- Corruption – A Comprehensive Study of its Origin, Growth and its Solution
- I. A Deep Perspective on the Present Position of India in the Light of the Critical Importance of Its Work in the Evolution of the Human Race
- II. A Perspective on the Age of Reason and Its Achievements
- III. The Economic Barbarism of Modern Man and Its Fallout
- IV. The Indian Scenario
- V. Where it may lead us – The Working of the Commercial and Utilitarian Spirit and its Possible Culmination
- VI. The Way Out
- VII. The Future of Humanity and India’s Future Role in it
When the British fully took over India, they set upon establishing an intermediary race of Indians whom they could entrust with their work at middle and lower levels of government and administration. In the words of Macaulay: “We must at present do our best to form a class, who may be interpreters between us and the millions we govern, a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellects.” Francois Gautier, India’s Self-Denial, page 43
Most of our pre-independence leaders belonged to this class and at independence not only the British education system, but the whole of their constitutional, judicial, legal and administrative system was blindly adopted and remains in effect even today virtually unchanged. Our post-independence leaders too, having been educated and groomed under this system, show little or no true appreciation or even understanding of the genius of India – its great culture, its Sanatana – because eternally true – Dharma and its soul.
(a) The Socialistic Economic Planning
In 1951, our country, with its leaders drawing inspiration from the Russian economic model, embarked upon a course of planned economic development which took the form of five year plans. Our leaders of the time believed that with the help of Science, Socialism and Economic Planning and the Indian people’s own government – after seven centuries of most painful subjection to foreign rule – they will be able to take the country to an ideal state superior to anything that might have been achieved in the ancient past. The initial concentration of the economic planning was on the construction of big multipurpose hydro-electric power projects, steel plants, a network of roads, etc. The big steel plants and huge hydroelectric power projects like Bhakhara-Nangal dam were declared to be the true and fitting places of worship for all forward looking spirits in the new India.
The concentration on infrastructure and heavy industries coupled with stiff exchange controls, Licence Raj and other ill conceived and misdirected efforts at detailed “regulation” – which it may be more apt to call “strangulation” – of the economic system stifled all initiative and resulted in a stagnant economy. In fact, the economic system was saved from complete collapse only because of the significant leakages that developed in the application of rigorous economic regulations due to the interaction between the robust built-in survival instinct of an economic system and an inefficient and corrupt (or always corruptible for a price) government machinery. The supply of consumer goods, especially of the consumer durables, was restricted and with the stagnant agriculture of those days, the supply of food grains was proving inadequate to feed the growing population. The situation on food front became especially acute in the mid-sixties.
(b) The Green Revolution
It brought about a significant increase in the production of food grains in the late sixties and early seventies of the last century. The “begging bowl” country soon became self-sufficient in food which freed it from the necessity of seeking degrading foreign hand outs. Improved hybrid seeds, use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides were the main elements of this sudden turnaround in agricultural production. Later on, the introduction of improved breed of cows from West brought about the so called “White Revolution” which quickly led to a breakthrough in the supply of milk and milk-products in the country.
The “green revolution” has been far from being – what it initially looked like – an unmixed blessing. It is now increasingly beginning to be realised that the increased volume has come not only at the expense of the quality which has been declining all along but also has a hidden and ever growing price tag attached to it which is fast reaching levels which will be too high for us to pay. The underground water table is running dangerously low, the surface water sources are drying out and the land – which has been ruthlessly raped using chemicals – is so fast losing its fertility that even our increasing doses of fertilizers and pesticides will not be able to keep the production from going down and that too even if and only if we can continue to pour sufficient water out of the fast depleting stock that was accumulated over thousands of years. Not only this, but in addition to all the above the chemical food is playing havoc with the health of our people because now, not only the taste and nutritive value of our food grains, fruits and vegetables and milk is nothing compared to what it was even two-three decades ago, but the level of harmful chemical substances present in these food items is, at times, dozens of times more than what is considered safe for human consumption. In short, the indiscriminate use of chemicals in various products which is playing havoc with the health of humans and cattle in particular and flora and fauna in general, is leading us towards an ecological disaster.
