What is to be done?

What are we, the middle-class citizens of this our Republic of India to do? What can we do about corruption?

Here are a few random thoughts and prescriptions, totally unsolicited by anybody, of course:

  • Find out who your ward councillor, local station sub-inspector, MLA and MP are.
  • Get in touch with them to let them know who you are.
  • Give up your assumption that they are greedy sociopaths. They just might be regular people, cutting corners to make their way through a world not of their making. Give them benefit of that doubt.
  • If you have a problem with traffic, uncollected garbage, parks not maintained and so on, talk to your councillor. Get a few of your neighbours together to help him/her work a solution out , if you can.
  • If you have a problem with upcoming legislation in your state, or with problems that your councillor cannot help you with, get in touch with your MLA.
  • Keep abreast of legislation, proposed, upcoming, past. Have an opinion on them. Let your MP know of your opinion. Write to him/her, call, e-mail.
  • You see anything unlawful happening in your neighbourhood? Let your SI know. Ask him/her how you can help. Give evidence when needed and let all of the ward councillor, MLA, MP etc. know if you do.
  • Talk to all these people coolly and calmly.
  • Don’t get excited, frightened, intimidated, irritated, aggressive or preachy.
  • Don’t give them BS about how things work at your office, or worse still, how the USA handles such stuff. That’s of no use to anybody.
  • You wouldn’t like to be told how you do your job. Don’t assume others do.
  • If you have a problem with aforesaid individuals, try to work around them.

That’s the straightforward stuff. Here are some more ambiguous ones

  • Try and identify a political party that mirrors your values and aspirations. You will find out if you try to find out more about them from themselves.
  • Fund them with your legal earnings.
  • A very few of us will actually end up running for office. Find out what they’re running for. Support them if they match your values.
  • Change of the nature we expect will take a few generations. May not happen in our children’s time, maybe in our grandchildren’s. Accept that.

Remember, corruption can be practiced upon a subject populace. The engagement of an informed citizenry is essential to the practice of democracy.

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