Three big corruption scandals have hit India over the past two months. The Commonwealth games is being investigated with skeletons coming out of the closet. The 2g scam involving spectrum Raja has been given the tag of being India’s biggest corruption scandal post independence. The amount runs into 1.76 lakh crores of loss to the state exchequer, unimaginable in a country like India. Even the Kargil martyrs haven’t been spared. The politician-army nexus has snatched flats meant for those who sacrificed their lives for the nation. The Adarsh housing scam has brought down a chief minister. The Congress led UPA (United Progressive Front) is being cornered by the opposition which itself is not any better when it comes to corruption. Two cases involve the BJP in a 500 crore land scam in Karnataka and the CPM in the Lavlin case in Kerala.
As the media have a field day with various scams the citizens of India have to understand the concept of corruption in India. India is ranked 87 in the corruption index. Why do people take money below the table? Existence, survival, security and the like may be the initial reasons of doing this. Once we enter this world, one cannot realistically come out of it. Life in India is undervalued. It is therefore not acceptable to take money over the table but everything is possible in the dark and undisclosed India. The same mentality makes us do anything and everything as soon as we feel that no one is noticing. This is the after 6 way of life.
The church is also at fault for encouraging and not fighting corruption itself. Despite countless sermons on the topic of God and mammon, Christians simply do not stop paying and accepting bribes. The act of not paying the salaries that the priests deserve and instead wishing to pay for ‘services rendered’ brings about a culture of dependence which is similar to bribing. Any discussion to introduce proper salaries for priests will bring about an explanation that priesthood is social work and therefore does not deserve a salary. This light of the day denial is accepted as the need of the hour in the dark of night. What this does is to bring in various categories of priests. There are the ones who will struggle for their day to day living expenses, the ones who will look for weddings and programmes to attend to make that little extra money, the ones who will sell insurance policies and do real estate and the ones who will try to go for a stint abroad or even better settle somewhere outside India.
The M.P.’s in parliament crossed party lines and came together to increase their own salaries by an unprecedented amount. But the list of scams is not showing any sign of decreasing. Power is seen as the single most effective way of getting what one wants. This power is attainable through money, both black and white. Money is used to get white, red and black robes and money is used to further violence from the confines and the safety of these robes. A poor Jesus is only for sermons which happen to be inside richly decorated and huge churches. Jesus is even twisted to include the God of prosperity who gives us whatever we ask. Black or white! It does not matter.
Corruption in India will not end any time soon. This is because it happens because of us the people and our dual natures at dawn and dusk. Even though the space to come together and prevent corruption exists we will never do so because we will never stand together on such issues. The only thing we are going to do is to watch TV, whine about the sorry state of affairs in India and then go to sleep. Jesus on the cross has a definite meaning for our lives. But are we willing to speak up for what he died for? Or are we just going to have Jesus stay on the cross, as a decoration for our churches and homes?