Legalization of Culture of Corruption in India
|By Dr. Sulekh C. Jain||
Times of India dated September 21st, 2018. “Govt. of India has struck off 55,000 shell companies in the second phase of its efforts to curb illicit fund flows. Govt. had earlier in June said that it has identified 2.25 lakh companies?
The Corporate Affairs Ministry has already struck off 2.26 lakh such other firms which were bogus and more are on the anvil. Minister of State for Corporate Affairs PP Choudhury told reporters that many of these Shell companies were involved in money laundering, drug funding, Smuggling, Terrorism funding, crimes and illegal activities”
How many such bogus companies are still there and, why, who, how we got into this mess in the first place?
In mid 1950s ProfessorJohn Kenneth Galbraith, a famous US economist (who later served as US Ambassador to India as well) told Prime Minister Nehru that the Indian Income Tax rate at that time @ about 90% beyond certain income, was too punitive and thus will tempt people to cheat and eventually will open a whole Pandora’s box to legalizing corruption in India. My brothers and sisters, Prof. Gailberth was right and that is exactly what happened to India in the
In all these years it destroyed the heart and soul of Bharat Varsh (Aatmaa disappeared) leaving behind just a kind of dead body. Over the years, people, dreamed, invented and found ways, means and systems to evade and cheat on Income Taxes. As a result, practically every one, Government, administrators, law and order enforcement people, educationist, health Service providers, religious institution, dharmic gurus and preachers, businessmen, goods and service producers and distributors all got into this Ganga to pick low hanging fruits, have fun and enjoy the loot. A huge army of accountants, tax consultants, lawyers, influence peddlers in collusion with Govt. and babus sprang up over time to promote this culture and share the bounty all around. Shame, guilt disappeared and corruption became a standard operating procedure everywhere. Brick by brick the beautiful temple called Bharat was demolished.
Instead of Ram Raj, Govt., babus and politicians in collusion with the powerful and interested people, devised and implemented Ration, Quota and Permit Raj. Tax Evasion, shell companies, number 2 economy (black), free flow of un-accounted money, black money and deposits in foreign banks flourished like no tomorrow. It gave further rise to Goonda Raj and extremely dirty politics. Courtesy, civility, ethics, honesty, morality, camaraderie (hallmark of a civilized society) disappeared from Bharat Varsh. Ishwar, Bhagwan Ram, Krishan, Mahavir, Gautama Buddha, Guru Nanak and Gandhi were replaced with one very simple and easy to pronounce word “Money”. No one cared for karma and Bhagwan anymore. Money (and lots if it) made by any means became the new identity and new Bhagwan. Today one will be hard pressed to name even a single institution that is free from this cancerous disease.
Our whole way of living, culture, vaani (speech), inter-personal relationship, custom, traditions, Pooja and places of worship were all engulfed by this fire. Being smart means being corrupt. Hoarding, charging inflated prices, creating artificial scarcity of some essential items became standard norm and part of the culture. Everybody is to himself only. Interdependence and interconnectedness are to be found in dictionary only.
To make my point, let me share with you a few real examples.
About 60 years ago, I was living in Chandigarh and teaching Engineering at Punjab Engineering College there. At our request, Chandigarh administration allotted to the Jain community there a good size piece of land in a very central location to build a place of worship. Very soon after, we planned for a foundation Stone Laying ceremony and sent invitation to the nearby Jain and other communities to participate. We estimated the gathering to be of about 1,000 people. For this, we planned a lunch for all after the ceremony. The lunch menu consisted of simple vegetarian items along with two sweet items. For the sweets, we asked the halwaii (the guy who was going to make the sweets) how much sugar (Cheeni) he will need. He said 50kg.
Since in those days sugar was on ration (not available without black in the market) we applied to Chandigarh Administration to allot us 50kg of sugar which they did. To participate in this ceremony a group of holy men (sadhus had also come a day earlier. The senior most holy man called me and asked me if we had gotten the sugar. I replied yes. He then asked how much. I said we needed 50kg, applied for 50kg and got 50kg. Now the holy man asked me the next question, “why did you not apply for 1,000kg?” I said sir, what will we do with the balance 950 kg? He looked into my eyes and said “you are just a Professor and don’t understand. You could have easily sold the balance in the black market”. Hearing this, I was absolutely stunned and right away told him that “I am ashamed of him asked him to leave the place then and there. We don’t want to build a place of worship which is based on such cheating. What is the need for such a place”? Naturally he too was surprised and had never expected such an answer from me or anyone else. This was even 60 years ago. You can only surmise who it is today. I realized how the whole Indian society was behaving and changing then. I think sky is the only limit now and everything is ok (sab chalta hai)
6 years ago, I was staying as a Guest with a personal friend of mine who at that time was a senior justice in one of the State High Courts of India. We started chatting about the menace and pervasiveness of corruption in Indian Society. He said it is so pervasive and acceptable that hardly anyone at any level is free this disease. He quoted one incident. He being a very senior level judge in a very prestigious High Court, often gets calls from some of his Governor friends. They ask him to suggest the name of someone or a friend who is willing to give to the Governor at least one Crore Rupees for his favor to be appointed a Vice Chancellor of some university in that State. Wow!
I have also heard that some people buy awards such as Padma Shree etc. Very interesting
Many Cow loving people have established lots of Cow shelters called Gau Shalas, Panjrapoles or Tabelas throughout India. Last year in October I read in Times of India that some of the Tabelas, instead of caring for the sick, old and injured cows, sell cows to the slaughter houses clandestinely. Here we go!
There are thousands and thousands of such examples. It has become so normal that hardly any body’s conscience bothers him/her. The Show goes on and duplicating.
Now you decide.
Kahan hai woh meraa pyaraa Hindustan, main us ko Dhoond raha hoon.
More than two-thirds of the countries-worldwide included in corruption rankings scored below 50, with an average of 43.
New Zealand and Singapore topped the rankings as the cleanest counties, while Somalia and South Sudan were the worst performers.
Rajiv Ranjan, a senior MLA from the ruling JD(U) said: