Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why Corruption Is An Easy Issue To Raise


It's interesting to observe why the issue of 'corruption' seems to attract attention. Right now, across the country (and the world), a huge majority of people are oppressed by the accepted notion that it is OK for some to be considered 'above' others. That is why it is OK for some of 'us' 
  • to go to high fee private schools (we have 'earned' it), 
  • to sit in AC coaches in the train (we paid for it after all, never mind that the others' capacity to pay for the same is hampered by systemic and systematic obstacles), 
  • to feel that we belong to 'big' or 'important' families... 

Such societal hierarchies have a far greater impact and preserve disadvantage.

Isn't it corruption too to believe that one belongs to a 'better' or 'purer' religion / caste / class / background / family than others. Yet Anna and co don't raise issues of social fracture (conveniently forgetting that Gandhi spent far more of his life on these issues, and regarded true independence as one from social oppression too). It's worth thinking on why the issue of corruption really suits the middle class - it's so neutral and harmless, and avoids the really frightening ones. It's also something where you can blame 'others' without feeling that you are part of the problem...

As an educator, therefore, if I had to teach children any value, it would not be an ordinary thing like 'do not be corrupt' but the more difficult concept of 'though you are unique and deserve the best, do not think you are more important than others or have a birthright to more than they do'.

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