Who is not corrupt? Dr Shabir Choudhry

Lack of an opportunity to steal is not evidence of someone’s honesty.

Issue of corruption is discussed in every nook and corner in Pakistan, and in areas of Jammu and Kashmir administered by Pakistan. Mostly talking point is corruption of Mr Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. However, if we closely examine the society, then question arises who is not corrupt in the Pakistani/ Kashmiri society.

On way back home, a man parked his car near a wooden cart where an old man was selling apples. The car driver thought it will be help to this old man if he bought apples from him. He bought two kilos, paid him the money and went home. On reaching home when he opened the bag, to his horror, he discovered many of the apples were rotten.

He was angry and wanted to go back and speak to this man, but his brother said the return journey would cost you more in petrol; so leave it. He has not made millions out of this.

This added fuel to the anger of the elder brother. He said I bought the apples from him to help the poor man. He has proved that he is also corrupt like others in the society.

Younger brother said he is not as corrupt as Zardari and Nawaz Sharif because they have made millions; and this man only made a small amount.

The elder brother retorted, in my view, he is worse than them. He only had access to the corruption that he has committed. If he was a Minister or head of some department or a Prime Minister and did not commit any corruption then we can say he is better than Mr Zardari and Nawaz Sharif.

He continued, ‘it is unfortunate that we live in a society where it is difficult to find honest people. The milkmen generously mix water in the milk. Doctors take medicine from government hospitals and use that to treat their patients in their private clinics. Chemists sell fake medicines’.

Find me one section of the society which has no corruption. Cricketers sell pride of Pakistan to make money. Doctors have commercialised their noble profession; and innocent patients suffer and die needlessly. For the sake of money and promotions, the police and judiciary notoriously side with the powerful; and culprits walk away.

From school teachers to army officers and from traffic wardens to taxi drivers, you will struggle to find honest men. Other day I heard one colleague proudly saying that he paid 1000 Rupees to get his electricity bill reduced. Is that not corruption? Are electric meter readers honest? Don’t they take money to give wrong reading to electricity billing department?

Go to any government department you won’t get anything done unless you offer them money. These people are supposed to be there to serve people and get paid by the government; but they won’t pick up a file unless paid. At one time it was done in secret; now it is done openly and the money creamed off goes all the way to the top.

It is pointless even talking about corruption of religious leaders and what goes on in name of religion in madrassas and Masjids. I can’t find any sector of the society immune from corruption and wrong doing. Anyone who talks about so called guardian of our religion is projected as an agent of the non believers to malign Islam and the religious scholars.

After pocketing illegal money from where they can, these champions of morality get together and yell that politicians are corrupt. Politicians have not come from Mars. They are from the society we live in. If the society, civil service and the establishment is corrupt then, of course, we will get corrupt politicians too.

Those who say so and so is not corrupt, they need to put them in charge where they have opportunity to pocket money. If they refrain from doing it then one can say they are honest.

After listening to this long sermon, the young brother said, Bahi Jaan you seem to be really upset because of the cheating of this man.

The big brother said, ‘yes I am upset. The society we live in is corrupt to the core. We have people who preach to others instead of correcting themselves. I don’t know how long more Allah will give us. If we don’t correct our mistakes then Allah’s system will correct things in his own way. We need to speak out against wrong doings. If we remain quiet Allah may punish us all’.

Lack of an opportunity to steal or pocket money is not evidence of someone’s honesty. Remaining quiet is not option admired by Allah. To speak against wrong doing is the best jihad.

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