Bribe-free Bharat
Editorial

Bribe-free Bharat

December 11, 2019

Policy statements such as open defecation-free Bharat have tended to sound like slogans that not only the top brass in administration but also leaders of all hues addressing their captive audiences as well as target sections in the land’s population through all available forms of media take fascination to include the expression, ostensibly to make an impression, not withstanding the fact that invariably all such policy statements are soon forgotten to be followed by more slogans. Doubling the income of the nation’s rural families, shelter in the form of dwellings for the last citizen within a stipulated time, safe drinking water in all the regions of the country, ridding the country of malnutrition, freeing the entire population from disease burden through affordable health services and so on, not to forget achieving the five-trillion dollar economy for the nation are the policy statements that readers of dailies come across as multi-column headlines, on front pages to begin with and later moved to inside pages before they degenerate into a cliché. As fas as policy statements relating to the land’s laws aimed at reining in lawless atmosphere across the country, less said the better. Utter failure to arrest corruption in all spheres of human activity takes the cake.

Lure of lucre driving the fraternity of bureaucracy across its entire hierarchy to grab money regarded as sordid or distasteful or gained in a dishonourable manner seems to have seamlessly swept the people at large virtually like the proverbial tsunami.

Debating on corruption, particularly the public image of the elected representatives of people commanding big amounts of tainted wealth and the staff in the various departments of the Governments, barring exceptions, either in sessions of concerned citizens or in their drawing rooms is like flogging the dead horse. The lubricant as it were that is keeping the administration machinery well-oiled, bribe, preferably written with capital ‘B’ has flooded the land’s diaspora, mocking the power of devastation associated with the floods that bugged many regions of the country. Thus, it is time to create a new slogan Bribe-mukth-Bharat. The Bard wrote about mercy blessing both the giver and the receiver. Taking cue from the famous line, one may be permitted to say that bribe benefits both the giver and the receiver, who gets more of the benefit depends on the bribe amount.

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Bribe-giving and bribe-taking are justified by the street-smart givers, arguing that the babudom render their services in the offices to aam aadmi not only promptly but also circumventing the rules. Given this mutually beneficial practice, why wish for Bribe-free-Bharat, a pipe dream.

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