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Cause of corruption: People are completely at a loss

This is a weekend posting on a topic unrelated to anything. 

I am getting quite apprehensive. We, or at least I, seem to be thinking on
a completely different plane from the average Indian.

In the past year, I have discussed India's problems in detail with five
persons, each older than 60 years of age - who came over to USA to meet
their family members.

Almost all these views are the same: India is corrupt because our 'people'
have lost their moral sense. We need more Godliness in India. These
intellectual thinkings about the causes of corruption are false. These are
western ideas not applicable to India. We need men like Gandhi at this
stage, not western concepts of openness and competition. The businessmen
in India are the true cause of corruption. Do not look at the 'taker'
along, look at the 'giver.' We have to reform the businessmen.

On talking about paying our elected representatives Rs. 1 per person per
year, thus giving an MP an official salary of Rs.20 laks a year, the
response: the people are so bad: what makes you think that giving them
Rs.20 lakhs will make them honest? When I reply: that is because honest
people will enter politics and give a great fight and competition to these
people: there is a sense of disbelief.  We are a corrupt people. We cannot
ever attract honest people into politics. Nothing is ever going to work.
Let us get more of God. (by the way, each of these five persons were
personally very honest. They thought that 'others' are corrupt, and that
honest people are not supposed to be in politics!)

Trend: clearly toward greater and greater sense of alienation from the
existing reality. Nothing can be done in this world. Let us withdraw into
our own shell. We are unique. India is a special case. These people are
very surprised when they come to the western countries and find that
things are working! These Americans are very honest. They must be very
god-fearing, is the standard conclusion. And of course, the Americans are
socialists since they have a social security system.

What's wrong with us Indians? Have we lost our mind?  Can we not apply a
critical and a logical mind to analyze the simple cause of all this
corruption: terrible electoral policies and socialism? We need a major
attack on these depressing and pessimistic view of ourselves. We are not
all corrupt. In fact, a vast majority are NOT corrupt. We do have our
share of 'bad' people but such people would have found themselves behind
bars in any decent system. The problem is that we have been supporting a
system which quickly sucks up the bad folk and honors them with top

How do you explain such things to people? Is it going to be impossible to
explain these things to our people, ever? In that case, we might as well
wind up this effort and shut down this "freedom and sense shop."


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