Shame or money?


The new ‘Jaago Re’ advertisements by Tata Tea have got me thinking. Although I completely agree with the fact that they are enlightening and fresh, and of course send out a very strong message in an equally strong manner.

Corruption is a practice so entrenched in our society now that getting rid of it is going to be a mammoth task on its own, not to mention a very long one. The beginnings have been made though. The Right To Information Act has its flaws, owing to corruption itself. . Anyone, who has the nerve to stand up and place an RTI against a high-flying minister, is simply killed, or made to experience probably the most harrowing situations in life. The murders of Amit Jethwa and Datta Patil along with many others are cases in point.  Nevertheless, the RTI act is a decisive step in eliminating this evil from the Indian system.

Going back to the Jaago Re ads, although I really admire what the main protagonists do: Make the corrupted and the person party to the corrupt act realize with shame of what they do each time they pay/take a bribe.

If only what happens in the advert, comes true. But sadly, any chances of that happening in the near future are nearly zero. I am talking about the red-facedness of the corrupt official who is then served tea, as a metaphor for Jaago re, Wake up. I do not think, that when I do the same with an official the next time he asks for a bribe, he will make the same face and will feel the same shame which the man in the ad felt. Chances are, in fact, that he will have me thrown out of his office, probably  chased by goons if there is a man who does this, and not a woman.

But still, after the release of these ads by Tata Tea, I do feel better about the situation. One cannot expect things to change in a few days. It is going to be a long struggle. But the foundations have been laid, and the first steps have been taken. And as Frost says,

“Miles to go before I sleep”.

Video Courtesy: YouTube

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