Like other important events the Vigilance Awareness Week, celebrated all over the country from 27th October to 2nd November 2020, also asks for introspection from all concerned besides the audit of preceding efforts on this front. Interestingly the newer challenge on this count is the impervious structural corruption as against routine transactional.
The sinister profile of corruption surprisingly has been accepted as a norm & mainly innocuous. But its striking comparisons with the most abhorring old prostitution profession expose the underbelly of hypocrisy in the society.
Prostitution per se has had been the most abhorred, condemned, sacrilegious, stigmatised. Evidently sans any social acceptance despite a good number of the members of society/authorities willy-nilly being directly or indirectly complicit to it. It’s, however, hard & naive to believe it to be intentional or pleasure seeking. Researches have shown it to be mainly due to poverty, worse economic conditions, illness in family, debt, neglect, exploitation, trafficking, forced rapes etc. It can, therefore, be unfair & illogical to infer consent in compromise of honour by the victims of this trade.
Corruption on the other hand is associated with perceived wit besides invariably wilful & camouflaged.
In both the cases elements of transaction are prevalent including seeking of favours though in case of latter it is mostly mutual involving breach of public/society’s trust, whereas in case of former passive partners disdainfully get infringed.
The players engaged with the latter have craftily succeeded in carving out social acceptability, explicit or obscured, despite its known underhand mechanisms. Repute becomes synonymous with the latter whereas ignominy is the fate of former. Former the violators, shenanigans the latter but conveniently escape any kind of disapproval under the guise of peccadilloes. The unhindered participation in the funerals/functions of latter/visitors to the former but deplorably ignominy refuses to desert the formers even on their deaths. It reminds the scene of famous Aradhna song scene
“Hum ne unko bhee chhup chhup ke
aate dekhaa in galiyon mein
Yeh sach hey jhuthhee baat nahee”
Perpetrators of human misery, siphoning of public exchequer money, skewing of norms seem to be acceptable norms.
Connection between elites & subalterns for transactions is reflected in notorious “Crawford (Then Mumbai Commissioner) Corruption” scandal in 1889. Former US ambassador Michael D. Metelits’ book The Arthur Crawford Scandal: Corruption, Governance and Indian Victims lists the happenings pursuant to entrusting of powers to punish one of own for corruption and how the biases lead to collateral damage to those who dare to stand up against the misdeeds of the powerful.
The following few observed /reported/alleged scenarios seem to be staring in the faces of the empowered quarters:
Frequent deaths in road accidents: be it the engineering /traffic/transport department. Accidents, particularly on Jammu-Srinagar highway, Chinab valley areas, remain unchecked devouring precious lives with least compunctions.
Making people, particularly babies, take substandard & adulterated milk, spices etc. which result in permanent diseases & even reported deaths. Not to overlook the death knell the unchecked substandard/fake pesticides/fertilisers have had been dealing to our prime fruit industry.
Callousness of extremes reflected in exponential increase in supply of substandard drugs, a noninvasive method of killing people.Reportedly has of late been on the rise.
Manipulations in selection lists marring the career of deserving who either fall prey to drug abuse or are seen in queues outside psychiatric centres.
Grabbing of government lands in connivance with the concerned authorities which amounts to not only loot of exchequer but also destruction of water bodies.
Encroachments along riverbanks knowing its detrimental consequences for life & property. 2014 floods is a glaring result of this vandalism.
Cajoling & weaning away helpless patients from government hospitals to private health Centres.
Plunder of natural resources.
Undermining the quality, inordinate delay & specified construction related works making public to go through ordeals.Incidents of workers/people getting buried under substandard construction works do come to fore.
Burking of crime, misuse of authority to bully poor class at the behest of powerful.
Misuse of public money kept with the bank custodians.
Manipulation of even the selection list of government sponsored facilitators for religious rites.
Supply of rotten edibles in government sponsored schemes.
Hoarding/black-marketeering of essential commodities/medicines.
The list seems unending. Brokers have been encouraged all around to realise their nefarious designs. It reminds of a story where a thief while escaping with looted sugar bag falls in a well. While retrieving the dead body the water along tasted sweet. Result:A mausoleum & consecrated well.