Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Recently one Indian origin author Mr Siddharth Mukherjee received a Pulitzer Prize for his one Non Fiction Book namely "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer". It is indeed a work of great excellence and helps in understanding Cancer in its different dimensions. In the wake of recent happenings I believe there is an equal need of writing of another Biography of another Cancerous Malady which is still Bigger in its dimensions i.e. Indian National CANCER also known as CORRUPTION.
A biography must begin from Beginning. If we do not take cognizance of the Mythological Tales and Pauranic stories for the purpose of this article, we can safely begin with one of the most important work of Historical Importance “ARTHASHASTRA” by Kautilya or Chanakya. This book was written about 2300 years back. It chronicles Corruption as follows:
1) A King must pay at least pay 4800 Panas (the then currency) per year to its ministers failing which they will be likely to fall prey to corruption and indulge in one of the three or all three corrupt deeds,
a) They will ally with the enemy nation
b) They will steal from the treasury
c) They will harass the citizens.

2) There is another nugget from the same source:
For the king to find out whether his ministers are stealing from the treasury or not is as difficult as it is to find out if the fish swimming in a Pond has drank water from the said pond or not.
In the current status the above statements ring as true as they did 2300 years back. Human beings and the state do not seem to have changed a wee bit in these Two and Half millennium’s interregnum.
To day the ministers or the MP’s or the law makers for the nation draw a salary (even after the recent raise) of Rs.80,000.00 per month. A fresh IIT or IIM graduate takes home more than this. The salary of the Senior most Bureaucrat is around Rs. One Lakh per month, many of the fresh graduates would frown at this salary.
Today after the said interregnum of 2300 years the malaise is much deeper. Leave aside Ministers and Bureaucrats Even the Kings have not been above suspicion. The shadow of corruption has loomed large over several of the Top Most Functionaries of the Government. The dictum that the King must be as clean as Ceaser’s wife does not hold true any more. The Judiciary stands IMPEACHED, the CJI’s have been called names in writing by the most RESPONSIBLE citizens of the State. The fourth estate i.e. the PRESS stands in the docks with the revelations in NEERA Radia tapes. The Corporate world never had a very clean image. Making money through Enterprise was never held in high regards till a couple of decades back. Today the Corporate world stands exposed in an extreme embarrassing or compromising position, once again courtesy RAADIAGATE. A detailed analysis of these tapes can do a comprehensive BIOPSY of this Indian National Cancer. I fail to understand why the media and every one else is silent over this RADIAGATE. Where are our “DEEP THROATS”.
Suddenly the issue of combating CORRUPTION has taken Centre Stage and it has gained TRP even Higher than that of Bollywood Gossip the HOLY GRAIL of the fourth estate. Not only front page it has made ingress in the all important Page 3 too. It has become the flavor of the season with the celebrities rubbing shoulders with the Hoi Polloi and the riff raffs of the Nation. Leaving aside the debate of Supremacy of Parliamentarians over the electorate and right of few so called Pseudo Terrorists in the garb of Civil Society doing a Kandhar once again after a decade, I would like to get down to the nitty gritties of the issue of all pervading Cancerous Corruption. Synthesizing the concepts of the Triumvirate of Lincoln,Anna Hazare and Shashi Tharoor one can define Indian Democracy as a Government Of the Corrupt, For the Corrupt and By the Cattle.
Writing this article in the morning of 28th August of 2011, one has to tread with caution. All the Newspapers are streaming with a minimum of a TWO inch Headline that ANNA wins and Parliament bows to the wishes of People. Are we witnessing a Historical moment which is likely to be a water shed event in the course of the History of our ARYAVRAT. May it be so and may the Ram Rajya of Gandhi’s dreams begin to take roots. The little educated Anna has called it as a second battle of Independence. It is expected to be a surgical intervention and remove the cancerous cells from the essential organs of the body of India.
Gandhi (of the original version) had said: “I do not accept the transfer of Power from Whites to Browns as Independence. True Independence is the Ability of an individual to resist a wrong”. And truly ANNA’s effort do fall in this domain. May his breed multiply.
I said Tread with caution, because such surgical efforts have miserable track record in India. In 1974 a very recognized activist/surgeon namely Jai Prakash Narayan had tried a surgical intervention to treat this National Cancer under the guise of TOTAL REVOLUTION. The patient succumbed in the ICU itself. Again in 1987 another surgeon had laid his claim and the patient did not survive the Operation Table even.
Cancer cells proliferate and do not die in an orderly manner as against healthy cells that die and proliferate in an orderly manner. Corruption in India is akin to cancer cells proliferating in an uncontrolled manner. Corruption is the mother of all evils. Without combating it substantially, the developing nations would always remain developing nations and would never be able to cross the threshold. In 1996, then-World Bank president James D. Wolfensohn declared that, for developing countries to achieve economic growth and poverty reduction, “we need to deal with the cancer of corruption.”
People in power say Corruption is a Universal phenomenon and try to justify or brush it under the carpet in our own country. Corruption like bacteria has a threshold level. The body can sustain certain levels of it without falling ill. Beyond that one may catch cold or some other ailments. When it rises to certain epidemic proportion it become cancerous and fatal. Today India ranks 87 in the Transparency International’s ranking of Corruption Index. The Corruption has indeed reached Cancerous levels. Let us hope this THIRD surgical intervention cures the patient by removing these cancerous cells from the body of India and we transform into a Developed nation from a Developing Nation. We wish to become a Super Power by 2020 as envisioned by our Ex President Mr A P J Kalam. It would be a Utopian dream without reducing corruption to manageable levels. Elimination too may be tried some time in distant future. Todays agenda should be to control the Pollution and make the environment livable.