What are bribery and its negative consequences?

“Do what is right, not what is easy or what is popular…..Roy T. Bennett”

What is Bribery?……….

Bribery is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other people in charge of a public or legal duty.

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There are always two sides of bribery

  • Bribe-giver
  • Bribe-takers

The giver and taker of bribe are equally responsible for corruption and bribery and they both are punishable according to the law.

  • The bribe can be demanded by a government official for getting the legitimate work done.
  • The bribe can also be given to the government official by the citizens or businessman for getting their illegal work done.

There are two types of bribery… Collusive and Coercive
Let us assume total Crime = 100%, in any particular bribery incident.
Coercive bribery…
In the case of coercive corruption, there is a defined victim. The bribe giver is forced or coerced to pay out in order to get his work done. Suppose a farmer bribing the village accountant in order to get his land records.
Your fault is 21.2 % and officer’s fault is 78.8%.
Collusive bribery…
In collusive corruption, there is really no victim. It is the system that can be said to be victimized and exploited. Here both the bribe giver and the taker collude together to short-circuit the system. The 2G scam is a case in point. Telecom companies were said to have colluded with corrupt politicians and bureaucrats and achieved their ends. A young man paying off the policeman for being caught not wearing his helmet is also collusive corruption.
Your fault is 50% and officer’s fault is 50%.

In the act of bribe giving and taking, the givers and takers are the beneficiaries while the country and its people are the losers. To achieve an objective, one requires examining 4 different methods or ideas say….

  • In first simple and straight forward method, involving discussion with a person or group, understand their points of view, then putting across your points and convincing by conviction rather than coercion, thereby achieving your objective, which is originally a righteous one.
  • In the second method, where you try to give something to the other person/group and achieve your objective, you may call it bribe. But if your objective is a righteous one and the other person/group accepting your gift is not immoral, this cannot be a bribe.
  • In the third method, Divide & Rule. You create differences amongst the stake holders and achieve your objective.
  • In the fourth method, Punishment or by force. You show the stick and make the other person do what you want.

All the above 4 methods were prevalent from the day one of the civilization. However, the fourth method has been employed for achieving wrong or not so righteous objectives, which we call as bribe and corruption.

Corruption……..

Now before we step towards the concept of Bribe let begin the journey with its core concept of Corruption…..

Corruption is the misuse of public power by the elected politician or appointed civil servant for private gain. In order to ensure that not only public corruption but also private corruption between individuals and businesses could be covered by the same simple definition.

Corruption is the misuse of entrusted power by heritage, education, marriage, election, appointment or whatever else for private gain.

There are various forms of corruption…..

  • Demanding money/favors, taking the money and favors offered without demand.
  • Quid pro quo. I will do this for you, you do this for me.
  • Nepotism/Favoritism.
  • Using Government property like land, buildings, computer systems, cars, vehicles, etc.,
  • Demanding sexual favors, alcoholic parties, etc. asking for gifts, compliments.
  • Aiding the corrupt, without himself/herself indulging in direct corruption is also a form of corruption.

The executive, when aided by the legislature and also by the judiciary is absolute corruption and raping of the democracy. So, any type of Quid pro quo cultivates the system of giving and taking of the bribe, which is hazardous and immoral to any person or society or a country, is an illegal act towards civilization.

Reasons of Bribery……….

  • Lack of performance linked pay in the government system and the lack of adequate punishment system for inefficient and corrupt officials’.
  • Social acceptance of corrupt public servants in the country.
  • The willingness of citizens to pay the bribe for expediting their work and collisions of citizens and government officials to obtain illegal benefits or permission from government officials.
  • Inadequate anti-corruption machinery to investigate and prosecute corrupt officials during slow justice delivery system in Courts.

Difference between lobbying and bribery ……..

People participating in democracy by telling the government what they want, and voting and campaigning for the leaders they think are the best. This is entirely good and proper. On the other hand, you have people buying special favors from people in a position of power, this is corrupt and illegal. But there’s a middle ground between the two, where those who command the most money can influence politicians without bribing them directly. It’s very difficult to draw a clear line between where a participatory democracy ends and bribery begins.

