It really is not the reporting of Police corruption to the world community that vilifies the workings of our criminal “Justice” machinery, particularly concerning treatment of our foreign ‘economically advantaged’ but culturally naive visitors. It is the inherent disgrace of such relatively transparent extortive shakedowns themselves where ‘under the table’ consent has been seized thru’ usurpation and the proceeds proportionately fractionalized upward, ‘behind the khaki curtain’, rank wise, conforming to the ‘Inverted Triangle’ principle of Multi-Level Marketing.
In the bigger picture, CORRUPTION MATTERS! Corruption is treasonous: it subverts ethical governance, saps productivity, prostitutes our nation to the highest bidder, directly affects National Security. And it costs us all very dearly!
No doubt we’ve come some ways toward progress but in these 60 post-Independence years we took to coming ‘this close’ to striking a nuclear deal with the US, we could have accomplished A LOT MORE in other areas critical to our national development and earning a respectable standing as a World Leader entrusted with veto powers in the UN.
Instead, we find ourselves still limping to the same sad tune and the same weather beaten theme we’ve inherited from our predecessors: Purporting to address poverty while widening the economic gap, proposing literacy reforms while overlooking adequate benefits for teachers, stamping out child labor absent an aggressive motivational school program free from depriving them of their meager government subsidized food rations and health services, setting out to modernize agriculture and animal husbandry without considering just dues to struggling farmers, assuring rural development in an administrative climate that skims the ‘cream’ off the budget ‘crud’, contemplating infrastructure absent decent benefits for Labor, ‘tightening up’ internal security with a purchasable intelligence and enforcement machinery …
Not that we’ve been short of money for development programs.; far from that! You see, the budgeted funds traverse a rather obscure, circuitous path to reach their final destination. Herein lies the (deliberate?) quandary! A lot of greedy pockets line the route impeding its passage like panhandlers at the railway station following close at heel toward your transportation! And when the funds eventually arrive and are put to their intended use, they are usually found to be “inadequate” to complete the projects to an acceptable standard for utilization hence justifying necessitating cost-influenced ‘trimmings’ and, as expected, sub-standard results that defeat the purpose.
Consider just this one common example: the annual flood situation during the Monsoons. Stagnant water and the lack of proper drainage facilities that invite disease, traffic jams, property damage, power cuts, mud slides, many casualties … We deal with this occurrence every year in just about the same locations as previous years, yet, with the exception of random filling of pot holes (and only in response to overwhelming complaints), we see little if any signs of its abatement – despite the availability and release of funds for the very purpose.
It doesn’t take a genius in Economics to figure out where the shortages in allocated funds went. One needs only to direct a cursory glance at the “Lifestyles to Means Ratio” of our trusted public servants to discover their nests are pretty damn well feathered. Yet there’s little if any inquest. And why should there be when “all concerned” (excluding the general public) have been generously compensated?
One manager at the local Municipality, on assurance of anonymity, confessed that the biggest money-making racket has been the land registration and grabbing schemes – the Darling of some of the highest placed icons in politics and Administration! This is how it usually works: Intelligence from their ‘Field Surveyors’ brings to light a listing of prime real estate especially vulnerable for seizure (usually owned by some aged individual, or someone living abroad, or someone with little or no political clout to hold out in an expensive – and often fixed – court proceedings).
Appropriate documents are then forged (e.g., a fictitious Sale Deed, Mortgage Deed with Right of Possession, Affidavit of Defaulting Terms Guaranteeing Surety, etc.). The property is registered to the new ‘owner’ who summarily directs his goons to occupy the property and establish presence. The ‘genuine’ Owner would call the Police but to no avail; their ‘cooperation’ would have been acquired previously. So now he is compelled into a long, drawn out battle in court which could last as long as 20 years. Meanwhile, some enterprising political muscle-flexing scum enjoys the fruits of someone else’s labor!
And you were thinking “THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH?” Not hardly, my Man! Looks like the predators shall!
