Doomed to be corrupt...?

Photo by Mace2000 on Flickr


So the other day I was talking to a friend and the topic of corruption came. My friend is of the opinion that population is the major reason behind corruption and that’s why corruption is so less in western countries. Probably that’s true. Her argument was that in a less populated country the competition for resources is less and individual voice has a better chance of making a difference. Probably all this is true. Probably there really is less corruption in western countries with less population.


What really got me thinking was, living in a country with a billion heads and ticking, are we bound to be a corrupt nation for ever. I mean, going by the above argument, in order to become less corrupt, we need to some how randomly select (like they randomly select passengers in international flights) million or so heads every now and then and tell them how unwelcome they are on mother earth and facilitate their departure. I have no doubts who these randomly selected people would be…


So any way, we’d need to eliminate a large number of unwanted heads in order to become less corrupt. Now to perform such a mammoth task huge amount of resources would be required as most of us in India like to be lit on a pyre. Deforestation. What ever method we choose, we would be hit by some problem or the other on our way towards mass extermination. And I can bet corruption itself would be the biggest problem after democracy, media, religion, lawyers, etc…


So anyway, since we can eliminate huge number of people, can’t be done. No way. So weather we like it or not, we need to find a way of being less corrupt with our huge population et al. Now to be honest, I don’t believe population alone leads to corruption. Yes, abundance does make it affordable to be non-corrupt. But I keep seeing families after families’ not practicing corruption despite the cost of corruption being too high. My own parents, they don’t own a house or a car… ok bad example. And then I see extremely well off people practicing corruption morning noon and night. Abhi just yesterday an NID batchmate of mine was describing how she manages two black accounts and one white (in presence of freshers mind you!). So I don’t necessarily agree that only poverty, population, politics, popularity, peccadillo, etc… etc… causes corruption. I am not sure what causes it, but of this I am quiet sure – we need to find a way to be less corrupt despite all the odds. If improvised communities and gareeb families can do it, we as a nation can also do it. And some day we will, even if the notion of corruption it self becomes corrupt by then. Amen.