Tag Archive: Corruption



And so it has begun. You may ask me what has begun and my answer would be everything. We have reached a point in time where an outsider looking at India would be dumbfounded. The last 2 months have been more than eventful. We are living in times of an awakening, and I believe in this awakening. What I am talking about are the changes that are happening all across the country. Let us go over a few of the events that have occurred in the last 2 months. The highlight was the CoalGate scam. We had a scam amounting to 1.86 lakh crores come out in the open, a scam that was headed by none other than our prime minister Mr Manmohan Singh, a scam which made BJP halt government proceedings for over 1 and a half weeks, a scam which caused every Indian to hate its prime minister, a scam which motivated the youth to come forward and take some action. This scam was over the alleged allocation of coal blocks but I am not going to delve on this. After this, came the Granite mining scam, a scam amounting to Rs 16000 crores, and this was in one state (Tamil Nadu). Allegedly this scam was going on since 1984? Makes your blood boil doesn’t it? Imagine this happening in other states?

So now when I look back at the last 2 months, I see a lot of activity but I know this much for sure that never before have we had so much “Truth” being exposed so fast. This must signal something? While Team Anna broke up and decided to go their separate ways I feel India gained out of this move.  As of now we have the perfect conditions in place for a change. We have Arwind Kejriwal who is perfectly capable of forming a party and Anna Hazare who can be the perfect mentor. Is this enough? Well its certainly nowhere close to enough. We are a country with a population of more than 1 billion, and yet we have only two names leading the front? Although the situation is changing and people are waking up from their deep slumber, we need the whole country to wake up and do what is right.
I write to you on the eve of the arrest of Aseem Trivedi. He is a 25 year old Indian Cartoonist who has been arrested on the charge of sedition. Booked under Section 124A of the Indian Constitution, a non bailable warrant has been issued against him. We have people booked on murder get out of jail on bail, we have Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan who had cases filed against them at some time, but they were never kept locked up in a jail, and here we have a award winning cartoonist spending the night in jail.Moreover if you look at it isn’t Members of Parliament fighting and watching pornography also contempt of democracy and our great constitution? His cartoon of the government portrayed as blood hungry wolves did not go down too well with the “non-existent” well-wishers of the Government.
I strongly urge you to click on the link below and sign the petition against this arrest.
Sign the Petition
Jai Hind

Shail Vani


We live in strange times. Someone’s plight on the roads seems to be the least of our concern but when someone talks on TV about child marriage, alcohol abuse we seem to get so moved that we cannot stop ourselves from praising the show and spreading the word.
This is no insult to the show, Satyamev Jayate it is just an article that tries to explore whether the show is truly hollow?
The only thing that comes even close to my liking on Satyamev Jayate is that the show is well researched and tries spreading awareness. Aamir Khan tries to bring social problems plaguing the country to the front through primetime television. In this show the audience is “supposedly” enlightened with news that they “supposedly” did not know about.
I find this show pretty crass and vile, here are a few reasons why:
1. 3.5 Crores, that’s a buttload of money. That is the amount of money being paid to Aamir Khan for doing one episode. Hmmm so much for Social Service eh?
2. When I look at the show, it seems really fake. Now I will be talking of only 2-3 topics that have been brought up on this show. Let us take the first topic “female infanticide”. Now I do not know about all of you but I definitely knew of this problem for a long time, there is nothing new that he ever brought to the table. I could see some benefit if he actually stopped someone from doing that or he even went around preaching to villages because well he is a star and who does not like stars? But all he seemed to do was get people and make them talk. Coming to this other topic that I saw, it was on ethnic marriage. Now what basically had happened was that the girl liked the boy and the boy liked the girl, but the girl’s parents did not approve. When both of them ran away and got married they threatened to kill them and the couple has been on the run since. Now this is a great way to bring such social issues to mainstream audience but I was shocked when he asked the girl, “How did you feel when you ran away from home?” How the hell is someone supposed to feel!, it was like he wanted her to cry. That all is also okay but is this questioning really required? My question is what did he achieve after talking about it on television, he showed that the law was there but it was not really effective. My point being that he actually did not really improve the condition of the lives of that couple because the thinking of the parents is unchanged. What I find is that the show appears to be rehearsed and his dialogues scripted, well it is a TV show but there are human emotions that are being dealt with so I personally feel that the approach taken by the show is cheap.
It is easy to point out the bad qualities of anything and I understand that all the Satyamev Jayate lover’s would not like my criticism, but lets just look at a few TV shows that have actually had a much better concept. Remember Kiran Bedi ka insaaf or Sach ka Tarazu? These shows are pretty old and forgotten but they did something that Satyamev Jayate does not. They interacted with the audience on a whole new level and the audience was educated with a judicial standing. In the show Kiran Bedi ka Insaaf at least the judicial standpoint on the view was made clear and each party was allowed to present their case. They were not very great and popular shows but I am sure they definitely affected the life of quite a few.
Another show which I like is Channel V’s Gumraah. Although the show is pretty cliché and slightly overdone, what it is able to do is connect to the audience on a greater level by re-enacting already occurred events. What the show does is that it shows the audience with clever narration all the sides of the story and this tends to leave a stronger impact on the audience’s mind.
So while Satyamev Jayate looks like another hollow show which makes social problems crass, Channel V’s Gumraah has potential as it is already into its second season.


