India has a very elaborate corruption pyramid.
At the very bottom is the largest base: All those millions of corrupt people. From the top politicians with their fancy Swiss bank accounts, down to the peon who’ll take a few notes to make sure you meet the babu.
At the second level are the people you think are corrupt. Whispers surround them, but by and large they lead nice corrupt and peaceful lives for life.
At the third level are people who stand exposed. At the local level everyone knows about them. Complaints have been made to no avail. At the national level, they are the stars of 24X7 news channels.
At the fourth level are those who are actually arrested. Yes, the pyramid is really getting narrower now.
At Stage 5 are parked those arrested corrupt entities who have charge sheets filed against them and actually appear in front of a judge.
Level 6: Long-drawn cases and in the unlikely event of a verdict, appeal and movement to a higher court.
Level 7: Bingo! A corrupt official is actually convicted and goes out to serve his full sentence.
(Of course, if you think 8-10 years in a furnished prison cell with mobiles and TV is enough for swindling thousands of crores, then it’s a success. The concerned person is free to retire to Switzerland to spend comfortable last days there.)
I’m sure there must at least be one really corrupt national politician at the top of this pyramid, though I somehow can’t seem to recall him or her right now.
(P.S. Congratulations former telecom minister Mr Andimuthu Raja, for whizzing from Levels 1 to 4 in a matter of years. Now is the time to relax and maybe retire, for you may be stuck in this level for life! Even the next two levels aren’t that bad, though.)
© Sunil Rajguru