Friday, December 24, 2010

Make corruption unfashionable

When I had joined the State Bank of India as a Probationary Officer way back in 1972, one of every two employees used to smoke. Smoking was then supposed to be a sign of advancement and was considered very fashionable. But when I left thirty years later, retiring voluntarily, only one out of four of five smoked. In 2002, smoking was no longer fashionable even among the younger staff of the bank. This big change was made possible by greater awareness about the ill effects of smoking on the smoker's health.

Something like this has got to be done for corruption. People have to be educated about its pernicious effects on the economy and, more importantly, on the moral fabric that binds the nation together. Corruption is far more addictive than tobacco smoking; getting people to kick this habit, therefore, is going to be an uphill task. But if India's non-corrupt take this up as a challenge, they can do it, just as the Obama supporters could do it in November 2008.

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