Sometime back I participated in an online debate regarding ‘corruption in Indian DNA’. The background of the debate was Sagarika Ghose’s blog post regarding corruption in Indian DNA and how to bring about a revolution. I would highly recommend each one of you to read her post, it’s worth reading. So, as we debated about corruption in India, one participant asked a very simple question, ‘how many Indians are corrupt?’ For a while, each of the participants in the debate gave vague answers like 10 million, 20 million, 100 million, etc. I somehow felt that corruption needs to be classified in terms levels. So, I proposed idea of dividing the corrupt people in terms levels, each corresponding to amount of money. We debated for a while on estimated number of corrupt people in India and finally agreed upon following numbers.
Estimated number of People in India
What it means*?
Corruption worth over Rs. 1 crore or more
Corruption worth over Rs. 1 lakh but less than 1 crore
Corruption worth over 1 thousand but less than 1 lakh
Corruption worth over Rs. 10 but less than Rs. 1000
*The money defined in the column relates to cumulative sum of corruption done by the people in their life time.
Level 4 Corruption: This level corresponds to people who have done corruption worth more than Rs. 10 but less than Rs. 1000. This level pertains to people who have paid bribes to traffic police, watched pirated movies, used pirated software, paying bribe to TC in trains for seat, etc.
Level 3 Corruption: This level corresponds to people who have either accepted or paid money worth one thousand or above but less than 1 lakh rupees in some form of corruption. These are the people, who have paid bribes government officials to get the work done, submitted fake bills while filing income tax, etc.
Level 2 Corruption: This level corresponds to people who have either accepted or paid money worth more than 1 lakh but less than 1 crore in some form of corruption. These are the people, who work in government and demand money for speeding up the work, participate in land grabbing, get govt. and private contracts by bribing officials, IAS and IPS officers who demand bribes, etc.
Level 1 Corruption: This level corresponds to people who have either accepted or paid money worth more than 1 crore or higher in some form of corruption. Majority of the politicians, Member of Parliaments, Member of Legislative assemblies, industrialists who have paid bribe to politicians to get contracts, people belonging to real-estate mafia, etc. belong to this category.
If we add-up all the people in different levels of corruptions, it’s makes about 50% of Indian population. Note that, majority of the remaining 50% of the population constitutes kids who are under 10 years, housewives, etc. who had no opportunity so far to indulge in corruption. Therefore technically, they are not corrupt.
So, the question before all of us is, in a nation where almost 50% of the population is corrupt, will there ever be a hard punishment for corrupt? The answer is NO. Corruption can only be punished if less 5% of population is corrupt. Countries which have corrupt people exceeding more than 5% of the total population have only three options.
1. Undergo a bloody revolution, where every non-corrupt person should try to kill the corrupt person until the fear against corruption is created. This means killing at least 20% of the corrupt people randomly.
2. Wait for a major natural disaster that would kill majority of the population.
3. Wait for another 100 years
The second option cannot be considered, as there has never been a natural disaster in the history of planet earth that has killed more than 1 crore people. There are more than 50 crore corrupt people in India.
Also, it is almost impossible for the first option to occur in India. The reason being, it’s in Indian DNA to remain timid. Instead of elaborating on this timid attitude of Indians, let me give you three historic examples
1. British treated Indians as slaves, yet Indians didn’t do anything. Indians could have very well killed every British during colonial rule in India and in fact as revenge could have occupied mainland England. Instead, we chose peace.
2. 80% of Indian population was considered as lower-caste and wasn’t given equal rights. Lower-caste people were humiliated to an extent that women of some lower-caste in Kerala were not allowed to wear a cloth over their breast before upper-caste men. Even after such humiliation, there has never been a recorded revolt by lower-caste people against upper caste people of India. It is as if the 80% of the people chose to remain coward before the remaining 20%.
3. On 26th November 2008, almost every Indian wanted India to attack Pakistan and kill every person involved in terrorism. Yet, Indian government didn’t do anything and instead arranged a freak show to prosecute the lone caught terrorist.
So, expecting Indians to kill the corrupt people is heights of optimism. So, basically, we are left with the third option… wait for another 100 years.
Btw, if you are a non-corrupt parent, then do ask your kids to discriminate the kids whose parents are corrupt. Corruption is not very difficult to calculate. It involves very simple mathematics… any kid is who is older than 10 years can calculate it. At least that way, we can isolate some corrupt people and they might change for the happiness of their children.