Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bribe


      One day an old man came to our home after the Sunday mass. I usually see him only during Sundays when he comes to receive his Holy Communion with a walking stick. So, when he came with my youngest son, I didn’t have any odd feeling of an outside person. We treated him as we would our grand parent, with breakfast and lots of talking. Then he came to the point – the reason for his visit. He needed some money.
        He is the father of a son who owns lot of land outside state but he is bankrupt and unable to look after his old parents and letting them live alone with their own income. He doesn’t even bother to visit his old parents.
        So, the old man and his wife lives with the money he makes by selling rosaries and scapulars, which is not much. His wife is partially paralysed and he is also a sick man. They are totally alone at home. He looks after his wife. Feeds her, cleans her, etc.. Every Sunday, the priest of the church gives him Rs. 50/-. But on that Sunday, he didn’t get it. He needed that money to bribe the doctor of the government hospital for giving him medicines for both of them on a weekly basis. He has all the documents to avail free medicines from the said hospital but the doctor won’t give medicine unless he is not paid under the table. I just couldn’t contain my anger. But we are forced to shut up as this hospital is in the remotest village of Kerala, India. No one likes to come over and take charge as a doctor due to the remoteness of the place. The old man needs these medicines more than anything to help his wife’s and his life bearable. If his wife skips the medicine, she would be crying out loud in terrible pain. So we’re just a spectators for the crime thrust upon us – Bribe.
        How did it start in the first place? Would it end? It might have started with the rich people to fulfil the bargain deviously or else what might be the reason? Here in India bribe has become the pivot in making the work happen. Everyday, we hear only of swindling and bribe in the news and the culprits haven’t an iota of shame to stand in front of the people with a handcuff. Where did our values go? What happened to our morality?
        Well, I remember when we were young, at school and at home, we were given corporal punishment for lying or thieving but not for studies. The family and the society gave more importance to integrity than anything else in the world. Money had no value unless it could save a life. But now, only money talks. One of my friend’s cousin bribed the invigilator of the examination to copy and he secured first rank for the post graduation. Just imagine, the people who has to inculcate moral values in the young minds itself has become the teachers of bribery, then where would our society end? In the gallows?
        Now there are more people in the jail than out of it. The jail of addiction to luxury. If our system doesn’t change, we’re sure to end up with mother bribing her children, to look after them. I hope that the world would wake up as the death knell to morality has been ringing in full swing for some time. Its high time we produce a honest and truthful generation. Where children obey their parents, respect them and take care of them by giving more importance to integrity than to money or else be sure he would bribe for us to be exterminated because we have exterminated many a people by our actions. So beware “What you sow, so shall you reap”, says the Bible.
Meena
         

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