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What it was like to prefer to resign than to accept bribes

February 2, 2016, 10:27 am | This story has an Influence Score of 973

By riazhussain

There are people in the world who stick to honest practices no matter how much sacrifice they have to make. They firmly believe in being virtuous. They silently work hard and wait for the day when their efforts will be rewarded. People may call them idealists, bookish and dreamers when they refuse to take part in corrupted activities in everyday business. These people refuse to yield to dishonesty and then there comes a day when they win the reward of their patience and hard work. This story highlights the efforts of such a determined individual.

Saqib completed his graduation   with flying colors  in 2001 . He wanted to pursue his higher studies at a good university but did not have means to realize his high dreams. He was the eldest son of his parents; therefore, his family needed another earning hand to meet the growing needs of its members. He was aware of the role his family wanted him to play. Every morning, he would look at job advertisements in the newspapers, note down the addresses and then go out to post his applications and CVs to the advertisers. Papers had piled up beneath his computer table.

He applied for different posts in various departments of private and public sectors, took tests and attended interviews but did not succeed in securing a job for a long while.

It took him one year before he finally got an appointment letter. His designation was quality assurance officer in a public sector department. He accepted the job and was sent on a year-long training, during which, he sent his weekly salary back home and enjoyed the satisfaction of being a helpful member in the family.

After completing his training, he was happy that he was starting a new life and that the hard times of life had ended. But, he was unaware of the trials that he had to face in days to come. When he took office, he came across rampant corruption around him. Everyone at the department seemed to have embraced bribery. His colleagues did not give importance to their salaries because they got very large sums from the concerned parties. They had bought luxury cars and built large houses. Saqib also wanted to make money for his family but he did not want to resort to foul practices. He tried to save himself from being contaminated by the corrupt environment. His colleagues began to take him for a villain because he had refused to be an accomplice in their crimes of commissions and kickbacks.

Our interviewee was upset and helpless in the face of other thick-headed 'quality assurance officers'. Reporting the problem to the higher authorities had its own implications and consequences. His job environment made his life more difficult. He was torn between his desire to financially assist his family and his efforts to save himself from the overwhelmingly corrupt job environment. He could not afford to undertake a single-handed fight against the ubiquitous corruption because this task was too big to be done by him alone.

When it became too difficult for him to continue his job, he resigned in 2005. His resignation was followed by three long years of hardships and unemployment. His search for a better job made him leave his native town and move to different metropolitans but he failed in getting a good job. At last, he went abroad in search of greener pastures. His shoes wore out on the roads of the foreign land. His courage seemed to be exhausted. It seems to be an enigmatic reality of life that when man has depleted all his powers and is at the brink of losing hope, there comes a breakthrough. This is what happened to Saqib in his quest for truth and honesty.

One fine morning he received a telephone call informing him that he had been selected as lecturer in a state-run college. One of his old applications for employment had, at last, been processed and he had been invited to accept the job, which he did. He worked hard as a lecturer and got an early promotion. Now he is a senior lecturer and is happy with his current position, because there he is not bothered by corruption.  

In his free time, he likes to sing songs and write poetry. His friends are fond of his great singing skills. When I asked him about his unemployment problems in the past, he smiled and said, 'One should not be disappointed whatever the circumistances are'. 

He also likes to engage in social work. He has been raising funds for drug addicts. He is very much upset about the problems old people face in society. He plans to set up an NGO for the betterment of old women in his native town.  

Saqib's story shows that the world is not ruled by chaos where honest people have to suffer and corrupt people excel in every field of life. In fact, we are influenced by the discourses of corruption which unethical people air to justify their own dishonest practices. If we learn to rise above this hollow rhetoric circulating all around us, we discover that the universe and the forces of life hail and honour honest and earnest efforts made despite the world's trials and tribulations.    

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