Bo Xilai has been given a life sentence for corruption. What I am posting here is definitely a personal opinion but the caption in the newspaper made me ponder. My instant reaction was accompanied by a question mark : life sentence for corruption? It has been a while since I got used to reading newspapers dedicatedly devoting large portions to the variegated scams. Of course, a lot can be attributed to  ‘negligence’ on the part of the authorities, but all of us are well aware of the murkiness that lies beneath the apparent well-functioning systems. As if it was not already sad enough with the tardy approach taken towards most issues, rampant corruption too has become a menace for our nation and has added to our troubles. The term ‘bureaucracy’ has acquired a negative connotation, and most bureaucrats are considered a part of the fraternity which allegedly believes in what we could call the antithesis of anything synonymous with ‘ethics’. The sad part is that corruption is not limited to the bureaucracy. It has become an omnipresent peril in our country. On the contrary, the world is a witness to the fact that It is not just the punishment , but the sheer concern for the gravity of the crime committed  that has become the highlight in China. Personally, I cannot ever imagine any public official being sentenced for life (with or without any amnesty or parole) in India. This is not to mean that I advocate or support it, but it would simply seem incongruous in a place where the most heinous of crimes go unpunished and the worst perpetrators roam free on the streets. It would seem like a figment of a rather wild imagination under the present circumstances, when the people in the upper echelons have unequivocally decided to be passive and not pass certain legislations, the implementation of which might land them in  unwanted situations; or have decided to be in an absolute denial mode with regard to questions that remain unanswered, and with regard to answers that they leave hanging in the air. So basically, the point being driven home by them is: All is well, folks. Just take a chill pill and go to sleep.

Transparency International ranked us at 94th place out of 176 countries in 2012. That should give each one of us some food for thought. It’s about time we started thinking as to why we end up overlooking and ignoring everything. Why is it that corruption has become a way of life with us? What is it that drives us crazy for money and makes us so power-hungry? What is it that hurts our conscience so much that we deviate to such low moral standards? I agree that at times, things are easier said than done. It’s easy to blog and brag about being ethically right, but life does get difficult when one lives under duress. So what do we do to counter fear? We BLACKmail, intimidate and threaten further. And this vicious circle moves till it becomes a BLACKhole and ends up swallowing everyone. There are some of us who become suicidal, and then there are those bravehearts who end up losing so much during the battle that they end up losing hope. They probably end up losing themselves into nostalgia for want of some fresh air, reminiscing about those days when they were ready to take on the world with gusto.Their bravery has now transformed into a veil laced with cynicism, bitterness , resentment, and who knows, vengeance. The system metamorphosed them, and unfortunately, their wounds remain fresh and festered. To put it plainly, they give back what they got. So we continue along the journey without actually going anywhere, literally and figuratively.

It is rather ordinary for some countries to discuss the ramifications of sentencing a person to life imprisonment for charges of corruption. Individually, I would not even dream about it. Now that I know about it, I have started viewing corruption as something more than a menace. Maybe this impact on our psyche is what punishments are all about. I might start perceiving the fact that it has to start within, the process of transformation. Only then shall we be able to wake up from our slumber and look around us. We need to realize that a day might come when we could revamp ourselves into either a State to be emulated, or a State which could end up defying the theory of Maslow’s hierarchy by creating utter confusion between wants and needs. We have every right to be called a democracy, because the choice is ours. We indeed get the government we deserve.

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