mid-day editorial: Corruption is everyone's burden

Data on the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s (ACB) website shows that Mumbai has maintained its eighth spot on the list of the most corrupt cities Maharashtra.

A report in this newspaper yesterday quoted an ACB official saying that India’s financial centre ranks lower than smaller cities because Mumbaikars do not lodge complaints. They feel following up is a waste of time.

In the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, people think it is wiser to simply pay up and get one’s work done, rather than lodging complaints and following up, which can be a time consuming and an uphill battle with no guarantee that anything will come of it.

Past experience may have taught this bitter lesson to Mumbaikars, but it is time to change the mindset. It is time people start fighting back and believing in people power. We must report corruption and take the time to follow-up on it.

Today, we have an atmosphere when people are being encouraged to claim a stake in the society they live in. The Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, is about taking the onus for a cleaner city and country. The citizen journalist movement encourages people to take responsibility for various issues like civic amenities, the neighbourhood, traffic problems and fraud. These are simply offshoots of initiatives that encourage people to claim a larger stake in the quality of life they lead.

We need a change in mindset at first. Then, it is important not to get frustrated by minor setbacks, or when things do not go your way. Complainants need to realise that the path they have chosen is arduous and painstaking, that things may not turn out the way they want.

India’s city with financial muscle needs a sharp jolt to its conscience and a willingness to go the long, hard way to weed out corruption. Nobody says it will be easy, but things worthwhile never are.

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