few days ago, I was contacted by an organisation called Janaagraha based in Bangalore to write an article for their new intitative ,I Paid Bribe.com. This site serves as a platform for the citizens to come forward and share their experience of bribery, stories when they stood up to it and when they encountered honest officials! IPAB's policy is to target process and not individuals.
I have worked for Janaagraha, in 2003. I was doing my Bachelor's in Home Science and we were contacted by Swati Ramanathan to do a small , week long project for them. We were divided into groups and were given maps of various locations in Bangalore. We had to chose an area and measure each property on the map and fill in the columns where the measurements had to be written. I was the head of our group and my group won the Best Team award from our class :-) So that was my small stint with this organization.
The views I am going to express below is my own.
Bribe.What exactly is it?According to Wikipedia,it is a form of corruption, an act implying money or gift given that alters the behaviour of the recepient.
If you think, bribery starts and ends with governement institutions,I think you are wrong!How many times have we paid an autorikshaw driver an extra Rs.10 that he has asked us? How many times have you paid a police officer Rs.100 instead of the full amount on the ticket and escaped from the situation? If we inspect our day to day activities, we will come across 100's of such situation. Don't you think so?
Bribing gets things moving in a faster pace. It can get you a Doctorate degree even if you haven't seen a school ;-) It can get you positions/seats in companies/offices/colleges that someone worthy might have been rejected for. Bribing is like a maze, once you are in it, you will never find a way out. It's only because it's easy & convenient.
When I asked Jobin, my husband, for some input, he felt that bribe exists in 2 forms: good bribe & bad bribe.
What I am trying to say is, there is evil around me and you everywhere, it's how we look at it/ handle it.I am not saying that me or you can change the whole world, because this world of ours is so big and so corrupted at each and every stage. But we can do something small for ourselves and eliminate this evil from each of our lives. Maybe if we all try it that way, somewhere, someday, we might see a change and this world of ours might become a better place to live in.