(c) The Economic Liberalisation – Adoption of the Western Capitalistic Model
By the late seventies our big neighbour Communist China started moving towards a gradual privatization and liberalization of its economy. Still, we continued with our restrictive economic policies and kept talking about socialism and removal of poverty through its agency. It was only the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 that fully brought home – at least to a leading section of the policy makers – the foolishness of the restrictive economic policies which we had stubbornly continued to follow even though the country had been reeling under the suffocating and utterly corrupt bureaucratic machine that had been growing in size and crookedness as a result of our elected government’s efforts directed at a more and more detailed regulation of the economy. It was plain that the Asian countries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore who had subscribed to open market model had grown very fast and the other Asian and East European countries who followed the socialistic model simply stagnated and some even collapsed under the weight of a corrupt government machinery. To hold back was impossible in the face of these facts. Sri Narshimha Rao’s government took first step towards economic liberalization by initiating a cautious and gradual but progressive deregulation of the economy. The non-congress governments that followed continued this policy and our economy was increasingly opened to foreign goods and capital. Our domestic industries which were known for their poor quality products were now getting increasingly exposed to competition from abroad. This has led to a lot of changes in the structure of private sector industries which are now getting increasingly better equipped to meet the challenges of globalization under which an increasing number of MNC’s are entering the Indian markets on their own or in collaboration with Indian companies.
During the last five years a reverse movement has also started – an increasing penetration of world markets by the Indian entrepreneurs and a partial inflow of the Indian talent back to India, especially due to the recent novel phenomenon of outsourcing. Although India still continues to supply an increasing number of technically trained young talent to Europe and North America, there are signs that, as the salaries here are getting better and even competitive (in real terms) to those in the West – specially due to Outsourcing by the MNC’s – more and more Indians are staying home. Our cities, especially those housing the newly built huge Western style Shopping Malls and the offices of the MNC’s are increasingly beginning to look like their counterparts in the West. The upshot of all this and the increasing penetration of Western science & technology in the lives of Indian people due to the IT revolution is that we are getting increasingly exposed to Western modes of thinking, living and acting. As the annual growth rates of the Indian economy are approaching the double digit figures, its political, business and industry leaders are confidently expressing the hope that India will grow very fast and will be akin to the advanced countries of the West within a few decades.
Where all this is leading us to? We are clearly moving towards becoming a modern socio-economic machine which will be geared towards meeting, primarily, only the vital and physical needs of man, for the material perfection and wellbeing seems to be fast becoming the sole recognised Dharma of Indian society, all else being considered either a pretentious falsity or a thing of minor and dependent consequence. The overriding concern that the modern societies show for the fulfilment of physical desires of man, and the prominent part that money plays in the fulfilment of such desires has brought in such a short-sighted spirit of utilitarianism that everything is judged from the monetary angle and success has became synonymous with greater command over resources. In other words, money has become the supreme lord in fact, if not in name.
The gospel of utilitarianism which seems to permeate modern societies has debased by its touch all that has opened to it. Virtually nothing seems to have escaped completely its distorting influence. Politics, education, medicine, art, music, religion, friendships, relations, love, etc., all seem to have come under its sway. The spirit of duty, commitment, service seems to be fast loosing ground to it even in areas such as education, medicine, social service, etc., which have traditionally been its strongholds.
As we have seen above, the story of our over five decades of independence has been that of an exclusive preoccupation of public policy with “bread and butter” issues coupled with the repeated doses of ill-conceived governmental interventions and adventures in the economic system. The present situation is much worse than what we started out with because, during the intervening years, a spirit of a very very short-sighted “utilitarianism” and an acute selfishness has gotten inculcated in the functioning of individuals and groups. Wherever one looks one finds individuals and groups infested with the “utilitarian” spirit and busy exploring and innovating new ways and means of somehow, anyhow, making some extra money. Men everywhere seem to be aiming for quick, cheap and easy ways and means for material success and solution to their problems, forsaking all higher values and nobler aspirations of their being. Education, medicine, business, administration, law and justice, everywhere it is the same story. The result is that our educational institutions continue to supply degrees and diplomas but no longer provide any education worth the name; our doctors and hospitals are more likely to deprive a person of his money and body’s natural health than his disease; one must be a real genius in the art of shopping if one is to avoid paying too much and buying an adulterated, fake or a poor quality product in our markets. In our courts, justice may not be denied, but it can almost always be delayed indefinitely, for a fee. Our politics, government and the administrative machinery are increasingly taking on the appearance of a real nemesis for the country.
We have forgotten that when everyone is trying to get somewhere by stepping on everyone else, no one really gets anywhere. The narrow and short-sighted utilitarian spirit not only results into spiritual deprivation but must also prove in the end catastrophic for the material well being of the society. The country seems to be sinking deeper and deeper into the mire of mental, moral and physical deprivation with its nominal leaders (on every side of the political spectrum) – themselves inflicted with the disease of acute selfishness – watching helplessly.
To get a feel for the present situation of the country in this regard — which is much worse than what most people can even imagine — we provide here a detailed description of the corrupt practices of actors or in other words the operation of the utilitarian spirit in some of the important fields of common concern and experience in India. However, before we do this an overview (of the whole scenario) consisting of a description of the common paradigm – common to all the fields – and a detailed and comprehensive discussion of what constitutes corruption is provided here to enable our readers (viewers) to retain a clear perspective on the whole thing even when engrossed in the unpleasant and often heartbreaking details of the specific fields.
a. The Basic or Common Paradigm
An overwhelming proportion of humanity has always – through all the ages – been living, predominantly, in the egoism of their physical being (includes the physical vital and the physical mind) – with their consciousness dominated by the pursuit of its interests. The extent of this domination or the colour of the pursuit depends on the degree of the psychological development of the individual and the colour of the age prevailing in the collective atmosphere. For example, in the Satya or Krita Yuga of the traditional Indian division of the human cycle in the four ages or Yugas (the Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali Yugas), the men who dominate and govern the collectivity by the power of their consciousness and determine the colour of the age are men centered and living in their intuitive being and hence full of love, wisdom and power. The governing idea in such a golden age is that of self-exceeding (Aryanism) and perfection by the practice of Yajna – termed sacrifice in English but which is more like self-consecration (or giving) or “making sacred” rather than self-annulment or suffering – which enables the ardent practitioners to attain to ever deeper and higher (truer and mightier) levels of their being and which, once attained, tends to percolate into the outer life and nature and colour the collective consciousness by the Adhyatmo-Sattwic qualities of this age. The next age – the Silver Age – is Treta, the age of Dharma where the divine preserver and sustainer (Vishnu – who had descended as Yajna in the Satya) now descends as the Chakravarti Raja – the sustainer of society’s righteousness, its sword of justice and defence and the preserver of the Dharma. The Sattwic qualities colour this age. In the next age – the Bronze Age – the age of Dwapara, there is a further decline in man’s character, power and capacities and as a result intellectual regulation becomes necessary and substitutes for the rule of Dharma. Men begin to live, primarily, in ideas, thoughts and emotions which assume much greater prominence and doubt makes a home in man’s heart and mind and he has to seek the aid of written word or Shastra to properly direct his actions. In this age Vishnu takes the form of King or Ruler who begins to take the help of written word – but only help, there is no mechanical subjection to it like in the present, rather he uses his understanding and intelligence freely along with the highest available recorded wisdom of the race – the Shastra, to guide his actions. The Sattwo-Rajasic qualities are predominant in this age. In the Kaliyuga or the Iron Age, there is a further diminution in man’s capacities and powers and he begins to be increasingly subject to his instincts, impulses and desires. The written word is not sufficient to maintain order in collective life and, subjection to some kind of outer machinery or system – which still remained very simple in Oriental societies – becomes necessary. In the modern Western materialistic cultures – which India is at present trying hard to emulate and welcome – system, organization, machinery seem to have attained a stranglehold. Bondage to these has been carried almost to its highest degree and man’s inner spiritual freedom is getting increasingly massacred in modern societies. Their increasing passion for organizing external liberty and equality is proving to be such a futile endeavour that more they try, the worse it gets because when the inner freedom is gone, external liberty follows it.
