Corrupt Practices Eating Away India’s Wealth : Story of Rail Minister

Of late India public discourse in India is heavily preoccupied with issues like corruption. Every sphere of life is affected by the virus. Here politicians sell of government post for money, ministers sell of natural resource which is actually national resource for money, many cases those in positions of power try to help their kith and kin make more money at the expense to taxpayers. Government officials do not work unless requisite bribe is paid, police supposed to protect citizens, either protect corrupt politicians or sell their services to highest bidders mostly criminals. Private sector is not immune either. Businessmen in collution with politicians, police men plunder national resource, evade tax, manufacture and sell faulty goods not fit for human consumption, plunder poor peoples life savings. Now it emerging that private citizens that are earning a lot of money, are still ready to sell their soul for even more.

It is difficult to say why we are experiencing so much corruption. Is it because we are seeing so many oppurtunities to make money that we are losing our power of discrimination? We are a poorly governed state, where ineffective policing, by ill trained police men, who are also highly politicised, makes India a haven for different criminal endevors. Most cases criminals feel confident that they may not be caught. Even if they are caught, they may not go to jail. India as a nation is living in two worlds. On one side we have adopted capitalist system for economy. On the other hand unlike many capitalist systems, we retain very extensive ties with extended families. Everyone wants to enjoy the fruits of capitalism, like making more money, enjoy finer things in life, buy new gadgets, own big properties among others. Like we stoke a fire for it to become a blazing flame, similarly continuous stoking of desire, through adverts etc, leads to raging need. The modern adverstising also gives a subliminal message that particular brand, for example coffee or deodorant or watch, and its association with beautiful women. A thinking person may be able to dissociate subject matter of advert from inducement, but many of us cannot. Our desire to acquire things that we want becomes a thing that we crave. To attain the object of our desire then we resort to all sorts of activity like crime, murder, loot etc. Let us take the example of Mr. Pawan Bansal. Mr. Bansal became minister in 2008. Mr. Minister’s wife had started a pharmceutical company, named Theon Pharma. It is emerging that from the time he became minister till date,  Theo Pharmaceuticals had increased her trunover nearly 10 fold from 15 crores to nearly 150 crore ruppes in five years.

No problem with business savviness of Mrs. Bansal. Except it is coming out that honorable minister had used his clout to give loans to his Pharmaceutical company. This also he achieved by placing his relatives in the position of directors of commerical bank. Later, it also came out that Mr. Bansal was running a scheme to make money by selling senior positions in railway board to highest bidder. Mr. Bansal was running this activity from his office and official bungalow using his nephew as a shield. When the scandal broke, instead of promptly resigning, Mr. Bansal claimed innocence and disowned his nephew.

A person given charge to oversee functioning one of the biggest rail network in the world, sells important position for money! What can we call this, a crisis of morality? Where people want to make money at all cost, without thinking of consequence, without any shame! As Gandhiji said, there is enough on the earth for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed. A manifestation of this phenomenon is what we see around us everyday in the form of scams. It is imperative that as a nation, we must control our want from becoming need, and need from becoming greed. 

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