A few days ago, I updated a status on my facebook account regarding Anna Hazare’s anashan. It got few likes, people seldom comment on such update. One day past, a friend of mine gathered courage or may be dared to comment on the ‘uncommon status update’ of mine.
“Anna wanna tumhare kaam ni aane wale. These things won’t get a job for you. Concentrate on your life & studies” was what he commented. I was aghast, how can he mention a sensitive issue (Anna’s anashan against corruption) as ‘these things.’ As if this doesn’t matter and affect him in any way. And by the way, why am I studying? To be another successor in the number of corrupt people or to be aware of my rights and raise a voice against it?
It’s always soothing to visit a ‘small town’ away from hustle and bustle of metro cities. Since I hail from one such place and farming is something my family earns a living from, my parents often talk about our fields and crops. During one such conversation, my father said that we have to pay Rs. 50,000 as ‘Jebkharch’ (bribe) to a senior government official in the electic supply department. If want to grow a healthy crop, we need a new electricity connection at our farm for irrigation by tubewell/borewell.
As my ears heard this, my heart responded to it by pumping blood through my veins at a much higher rate. “Why would we pay our hard earned money to him. He even gets a salary from the government to serve us. Why don’t anyone complain about him?” I retorted.
“So you want to bring a change? But it is not as easy as it seems, son. We, the common man are supposed to bribe them to get our work done on time. Else we shall be running from pillar to post carrying a plethora of kaagzaat (documents) & wait till zillion years to get it verified/signed. And you know, till then you shall be trapped into a number of ‘formalities’ that a government work has. Though we live in the era of e-mail & internet, but government correspondence is still done by chithhi-patri (letters).So Rs 50000 sometime seem much lighter in weight as compared to these official documents.” my father replied abruptly.
I felt a strong urge to reply in both the cases but I kept quiet. After all, this is how everything goes in our country. To some extent, we have accepted it as an integral part of our life, and have also imbibed a fraction of corruption in us. We remain quiet & accept it – thinking that why should we bother so much when everyone around us is living with it. Those who decide to raise their voice are nibbed or their voice crawls unheard.
It’s my country. Who will care for it if I don’t?