There are scores of such success stories giving credence to the “Rags to (purloined) Riches” parable. Like f’rinstance a City manager who had been milking the budget for years “allocating” resources toward road development in some godforsaken corner of Slumsville and for maintenance and operational costs of their Community Center. Now, TWENTY PROFITABLE YEARS LATER, it is discovered that absolutely no roads were ever laid out there since Independence, and there was no Community Center in that Hole-in-the-Wall ghetto in the first place!
Extortion rackets, particularly gender biased IPC §498a scams, have evolved in sophistication and become so widespread that they are generally recognized as a lucrative underground Cottage Industry managed by a capable Board of Directors who just happen to be the local Police.
There’s available a very informative article on the Indian Corruption Entrepreneurship that goes so far as to suggest diligence and due caution from US businesses contemplating interaction within the unique ethical mores of Indian business practices. I found it most definitely a “ Must Read ” piece of objective research. Here’s the Link: http://thepiratebay.org/search/India%20Police%20Corruption*/0/99/600.
Pursuant to numerous such criminal incidents reported by the media, particularly situations where, minimally, by preponderance of evidence, one could reasonably ascertain that vested Police involvement exists, the Consulate General of the United States of America has issued a World-wide cautionary advisory to travelers intending to visit India:
“Persons violating Indian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. For example, certain comments or gestures towards women, Indian national symbols, or religion that are legal in the United States may be considered a criminal violation in India, subjecting the accused to possible fines or imprisonment. Furthermore, since the police may arrest anyone who is accused of committing a crime (even if the allegation is frivolous in nature), the Indian criminal justice system is often used to escalate personal disagreements into criminal charges. This practice has been increasingly exploited by dissatisfied business partners, contractors, estranged spouses, or other persons with whom the U.S. citizen has a disagreement, occasionally resulting in the jailing of U.S. citizens pending resolution of their disputes. At the very least, such circumstances can delay the U.S. citizen’s timely departure from India, and may result in an unintended long-term stay in the country. Corruption in India, especially at local levels, is a concern, as evidenced by Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index of 3.5, ranking India in 72nd place of the world’s countries…”
Now wait just a doggone moment here, Pilgrim! I represent (I mean) resent those remarks! How dare they pass factual comments about us like that! Why, the nerve … ! Just for that, we should serve them a dose of our Super Duper NRI-‘Farengee’ Special FIR! Our Inspector Sahibs have years of practical experience dressing up fraudulent FIRs with “Mirchi Masala”! They’ll dream up a suitable Penal Code section later! Yes, Yes! Just imagine the charges … Ooohh! Baby, I’m really getting turned on, now … A non-bailable “Libelous Representation of Truth” or “Contempt of Crooked Courts” or “Conspiracy to Impede Tourist Shakedowns” r/w “Propaganda Intended to Expose our Insidious Tourist Traps” …. We gotta arrest them for something, Yar! It is now Izzat-ka-Sawaal! Let’s get them for, like f’rinstance, “Urinating on the Sidewalk in Public View”! No, we can’t do that! After all, it happens to be a protected Indian tradition! Instead, let’s ‘appropriate’ their Multi National Investments here and send them packing back to “Phoren”! Oops! Can’t do that either. We’d be broke in no time and on our knees again! Besides, we could all use some Visiting Visas to Amreeka so we could conveniently disappear and start our very own Desi convenience store or get a job in the armory dept. at the local mosque!
On second thoughts, why cause trouble, Yar? Let’s just turn the other cheek and pretend it’s just a “crazy American joke”! Subsequent slaps in public don’t hurt as much as the first one did; besides, remember that time-honored advise from the enlightened Swamiji (now prudently in hiding)? “Better to be dick-slapped in public by a gang of career diplomats than have your ass kicked in private by a solitary Marine”.
Our Founding Fathers may likely be “rolling in their graves” while their prospering progeny are “rolling in the gravy”. Tsk! Tsk! Depressing state of affairs …