All forms of corruption leave a nation or a society crippled and barren. It shakes its basic foundations and concrete shafts of morality and ethics. It impregnates the minds of individuals with the vices of greed, lust and avarice which leads to a mad race of money and wealth. Corruption leaves a society devoid of values and virtues like trust , care , mutual help and brotherhood. Consequently, the society becomes like a brothel where prostitutes come and make merry. Individuals of such societies become vampires who hardly leave any opportunity to suck the blood of innocents. The inner voice called conscience migrates from such people, and they slip into the lowest level of bestiality.
Our region is known across the globe for its glorious past. Kashmir is known for its Sufi traditions , honest dealings and simplicity of its inhabitants. Our ancestors would hardly believe in dishonest dealings. Deception and treachery were not in the dictionary of our fathers and forefathers. Thorns of bribery and corruption had no place in the garden of Kashmir. The moral fabric of our society was pure and strong. But, now everything has changed. Kashmir is considered one of the corruption hubs. It is not only a collective shame for us as a nation but we have brought a bad name to the religious faith we are affiliated with. History is witness to the fact that how Muslims have preferred death to dishonest dealings but we just boast big and perform little.
I believe all major forms of corruption like political, administrative and the moral are assuming dangerous proportions in our state and society. Till yesterday, kidnapping and murdering were foreign and lesser known terms for us but now we have adopted them fully and have mastered their different forms.
Administrative corruption is very common here and every official, from top to bottom is always hungry for illegitimate money, perks and gifts. Every office bearer waits for a chance to prey on an innocent. Common people fall prey to the atrocities of these voracious beasts and are forced to give bribes to avoid red-tapism in our offices. We can hardly imagine an office where ‘ under the table ‘ phrase is not used and implemented. Officers are no lesser than dirty vultures albeit exceptions. Wolves are wearing the uniform of peace and justice, vampires are in the chairs of clerks and the traitors and the collaborators are patronizing these beasts for their mean and selfish interests.
The common man is facing the brunt of this sinister practice, and chameleons are just busy in accumulating wealth and money. These conscienceless people can go to any extent for the fulfillment of their desires.
Moral and professional corruption has paralyzed our society. In the recent past, we have witnessed doctors prescribing substandard drugs for commissions and perks from the pharmaceutical companies. Even many run rackets to steal the body parts like kidneys to earn more. When the people who are considered ‘ next to God ‘ indulge in such bizzare activities and sell their conscience for their personal pleasures and benefits then the plight of such society can be mourned only. Eatables and spices are adulterated and turned into venomous commodities for meagre pennies. Water is sold in the name of milk. Powdered bricks are sold in the name of turmeric and chili powder. The devil is bewildered and ashamed to see Ibne-Adam moving with the poisonous dagger in its white sleeves to carry out the mass murder of humanity for a few bucks.
Blaming government and political dispensations alone for this mess is not fair enough. Although strong legislations can check this baleful evil to a greater extent but our ethical awareness and spiritual purity can surely free our masses from its ugly chains. We have to curb our immoral and bankrupt wishes which kill our conscience and we resort to wrong doings. We, as Muslims, should set examples for others to follow. We should take serious steps to cleanse our society from different forms of corruption otherwise we are heading towards a catastrophe where our chances to escape are feeble. We all have a role to play. We must not wait for government machinery to make strong legislations to punish the corrupt people. We should awake our conscience to remove this from our society. Every individual must take a pledge to earn purely. Legitimate earnings last longer and ensure the peace and tranquility of mind. Honest Individuals will give us an honest nation. Let our religious clerics, Imaams, orators, teachers, elderly people inculcate values and virtues among our young generations. Our indifference can make our coming generations to pay heavily. Let us all pledge to earn purely and honestly for an honest nation.
—The writer is a teacher, columnist and a social activist. He can be reached at :firstname.lastname@example.org