The difference between lobbying and bribery is that bribery promises a politician money for their own use in exchange for improper considerations. Lobbying tells a politician what you want, with the understanding that you’ll support his future campaigns if he pleases you. A thin distinction? Certainly, but there’s only so much the law can do.

Difference between the bribe and fine……….

A bribe is an illegal payment to someone to gain some advantage from them and a fine is a penalty a court orders you to pay if you are caught and found guilty.

A bribe is a hidden and possibly illegal payment of money for some favor.

Fines are a way that governments attempt to discourage people from breaking the law. Bribes are always bad. Fines are good when they work to improve people’s behavior.

When a person gives a bribe of Rs 1, he usually extracts the benefit of much more money from the government officer. While if a government servant takes a bribe of Rs 1, he causes much bigger loss to the government and the nation.

Do anyone take the bribe for surviving?………

I wonder what sort of bribes you could be getting offered an how this cause effective in other’s people’s lives. For instance, if you are taking bribes about someone’s grades you may harm this person forever, as they will never learn. Also taking a bribe could very well cost you the job that is paying your bills then it is a major risk.

 However, sometimes we do that for the sake of the need for our survival. I personally would closely look at all other options I have before taking the bribe. If you have absolutely nothing else you can do and are at the point of starving, then may be I would take bribes until I was able to change my situation. At the end, though you need to be focused on putting yourself in a place where you are not even tempted to take bribes.

Though you always have two options. Either go along or find another job neither may be a viable choice. Unfortunately, bribes are a way of life in some countries. In other countries, it is a way to end up in prison. When you see this as an opportunity to change your careers and try to see it in a positive form then follow your instinct.

When we prioritize our needs with bargain?…….

How an average man brings out his work from the high officials lets us assume………

  • To get admission in many government hospitals directly without any local minister’s reference become a challenge for the patient but if we are ready to pay the lump sum to the management of the hospital as a BRIBE then we no need to wait for long hours in the queue to get the admission over there.
  • To get admission into school if we decide that our child is not going to a municipal/government run school because we don’t have faith in them. So, we are going and admitting the child into a corporate school/convent school, assuming that they are the perfect learning places for our child and we are paying the donation/admission fee, which is nothing but a BRIBE.
  •  A criminal may BRIBE police to avoid arrest or a businessman may BRIBE a tax-official for protecting himself while evading taxes.
  • A common man can BRIBE the TT to board the train on the basis of the waitlisted ticket or BRIBE the electricity meter reader to manipulate the meter to show less electricity bill.
  • When we need a small work from the local government/municipality and we are desperate that we will pay BRIBE and get it done.Use of black money by political parties during campaigning. 
  • Even if the work is a bit complicated we do not hesitate to approach a minister, viz., MLA/MP/ZPP etc… just to get our things done and the respective minister will interfere in the day to day routine work of the executive to favor us as we are BRIBING.
  • When we violate the traffic rules which were formed to benefit everybody and ensure smooth use of the roads by everyone and when we get caught, either we beg, or threaten or pay BRIBE rather than admit our mistake/offence, which is compoundable, and pay up the fine, then learn and practice, not to repeat this.

So above those are few clauses where we use our ploy to get done our work smoothly but apart from those there are also infinite causes are there in our personal and professional life where we are ready to compromise with our Moral Values in our daily life.

Is bribery illegal?………..

Bribery is giving someone a payment for special consideration which other people have to pay for. Say if I bribe a government official to get subsidies. The official himself gets all the money, but he pays for the subsidy with public money, collected from the taxpayers. He’s collecting the benefit and distributing the cost to the people who trusted him with that office.

Government rules need to apply equally and fairly to everyone. Allowing government officials to enrich themselves by selling government considerations is essentially theft from the public those considerations are not theirs to sell.
Every instance depends on context. Usually, bribery is recognized as an under the table payment to a politician, court officer, police officer or other public officials to obtain favorable treatment. These are all illegal.

