KV Network

Uprooting corruption

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Gowher Ahmad Bhat
The news regarding the tragic incident that happened at the leading maternity hospital of the valley wherein parents lost a newborn baby just for the want of a bribe of two hundred rupees by the security guards might be still roaming and resounding in the society but it might have traumatised the to be parents and could have pierced the hearts of those who understand parenthood.
Mothers who are on hope might think a thousand times before visiting such a hospital. Such Incidents mostly at the maternity hospitals are not new and every individual must have gone through this “chai culture” (graft culture) who have visited these hospitals.
Parents and relatives of the new born are kept hostage by the money demanding staff till they do not get their share. For the poor such demands can prove disastrous and painful as in the stated case. This sorry state of affairs is continuous process and there is no end to it.
The graft culture or the ‘chai’ culture is not prevalent only in hospitals but has taken deep roots in other departments too. A file in an office is not processed for months together for the want of bribe from the following person thereby subjecting it to high grade torture and humiliation.
Some people have died but their files have not seen the dawn of completion. People have been seeing losing their emotions for their work and documents to be processed and completed. Unnecessary glitches are created in documents and delaying tactics played by the greedy bribe demanding mafia in departments.
I was myself perturbed to see a young man weeping outside an office some ten years ago as he failed to get his file cleared even after three months due to official apathy and neglect.
The practices of corruption in the form of bribe and graft are not the only problem that has strengthened its roots in institutions and offices. The misuse of chair to adjust and accommodate nears and dears has been breeding in them from years together. There are lot of instances where it was observed that merit was killed to favour and adjust a recommended candidate.
It is hidden to none that in the past under the garb of malpractices, hefty amounts were taken from the non-deserving and blue eyed candidates to adjust them and the sky-touching merit was buried into the deep earth.
The misuse of power and institutions by the bosses for their selfish and materialistic interests is open to all. They have used every opportunity and option of the their working department to adjust their favorite candidates.
The very norms of adjustment and employment in different departments under various schemes of recruitment processes were thrown to the wind in the past just for the want of money. The offices were used as being the personal property of officers resulting in a social norm were the well off and those having access to these heartless babus managed to get their illegal and unjust things done while the poor meritorious deserving and excellent lot remained miserably watching such things happen in front of their eyes. The helpless society couldn’t raise voice against such corrupt influential officials. The bosses made castles with this illegally earned money and their intercedes managed to grab the opportunity to fill their packets.
Corruption is a cancer for the progress and prosperity of communities. It stagnates and impairs the very basic value and essence of life. It leads to procurement of hatred and chains the morality. The thinking of purity and social work are seen as criminal acts. The concept of helping others as a noble cause and serving humanity are thought as aliens in a corrupt environment.
Work culture and timely actions and delivery of services are seen as a burden. It eats away even the strongest roots of advancement of nations and their growth. Those who pay are encouraged and given value and respect while those who cannot or resist to such wrong doings are looked as penurious and parsimonious. The ethical values can degrade to such a low that an employee can tear apart the clothes of a father of a new born baby for the want of money and will not feel an iota of shame in doing so.
There are many reasons for people resorting to corrupt practices in the society. The foremost being that people want to live a lavish and luxurious life. They dream of things that are beyond their reach and budget.
Seeing others enjoying they use every illegal and unfair means to be at such level. They want to live in a position thought to be the best in social standard. They are suffering from the disease of doing less and dreaming of getting more.
They succumb to false reputation perception and sell their conscience just for lust of living a lavish life. They suffer from the syndrome of personality crisis while being with the more earning people. Their soul satisfaction level is zero and in order to satisfy its unending demands they greed off of more and more.
The normalization of corrupt practices in a society have far reaching consequences. It has a detrimental effect on the fabric of a society. It will lead to negativism and denial. The question remains how this normalization can be stopped and eliminated from a society. It requires making people aware about its ill effects and impacts that it will have on the future generations.
It needs reasonable and sincere efforts from the society so that individuals practicing and promoting it are exposed and shamed. The main tool is generating a public opinion against this evil and people denouncing it out rightly. To curb it at the institutional level an active and power versed organization is the need of the hour.
The organization must have in it honest, dedicated and delivering officers and officials. The quality lot who have the potential and are capable of changing the tide and who would not succumb to influence and pressure should be assigned the charge. Officials and officers who have a clean service record and have no complaints of corruption must only be adjusted in such an organizations.
Within the organization the officers and officials may be put under strict and continuous surveillance of an independent team to keep them away from wrong doings. Among the government employees the trapped ones be it a class IV or gazzeted officers should be prosecuted on urgency basis. Their track records checked and if proven guilty must be shown the door as early as possible so that other employees are served a lesson.
To curb the menace of corruption at the institutional level and to keep a vigil the government has established the organization of anticorruption bureau (ACB). The timely and prompt action by the department has won the faith of public. A drastic change is visible at the ground level and those officials who were habitual of the corrupt practices have left it fearing of consequences.
In the past big fishes would easily get away while the little would be caught. That practice has ended and justice is being served with full might. Every verification is done on merit and justice is being served at its highest level.
Tail piece
In swift action the culprits responsible for the death of the new born have been arrested and sent to jail. This happened because there was a public outcry and everyone talked of it as an act of barbarism and murder.
People were crying for justice to the parents who lost the baby but the question remains will society from now and onwards set a precedence and raise a voice against such practices and report them to the concerned authorities or they will watch them happening till it costs another mother a newborn.
Will this heinous crime really shake the conscious minds in the society or they will act as mute spectators till another poor father will see his child dying for the want of money.
(The author is a Teacher by profession)

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