Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Paying Four Million in Bribes for Getting a Teacher's Job: Only Malayalees Can Do Such a Ridiculous Thing!

An year ago, some one told about me about an incidence in which a known Christian priest of a prominent Christian denomination in Kerala was asked to pay an incredibly high amount of Rs.4 Million [$67,000] as bribe by none other than some other Christian priests and bishops.

It is a general perception that bribes are paid to and are taken only by the government officers, staff and perhaps some politicians in authority. 

But this case was some thing different. Here the case was some thing involving bribe paying by Christian priests to Christian priests. Bribe being paid and taken by those who teach and preach about morality to the commons. Ridiculous or shameful ? I have no words.

The priest, as per the person who told me this,   had to pay this huge sum as bribe for getting his PhD-holder wife employed as a lecturer in a private educational institution run by a Christian educational society attached to a Kerala church denomination!

I could not believe it. 

Firstly because, the sum involved-Rs.4 Million- in my assessment is a very high amount in India for the middle class people. It is difficult for even a high ranking government official to have such a bank balance with the current levels of salary in this country. 

The net salary of a top ranking government official, net of income tax, is only about Rs 1.5 Million per year as of now. And this is the present situation as on 2014. Their net salaries were much lower to the tune of say Rs.0.5 million or lower a few years ago. It is highly improbable for any salaried person to have a bank balance of millions unless he had some other sources of income. I am not sure how many people have other sources or how legal such sources are!

I do not deny the fact of some one selling his ancestral landed property and making a kill, but that too is not that easy as people think. I also know the impact of the foreign exchange flow taking place in my home state which caused a boom in the real estate prices! 

While I have an idea about the legal incomes of a Christian priest in the major Kerala denominations, I have no idea about their other sources of incomes. Any way their legal incomes are no where near a class one government officer. 

Secondly, the salary of the lecturer in the initial years is only to the tune of about 0.3-0.4 million rupees gross in an year. Of course, after one or two decades, this could be a few times higher. A corpus fund of 4 million in a bank can yield a neat return of Rs.28000/- per month at the lowest bank interest rates as existing. If the person is able to save Rs.5000/- per month from this and invest that regularly in a recurring deposit yielding 8.5% per year for the next 30 years, he or she would have a corpus of nearly 10 Million in bank instead of the initial 4 million! 

Additionally, a person having a corpus fund of 4 million need not pay any insurance premium because he or she already has 4 million in bank. Otherwise he or she had to pay Rs.10000/- per month for having a life insurance cover of 4 million valid for 30 years! Thus effectively, a person having 4 million initially is to be deemed as an income earner of Rs.38000/- per month, totally risk free, with all possibilities of the corpus fund growing as the time passes! 

Further, a person having 4 million in bank can think of any vocation of his or her own choice without any botheration from any one. The options are numerous. Those who have entrepreneurship attitudes and qualities, the four million rupees in hand is indeed a big opportunity!

Let them not think of investing the corpus fund in high risk investments if they are not confident. In that case, the banks could use their funds professionally and make higher yields and pay them the minimum interest of 8.5 % from what they earned!

Again, I do not know how these people make these transactions. It has to be in hard cash, because bank transactions might give some clues to the authorities for fixing the persons concerned under various laws. But then, fixing the law enforcement people also through some bribes is not a big deal in a country where corruption is more-or-less an acceptable way of life!

But would such a thing be perpetuated by the Christian clergy and church leaders who keep voicing against all corrupt practices and evils of the society in almost all their preaching? Perhaps not. That was what I have been thinking!

With the above logic, my information was bound to be false. And I thought it that way. But the TV channels of Kerala proved me wrong a few weeks ago. 

They showed me and the whole Malayalees of the world some thing we have been considering as rumors only. In real life we never thought it to be happening! 

I was stunned when the TV channels beamed their spy camera clippings that showed some people responsible for managing some private schools with substantial government aid, asking for bribe money to the order that I mentioned in the beginning of this article, from a Christian priest for appointment of the latter's wife as a teacher. 

Those asking for the bribe this time included a bishop, another priest and others who are all the office bearers of the Society that managed the educational institution. 

Remember, this was a recent incident and it was not the one I stated initially. It proved that the rumors running around are not rumors, but a routine practice! [Read this]

The channels subsequently came up with several of such spy camera revelations. The bribe money for appointment of teachers in government aided private schools of Kerala appears to be with the larger involvement of the political class and the so called non profit religious organizations. Christians are not the only exceptions!

This kind of a situation perhaps would not have been happening outside Kerala. I am not telling that non-Malayalees are all puritans. No, that is not the case. 

But, a Gujarati for example, would not pay millions for a peanut paying job of a private school teacher! Instead, he or she would start his or her own school or some thing similar to it. That is the difference between the Gujarati and the Malayali mindsets.

So there are so many such foolish Malayalees who are willing to pay in millions for a peanut paying job of a teacher and they do not have the brains to understand their foolishness. And there are other local Malayalees who exploit this mindset. Does it indicate the lack of entrepreneurship in Malayalees? 

Perhaps, yes. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps they are more calculative!

Some of the Christian leaders were later justifying their situation. When the political authorities are asking for such bribes, they are simply helpless, they argue. For running their institutions this is the only method, they say. 

Okay, I agree with them for a moment. But then they should stop preaching morality, at least! That is the minimum good thing that they can do to the people.

This is not any exception. I have direct information about Christian run educational institutions and other charity organizations becoming wise and practical as per the needs of the current age.

I am also aware of the various tricks and favoritism that keep happening within the organized churches in India, just as they happen all over the world. While the churchmen preach about the story and interpretations of Jesus calling such people 'whitewashed tombs in Matthew 23:27' they keep doing the same!

Doing a sin for a good cause does not make the sin, holy! 

We can not help it. People are people after all. To live like a true human being by willfully discarding greed, selfishness and such other negative qualities is becoming more and more difficult for many of us. 

We are in a world of temptations that does not even spare our religious and spiritual leaders!

But can't we not overcome our temptations?

Can't we not use our God given wisdom?

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