The Age or the Yuga prevailing in the collectivity exercises a powerful shaping influence on the individuals, pulling them towards its own characteristic working. The less developed the individual, the more powerful is the pull exercised on him by the collectivity. The nature of the various collectivities that have developed in different parts of the globe during the past one hundred years have two things in common – i) they all suffer from a common utilitarian stain and ii) they all owe their emergence to the persistent and futile efforts of modern (European) man to organize collective economic political life on the basis of – and with varying stress on – equality and liberty but without any real basis for fraternity which is the base of the triangle of liberty, equality and fraternity brought into prominence by the historic French Revolution. A review of the modern man’s efforts in the above direction and their results is necessary to understand the origin of the utilitarian spirit at its roots.
Europe’s attempts in this direction began in an organized form in the early years of the twentieth century and produced fruits in the form of Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, Fascism, and Nazism. Capitalism, keeping a moderate appearance, persisted throughout the century while all the others either passed away or became inconsequential by the end of the century. But recently, especially after the final collapse of communism in Russia and the evaporation of its potential military and political threat, Capitalism has begun showing its true colours. Its vital organ, the modern industrial machine is beginning to be recognized by an increasing number of perceptive people around the world as nothing but an organized force of human selfishness, cruelty and greed which is significantly contributing to the forces leading humanity towards an ecological and moral disaster. It has given rise, around the world, to a ruthless exploitation of all (living or non-living) at the hands of a league of an utterly corrupt political and business leadership. This has been successful, so far, in camouflaging its true objects and thereby persuading the common masses that they are being led swiftly towards the goal of an increasing freedom, equality and progress resulting in an increasing comfort, synonymous, according to this barbarian mentality, with the well-being of the people at large. These latest flowers of modern man’s efforts – Democracy and Capitalism – have been successful in cultivating a more and more acute and short sighted spirit of utilitarianism among the masses. This is perhaps one of the grossest expressions of man’s egoism and selfishness. In this age, most people have come to predominantly live in their physical being and nature and its satisfaction and protection is their principal preoccupation. For a person with this kind of outlook, money becomes supremely important because it seems to him to go a long way in meeting the above two needs of his physical being. Besides this, money has a key role in enabling one to satisfy not only the animal appetites and crude vanities of the lower vital nature but also – if one is sufficiently developed in these parts – the cravings of one’s middle and higher vital nature for status, name and fame and for the crude satisfaction it gets from a show of respect, awe and deference towards one’s being by others. The importance of these things does not get diluted but may even become greater in the case of persons who, in addition to a developed vital nature, have also a developed sattwic and even a religious and spiritual nature. Often, only the appearances are different and one, even with a developed higher nature, continues to harbour an unchanged physical-vital nature and its characteristic action behind the frontal appearances. Only when there has been a significant growth of the higher parts of nature at the expense of or accompanied by a sublimation of the lower parts that money begins to lose much of its importance for the person so evolved. But such cases are very rare and, given the degree of monetization of the collective physical and psychological infrastructure, even for such persons money becomes important whenever they are moved to seek an outer and wider expression of their truth and experience. In the light of the above, one can, not only understand, but may even begin to have a sympathetic attitude towards people suffering from this (utilitarian) malady or increasingly falling prey to it under the pressure of the collective atmosphere in whose creation one may have also made one’s own little contribution. It is with such understanding and sympathetic attitude that we attempt to look into the actual working of the utilitarian spirit in various spheres of individual and collective action and living in India.
