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I feel India's greatest claim to fame is that it gave the world a Gandhi. Throughout history, there has been countless struggles for freedom from tyranny, known and unknown, written and forgotten. But ours was the first struggle for the basic human right of freedom, by offering the other cheek. Mahatma inspired nations, people and individuals by his message of non-violence and showing that it can work, even in this war-crazy world. The sad story is that we have made Gandhi a God, a saint and not invited him personally into our lives. We look at his greatness and think we can never do all that he did. But in little ways, he can make a huge difference to our personal and social lives. Anna Hazare, case in point!
We, the new age lovers of statistics and charts of every shape imaginable are presented with an interesting one here - a cartographic view of corruption! It is technically referred to as the Corruption Perception index, created by Transparency International. They have taken upon themselves the sweet job of quantifying the depravity of this world. While critics argue about the validity of this ranking of countries, it makes a pretty picture, only visually. The least corrupt to the most corrupt are marked on the spectrum, moving from the calming blues to the fiery reds. Sad to say, the map is aglow with red. The true azures are few and the merry cherries are many! If we turn our focus to our own picturesque country, it is glowing redder than our reddest chillies. Quite a bite, indeed!
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I naively wonder why is there so much corruption, here and far? Why should men amass wealth that they have no means of spending in their lifetime? These mile-long numbers attached before the humble currency, as in so may thousands of hundreds of crores of whatever, boggles my mind completely! Why haven't they learnt from the pharaohs of Egypt? All their precious treasures are now just to be admired in museums or looted by daring thiefs. Why look far, when have our very own Maharajas in their resplendent rubies and diamonds, who had every whim and wish fulfilled. All their treasures are left generously for the world's keeping. Why doesn't that thought of death make all this, one hilarious joke? I wish more people laugh!
My dearest India, you could be so much! Just wish Hazares are born every minute and live a hundred years, to put you in the right colors on every map of the world.