The fact that India is one of the most corrupt nations, specially among the larger ones, is no secret even before the recent events. An average Indian appears genetically corrupt. But then an average Indian is also religious. What has always amazed me is how such religious fervor can so easily coexist with corruption. If you believe in a force beyond you and also believe that you could hide from your own conscience but not Him, how could you indulge in such habitual corruption?
Thinking through further, I wonder if we have turned God into a corrupt being as well. The typical temple goer cuts one or more deals with his or her favorite god. “Let me pass this exam and I will come to Tirupati to part with some follicles” or “get me a new job and I will return the favour with a donation to the temple fund” etc.
The fact that we are at it over the years makes me think that God has been obliging regularly. Divine graft has therefore become a role model for everything else. So we are corrupt not in spite of, but because of, religion. Of course, the cynic might say that corruption is so much in our DNA that we have conveniently assumed it applies to divine matters as well.
So is there a cure that doesn’t require a “thousand” Hazare’s to starve? Probably. If we could have an Indian Moses who walks out like someone from a Castaway sequel set with just one Commandment that says “thou shall stop bribing me”, it might break the link between corruption and religion. Without a role model, successive generations of Indians then lose the plot and as Darwinians would agree, the corruption gene might just mutate or become vestigial to the point of extinction.
Now who could play that Moses part well? No! Not AB guys…