By Rajiv Dixit : 2.1 A very mysterious question , and such a simple answer !!
You must have heard from your relatives, friends in US that the corruption in US police\courts is far less than corruption in India’s police\courts. Every NRI in India must have noticed this from day one. E.g. when I was in US from 1990-1998. I was stopped by Constables 5 times for traffic violations. The constables fined me three times and pardoned me two times, but didn’t even hint that they were interested in bribes. Why? And this must have been a mystery to you – why are the policemen\judges in US far less corrupt? Are the policemen\judges in US so stupid, compared to the policemen\judges of India, that they cant think of clever ways to extort bribes from their citizens? No, they are not so stupid. Are they so coward that they cant muster courage to arm twist citizens and squeeze bribes from them? No , they are as courageous as policemen in India – no less. Then are all policemen\judges in US saints free from greed? No. There cant be millions of greed-free people in any country. Then is higher salary alone main reason for low corruption? Well, lets say we double the salaries of our policemen\judges in India this week; then will they will they give us even 10% discount in bribes starting next week? For example, in 2009-2010, Govt tripled the salaries of all judges. Did the judges give even 10% discount in bribery next day? I guess not. If a GoI employee thinks that his salary should be twice of what he is getting, and so he needs bribes, then does he stop taking bribes after collecting bribes equal to 30 years of salary difference? No, most of them never stop. So salary is surely an important issue, but not a major factor to create the difference between levels of corruption in India and US. Then what else can be the reason?
Is our culture a reason? Many intellectuals (ku-buddheejeevies?) of India have 4 digit IQ, and they say that policemen in India are more corrupt because we commons are uneducated, unaware, lack moral character, we have bad political culture etc. IOW, as per these intellectuals with 4 digit IQ, we the citizens are responsible for the corruption in policemen\judges !! These “blame the victim” explanation given by intellectuals with 4 digit IQ is something I dismiss as a white lie. It reeks and stinks like “women are responsible for rapes”. The arguments that “citizens don’t have awareness” or “citizens have bad culture” are total nonsense. Even most illiterate person is very much aware that corruption is immoral and it is crime. And surely all policemen, judges, Ministers are very much aware that corruption is illegal and immoral. And even when education in US was less than 5% in year 1800s, they did not have such corrupt police, courts etc. Hence IMO, lesser education is a non-issue, “citizens lack awareness” is total nonsense cooked up by intellectuals with 4 digit IQ and “citizens have bad culture” is a white lie.
Then what are the real reasons behind lesser corruption in US policemen?
Lets divide police force in two broad parts – junior officers like Constables\Inspectors and seniors like District Police Commissioner. The Constables in US rarely ask for bribes because District Police Commissioners in US set traps. So a Constable knows that 1 out 100-500 law violator is a trap set by Commissioner and if he dares to ask for a bribe, he might get caught and land in prison. E.g. when I was in US from 1990-1998. I was stopped by Constables 5 times for traffic violations. The constables fined me three times and pardoned me two times, but didn’t even hint that they were interested in bribes. Why? The main reason being : he knew that 1 out 200 such traffic violators are traps set by Commissioner and he doesn’t know which one is the trap. So he forgoes bribes in all 200 cases. And many nodal officers in US like District Education Officer, District Public Prosecutors, Governors etc set traps against officers, Ministers, judges. The occasional traps keep all junior staff bribe free.
So the fact that “Commissioner sets traps” explains why junior staff is less corrupt. But then why do Police Commissioners in US set traps to stop bribes while most Police Commissioners in India order Constables to collect bribes? What creates this difference? Why don’t Police Commissioners of US also give collection targets to Constables? The one and only reason is : citizens in US have procedure to expel District Police Chief (aka Right to Recall aka Prajaa-aadheen Raajaa). IOW, if citizens in a US district want to expel District Police Chief they dont need to approach DIG or CM or Home Minister and file complaints. The citizens of US also do not need to approach High Court judges and file worthless PILs. The citizens in US only need to prove that majority district voters want Police Commissioner to be expelled. And once the majority is proven against a District Police Chief, he is expelled and no High Court judge or Supreme Court judge dares to throw stay order and delay his expulsion. Likewise, if citizens in US want to expel CM, Mayor, District judge, District Public Prosecutor, District Education Officer etc they don’t need to approach MLAs or PM or party leaders or judges – the citizens only need to prove majority opinion in that District or State. So Police Chief and all nodal officers fear that if staff becomes very corrupt, citizens may expel him. And so these nodal officers like Police Commissioners set traps and so corruption in junior staff is less.
Now is this procedure to expel nodal officer, aka Right to Recall an American concept? Is it an un-Indian concept, as many anti-recall intellectuals say? NO. Chap-6 of Satyarth Prakash is “Raaj Dharm”. In this chapter, Swami Dayanand enumerates powers of citizens, officers, Ministers, judges and their duties. In the very first page of chap-6, Swami Dayanand establishes the foundation of Raaj-Dharm. Swami Dayanand gives two words – “Prajaa-aadheen Raajaa”. And in these two words, he summarizes 10000 proposals on good politics. And then he elaborates : “Raajaa must be Prajaa-aadheen, or else he will rob the citizens and destroy the nation”. And he has taken shlokas from Atharvaved. And a cursory comparison of India’s Police Commissioner, Ministers, judges etc with US Police Commissioner, Ministers, judges etc shows how correct the sages who wrote Atharvaved and Swami Dayanand are. The citizens in US have procedures to expel their District Police Chief, CM etc i.e. they are all Prajaa-aadheen, and so Police Chief, judges, CM etc in US don’t rob citizens but protect citizens Whereas citizens in India cant expel or do any damage to Police Chief, CM etc and thus they are not Prajaa-aadheen. And so we see that most Ministers, judges in India are busy robbing us commons. How apt is the analogy of Maharshi Dayanand – “just as carnivorous animal eats other animals, a Raajaa who is not Prajaa-aadheen would rob his citizens”. And thus of all things in this world – two words from Satyarth Prakash explain why corruption in US police is low. And to me, it is an utter irony that I have to give example of US to prove the worthiness of these two words of Satyarth Prakash.