Corruption In India

At the very beginning, let me assure you - this story will speak for itself. It highlights the manner in which corruption is deep routed in India.

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This is the story of my cook. I stay in the city of Hyderabad. My cook is all of 28 years. 

Last Saturday, as I was rushing to my office at 8 in the morning, my cook informed me that he was going to his hometown for a couple of days and would be back on Monday. 

He had  informed me earlier that he planned to sell a piece of land which he had acquired a few years back for Rs. 10000. The land was now worth Rs. 35000. He was selling it and making a handsome profit. I thought this might be the reason of his sudden travel.

I hadn't met him this entire week, although he had diligently cooked food for me in the evening every single day. I came across him today, and inquired whether his land selling transaction was successful. He confirmed it was indeed the case. 

He added that he had traveled to his hometown for voting in the municipality (local body) elections. I was impressed by him commitment towards this democratic process.

He added that he was paid handsomely for voting in the elections. I was surprised. I probed him further.

Corruption In India
He said that he had traveled from Hyderabad to a small town in Maharashtra just to vote during the elections. His elderly mother and a younger brother traveled with him too. 

A local party paid him Rs. 3600 for securing the three votes for them.  This local party is formed by a person who had been a representative of a nationalist party earlier. Surprisingly, another party - a nationalist party - paid him Rs. 4000 for voting for them. 

Net in net, two parties paid him Rs. 7600 for three votes. My cook had incurred travelling expenses of Rs. 600 plus some other miscellaneous expenses for the two day trip. He would have made anywhere between Rs. 6500 to Rs. 7000 in this two day sojourn. 

I asked him why had he taken money from two parties for voting in the polls. He replied that the parties themselves are cheaters and will do a lot of corruption in the next five years. He said he didn't want to miss this "once in a 5 year" chance to make money. 

Corruption In India
Rs. 7000 is a very substantial money for someone whose monthly income is approximately Rs. 10000.

I asked him how did he manage to vote in Maharashtra given that he was staying in Hyderabad. He said that he a Ration Card (used for public distribution system in India) issued in Maharashtra. This was the reason why his name was listed in the voters list.

I asked him how did the parties contact him. He told that after the voting list was prepared, the party representatives reached his home in the same locality and requested his brother to connect them to him. They called him to come back to his hometown for the votes, and promised to pay generously.

He added that there was a twist in the tale during the voting process. His mother was able to cast the votes successfully. Both his brother and him couldn't cast their votes due to sufficient lack of proof. He tried two times but the polling officer wouldn't allow him. He said that a Bank Pass Book or a Voter ID Card could be considered as a proof.

That is when he went to the party who had promised to pay him Rs. 3600. The person who ran this party also owned a bank. The party representatives opened an account for him in this bank (15 days back dated) and deposited Rs. 200 into his account. A Pass Book was issued to him immediately and he went to the poll booth again to cast his vote with "a valid proof".

The officer once again rejected him. This was when the party representative asked the officer to be let him in, since he was "their" man. After he was finally let in, he cast his vote.

Corrupt Politician
Since he was voting for a total of 4 wards, he divided his votes between the two parties from who had taken the money. 

Later in the evening, the agent of one of the party refused to pay him as per the deal. My cook told 
him that he would escalate to agent's boss. He was paid Rs. 3600 within 10 minutes. The other party paid him Rs. 4000 without any hassles.

He also added that he was offered a particular sum by another nationalist party for his three precious votes. He had refused their offer and had decided to be loyal to the other two parties.

A very broad smile reflected on my cook's face today.

And I can safely conclude, although with a tad of disappointment, that these parties and their representatives will plunder public money when they are voted to power to recover their costs, and make some money for themselves.
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This is the small story which highlights the menace of corruption. Let me add that all the nationalist parties described earlier are well known. One of them had their representatives sharing the dais with Anna Hazare during his one day token fast earlier this week. 

One thing is certain, these political parties just believe in tokenism. They are clowns who wear a mask. Hidden behind the mask is a demon, a self service demon.

Such examples make me think - is it really possible to kill the monster of corruption?

Corruption In India Corruption In India Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Friday, December 16, 2011 Rating: 5

3 comments:

  1. The first step in beating the monster of corruption is believing that it can be beaten. The second is perhaps looking within and reclaiming our selves. Your post is truly telling, but each one of us needs to do what he can so that the right thinking person does not need to dwell on choices but is free to do what he believes in. It is a long road ahead, but one which is worth the trek.

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  2. you showed the reality...
    you the stark reality, problem is a ppl like your cook has been living a life of dearth... he represents the majority of common man.... given the circumstances they don't care about goodwill, or self-control, satisfaction with what u have... they just want to secure few more days of his life with lil amount of money.

    For them issues like hunger, employment, shelter and money-security is much imp than corruption.

    Unless the common man is provided with these basic wants... they won't be thinking about fighting corruption in real sense.

    Great post from u !!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Corruption is become very big issue in India.
    and to stop this we need to throw it from the root.i know it is not so easy but someone has to do this,then why not we?

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