2011 AD, India:

7:00 AM, BMTC Bus: Conductor takes Rs.3 and tells me not to ask for a ticket so that the money goes into his pocket.
8:00 AM, Office Canteen: A colleague tells his story. That he is constructing a house, has all documents for the same, yet he is harassed by a local goon for money. If he doesn’t pay, the goon threatens to stop water supply to his house.
3:00 PM, On the phone: Wife tells me that her passport application got rejected for lack of documents. She had 5 and they needed a 6th. (I’m happy that at least there wasn’t any demand for bribes)
5:00 PM, BMTC Bus: Same story as 7:00 AM.
Next day, the events are different but the pattern is same. And the pattern continues almost every day. Red tape and corruption is part of life. Everybody talks about it, writes about it and corruption shows no sign of decreasing. Rather, it is the opposite that is happening.
Gandhi, Nehru, Bose and the people of their time had a name for the evil during their times. The British East India Company. What name do we have? Whom do we drive out so that we can live peaceful lives? The ones responsible for all the corruption speak our same language, eat the same food as us and wear the same clothes as us. When corruption is the power that really rules, how does it matter whether party A is in power or party B. The bureaucracy and its corruption remains same and the common man just has to make peace with it.
I sometimes think how India’s history will be viewed 500 years from now. Probably they would say, there were the Guptas, the Chalukyas, Cholas, Pandyas, Rashtrakutas and the Vijayanagara empire, then there were the Mughals and Marathas for 200 years, then the British for 200 years and then there was a corrupt republic for 300 years. In India’s long history, this is not at all impossible. Even though one may think that the present is not that bad, history has always been a comparison between nations at a particular point in time. For example, Europe was said to be in a war ravaged and starved condition until two centuries ago while India was considered to be relatively rich until then. A similar comparison would be done 500 years hence.
I generally start writing a topic and try to conclude it at the end. But not today, for Who knows when we will get rid of this evil.

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