[You may place the cursor on the country map to read the CPI data as published by TI for 2014. You can move the map by pressing down the cursor and moving it!]
Every individual could have their own interpretation and views regarding corruption. For some, it is not any grave issue. For some it is the gravest problem. And yet for many others, it is just an unavoidable part of human culture and civilization and perhaps there are no solutions.
After all what is corruption? When someone, delegated with some authority or responsibility to do a public service, does something associated with that public service for gaining any undue benefit for self or for someone of his or her preferred choice, then perhaps that act amounts to corruption.
Let us consider a few examples:
You go to a police station to register a first information report (FIR) on a police complaint. The officer on duty make excuses and demands some personal favor (money or something else) for doing the work he was supposed to do as a public servant. Here he or she is using the delegated power for making some personal benefit. It is an act of corruption.
You go to a railway ticket booking counter and find there are several people in the line. Obviously, you may have to wait for your turn and there is the possibility that you may not get your seat or berth booked at all. You try to influence the booking clerk through some one by offering some extra money and the clerk does that for you preferentially to oblige your extra payment. It is corruption.
The school teacher keeps on harassing your child in the school for some reason or the other always compelling you to personally meet her and make a friendship. She requests some help which you are in a position to do and obliges. Your child's problem in the school ends. Another form of corruption!
A public contract is notified. Your company sees the potential business opportunity and wants to participate and get the contract. A few among the decision makers hints about you shelling out some big commission money in an indirect manner if your company wins the contract. If you don't, you may perhaps be shunted out. If you oblige, you would be facilitated to get the award. Another kind of corruption.
You apply for some government permit or sanction under some law to operate your company. No decisions taken and you are asked for various kinds of clarifications from time to time. But when you shell out some money and some other personal gratification things to the benefit of the the concerned authorities, your work is done.
The list is endless. In a highly corrupt country, almost all public services have some corruption link. All levels of decision making are perceptibly corrupt!
Now what happens when a country is highly corrupt this way? The cost of running any business goes up due to the unaccounted money that get in the system leading the black economy.
The cost of goods and services go higher. Public services like roads, schools, hospitals, railways etc become inadequate or poorly managed. The competency of people to undertake any work keeps deteriorating. A good majority of people become jobless or poorly paid.
Employment generation takes a beating due to the difficulty of setting up businesses and also due to the inadequate returns on investments. Risk involved in doing honest business increases.
The normal life become very difficult unless you have some connections with the powerful people. Justice to individuals never truly happens!
Trust among people deteriorates as more and more people try dishonest methods on the false assumption that it is essential for survival. People becomes divided and democracy causes incompetent and dishonest persons to rise up in leadership positions to worsen the situation year after year.
Now what is the root cause of all this?
Is it over population as some people say?
Is it the greed of the people?
Is it the lack of proper education?
Perhaps all these may be true.
I would say it is the fear of the people. The fear of the unknown.
Corruption perpetuates when people becomes fearsome.
So fear causes the minds of individual to become corrupt. Fear of the fellow being causes a man or woman to become selfish and selfishness results in the adoption of corrupt acts. Selfish people do want to live even at the cost of others generating greed. They seldom realize that they too perish after some time!
And lack of that realization is ignorance and ignorance causes corruption.
Whatever be the fear, t is essential to find the causes of that fear.
How to remove it?
Fear is the characteristic feature of cowards. Brave men and women are not fearful and courage comes from true knowledge.
When the society has more cowards, it tends to become corrupt. A society with courageous people cannot be perpetually corrupt!
Courage develops through true education both formal and informal. True education can only be possible when individuals, families and the society understand its true meaning and purpose!
And to understand it well, the individuals need to have sound bodies and sound minds. Partially developed individuals with imperfect bodies and minds cannot understand the true meaning of education and its true purpose!
A fully developed mind is capable of discerning the divine guidance that differentiate between good and bad.
So the root cause of corruption is due to imperfect bodies and minds of individuals making them fearful cowards.
Eradicate poverty, able bodied men and women would emerge.
Educate the able bodied men and women, their minds would become strong and fear would disappear.
Once the fear goes, they no longer be selfish, suspicious or greedy.
They no longer need to be corrupt!
Every one in the society needs to introspect, if they feel corruption is really a menace of their society.
You know what is to be done now!