The funny thing about corruption in this country is that it’s a gladiatorial sport for most of us. When a public figure finds himself in the middle of the arena with his hand in the till — say, like CPI(M) State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan accused of illegally awarding power renovation projects to Canadian power company, SNC-Lavlin in Kerala — we’re all baying for blood. When we, mini-gladiators with greasy palms of our own, are found to be literally wanting and wanting so bad that we’re ready to bend a rule or two or three, we blame that good old bugbear: the System.
Take the case of a bigscale railway recruitment racket that has just been uncovered by the police of three states. Some 109 people were arrested for rigging the exam for 131 posts of assistant station master.
Now, you may say that those behind the scam are the real culprits. But what about the so-called ‘unreal’ culprits — the ones who, in a bid to cheat the system, paid an alleged Rs 4 lakh for a solved question paper? As the saying goes, it takes two — or in this case many more than 109 — to tango. The demand for a leaked question paper allows for its supply. It’s only the law and order machinery that comes in the way of such a transaction. After all, if you know what happens when you get busted by traffic police when you’ve run a light, you know that the police pocketing that crisp note is not the only crooked gladiator.