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The Culture of Corruption in India, and its Impact on the Indian Society - Article Example

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Abhimanyu Soin WRIT 340 Dr. Stephen Park May 31, 2012 Driving to work one busy morning I happened to notice a well just a few kilometers before my office. It was an old freshwater well, with a bucket hung by a rope that was wrapped around a stone-pulley structure, and was used to pull out drinking water for the residents of the village…
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The Culture of Corruption in India, and its Impact on the Indian Society
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The Culture of Corruption in India, and its Impact on the Indian Society

Download file to see previous pages... That would be the case if the effect of the rope is positive. Let’s consider that the rope stands as a symbol of the culture that surrounds us – family traditions, religious beliefs, work ethic – and the stone represents our core individual values. Thus, if a person’s values are not strong enough, the cultural rope would quickly find its way through simply since it surrounds the person within. It is only a matter of time before the culture of the rope corrupts the rigidity of the stone no matter how strong its values are. The same evening, while returning home in a hurry, I accidently jumped a red light on a small traffic signal. The traffic policeman immediately pointed at me to pull over to the side of the street. The officer was a big fellow with a turban on his head representing the colors of the Punjab Police. It took me a while to gather the confidence to reach for my wallet and pull out a five-hundred rupee bill. I rolled my window down, slowly filled my breath, and without saying a word just handed the officer the bill concealed in a handshake. He immediately knew what it was, and the second he could catch a glimpse of the number ‘500’ on the bill, he let me pass scot-free and wished me a good evening. There was no mention of any driver’s license, car insurance or proof of ownership. It did not strike me until later that I had just purchased the law out of my wallet from none other than a symbol of the law. The officer, who is supposed to enforce the laws created by the state, had given me the liberty to walk away from the consequences of breaking the law. The way in which the incident had occurred shows that there is an understanding between citizens and the police, where such actions are expected by both parties. Any citizen who jumps a traffic light and is asked to pull over knows that the penalty is far greater than the one thousand rupee fine. The fine is combined with the confiscation of one’s driving license, the car’s proof of registration, and multiple trips to the local courthouse spanning over a few weeks, or sometimes even months. The service at these courthouses is not much different from the Los Angeles DMVs – rude, excruciatingly slow, and inefficient. A simple affair of paying a traffic fine becomes a month’s job. The courageous act of handing over the bribe to the traffic policeman saves one from all that trouble. People look for the easiest, most convenient way out of their problems. Mandeville calls it psychological hedonism, an idea that each individual seeks his own benefit. The citizen finds his benefit in bribing the one policeman rather than running around the corridors of local courts for weeks. The traffic policeman understands his responsibility to uphold the law to the best of his ability. His twelve-hours a day, six days a week duty pays him a meager salary after government cuts, which is barely enough for him to sustain his basic necessities. The opportunity to earn a few extra bucks comes rarely to him, but it remains an opportunity that he fails to miss. He does, however, face a moral dilemma – between his honest core values and the easy money being presented to him – every time that the opportunity arises. Therefore, when the price is right – and by right I mean high ‘ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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