Corruption is one of the biggest problems plaguing our country right now. Despite numerous attempts to remove corruption from its roots, we stand here at this point in time having failed miserably to tackle the problem of Corruption. Anna Hazare and his team started the Jan Lokpal movement over a year ago and having lost much steam they plan to restart the agitation, but is this enough?

Corruption is a very old science. I refer to corruption as science because there is more to it than just giving bribes and getting your work done for a cost.
Now if you look at the Indian administrative system, the volume that the department has to handle is huge, the incentive that the government workers get in terms of their salary is not huge when you compare it to the private sector. The free houses and utilities they get, they have become used to it and it no longer qualifies as a perk for them. Let us try peeking into the life of a government agent.

The child of a government worker comes to him and says, “Dad in class everyone has a PS, why can’t I have one too?” the father will explain to him saying, “Son, Your Dad does not earn as much as their fathers and I cannot afford it.” It will kill him to say this and deny that worldly pleasure to his son but he will do it once. The next year when his son asks him for a new “Nike” football because his friends believe that only Nike is the good stuff, he will tear a little piece of his heart but buy his boy the expensive football because after all how many times does his son get a good birthday gift? Soon his wife starts coming to him and says that all the other ladies in the government colony use expensive make up and go out shopping, but why is it that we do not have enough money to do all of this? How can he explain to his wife that while the other officers in the colony accept bribes, he has stayed true to his belief and not accepted a single bribe.

Is his belief more important than his family’s happiness? The man is in a dilemma. He consoles himself by saying that he is doing the right thing and it is the best for everybody, but he himself knows the hollowness of these words. Soon he loses the will to fight the battle alone because he is not getting benefits nor is it bringing him any happiness. He goes to the office the next day and starts accepting bribes and soon see’s the happiness return back in his family’s eyes. That is how he justifies his corrupt nature.

If there are x corrupt officials in a government agency, there are 2x non-corrupt officials. But we always have a tendency to look at the corrupt ones and frown saying the whole agency is corrupted, but how do you think that makes the non-corrupt officials feel? Is it possible that our disdain and hatred towards a government agency since the last 20 years because part of it is corrupt, has actually caused the non-corrupt officials to become corrupt?

Let us have a look at the common man, a typical Mussadilal(We will call him Mussadi) if you remember the show “Office Office”:

Mussadi is missing his office today because his son needs a driving license. His son has “threatened” him by saying that since every one of his friends has a driving license; it does not look “cool” if he doesn’t have one. Regretfully he agrees to use one of his personal days at the office and accompany his son. When he arrives at the RTO, he sees a line as big as the line for rations at his village. After waiting for 2 hours he gets the form, filling it up quickly, he and his son rush to the officer to get it verified. This time he finds an even bigger queue disappearing into the room. At this point, his son says “Dad, I need to meet my friends so I am going to go but please stay here and get my work done. Thanks” and leaves. Having no option he stays there in the queue. Just then a man walks up to him and says that why are you standing in the line and doing all this “magajmaari”, just hire an “agent”. He enquires about how much the agent would charge and on finding that it would cost him a whopping 1000 bucks decides he is better of alone. There are 4 different departments to visit in an RTO and it is absolutely necessary to have an agent, otherwise you are not taken seriously. After getting the forms verified and then getting the payment slip done, getting your driving test done is a nightmare as the officer in charge is permanently surrounded by agents. As Mussadi would later come to realize at the cost of time and money that sometimes you just need to give in because unless the complete system is overhauled nothing can be really done.

These are exaggerated events no doubt, but what they are trying to is both sides of the story. Sometimes for a government official he might start the job with the best thoughts but somewhere along on the road, the pressure gets to you. Even for the common man it is a struggle to maintain a living and do the right thing. Sometimes it is just not feasible to stand up and be different because you cannot afford to. In the fight against corruption, we need to understand that it is a way of life for people. It might be easy for you and me to forgo 5 days of work and sit on the government officials head and refuse to pay a bribe, but for someone who needs to work just to maintain his family asking for those 5 days is too much.

I am not trying to justify corruption or in any ways defend it, just trying to say there is something more to the story.

-Shail Vani