Friday, February 1, 2013

We The Corrupting Nation

India is a corrupt country. I know that for sure. I have been told that many a times by expatriates, particularly Europeans and Americans. Corruption is that grease that makes life smooth. One pays extra to get a privilege or a facility that he or she not entitled to. It is a win-win situation for those involved at the cost of the rest.

But interestingly when Europeans and Americans come to India, they do the same, pay a little extra in return for a privilege or a facility that they are not entitled to. All the morality and honesty that they talk about following in their country is abandoned for a little comfort here. And what is interesting is that they do not acknowledge it as something wrong or something that they wouldn’t have done back home. Instead, devise a reason, or many reasons, or seek approval of like minded people, their mates and country mates, to justify, sanctify an opportunistic alliance as something else, to distract them from the real issue, and still manage to feel glad about it.

I have no qualms with people making marriage of convenience but they should then dismount from the moral high horse.

As the popular saying goes, when in Rome do as the Romans do. That’s perfectly fine, just stop judging the Romans.

The virtue or moral fabric is not individual specific, but is conditioned by circumstances, externalities and the popular culture. There are many examples of Indians doing well in the West by imbibing the popular culture there.

There are very few who can hold forth their inherent value system, which could be either impeccable or devilish in nature or somewhere in between, despite compelling demands of pragmatism to change. I have yet to find one.

My conclusion is that morality is subjective and negotiable so much so that it is like dressing up appropriately (read pragmatically) for different occasions (read cultures); a different attire for a different occasion.

India is a country of skewed wealth and privileges that make corruption such a pragmatic tool to usurp what is not legitimate. No one remains untouched with it whether they are Indians or non Indians residing in India.