As you’ve known by now, I don’t write very often. There’re two reasons for this –first and the more obvious one is my affinity for drawing; and second (somewhat less evident) for the writing being more controversial than drawing.
If today I’ve chosen to embark the less treaded path, it’s only for one simple reason…I think, of late, we Indians, have lost our objectivity on some important issues and that loss is dragging us back.
If the above sentiment appears confusing… trust me…as the write-up unfolds, it’ll become clear.
In the past couple of months; India has to face some of the very devastating events. From serial bomb blasts in Jaipur and Ahmadabad to floods in North Bihar; to serial bomb blasts in the national capital on Saturday.
Like in the past, these incidents not only did some serious damage to the life and property, they also exposed our flawed thinking; as an Individual and as a nation.
How?… let I explain.
We, as Indians, constantly blame corruption for our every woe. We do so everyday; at our jobs, at our homes and everywhere we go. Corruption as a topic plays an important role in our lives.
No wonder, when as a nation, we stand up to voice our displeasure for these (bomb blasts, floods…) unfortunate but avoidable incidents we instinctively choose to hoard our ire around the same word—corruption.
If media acts as a valve to give a vent to the public grievances, it’s at no fault if it chooses to air the perception people hold. So let’s keep media away from this debate; we’ll grill it some other day.
But situations have reached to such a level that we have turned a blind eye to the other possible causes to our problems.
Time has come for us to ask ourselves, one simple question:
Is corruption the only cause of our problems?
Take for instance the recent floods in Bihar.
The floods displaced more than fifteen lakh people in the affected regions. In addition to food, clothing and shelter, a large number of people needed to be shifted to safe places.
The number was in lakhs if not more. The government arranged for boats and helicopters;
How many?.. One boat for every 5000 people and three helicopters for the entire rescue effort.
As obvious the above numbers are too insignificant to make for a good rescue.
To have a successful rescue at a calamity of such gigantic proportion, at least one boat for 100 people and 200 helicopters for the entire rescue are needed.
But we neither have that many boats nor the helicopters. So even if the government wishes to rescue every single person; by using the resources at hand to the best of their efficiency (in other words Zero corruption); it can’t.
That apart the money allotted for the rescue is also too insignificant to make for any visible result.
Again even if every single penny of the money is spent it’ll not save sizable number of people. Does it?
It’s the meagerness of the monetary and other resources that’s failing the rescue effort not the corruption (which we habitually blame to).
Now let’s talk about the Saturday’s Delhi bomb blasts.
Every aware citizen knows that Terrorist attacks point to failed intelligence and the intelligence is a group effort. In addition to armed forces, police is an integral part of this intelligence system.
In civilian areas more than the army, it is the police which are instrumental in getting the info regarding these terror activities. So it is their responsibility to protect people from these incidents. But before stone pelting on our police, wait a minute for some important facts.
In developed countries (who’s policing, we and media want our police to emulate) the police to people ratio is 500-600 per one lakh people; in India’s case, it is 126 per lakh.
The annual expenditure for our armed forces is above 1,00,000 crores; that for police is 1,500 crores (just 1.5 % of the armed forces expenditure).And we want our Police to be as efficient as our army.
Last time we inducted sizable number of police personnel was 1984. World has changed a lot after that.
But still whenever we discuss post terror attack scenarios, we again blame our police for the corruption.
Again even if the police become a sage(zero corruption), is it possible for such ill equipped and small police force to protect a population of over a billion people.
So rather than blaming corruption for failed security; isn’t it wise to look out for other possible reasons.
Why can’t we discuss things practically and shed our Utopian hangover.
Time has come for us to realize that corruption, even if it obstructs smooth flow of things, and is a curse to a happy and prosperous world; is not the only cause for our problems; it’s one of the many causes.
We just have to look for them!