Saturday, December 24, 2016

923. Cashless Transaction.....!

Does adopting cashless transaction curb corruption??? Using debit cards and making online payments is a good way to control bribery. But is it enough, is the big question. What i feel is more than this or along with this we as the citizens of this country should have an active part, a will to say no to bribery. Come what may I should not bulge to pay to get away. I should have the mindset to face the charges than to pay bribe to get away from the situation.

It was in 1984 my father purchased a house with Mangalore tile roofing in Chamaraj-pet, Bangalore. We wanted the Mangalore tile roof replaced by R.C.C. As my father was a government servant he had hardly any time to supervise the alteration. I was in college at that time and had vacations. We had a very good civil contractor and I was assigned to procure the raw materials for the construction. Though there was corporation water connection for the existing building but my father insisted we have a well. Fortunately for us we could tap water within 10 feet; our well was just 20 feet in dept. The water was not hard and it was potable. It was fun to look at the water oozing out from all side when it was being dug. My mother welcomed “Gangamma’ (ground water) by applying turmeric and vermillion and lighting camphor.      
On the day when the R.C.C moulding was to be done we had gangmen who worked in tandem from mixing the concrete to lifting it above lentil level and pouring it over the prefabricated bar bending. I was curiously looking at the ratio of cement, sand, gravel and water thrown into the mouth of that concrete mixer. One person came to me and told he wanted to talk to the owner of the building. I told my father was at work. He said he was from the water supply department and will come again in the evening. Our civil contractor told me it is a routine for these fellows from department to come to the construction sites expecting bribe.
When my father came home for lunch I told him about that gentleman. By evening the moulding work was over and the gangman were washing their hands and legs. The person from the water supply department came to me and asked about my father. My father had not yet come from the work. I told him that my father would meet him at the office in the morning. All of a sudden the man pulled out a book and wrote my fathers’ name and gave it to me. It was a notice served for using the corporation water.

I gave it to my father when he came home. He did not tell anything, the next day was his day off. In the morning the gentleman from the water supply department came in a jeep with his higher officials. The higher officials started questioning my father why we had used corporation water for R.C.C moulding. My father without uttering a word took the officials to the well and showed them the source of water used for the construction. The higher officials reprimanded the department person for issuing the notice without inspecting the source of water used.

Later my father told me, “When we are right in the first place there is no need for us to worry about the law. Only when we are not with the law, we out of fear and to escape from the situation we feel like giving bribe. Always remember if you are a law abiding person you need not feel insured and be afraid. It is better to pay the penalty than offer bribe.”

My fathers’ words “law abiding person need not feel insured” is even today resounding in my ears.

Yes we can go cashless only if we are ready to abide with the laws. I have always wondered how the strict law becomes saggy when the grease is applied to the officials hands.....        

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