By Akhil Bansal : I was talking to my friend from Canada, an NRI who spent her childhood in Delhi, and then suddenly on a statement relating to Indian government officials made by me, she retorted that “India and Pakistan are corrupt countries”. Of course, she made this statement based on her experiences of childhood in India and after watching the situation in subcontinent from Canada. I was not able to defend my own and our neighbour country’s prestige after this statement, after all how can I when we witness its manifestation so frequently here.
Today, Supreme Court of Pakistan convicted Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on corruption charges and ordered his arrest. In the last couple of years, India has also seen accusations of corruption with ‘strong conviction potential’ against many of its leaders, mainly through RTI and CAG reports. Along with the corruption in high places, people of both nations suffer from day-to-day corruption from almost all departments, therefore whichever one comes in contact with, so it’s a scenario where corruption has engulfed our governments in its entire height and breadth. And why only our governments, our religious leaders and godmen and infact most of us, the very public itself. Although, we Indians don’t want ourselves to compare with Pakistan, as we think it’s a nation suspended in middle-age ideology and secondly, we have progressed economically. Yeah, we are to an extent right in the latter assertion, as if Raja Ashraf would have been in India, the scandal would not have been less than 1 lakh crore and that he merely had ‘peanuts’ for which he is punished, yeah, we can definitely ‘brag’ about this, poor Pakistan!
Although many commentators and analysts claim that corruption would not end in India and Pakistan and these countries are ‘incorrigibles’. But in the last couple of years, in both nations, there are protests from public, although protests do ‘find’ a reason, like rape-case, Hazara killing through which people vent their anger against mis-governance and no-governance. Its quite evident that people of both these nations are not happy with the attitude and working of their leaders. But the positive thing is they are now demanding change, change for a better life for themselves and their fellowmen and those in power are not able to turn this tide in their favour by their machinations of religion, caste, etc., although many a times people still gets mis-directed, innocent as they are. But still, the clamour is generated and I hope that it will grow louder in the time to come. Most importantly, change can be witnessed in the state processes, Courts’ working, institutions of state like CAG, EC activism and tools like RTI are both manifestations and further causes of this change, that is why A Raja here and Raja there are made accountable.
People in both these nations, claim that they are superior and different than the ‘other’, but I personally feel, we have the same underlying ideology, although the difference came due to democracy in India and dictatorship in Pakistan, but still the overlap is strong. We both are nations of weak, divided, servile and amenable people, well helpless we are because of our shared history which demonstrates the same exploitation dating back to centuries, of course, it does take time to change, time to unite, time to assert and time to replace the fitrat of both the people and leaders of both nations, which is a negative, but a shared feature. I am a realist, I won’t claim that change will happen in a couple of years or 5-6 years, I know it will take time, social processors don’t change as fast as of our computers. But still the spark that is generated needs to be continued and more importantly provided a direction, so that 2-3 decades down the line, no one say that Indian and Pakistan are corrupt societies.