Violations of one or more of the established legal, aesthetic, ethical and religious codes of a society are often termed corruption. It is important to know what is behind the sense of corruption and how it is related to the other notions or labels such as that of Legal and Illegal, True and False, Right and Wrong, Beautiful and Ugly, Virtue and Sin, and Dharma and Adharma which are commonly used to characterize the actions of individuals and societies. All these concepts or notions are overlapping, invariably run into each other’s territories and have their common source or origin in the legal, aesthetic, moral or ethical and religious codes of a society or collectivity which again in their turn, have their source in the fundamental Truths of the Spirit or the highest approachable Reality. The exact form that these codes take depends on the times and the culture or society to which they belong, even though the Truths of the Spirit are independent of these and the forms – always more or less inadequate – in which they get expressed. They are the one source of all the ultimate standards of the race.
i) The Legal Code and Corruption
Infringement or violation of the legal (civil or criminal) code is often termed corruption. The acts that are termed illegal are, most of the time, such as to imply also a breach of the aesthetic, moral and/or religious code of the society. In such cases it is easier to tackle the problem of corruption because the measures to counter such corrupt acts have, in addition to the force of the law, also the full force of the aesthetic, moral and religious standards or codes of the society behind them. When some acts are deemed corrupt solely on the ground that they constitute a violation of the legal code then it is very difficult to control them and is practically impossible to abolish them altogether. The above proposition which may be disputed by some, particularly in the light of the experience (in this respect) in the West, is yet mostly valid. There are a number of important and fundamental reasons behind an increasing failure of the elected governments in India to contain legal corruption i.e. corruption consisting primarily of the violations of the legal code. It is very important to consider these in detail and bring them out into the open for creating a deeper awareness and understanding of the problem of corruption among the law makers and the people at large.
1. It is a common knowledge that in the West, although there is an elaborate, extensive and all pervasive legal code – seemingly independent of all ethical or religious codes – yet, so efficient is its application and accompanying administration that the violations or infringements of rules and laws derived from it, particularly those which are deemed essential for the maintenance, well being and progress of the collectivity (local, regional or national), are very uncommon. This may seem to contradict the proposition advanced earlier about the ineffectuality of the legal code when it stands alone without much support from the ethical and religious codes. But the contradiction is only apparent and is easily resolved by bringing into consideration the effects of the diametrically opposite division of the stress of the moral code (between the personal and the collective morality) in India and the West. In the West there is a strong and well developed civic sense (pleasing to the eye and other senses) accompanied by the almost universally accepted standards of collective and national ethics or morality which few can ignore without getting into serious trouble. But there is little or no social or collective pressure or curb on an individual’s hedonistic tendencies whose naked and unabashed pursuit – often shocking to Oriental sensibilities – characterises the life of individuals in the West. The opposite is the case in India where there are very strong curbs exercised by family, caste and community on an individual’s behavior but, although growing, there is still very little of developed civic sense or a sense of collective and national ethics to regulate the conduct of individuals in matters of common interest or concern. In the West the lawmakers and the administrators share with the common people a strong sense of collective ethics inculcated through education and training conducted under the shadow of a strong and supportive collective suggestion. This enables the elected governments to achieve a strict and rigorous enforcement of laws and rules made by them.
In India the situation is just the opposite. Here the political and bureaucratic machinery – like the masses or perhaps even more than them – is entirely devoid of any civic sense or sense of collective morality or any sense of obligation to the common people who alone ultimately bear the burden of maintaining it. Therefore, it is not only useless for any collective good but is being seen by an increasing number of people as a growing monster – in size and depravity – and threatening the very existence of the race.
