Fighting corruption

There are a few men and women who manage to hog the limelight by telling us everyday what we have known all our lives.

They tell us we are a corrupt nation. We have always been a corrupt nation from time immemorial. Even during the British Raj, while a corrupt Englishman was a rarity, non-corrupt Indians were hard to find.

Two men who have cashed in telling us day after day we must do something about corruption without spelling out what that something is, are Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev. Their approach to the problem is utterly lop-sided. They appeal to religion and conscience. Religion is the most corrupting phenomenon in our social lives because it pleads for forgiveness. Corruption should never be forgiven.

They are not aware that the principal cause of corruption is the enormous disparity of wealth between the haves and have-nots. While the boss earns over Rs 2 lakh a month, he pays his domestic staff no more than a pittance: his car driver gets around Rs 10,000 per month, his khansama, baihrah, ayah of the children around half that sum.

The temptation to steal becomes irresistible. The best our governments could think of doing something about it was to ask employees to register names of their servants. That had a negative effect. The police harassed private domestic staff and extorted money from them.

 I come to the conclusion that the only way to tackle endemic corruption is to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor by speeding up the pace of development. At present, it moves at a snail’s pace, it should be going at the pace of a horse in full gallop.

We should take a lesson from the advanced democracies of the world. The servant class has disappeared in all of them. People have learnt to look after themselves and not rely on their relations or the government to do so. If the state or relations give their assistance, it should be treated as a bonus. A line from the Gurbani neatly sums it up:

Apnee hathee aapna apey hee kaaj savaari

Improve your state of affairs with your own hands.

Journalism today

Journalism is the profession that gives us today’s news
That which is fact not fiction and definitely not views
Today we get news from media, the types are so many
But news we read, see, or hear is so much not that, it’s not funny.
We have written media that by public is read
But it seems good journalists are all gone, or are dead.
Though reading is decreasing, newspapers increase much faster than
Colleges produce journalists even when as fast as they can.
What makes it worse, media units multiply at a much faster rate
Than our population can race to educations gate.
But reading is quite different from viewing and hearing
The last two are such, they can be enjoyed with little school or learning.
So when TV news readers read you the news
You find fair maidens who give you their views
They smile and giggle, smirk, wiggle, and wink, raise eyebrows
Are they acting or what or does someone have them in tow!
Gone is the principle, read news with a straight face
Showing one has an opinion is newsreaders disgrace
When giving news, careful! it cannot be conjecture
News if fact, not maybe, I think, I heard, I’m not sure.
Last but not least news photos are visuals of what actually happened
Not pixels or bytes, a pictorial put together, a photo pre-planned.
(Contributed by Stanley Joseph Nazareth, Nagpur)

Chennai joke

Subramanian Swamy, an usual, went the police station and lodged a complaint against his wife and wrote:

“With little altercation she hurls her sandals at me.”
Inspector: Since when?
Swamy: For the last five years.
Inspector: Why are you coming now?
Swamy: Because now she is more accurate and never misses her target.

Taj Mahal

Buta Singh’s English tutor: Explain Taj Mahal in brief.
Buta Singh: “Simple, it’s the largest erection of a man for a woman.”

(Contributed by Ramesh Kotian, Udupi)

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