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We will suffer but not pay
Though a minority, the number of respondents who chose to take a stand against bribery is encouraging and inspiring to the rest. This individual from Faridabad is one among that rare breed. His BSNL phone went dead a fortnight ago and the lineman demanded Rs 500 to set it right. Repeated attempts by him to lodge a complaint to BSNL through various modes ended in failure. “I am determined to not pay and see if the work can happen,” the person declares, also promising to keep us updated on the progress. Refusal to pay by such determined individuals stretches across all sections: passport verification, licence issuals, admission of a child in school, electricity connection, land registration, job confirmation, customs clearance, etc. It all goes to show the all-pervasive nature of corruption in India. It is truly heroic on the part of these unsung individuals who refuse to follow the herd and take the small, unnoticed, steps towards eradicating it in their midst. They have suffered for their stand in various ways: losing a government lecturer job, watching a handicapped son suffer without a wheel-chair, undue delay in getting passport or phone connection. However, what is inspiring for all of us is their determination to brave the odds. Meanwhile, watch this space to know if the Faridabad chap’s phone starts ringing again.
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