An Instance of How Deep The Corruption Rot Has Set In

While the Indian LS debates the cash for votes issue, it has become a common practice to extract money even for normal routine matters. For example, to renew your factory license you need to pay  bribe to the inspector, the deputy chief inspector, the chief inspector of factories among others. This is not considered uncommon or illegal at all; however to cover it up you bribe certain officials subsequently.

Paying bribe has become a part of life and almost everyone has accepted this. During a recent sales tax assessment we refused to pay a bribe as there was no lapse on our part. But the officer kept insisting on it. Finally we told him to levy a penalty which we will fight in the tribunal.

As I understand, Mrs. Gandhi used to share all the commissions she got with her party and opposition and everyone had a cut in it. Since the time of Rajiv Gandhi, this sharing has not quite been happening (possibly Sonia Gandhi became active?) and so everyone is inclined to make an expose. One may recollect the JMM case sometime back when Narasimha Rao paid a bribe to the 3 MPs to get their votes. All small parties and independents take every opportunity to support or oppose a move based on the amount one is ready to shell out. If the opposition in certain cases has more money power, then they will pay a bribe to buy a vote. I have seen money being distributed in gunny bags in villages the day before the election. A CPM district secretary told me privately once that they  also do it to get the votes.

It is impossible to win an election without bribe today in India. Sentiments have little value. May be for Mamata, sentiment may work but she must bear in mind that the CPM in W. Bengal has considerable amount of money power. From the lowest farm labourer to the MPs, everyone takes money to cast his or her vote. There is no principle or ethics involved in all this.

Most political parties in India have little or no clue about the nuclear agreement or global warming or disarmament or any such global issues. Their main concern is to win the next election and for that they need to collect as much as possible in their 5 year tenure. Their source of fund is limited as corporates do not pay them. So they claim their pound of flesh from the ruling party during all such crisis situations. What the Congress did was a normal process and nothing extraordinary, much like one pays the inspector irrespective of whether one is in the right or not. If you want my vote you must pay me is the inescapable rule in India applicable to all.

(extracted from the message of a friend who is based in one of the major Indian metros & is a top management professional. To protect identities, minor editing has been done to delete specific names or instances).

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