Can something corrupt be made “un-corrupt”? Can a corrupt person be healed? Can a corrupt system be fixed?
“Corruption is a cancer: a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity…It wastes the talent of entire generations. It scares away investments and jobs.” – Joe Biden
It seems like an impossible task. Speaking out of the Indian context, at times it feels like corruption is so deeply rooted in society that it will be impossible to weed out. Many feel that it’s just better to “go with the flow” because “everyone else is doing it”. But corruption is a cancer. It is deeply rooted in the heart of a person and spreads uncontrollably throughout the body, but not only in the person themselves. It is a contagious kind of cancer, spreading to those who come into contact with it as-well. We have ignored the warning signs too long and now it has come to this. A nation under surgery.
The recent and sudden decision by Prime Minister Modi to immediately pull the 500 and 1000 rupee notes from circulation is already being hailed as a surgical strike on terror funding and black money. One can imagine the fear and shock going through people with hoards of ill gained cash stashed away, but even the innocent citizen is not left unaffected. India is a nation undergoing surgery, it is going to be tough, uncomfortable, painful for many but ultimately beneficial. You see, sometimes we need a rude awakening, a kick-start, to set us back onto the straight and narrow.
Sure, soon enough people will figure out ways around the new anti corruption measures. Give it a week, a month and things may just return to how they were. But here’s the thing: It doesn’t have to be that way. We have been given a chance to clean up and now is the time to grab that opportunity. An opportunity to not only clean up our pockets, but our hearts as well.
“The fight for justice against corruption is never easy. It never has been and never will be. It exacts a toll on our self, our families, our friends, and especially our children. In the end, I believe, as in my case, the price we pay is well worth holding on to our dignity.” – Frank Serpico
Politics aside, temporary inconveniences aside. Will we allow ourselves this chance to break free from the unending cycle of corruption? Will we accept that we need healing, as individuals, as families, as a society and as a nation?