Of people, power and corruption

Mehak Gupta Grover
Power doesnt corrupt people, people corrupt power!
Corruption means a dishonest conduct by the person in power. In India, it has a wider definition. It is considered the best thing which makes you a powerful and rich person in a very short time. Moreover, the thought of having it relinquished makes us more corrupt. Power is like a drug where once we’ ve had a taste of it, we’ll desire more and more. And corruption is like a disease that follows the use of that drug. It may affect some more than others and may even have symptoms like betrayal and selfishness. This can even make someone to become inhumane and take evil decisions.
But does Power makes anyone corrupt? Power brings out the true self to emerge. Once we get into powerful position, we can be whosoever we wish to be. There is a tendency for people to assume power holders as uncaring and cold. But the reality is if we’ll put someone in an experiment, in a high powered role, we’ll find the people who say they have high social values, the more power they have, the more social they become. On the contrary, the people who say they have more self- centered values tend to be more self- centered with more power.
There is a famous saying-
“Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”, but it is also important to see that just because of a pithy saying something can’t be considered correct always. Power is not an entity. Power is attained, just as knowledge or experience. Therefore, power cannot attract. Whereas, people are attracted to the idea of attaining power. Corruption is a human weakness. Human being is generally vulnerable and whatever their weakness is, it is going to get exploited, especially around money. All human beings want wealth and the drive for it runs deep. It is true that people want money for pleasure, power and fame. Money is means to achieve an end but if money becomes the end, then that is GREED. Greed is dangerous and ruins life because it diverts a person from the right path; gradually leading to corruption. It is greed that overwhelms a person to be corrupt. Often such greedy corrupt individuals feel miserable when they compare themselves with other rich people as they always want to be on the top of others in possession.
Abraham Lincoln said-
” Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”.
I believe power doesn’t always corrupt but it always reveals. Corruption is an addiction. If it is not subdued, it takes over the person. It is very important to teach people and make them realise that money is not everything and does not necessarily brings happiness.  It is a state of mind and a greedy mind is never satisfied. In purchasing a plot or selling a house, how many people can say that they have never paid part of money in cash to avoid tax? How many can say that they refused to bribe a police man when caught for traffic violation? How many can say that they have not paid donation to educational institutions for admission of their children? What are these instances- smaller version of corruption!
To be more clear, how does one get power? Through knowledge! Knowledge gives us power and power makes us corrupt. In short, knowledge make us corrupt? It is so easy to go with the bookish sentences,  but in our real life, practical knowledge and the way to handle such knowledge is a must. If we have knowledge and power, we are sensible enough to make out what is right and what is wrong. Once we are clear about the right  and wrong, corruption can never come in our way.
Wordings of APJ Kalam-
” If a country is to be Corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher”.
Corruption can be eliminated only if fight against it would take place in the minds and hearts of citizens. The duty of today’s youth is to challenge corruption. We don’t need anyone’s help to stop corruption, what we need today is strong leadership.
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