In order to understand the above mentioned juxtaposition between India and the West, we have to widen our perspective by looking at the whole scenario of the division of humanity in two complementary parts of the divine Whole. Reason plays an overwhelming and important part in Western societies and people find it easier to overcome the pull of lower tendencies when they are in contradiction with those cannons of reason that have come to be commonly accepted by the collectivity as reasonable. Thus, the Western Semitic races can and have undergone a considerable amount of rationalization for which they are suited. But the Indians are, by their very nature, not suited for such a high degree of rationalization and governance of life primarily by reason. They are, by their very Aryan constitution, intuitional either directly or through and by the heart and mind. An overwhelming majority of Indians spontaneously use their intuition to guide their action and behavior and to find their way out of a difficulty or to solve a problem. The constructions of reason carry little weight – at least for action – for most of them and this is true even for those who may have gone through a considerable degree of rationalization during their education and training. This is the basic reason why the present educational, economic, political, administrative, legal and judicial systems which have their origin in the Western mentality and cult of reason are found wanting and unsuitable for the temperament of the Indian people who, wherever possible, spontaneously tend to bypass such systems – which not unoften appears to them like a jungle of blind rules and laws – either by means of some subtle arrangement or personal relationship and approach or by the use of money. As things stand, the latter means is increasingly replacing the former ones as they are getting increasingly blunted under the pressure of a growing utilitarian spirit.
Now, what does it all portend? Where are we going from here? Indian culture, in facing the invasion of the Western culture during the past two hundred years, has been largely successful in assimilating those parts of it which were conducive to its own rejuvenation and revival and rejecting those that were contrary to its fundamental spirit. Even during the worst periods of India’s total political, economic and military subjugation, the Western spirit could never make such deep inroads in India as it has been increasingly successful in making ever since the beginning of the economic liberalization in the nineteen nineties. With the beginning of this century and especially during the past few years, there has been such an onslaught of a whole set of Western lifestyles, modes of thinking, feeling, conduct that it is not without an apparent danger for the very existence of Indian culture at least in India – rather one should say at most – because the West is facing a similar situation as it finds itself progressively subjected to an ever increasing invasion by the Indian spiritual culture which seems clearly to be moving the world over towards its destined goal of preparing humanity for the advent of a spiritual age. Actually, even in India, the danger is only apparent because, as it is, it is only a stalemate. For, if under the present apparent siege of Western culture we have failed to effectively retain the principles of inner greatness known to our forefathers, we have also failed to rationalize ourselves sufficiently to organize the intellectual efficiency characteristic of that culture. If the human race is to survive – and this is a big “if” – the present stalemate in India cannot but result in a decisive victory and reassertion of the Indian spiritual culture enriched and vivified by the present ordeal. In spite of all that we have been and are going through “…we still have among us important remnants of the old knowledge & discipline & we have firm hold in our schools of Yoga on the supreme means by which its lost parts can be recovered. The key of a divine life upon earth lies, rusted indeed in an obscure corner of our mansion, used only by a few, but still it lies there & is still used. It has to be singled out from amid much waste matter, made fit for complete & general use and given freely to mankind. We have kept, fortunately, the intuitional temperament to which its use is easy & natural. The failure of the intellect to assume complete sway and entirely rationalise our life, was a necessary condition for the preservation of that temperament, itself necessary for the appointed work & God-decreed life of our nation.” (CWSA 17, 564-65)
2. Another important reason for the failure of the elected governments – ever since the beginning of the economic planning in 1951 when they were not so infected with the utilitarian spirit – to contain legal corruption is that the laws made out of an inordinate desire to control and direct the socio-economic systems have been, in general, most ill-conceived and enacted in a hurry without understanding or giving due consideration to the innate Dharma of the health and functioning of these systems. Drawing inspiration from the Soviet model of development and planning, the first few five year plans envisaged the necessity of an increasing governmental intervention leading to a systematic control and regulation of the economic systems by the state because this was deemed essential for a rapid economic development along socially preferred tracks. This attitude continued unabated till the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early nineties after which the government policy gradually took a diametrically opposite turn in this respect and started to liberalize and privatize the economic system by progressively dismantling the machinery of detailed governmental controls and regulations put in place during the first four decades or the first phase of economic planning in India. By the end of this phase, the dense net of the vast arrays of ill-conceived, inept and misapplied government laws, rules and regulations had become very suffocating for the people and gave the impression of being an unconscious attempt, not so much at regulation but at a “strangulation” of the whole living economic system. The saving grace was that a good number of really fatal laws and rules neither were, nor really could have been rigorously enforced, for, had it been possible to do so, the whole economic system would have at once come to a standstill and would have swiftly moved towards a complete collapse bringing home to everyone the real nature and true worth of a good deal of governmental intervention in the economic system. In the nature of the functioning of things, ineffective governance invariably attempts to make up for its incompetence by enacting more and more elaborate laws and regulations and devising novel schemes.
