Corruption – A problem of Transition
There is no doubt that there is rampant corruption in Indian society at almost every level. In Western society, there is also corruption but at a very high level. It normally does not affect the common man.
Everyone is harassed by corruption in India. What is the root cause of corruption? The following may be the scientific analysis of corruption in Indian society.
First, corruption is the normal feature of the transitional period when a society is transforming from a feudal, agricultural stage to a modern, industrial stage.
A feudal, agricultural society is a relatively stable society, with everyone knowing his place, with stable social and ethical values. A joint family is a characteristic of agricultural society. It is observed that a person in a joint family takes more risk of corruption because he/she knows that if he/she is caught in corruption, his/her joint family will take care of his /her family. This joint family acts as a safety net here.
When this feudal, agricultural society moves towards industrialisation, the old ( feudal ) moral values disintegrate but a new moral code does not come into exists. The nuclear family is a characteristic of industrial society. The social and moral values of an industrial society are different from an agricultural society. A person in a nuclear family takes less risk of corruption because he/she knows that if he/she is caught in corruption, there will be no one to take care of his/her family.
Secondly, when society transforms from agriculture to industrial, prices start shooting up, while incomes are broadly stagnant. To maintain a better lifestyle, he/she must supplement his/her regular income and this is only possible through corruption. Since the old moral code has largely disintegrated and the new moral code is still not properly established, there is little check on his/her conscience to prohibit taking bribes.
Thus corruption reflects the unstable moral values of Indians, who have still an emotional attachment to old agricultural values but at the same time aspire to new industrial society values. Our social and moral values are in the transition phase between agricultural and industrial value systems.
It is only when the process of industrialisation is broadly completed, and new moral values are properly stabilized corruption will be subsided.