Amit S.

As Interviewed by Jongwook Mah, March 6, 2013

Amit S.: In His Own Words

That was the beginning of the corrupt system in India. For the people were not able to distinguish that itís their actual right, and in order to get their actual right they donít have to pay anybody anything. Because there were so many kinds of taxes, that they were not able to distinguish whatís the tax and whatís the bribe. Most people are taught that that is the easy way to earn money, and thatís their right to do that way.

There wasnít really much for the people who wanted to earn honestly. Because even if you are honest, you donít take bribes, you still have to pay bribe for your basic rights.

So thatís how I decided, and that was the time that I decided that I want to remain honest and I still want all the good things in life. Basically, I have to choose a different path than bureaucracy. But my parents and my family wanted me to be bureaucrat. And I could have been one potentially, if I wanted to go down that path. But I always knew that even if I wonít be corrupt, there would be two things happening. The system would be putting me under immense pressure to get corrupt Ė second thing is that I wonít be able to provide wealth for my family if I am not corrupt.

Maybe people can say that, ďYou should have stayed back and fought the system.Ē Thatís another way to look at it Ė because a lot of people have done that in India. They stayed back and continued to fight the system to make it better. Probably I knew I didnít have that much patience to do it myself. And probably it was the time in India when it was too depressing. Nonetheless, I really appreciate those who stayed back and fought the corrupt system and made it better. What I felt was different Ė that if I cannot help myself, itís impossible for me to help my country and my people. So I followed that in my life. Some people didnít just hold it. They were good, and they decided to stay back and sacrifice themselves out of their desires to make the system better. Definitely, I feel their contribution much more than mine. And I would feel honored if I can ever go back and help in making that system better.

The one thing which always make me feel proud of India is that India is a country, and more, most of it what makes me feel proud of India is the people. They lived through a lot of hardships in last two, three hundred years. There were a lot pressures they went through. Nonetheless, they survived it all and fought it back, and fought back very well. Thatís what makes me feel proud Ė that Indians always found ways to survive, and survive well.