Jayaram Jayalalitha has been sworn in as the chief minister of the Indian state Tamil Nadu, for the fifth time, in a ceremony held at the state capital of Madras. When she arrived at the Madras University in her vibrant green sari, a huge crowd of almost 3500 invitees cheered her on, chanting that their ‘Amma is back’. What is surprising is that this swearing in ceremony of the former actress, took place less than a fortnight after Karnataka High Court acquitted her of corruption charges in a disproportionate assets case. Accused of possessing un- accounted wealth of more than $10m, Jayalalitha had quit as the chief minister last September, and had been sentenced for four years. What astonishes the media, especially in Pakistan is how a leader, one that has been accused of corruption, is being granted a position of trust again? This step in Indian politics seems to be one that is blatantly overlooking embezzlement from the state, and moving forward to ensure stability in the future. The question that one should be open to, even if with a heavy heart is, that should not Pakistan do the same? Corruption in Pakistan, is seen as the biggest threat to any sort of development, be it political, economic and even social, where the perception that is fed by every politician, every new channel and every policy that is being made is that it ‘is the root cause of poverty and unemployment’. However, if we keep on living in this ‘utopian-ideal’ of development only starting in the country, with the eradication of all forms of dishonesty and exploitation, it seems to be a little too convenient and ‘lazy’ on the part of the leaders of our country to use this as an excuse of not putting forward any concrete policies, to take the country forward.

Let us face it. Corruption will probably always remain institutionalized in our country, where it seems like a farfetched dream to see a day when, a politician truthfully takes an oath that he or she will honor their position by never putting their needs before the country. However what is not impossible is to have a vision where we are looking beyond this naive rhetoric of development, and learning from India to accept this vice in the society, not seeing it as the only obstruction.

If corruption was the only detriment to democracy and development, then every other country in the world would also be in the same gaping hole as Pakistan, regarding education, industry, social equality and employment. India also suffers from corruption, yet they still see economic and social growth. Is it because they have stopped taking corruption as an easy exit out for lack of execution and ideas? It seems that Pakistan should learn a thing or two from right across the border, where an obsession with corruption in the public discourse is not standing in the way of effective solutions.