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Fees for project: 200 crores, Kickbacks: 50 crores

January 10, 2014

With the elections coming up, corruption is finding a new high by the day.

And this is no news to anyone. Those 4000 people who called the helpline set up by Mr. Kejriwal have seen it. As they are part of the system, so are those officers who work hard all their lives and retire from small government jobs with meagre pension and benefits. But their life’s work is undone by those who don’t see it as a big problem. Till the time it IS too big for their pockets… Bhupati Shukla, a lone crusader against what he believes is wrong, and who fights everyday temptation to make his life easier, observes that: “There was a time when I thought our politicians are corrupt. My view has changed over the years. It is the people who are corrupt. As long as the common man agrees to pay, corruption shall continue to thrive.”   

So everywhere there are people who yield to small demands due to a dearth of time or simply because they prefer paying under the table than spend their precious time in running from pillar to post, in his words. But then there are others. More ambitious, with a lot more at stake, or with a lot more to gain.

These are not the people who will log onto I Paid a Bribe to report what they have to do. These are people who are given work to do. They have to run their offices, hire a huge staff, produce reports and work hard to get the money they are going to get. And provide for others’ money within that, all sounding legitimate. Start with ‘investing’ before getting the work order, and go on paying a percentage at every bill. It doesn’t matter who one is dealing with – a Junior Engineer, or SE. The clearance comes all the way from CE and the Minister (and in this case, the Chief Minister). It isn’t easy for them: There are competitors lurking, willing to do the same. There are transfers, added costs, and the pressure to deliver the work. They too are worried about making ends meet.


But they have one less worry. They don’t have to worry about where this world is going. They are leading it there.

The bribe analytics on showing a total of 41 lakhs paid as bribe make me laugh. If I don’t, I’ll surely cry.



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