When a living system is subjected to very dumb and paralyzing restrictions and regulations, its natural and virtually invincible survival instinct sets out to discover and develop further necessary means and ways for bypassing these – a thing easily done in India whose people are well known – the world over – for their genius in such things. All this results in a tremendous pressure on all the participants – but more so on those at the receiving end – to at once find a way out taking all possible advantage of the new situation by some kind of manipulation or arrangement or simply by bribing the regulators. The regulators and the newly sprung class of intermediaries also undergo a similar process and attempt to optimize their gains. By a strictly legal criterion, all these things are illegal and often even criminal. However, when such a network of laws not only remains intact over a long period of time but even grows in perversity and pervasiveness, an understanding and tolerance gradually develops among the masses for whom it becomes a habitual thing and any element of moral disapprobation that might have been there initially, completely evaporates from the psychology of the participants and spectators in this tragic – tragic for the moral and emotional health of the people – and seemingly never ending drama which keeps on growing ever more tragic. The obstinate and increasingly shameless attempts of the elected government to burden the governmental machinery with this kind of background with the task of administrating ever more elaborate and expensive programmes and schemes for the upliftment of the masses are like someone shamelessly spending huge amount of precious resources and energy for developing a stage and elaborately planning a series of intricate dance performances – with an avowed object of entertaining the people – for someone who, with a long history of affliction from cerebral palsy, cannot even walk few steps straight without help. One can easily understand that initially, in the absence of any sufficient and concrete experience of the workings of modern governmental machinery on the part of the past independence leaders, the whole approach may have been adopted due to its then popular intellectual appeal, but to understand its continuation even after its true colours have been vividly revealed to the gaze of all, one needs to look deeply into the motive of the political leadership. If it is continuing even at present then it can only be because the present day politicians allow themselves to believe that Indian people are still so shortsighted and foolish that they can be manipulated by the promises and announcements of ingenious schemes, plans to be carried out for their benefit and outright handouts to be delivered to them by the same government machinery which has been ever busy designing and inflicting more and more unspeakable forms of privations on them. If such political leaders do not get thrown out of power even after such blatantly shameless acts, then it cannot be because most people are taken in by their cunning designs but simply because the people may not have any really less unpalatable choice available to them under the workings of our democratic system. The democratic system which has, of late, become so wonderful that when a new political party or an alliance of political parties comes to power, it is not because people expect anything good from them but simply because they had gotten so sickened by the previous ones that they couldn’t do anything but throw them out and replace them by these whose earlier misdeeds have gotten somewhat dimmed in their short memory. If we are ever going to come out of this futile circle, we have to realize, once for all, that no outer machinery, however ingenious, can make our life blessed for us unless we change from within. What one is within that one shall enjoy outside. In the words of Sri Aurobindo:
“This erring race of human beings dreams always of perfecting their environment by the machinery of government and society; but it is only by the perfection of the soul within that the outer environment can be perfected. What thou art within, that outside thee thou shalt enjoy; no machinery can rescue thee from the law of thy being.” (CWSA 12, 468)
