The whole world, including Pakistan, observed December 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day.  Seminars and different programs at different institutions were organized to spread awareness amongst people across the world regarding the course of corruption. In this regard, my own department organized a seminar to discuss the reasons and causes of corruption and how to cope with them.

There were some students who performed really well and tried their best to convey some serious messages through skits, poetry and speeches. Luqman Ahmad and his team did their best and perfectly sketched the dark side of the picture of our society.

I personally tried to answer, or at least to put forward, some questions before my audience: what is International Anti-Corruption Day? Why do we observe this day? What is corruption? Who is corrupt? Who will determine whether someone is corrupt? Is this purely a moral question or is it merely concerned with law and legality?

From an academic point of view, I find the structuralist approach more appropriate and quite reasonable in addressing and answering the aforementioned questions. Let us discuss the whole concept in a systematic framework to understand its dynamics and consequences.

As rationalists argue, it’s a matter of ordinary observation that the majority of people want maximum profit at minimum cost. In other words, people want more but wish to use less. This is what they term as “rational calculation”. In modern complex societies the main reason behind the social inequalities and fragmentation is ‘Global Capitalist’ which has made the society confused and highly consumptive.

Through large and organized media campaigns a sense of inferiority is created and to overcome it people need more than they already have. It compels them to use unfair and unethical means to full their needs. And never forget that corruption is like drugs, it grows on you.

The perception that corruption only exists in Pakistan is a deliberate spin of global and domestic media. Corruption is a universal phenomenon, but it has varying nature. In our country, there are two types of corruption at the top to give/take money for any wrongdoing and the abuse of power.

But countries like the United States of America, where a presidential candidate is funded by bigger corporate and multinational companies, face the bane of corruption. How will a president funded by an organization formulate any policy against the interests of that particular firm? For instance, if the arm weapon factory funds an American president, will it allow the president to stop wars?

In my humble opinion, corruption is not limited to nor only concerned with the taking/giving of money and abuse of power. It also includes exploitation of someone, by putting someone in a disadvantageous position or keeping them there.

It is a matter related with individuals and overall societies. It is the system of exploitation. The main reason in our societies for this evil is exploitative capitalist system.

Everyone from western scholars, to our own universities professors, purpose one common thing for eliminating the curse of corruption: legislation, legislation and legislation. In a broader intellectual sense, it seems stupid. Most of us simply don’t understand the scope and function of law and because of this sheer ignorance we too often over rate the law.

Law is nothing but one of the final or ultimate tool and method of social control.  When all other means of social control fail, the law comes then.

You must have seen that there is no law regarding fake votes in the Britain. Why? Because there is no concept of fake votes in Britain. Their values are string and clear and they love to follow them.

We are living in a confused value system. What we need to do is to refine of polluted values for the perfect reformation and restructuring of our society. We need to admit the harsh reality that we still prefer a dense rich person to an educated and strong poor individual.  

For changing values we have to change our education system.