Clean by Choice or lack of Opportunity?

Did Demonetization give a choice to some honest bankers to go to the other side?

Did Demonetization give a choice to some honest bankers to go to the other side?
Did Demonetization give a choice to some honest bankers to go to the other side?

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]ill the 9th of November, 2016 we have been seeing lesser and lesser people standing in queues in Bank Counters to withdraw cash thanks to the advent of Automated Teller Machines (ATM)s. With the increase in the number of ATMs, the people waiting at any time in one ATM on an average has dropped down less than a handful.

One of the most respected commentators, Shri S Gurumurthy estimates that about 25 crore (250 million) people would have stood in queue patiently without ever worrying about having to go back in time.

The Queue for payment of Electricity bills have also become shorter and shorter thanks to online payment and other means of payment. I still remember the days when we used to stand in queue to pay the telephone bills. That too is non-existent now. Also gone are the days when we used to stand in huge queues at the Railway counter to buy our tickets. In every one of these scenarios, technology has helped us become more efficient.

One still runs into queues in other walks of life, such as a ration shop, etc. However, no one likes to go back in time to start standing in queue for buying railway ticket or paying telephone bills, or withdrawing cash from banks / ATMs. Everyone always looks forward to move ahead.

However, demonetization has just pushed us back in time and made us stand in queue, albeit temporarily. One of the most respected commentators, Shri S Gurumurthy estimates that about 25 crore (250 million) people would have stood in queue patiently without ever worrying about having to go back in time. Priding themselves of their participation in a just cause for the country. It brought in a sense of participation – to put the country back in order.

All this was done for good objectives – to bring an end to money flow into terrorism, atrocities of Naxalites, eliminate counterfeit currency which was spoiling our economy, bring back the unaccounted and stashed black money into the mainstream and hence increasing the tax revenue, etc. Some of them explicitly explained by the authorities and some of the benefits that are expected to accrue are assumed by the general public including me. Noble cause, brave action and excellent support and participation from the masses. If Prime Minister & his Government deserves huge appreciation for taking such a tough and difficult decision, the citizen of India deserves even more appreciation in the way he/ she wholeheartedly participated – it is like the entire population of the country contributing in the cause of punishing an extremely small percentage who hoarded cash, indulged in containing the atrocities of Naxalites, persons who evaded tax, etc. It was as if the whole population has turned into soldiers in containing terrorism and counterfeit currency imposed on India with the active support and participation of enemies of India.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]G[/dropcap]ood going indeed. Unwittingly, of course, this seems to have provided the opportunity for a miniscule percentage of a hitherto (assumed) non-corrupt, middle class, morally conscious, decent salary earning bank officials an opportunity for making quick money and some appear to have used it to telling effect. With the amount of new currency being unearthed in raids, it can safely be assumed that there is no way it would have reached the hands without the active connivance of a few bank officials. It makes us wonder are these people who complain of corruption and black money spoiling India, are non-corrupt by choice or lack of opportunity?

These corrupt officials, I am sure, are conscious of the repercussions of their action, if caught.

Did they ever think of their fellow countrymen standing in long queues for a couple of thousands while they indulge in corrupt practices? Have they ever released that their action make their brethren stand that much longer in the queue, with some even dying while doing so?

These corrupt officials, I am sure, are conscious of the repercussions of their action, if caught. What makes them to still take the plunge? Has their greed overtaken their conscience? Or do they believe that the long arm of law will either not reach them or take a long time, possibly many years later? Or do they have Godfathers to protect them? Or are they simply not bothered about consequences? The law must act quickly and decisively.

Our society still views the visit of a police to any home with a bit of curiosity, embarrassment and suspicion. Police station, visit by policemen in uniform, arrests are still taboo in our society to a large extent. This Taboo must be leveraged to good effect on the corrupt officials quickly. This will desist the few who are cat-on-the-wall on using the opportunities that might come along during their career. Let this action save the billion plus citizens from many ills that follow such acts.

S Nagarajan has an extensive background, working in various Mechanical Engineering based companies spanning the world. Many of his innovative ideas have helped companies revive and thrive. His interests are in Technology, Capitalism and Markets.
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3 COMMENTS

  1. People do remain non corrupt by choice but they are far and few. They are called names as fools, beukoof etc. Catching these small fish is good but as Swamy has said now they have t ocatch the big fish too starting from the central Govt and big Corporate.

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