Yeddyurappa has become the talk of the town, nay, state, nay the nation since quite sometime now. Yes you guessed it right, Yeddyurappa is the incumbent chief minister of the state of Karnataka, my home state. The fellow has been not only indicted but also strongly recommended to be prosecuted for serious graft and corruption, by the Lokayukta, in his final report having over one thousand pages resulted by an investigation that took over two years to complete. Lokayukta, - for the benefit of those who are not conversant with Indian political system, - is an ombudsman headed by a retired judge not below the rank of High Court of a state. This system, intended to make impartial investigation into corruption in public life, was put in place on public demand about a decade ago. But then, the Lokayukta is not given Suo Motu powers to prosecute the corrupt government servant or a legislator, because the law makers (legislators) framed the legislation so, - no power to take direct action against themselves but recommend the action to the incumbent Govt! We the the common citizens should only be happy because a chief minister of the state was included in the scope of the ombudsman despite very strong objection by the ruling class.
However, Yeddyurappa, in my well considered opinion is nowhere near a match to stalwart chief ministers like Mayavati of Uttar Pradesh, Karunanidhi and his rival the present chief minister Jayalalitha of Tamilnadu or the leader of this elite and privileged line of State Chief Ministers, Lallu Prasad Yadav of Bihar.
Anyway, at the very outset, my intention was not to discuss this political nonsense and idiocy when I started to write this blog. It is the sense of corruption, its place and the the reaction to it by the common citizens in this part of the land under the prevailing circumstances including old age friendships.
I made a new friend at the community park where I go for my regular walks in the morning and evenings some 7 or 8 months back. Soon I went on a five month visit to the U.S. and now it is almost one month after my return but we still sit together in the evenings after walk and chat. This man is a retired Govt. official, a gazetted officer in Forests Department. He has pleasing manners with a speck of innocence. I liked the way he took initiative in breaking the ice after a long period of mutual observation, and perhaps a peripheral visual appearance too.
I never make it any secret of my detest and disgust to bribe and corruption. Probably this man had noticed it during our initial talks. Soon he told me without any hint from me, that even though he was in a Govt. dept., which is no less corrupt than any other administrative departments, he hated to take bribe. But then when he helped a departmental man to get a transfer to his choice of place and this lower grade worker after his transfer came to him and forced a couple of hundred rupee notes in his shirt pocket, he felt it awkward but kept it as that same day his son who had applied for some educational institution for a professional course, and asked him for Rs. 200/- towards prescribed fees which this man did not have! In the evening he paid that sum to his son. Was this man justifying bribe or was he trying to make a right impression on me? I did not bother, for, I have long been convinced that people can never understand my thoughts on morals and ethics in life. I simply take this other facet of nature that I can never understand!
This was before I left on a five month leave from my regular walks in the park. Now, this retired gentleman Govt. servant seems to have forgotten what he told me earlier and tells me that a three year stint to a particular place which has a vast forest land came to him as a boon and changed his fate as it was during this period he was able to redeem the pledged jewellery of his wife to own a house and marry off his two daughters to well placed boys (both govt. servants). And he genuinely prides in telling me that he never stretched his palm for bribe; everything came on its own way in the form of gratitude towards his selfless work! Moreover, I noticed that the events he described defied all logic of chronology.
One should be able to put his feet in my shoes and walk to know what I am, isn't it? I can never understand your sense of right and wrong, good and bad and just and unjust, unless I am born again as you, not me, right? For this I may have to die first to all past, all values and all teachings I have accumulated in my head.... perhaps!
Yeddyurappa puts conditions to resign as chief minister of Karnataka to the BJP high command and the senior leaders of the party say him first to resign and then they will consider all his conditions! Die to your past sir, you will have a grand new life!
I do not speculate anything new to my state, nation or the whole wide world, the same thing repeats over and again at one or the other corner of the world in a different new form. That is the entire meaning of democracy, the best option of governance we have.
Corruption and bribe, a far and remote extension of survival instinct, is an integral part of life on earth. Bribe, perhaps, takes its form from the first human act of feeding the new born baby to stop its crying!