Corruption is a dishonest and unethical act to extort personal gains without any consideration to the damage it does to society. There is a general misperception that corruption is done only by those who are in authority. Surely, they do, and their corruption is indeed more destructive, as it affects a large segment of society and causes widespread mayhem and anarchy.
However, it must be noted (with regret) that corruption is done by society as a whole. In fact, it is society’s acceptance that allows this menace to survive and thrive. The point is that when viewed from a broader perspective, corruption does not remain confined to an act of taking bribe from someone, but it is any act that is done in violation of any social value and ethical norms. Any immoral act is corruption: violating a traffic signal is corruption; throwing garbage in the street is corruption; telling lie; cheating in exams; misusing one’s authority and even deceiving public with your fake ID on the Facebook, all are the forms of corruption.
It is this broad explanation of corruption that needs to be understood, if we have to eradicate this malaise from society in an effective way. More importantly, we have to acknowledge that it is the decline in social values and abandonment of guiding principles of Islam which led to our moral degradation, the natural outcome of which is corruption and social disorder. In this regard, I would like to draw the attention of all of you to the fact that any battle against corruption will remain half-won, unless we realise that corruption is the symptom of many underlying moral, social, intellectual and spiritual diseases that our society is beset with.
Obviously, a disease cannot be cured unless its causes are diagnosed. Moreover, a disease cannot be cured if the focus is on the elimination of symptoms only. Rather, a concrete result can be had on only when the disease is appropriately recognised and right kind of treatment is administered that is aimed at combating the causes rather than signs of that disease. Similarly, any social problem, small or big, can be gotten rid of only when it is understood in a clear way. Corruption emanates from the lack of morality; lack of sympathy towards others; lack of patriotism and certainly, it is the lack of faith in the Day Hereafter that lies at the root of creating corrupt mindset. Keeping these causes in mind, a realistic approach is to make efforts for promoting morality, sympathy for others, patriotism and the fear of life after death, along with other lofty ideas.