--BY MADAN LAMSAL
Nobody admits to it. Everybody protests when others do it. But there’s hardly anybody who doesn’t do it. What is it? The answer is – corruption! If it is something that everybody does, why go around talking about ending or decreasing it? We should rather do it more often!
“Both bribe-givers and bribe-takers are the enemies of the country,” King Prithvi Narayan Shah said so long, long ago. But that is a saying from a bygon eera. In the present era, it’s already too late to change this slogan to “Both bribe-givers and bribe-takers are VIPs and VVIPs”. After all, we have to change ourselves according to the changing times!
All rulers of Nepal so far have done one thing even if they could do nothing else–that is leaving behind the seeds of discrimination and corruption for us to sustain and grow. This is a culture left behind by them which we are protecting and promoting. And corruption is increasing by leaps and bounds every day. In fact, we have already institutionalized corruption.
The key message that they’ve given to the new generation is ‘run the state the way you can run it, but make sure that discrimination and corruption are passed on to every generation’. We all have been following this message honestly.
The rulers of late found new grounds for corruption and sowed the seeds of discrimination there. What more do you need? Forgetting honesty and morality in their lives, the people, too, fully cooperated with the rulers to grow the plant of corruption.
The situation seems to be such that though the country may lag behind in development, corruption will take the country forward. Because the money earned through corruption, too, mobilises the economy!
That’s probably why ever since the new monarchs took charge of the state coffers, honesty and morality have taken a back seat and corruption the driver’s seat. Moreover, in the rule of the current government, corruption has become a universal fact – omnipotent and omnipresent!
‘I won’t do corruption nor will I let others do it.’ Banners bearing this slogan are hung at every government office. Why is corruption still out of control then? Because nobody wants to control it! If mere sloganeering were enough, it would have come under control long ago.
Corruption is not something which should be or can be controlled. If it were to come under control, it would have eons ago. Is merely talking about controlling something which is beyond control going to be ever enough? Everybody from the president, prime minister, ministers, to the bureaucracy, police, journalists etc knows corruption is rampant and pervasive in our country. Then why hasn’t it come under control yet?
As the great ancient Hindu philosopher and economist, Chanakya once said – “Just as it is impossible not to taste the honey one may find at the tip of one’s tongue, so it is impossible for one dealing with government funds not to taste, at least a little bit, of the state coffers.”
These days, with the implementation of federalism, Singha Durbar has reached inside the homes of people, carrying development and, not to forget, corruption. But unfortunately, Singha (Lion) Durbar, has shrunk to the size of a fox while corruption has expanded to become a lion. But this is all quite natural, the way wild weeds grow along with the crops in a farmer’s fields.
When I give it a little thought, I reach the conclusion that if corruption is stopped, development too will come to a grinding halt. Therefore, the way we are in a ‘living together’ relationship with Corona, we should go for a ‘dining together’ relationship with corruption!
It is said corruption is the shadow of capitalism. But wait, we are in crony capitalism. In crony capitalism, the government is a shadow of the cronies!
Some people say if corruption is really to be tamed, then there has to be a strong civil society. Such a force has to be driven on high morals and has to be very active. But where is such a civil society?
The only person who has been fighting against the various anomalies and discrepancies in our society is Dr Govinda KC through his hunger strikes. But it seems even he has become tired. And it seems the fervor of the ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign, too, is losing heat.
So, in today’s torrid times, do we have any alternative to moving forward by accepting corruption as a social, cultural inheritance? Is it possible even to talk about corruption and arrive at a conclusion? So, let’s leave corruption alone! Let’s hail corruption and say cheers. Shall we?