Is anyone violates the vow after taking the bribe?……

The corrupt government officers have to maintain high-performance standards for their services. Once they accept the bribe, they have to deliver their vows. An official who takes the bribe and refuses to deliver loses his reputation and people refuse to pay any bribe to him in advance. They insist on getting the work done first before they pay even their first installment.

 Not only the government officers or ministers can cheat the bribe giver and refuse to do the work after taking the bribe. Sometimes the businessman or contractor also refuses to pay the promised amount of bribe once their work is done. However, corrupt officers are experts in their field and they know how to take the money from such people.

Corrupt officers have to build a high reputation to get bribe in advance and corrupt businessmen also have to build the high reputation for getting the work done without paying the bribe in advance.

Who is bad the donor or receiver?…………

The problem is that hardly a few people are really concerned about the loss to their country. Most people celebrate such bribe giver as a smart guy who managed the government officer. Even most people celebrate the skillfulness of the bribe taker, who uses his position to make more money for himself and his family.

Depends on what is being exchanged for the bribe, and who is initiating the action. Sometimes that which is being exchanged for the bribe would legitimately be passed on to the one giving the bribe, if not for obstruction from the one receiving the bribe. This is extortion, and the one bribing is a victim. In this case, it wouldn’t even matter who initiates the bribing act. The one receiving the bribe is in the wrong.

Sometimes the victim (may or may not be an individual) is an innocent 3rd party. Something is being illegitimately taken away from the 3rd party by the one receiving the bribe, and passed on to the one giving the bribe in exchange. In this case, both parties involved in the bribe transaction are colluding against the victim, and are equally in the wrong. However the ethical balance shifts against the party initiating the bribery act, as this is what starts the corruption cycle, which may not have been in existence prior to the act of solicitation. Although initiation becomes merely nominal if the bribery culture is already in place.

There are also few peoples who run charity are very very careful about the funds, and even if they are starving will never touch money kept aside for the charity.

So you must ask yourself what is taking this bribe going to cost you, as well as cost the person you are taking it from and is it worth it?

Every deed is our own choice……….

Just share with you one small story about two lecturers who retired from college, and filed papers for the process of their pension papers. One lecturer who studied and taught politics all his life paid up the demanded BRIBE and got his papers processed. The other lecturer who studied and taught commerce & economics all his life did not pay up the demanded BRIBE and got his papers processed, albeit a bit late, say 3–4 months. Both of them got the pension after retirement and both of them were honest during their service, both of them belong to the same caste, everything same. The difference is one believed what he studied and taught and the other taught one thing and practiced something else.

We indulge in BRIBING, to get what we want, whether we are entitled to it or not, and then we start complaining that the government is CORRUPT, when the actions are not favorable to us.

What kind of a person we are? Actually, we don’t have the self-confidence and faith in the system. We are out rightly selfish, undisciplined, irrational, and have no concern for our fellow citizen.

I am not saying that the corruption is OK. NO. Not at all. If every one of us refuses to bribe and wait patiently for your turn, your work will be done in a routine manner. Yes, you will find it difficult initially. You will be frustrated. After a period, you will be satisfied with your behavior and also with the system.

If we are on the right side of the law, disciplined and honest, lead life with a high level of integrity, we will not pay BRIBE. We may get hit and denied some of our legitimate rights, but it will be for a brief period. When we are about to leave this world, we leave satisfied.

There can be no bribery if the citizens are honest and they refuse to bribe. There can be no bribery if the government officials are honest and they refuse to accept the bribe. Since the government officials and the citizen are part of the same society, hence honest government officials can’t exist without honest citizen and vice-versa.

Unless the mindset of the peoples’ change and they start condemning both the bribe giver and the taker, the trend of bribing is not going to subside. At the end, every act is our own choice either we go with our moral values or ready to compromise with our ethics.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are…..Theodore Roosevelt”.

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