The outgoing chief vigilance commissioner (CVC), Pratyush Sinha, a rarely heard, rarely seen figure during his tenure, has made news on his exit route. In a newspaper interview, he has said one out of every three Indians was “utterly corrupt” and half the population was “borderline”.
Sinha told Mint that corruption was “palpable” in modern India, saying only “20 per cent of Indians are honest, regardless of the temptations, because this is how they are. They have a conscience.”
“In India, the most unfortunate part is that the society is no longer seriously concerned about corruption and there is social acceptance. When we were growing up I remember if somebody was corrupt, they were generally looked down upon. There was at least some social stigma attached to it. That is gone. So there is greater social acceptance.
“This is a kind of paradox. On one side, civil society has become more active in exposing corruption; people are filing PILs (public interest litigations) and various other ways of highlighting corruption, trying to do something about it. On the other hand, in society, there is a general acceptance of corruption. If somebody has a lot of money, he is respectable. Nobody questions by what means he has got the money.”
Questions: Do the numbers look fair? Do you belong to the fifth, the third or the other half? Does corruption matter any longer, or have we internalised it completely?
Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: India’s most corrupt State?