"Be careful ". "Ok mom, I will be" and i raced off on my bike to meet a couple of friends on necklace road in Hyderabad. In my hurry, or rather carelessness I had forgotten to put on my helmet and as fate would have it, I was apprehended by the traffic police guys and pulled over to the side of the road. The scene described in these few lines is not uncommon, infact i feel most of the riders reading this article would have been in the above situation, and i am very confident that most of them would have done what I did. Guesses??? Yes! you are right. "Kya sahib, chod do na sahib chaalan bahut zyaada hai sahib"."To? Galti to aapka hai na, aap helmet nahin daale, ab aap hi bolo hum kya karein?".After that i don a very innocent look on my face and hint towards a possibility of an "outside settlement"."Theek hai side mein aao aap", I take out a fifty and he says-"ye to kam hai,aapke paas Dl bhi nahin hai challan total 500 hota aapka..",and i make it 100 and he pockets it and lets me go free, and i dont even realise that i have just become a part of this cancer called "corruption at a very grass root level. "I", "Me", "The future Indian".
I had the opportunity of being involved in clubs at my university and many other groups of teenagers and elders alike in the past few years and one of the hottest topic of discusssion was always corruption, be it in politics or law enforcement or public services.I distinctly remember how all of my compatriots,including yours truly would lash out at the corrupt government, the corrupt officials and the list could go on,the point being that we would point out and depricate those we held guilty of it.These issues generally also led to a discussion of our development ,growth,blah blah blah..with each of them resulting in a conclusion that we were the future of this country and we are not only aware of the cancer but also have the hatred and strength in us to stay away and free from it.I guess even i had a very high self esteem and had many a times made derogatory comments against the "corrupt".
Now hypocrisy has always been one of the most sordid attributes of a man according to me and yet today when i look back I see how I myself was a follower of it,and here I use "I" to refer to myself only,but if there is a reader whose gone through similar discussions and a similar situatuion then it applies to them too. The point is that while i was in that situation I paid no heed to my anti corruption policies and was more concerned with saving some cash and infact honestly I never realised what i was doing.In fact, the sad part is how i would boast about having done it to my friends and yet again call the same guy i bribed a "Chor",while condoning the fact that I myself had become a bigger one, as i was the source of the incentive to that chor.
The whole issue burns down to the point where everyone wants to save his own skin and wants to be out of trouble the cheaper way,and well the oficials too are like us,they want easy money and hell they know I am not a maniac,I wont kill someone tomorrow,so no harm in them letting me go.While I have majorly concentrated on law enforcement guys here,people will always raise questions regarding other fields like government offices etc..etc..Now I can discuss them too all day long but it would be of no use! would it??
The realisation I had today was that I need to worry more about me being honest and following the law than worried about who is not and what names he should be called by.We are a young country they say, and i most certainly believe we are a very capable one at that.So guys if there is anyone out there like me,who has been a hypocrite,please realise what we are doing here and how "We the people" we the "Bundle of sticks" are making hollow our own future.I have realised by paying a challan that I will never again not wear a helmet,or forget mi DL at home.but more importantly I have learnt that if I am not corrupt on ten occasions,I stop 10 other people from being corrupt.We will be every where,guys like me,who are not very strong willed ,I request you all to just try...and hopefully succeed...
PS: the following lines are something i came up with while I was on a holiday this month..
"The only thing that brings down a rising tide in an ocean is a receding wave"