One cannot deny that we are extremely corrupt people. This moral depravity pervades every sphere of our lives. When someone talk about our inglorious journey from the days of god fearing simpletons to the money gorging zombies today, we very conveniently, almost nonchalantly, put it down to the political leadership of the day. Like leaders, like followers is our common refrain. But is it that simplistic? Can a select few in position of power influence the wider milieu in such a significant way? Is there a way, we, as people, could hold our own and fend off the veniality, if indeed it sprouted from there, and reduce it to an oasis on the fringes of the mainstream? In fact the problem is not so much with the top as it is with the bottom. There is corruption all around, because almost each one of us is corrupt and incorrigibly at that. Worse still, we have increasingly come to relish and accept it as the new social order. Just look around, who amongst us does not want his inept child to get a government job on the recommendations of the people of consequence? How many of us have showed up for an exam at the RTO office for getting a driving license? How many of us do not opt for illegal gratification of the officials to get our revenue papers, ration card, permanent resident certificate, etc, expeditiously, and perhaps without having to go through the whole gamut of laid down procedures? And how many us don’t sidle up to the ministers for seeking favourable transfers? The number may not be flatteringly high. Come to think of it, this monster has been fed and nourished by us without any qualm. Just imagine, if we were not impatient with procedures and had concern for merit, how much we would have contributed to the overall integrity in exchanges in the public domain. Yes, there is no gainsaying that the menace would not have completely vanished, but righteousness in the collective consciousness of the people at large would have acted as a bulwark against the runaway corruption. Presently, this menace is feeding off us, and menacingly growing to gobble us all. What’s worse, the narrative surrounding corruption in our state is also heavily coloured with hypocrisy. While we all partake in the fruits of corruption, we conveniently lay all the blame at the door of the political leadership. Do we know that this hypocrisy compounds our sin for we desist from owning up the unholy act? Part of the problem is ascribable to more money in our pockets today than ever before. Money means power and more money means more power. This has caused us to believe that anything or everything can be bought and that we can have our way any or all the time. With unfathomable amount of money all around, the morality is at a premium in our society. On the other end of the spectrum are the people, who are worse off and, have gladly offered themselves to be bought. This commodification has led us to bribe our way through the institutionalized processes to achieve our objectives in utter disregard to the values these institutions espouse. Given the way the circumstantial dice is loaded, the race to acquire more and more money is not going to be slackened. And, quite expectedly, each one of us wants to be part of this rat race forgetting that this madness for material riches will inevitably drag us down to the morass of immorality. There is a need to enjoy the vast array of differences that define we, the people, who co-inhabit this uniquely gifted landmass. Our differences should not become an alibi to do what we are doing. Our destinies are intertwined with this place for we have been born and bred here. This is reason enough for us to develop stakeholdership in its development. This is doable, but we would have to first accept that we are a part of the problem and not use the political masters as a punching bag. Once we do that, we will soon discover that we have transformed into a part of solution. Thereafter, the part of the problem associated with the leadership will take care of itself.