Dinesh Dubey, ex-Allahabad Bank and ex-PNB is an eye-opener too.
ENGINEERS: The ‘collapsing beams’ … There was a time in the 80s when a whole lot of bridges collapsed, roads gave way, structurally weak buildings were built and more. Invariably the engineers were held responsible even though it was almost always found out that the contracts were given to relatives/friends of politicians and that to make more profits, an incorrect proportion of sand and cement mixture were used. While it is possible that engineers were bribed to sign the papers, I would still hold the businessmen and politicians guilty of corruption here too. If this is not true, how is it that 17kms of roads are being constructed every day in this government’s rule and so many new bridges, tunnels and infrastructure are being constructed in record time and that too without any mishaps?
OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVANTS: The fact is that the government servants wield a lot of power when it comes to getting work done. But continuous interference from higher powers has made them feel a sense of helplessness. Finally, they do not have the motivation to do the work. This leads to asking for favours to do the job. But one should not forget that IAS officers are among those who have gone that extra mile to improve on a city (Thane, Surat) or a village, whenever possible. In fact, one of the most brilliant IAS officers, K Subrahmanyam, refused to accept the Padma Bhushan saying that government servants and journalists should not receive National Awards. Catch any businessman or politician saying this!!! Scientists and researchers who work in government agencies, more often than not, put in all their resources for the betterment of the Nation, not self.
JUDICIARY: Definitely there must be something that the judiciary has done right in the past. But I would like to share 2 news items with the readers.
In short, if one were to look at the salaried middle-class, the blame of corruption on them is a very one-sided view. The blame for corruption should fall more on –
The ‘businessmen’, who do not want:
- To wait for their turn
- To file proper returns of their income and pay their taxes
- To do their business with an intention to make legitimate profits.
& ‘politicians’, who use their powers to:
- Get out-of-turn favours
- Earn illegitimately for themselves, their parties and their kith and kin
- Get contracts which harm the Nation, passed
- To destroy people and businesses which do not toe their line. The recent cases of Mohammed Haris Nalapad & Arvind Kejriwal’s MLAs beating up innocent citizens and government servants is a glaring example of this.
Ever since Narendra Modi has assumed office, it is a fact that most government servants have pulled up their socks and are working hand-in-hand with the Prime Minister to fulfil the vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’. It is thanks to these officers itself that so many cases against corruption have seen light. Instead of blaming the present government and the banks, it is the high time people started changing their own mindset to work for the Nation instead of illegitimately filling their own coffers. It is the time that people started identifying the true culprits, the corrupt politicians and threw them out of power for now and ever.
*Note: I definitely do not wish to raise fingers on those businessmen who help in Nation Building, employing people, earning a legitimate income and inventing products and machines which help in the betterment of life.