Everyone Else Is Corrupt, Except Me
  New Delhi: “You don't say 'they all indulge in corruption' unless you know you've been indulging in it too.”

Many of us are like several of those who unfailingly hold their noses tight, while passing through garbage dump yards, to conveniently forget that the mounds of rubbish dumped in there and which is letting off a terrible stench, enough to choke one’s breath, are actually from their own homes.

Relate those who unfailingly holding their noses tight to those unflinchingly going around the town to claim that they can bear the inconveniences of demonetization terming it to be a courageous and bold step towards a larger effort at wiping out endemic corruption and black money.

What these, suddenly mushroomed “Desh Bhakths”, equivalent of those holding their noses tight are deliberately forgetting that the endemic corruption and Black money was akin to the rubbish dumped in the dumping yards is actually result of their own indulgence which they support in their daily lives with conviction, and which they would be doing in future also.

The whole situation of everyone acting with new infused morality of “Everyone else is corrupt, except me” reminds of a Telugu saying “ Andaaroo Shakhahaaru le, Ayina Chepala kura maayamaindi” ( All are vegetarians, but, still, the fish curry disappeared).

It means that the demonetization has re-defined the “corrupt” and “Corruption”.

For all of us, those who are holding the noses tightly, the focus is now on confiscating corrupt wealth and black money.

Identifying the corrupt and identifying individual acts of corruption has taken a backstage.

The Desh Bhakths are going around and trying to manufacture a belief that society has a chance to start again with a clean slate if black money is wiped out.

In the process, the complete failure of the state to act against corruption is being used as an excuse to infuse society with a new kind of morality.

Amidst all this “Noise of Morality” and the “Melee of Desh Bhakthi Naras” (Sloganeering), corruption has now become a crime without a perpetrator.

Each and every one of us began to talk to situate ourselves as victims of the corruption and pretending to have never been facilitating, doing and indulging in any sort of corruption before.

A house-owner who built an illegal house and accepts payments in cash from the tenant to the auto driver without actual permission and driving license, who refuses to ply on the meter to the clerk in a government office who has the expertise of under the table activities to political netas that buy votes to bug corporates who get their bank loans written off, are the standing examples indicative of the fact that people go to great lengths to justify their actions as moral and honest.

However, the logic goes, everyone else, except me, must be corrupt if corruption is endemic enough to justify the demonetization.

This discourse is promoting the widespread cynicism and hatred against politicians, bureaucrats, the police, big business, small business and the media that opposed the so called war against black money, while metamorphosing all those who support it into self-proclaimed Desh Bhakths.

Everyone feels like a victim and everyone else is suspect. But no one is a perpetrator or an agent. Everyone wants to rub it to the rich and the corrupt though no one knows who they are.

So it is acceptable to undergo inconvenience for yourself if the corrupt, the no one knows who, suffer in the process.

The government, on the other hand, in an act of playing politics, is promoting the pitch for shared sacrifice while also aggravating the conditions for social and institutional distrust.

It is appearing to be encouraging class envy and class conflict, which are already coming to the fore and may get further magnified in the future.

By re-framing corruption as a crime without perpetuator through the demonetization, the government has perhaps, to serve its political interests, wittingly created the conditions in which the nature of discourse regarding solving corruption in society changes permanently.

Thus, the act of bearing inconvenience has become convenient design to self-project as “EVERYONE ELSE IS CORRUPT, EXCEPT ME”. 

Tags: Rs 500, Rs 1000, Corruption, Denotified Rs 500/Rs 1, 000 currency, RBI, PM Modi, India, Black Money, Coin, 10 Rs CoinBanks, Exchanging Notes

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