Book Review- I Refused to Bribe

Title: I refused to BRIBE

Written By: Gireesh Sharma

About Gireesh Sharma (Few lines from the book) –

Gireesh Sharma, soldier-turned-author, writes straight from his heart. Born in 1973 in a small hamlet near Aligarh, he was brought up by his maternal grandfather, an active political leader. It was under his tutelage that he developed patriotic fervour and on turning 17 years of age, chose to join the Indian Air Force to serve the nation. After his retirement, he worked with several youth organisations and today actively participates in socio-political activities to bring a positive change in the country.

He is working as a marketing manager in a software company and enjoys writing books during his spare time. I refused to Bribe is his first fiction, though he has written three popular non-fictions – Office Politics, How to Win the Heart of Your Wife and Stay Free, Stay Happy.

ISBN:  978-9380914633

Cover Price: Rs. 195.00

Rating:  3/5

Something about the book (from the book’s cover):

Jitesh, a senior bank clerk, rejects a business loan to an influential industrialist, Satish. The latter seeks intervention from a senior bank officer named Arora who conspires to get Jitesh removed. A few days later at the bank, Jitesh helps an unknown customer, who claims to be illiterate, to fill his withdrawal form. The customer is later identified as a conman who fraudulently withdraws money from someone else’s account. Arora manipulates the situation and on charges of abetting a crime, Jitesh is names in the chargsheet.

Jitesh is suspended and faces a judicial inquiry which lasts for 14 long and painful years. At every step he gets the opportunity to pay a bribe and get reprieve, but he adamantly refuses to give a bribe. His plea for innocence falls on deaf ears of vigilance officers, bank officials, CID officers, court clerks and even the judge.

Does Jitesh succeed to overcome adversity and his adversaries or does he succumb to all kinds of pressures? Read on to find the truth.

Now for my View:

BRIBE! Well India and BRIBE are two words that seem to coexist together. I’m sure all of us at some point in time would have had to pay some extra yet ‘justifiable’ amount to get our work done by the man ‘behind the desk’. Despicable I know, but we are a country that seems hell bent on retaining the trait. And that’s not the end of our problems; we are also a country where the common man probably has no rights at all. Well, he does have rights technically but out there in the big bad real world these rights are quashed with an iron fist!

Powerful and corrupt politicians and industrialists or those infamous rapists and bigoted god men, all of them have the dibs on constitutional rights, human rights and all sorts of other “rights” you could possibly think about. But when it comes to you and I, well the doormat has a better chance at fair trials and treatments than us at any time of the day. That’s India, that’s what our country is all about today sadly! So in such a country, what happens to a man who decides to stand up against corruption? That’s the story in this book, the one called ‘I refused to BRIBE’. It’s the tale of a man who refused to bribe and in return was sucked into the mammoth and inefficient judicial system. What happened to him? Did he rise to the surface? Did he get his life back even if it was more than a decade later? Well you’d have to read the book to find out.

The book revolves around very pertinent issues; corruption and the long drawn judicial process that often swallows an honest man. It is an intriguing read for it makes you realize that the seeds of corruption were sown decades earlier and what we have today is nothing short of a royal mess.  An honest man’s struggle and the disappointing wait for justice would hold your attention for this is something that has been the topic of conversation in the nation for atleast the past three years.

It is a serious read and a very relevant one at that. It makes you recognize that even though it is extremely hard to stand against the corrupt system, it is the right thing to do. Gireesh Sharma’s book has a soul. When you read his book, you are inclined to believe that there are people who actually have the resolve to stand up against corruption and the colluded system even if it’s the hardest thing to do!

I liked the way the author chose an issue that the country is plagued by and used his story telling skills to jolt our conscience. The book, in my view, is a sincere attempt to make his readers contemplate on the problems of bribery and corruption hence definitely worth a read.