Why do I pay Bribes?
COVID times have been financially challenging. Since March 2020, my coaching institute has been locked up. In spite of that, the electricity board has been us on an average of Rs 3000 every month. If I refuse to pay for zero consumption I would have to forego electricity forever.
I spoke to a few businessmen and clamored for help – don’t you know that the EB department, the GST department & the corporation are hand in glove. Surrender to what they say or else… We are small-time businessmen & don’t have the arsenal to withstand this four-pronged attack – they said.
Then I heard a professional speak about living a life of authenticity – have the courage to speak out against all the evils in the society – the antiquated government laws, the callousness of the public, blah, blah, blah…
But a voice inside me said – shut your trap; be inauthentic; pay the electricity bill; as living in darkness was a bigger fear. To remove my inauthenticity, I shifted out of a rented flat to our tuition center. Now the next problem arose for this inauthentic self. My tuition center was commercially taxed. I had to plead with the corporation to convert it into a ‘residence’ so that I would have to pay lesser electricity bills.
To grant me this huge favor, I would have to ‘agree to all formalities’.
Why am I full of inauthenticity, in spite of all the authenticity around me? Reasons:
- Am I genetically a born coward & don’t have the strength to rise up in arms?
- Is the coterie of the public servants so powerful that we are made vulnerable & defenseless?
- Is it a norm of the society – a tacit understanding that every democratic citizen should follow?
Ultimately, doesn’t work get done in this country when ‘the right people’ are looked after?