A whole page dedicated to a news item “Alert citizen gets cabbies taxi seized for over charging”. It seems an everyday occurence, but what was unique and therefore creditable was the effort the concerned citizen invested in seeing the action through. He had been over charged to the tune of a couple of 100 bucks or so. Not having discovered it at the time of payment, though suspecting foulplay, he went on to locate the cabbie at the airport, from where he had previously hired it. To his good fortune and the cabbies misfortune, the same guy was parked there. On a complaint from the citizen the cabbie was hauled, though he raced to unplug the cables which he had used to enable the meter to run faster. It was too late. His cab was confiscated.
The good news was that this is exemplary and reformative, hopefully. The bad news being that on a conservative estimate, 90% of the cabs and auto rickshaws in India are manipulated. It is not practical and feasible to expose the errant drivers on a daily basis, especially if one is a woman. For one, no cabbie is going to relent getting his meter checked. For another, it is easy to temporarily rectify the manipulated cable, when danger approaches and later revert to the same modus operandi. Frustrating?? Oh yes.. that is putting it mildly. Is there a way out? Most definitely. Stricter rules, easy appraisals, periodic checks, consumer friendly complaint cells, cooperative (meaning also incorruptible.. but that is topic for another blog) Police officers, stringent punishments.
Translate the above incident into almost every area of life in India. Corruption is , to my mind , the most rampant evil, in need of immediate rectification. For the simple reason, the inroads it makes , affects us directly or indirectly , which leads on to serious repurcussions in housing, employment, food, you name it. Inflation has its roots in something as innocuous as a corrupt municipal officer, or even a clerk at the housing board, who sanctions plots to the highest bribe. It is the trickle effect over 57 years, that has impeded our progress at every stage.
I believe that India could have been a power to reckon with. but those in Power, betrayed India.