Now, coming back to the issue under consideration, it is obvious from the discussion above that a good deal of the so-called corruption in the financial and business field has its origin in the survival instinct of the socio-economic system. In dealing with such corruption, when further attempts are made to check it by filling the loopholes etc. then, ultimately, things do not improve but often get worse. Most of the laws, rules and regulations aimed at controlling, regulating and improving the functioning of social, political and economic systems have often been contrary to the dharma of the functioning of these systems and have been instrumental in spreading the contagion of corruption to most other areas of the system including the judiciary. Government’s further legislations and other attempts in this direction – without any truer or deeper understanding and even a feeling for the necessity or utility of such an understanding – makes the whole governmental machinery even more cumbersome and an extra burden, not to those who have learned their lessons and have become adept at profiting, or at least buying their way out of it, but to those who are either not in a position to participate in the above profitable (corrupt) activity or are incapable of stooping to such low level of functioning due to the peculiarity of their psychological constitution. The end result, witnessed no matter where one looks at present, is that life becomes progressively more difficult and the whole atmosphere thoroughly suffocating for the heart, mind and soul of the people at large who end up bearing the burden of supporting an ever growing and more and more corrupt and expensive government machinery.
3. The Laws and Rules having their origin in an unabashed Demagoguery of the Politicians
The government’s laws and rules and actions which have such origins are deprived of even the remnants of sanctity or validity they might still have had for the gullible people who are easily deceived by fine words. The process has been going on for quite some time now and at present things have reached such a state that politicians are, almost universally, held in a very low esteem by the people. So widespread has become the utilitarian spirit that even when the common people know – as most of them seem to – they quite routinely put up with the demagogic acts of the politicians because they are no less infected with this spirit and, therefore, rather than oppose such acts – which they vociferously do only when they feel that they stand to lose by it – they invariable look for and are ever busy discovering and devising more and more ingenious ways and means of taking advantage of these. A record of such progressive discoveries made by the actors in various fields of activities constitutes the substance of the details of the working of the utilitarian spirit (provided in the later sections of this paper) in India.
In its culmination in the political field, the utilitarian spirit has brought things to such a state that, at present, most politicians have either consciously (very rare) or subconsciously – coupled with a spontaneous and unsuspecting belief in the critical importance of their staying in office for the good of the country, – reached such a psychological state that they have, behind all their apparent solemn professions; only a one point program – to acquire power or stay in power, if they already have it, by using all and whatever means that are at their disposal. Among countless acts and schemes enacted in this spirit, two have stood our persistently, openly and blatantly to the gaze of all. First, it has been found expedient by those in power to profess love and sympathy and ponder to the prejudices and weaknesses of the organized communal, caste or regional groups while almost completely disregarding those that are not so well organized. A plethora of special laws, agencies, rules and quotas have been designed with solely this end in view. The second important thing that has found common favour with politicians is the practice of using all the money that can possibly be siphoned out of the public purse to pursue their one point agenda. The practice has become so popular with governments that in an attempt to outdo their competitors they, in a spirit of self-praise, unashamedly flout the list of programs and schemes and handouts enacted by them before the eyes of the common people – whose dear money they are thus misusing – by advertising these (so called achievements) in various newspapers and magazines at a huge cost to the public purse. All such things are aimed at buying the support (votes) of all the groups who may be labeled poor, oppressed or underprivileged. The latest trend in this field is to attempt to progressively widen this net by bringing as many groups as possible under it. This has become possible because in a fast growing economy the government’s revenues tend to grow even faster. Now, what is this whole thing all about? Isn’t it an outright pick-pocketing of the people? – especially when in their own statements politicians admit that they are aware of the fact that only a very very small and progressively declining fraction of the money thus spent (mostly on paper) ever reaches those for whom it was intended. Now, the question is what happens to the money on its way to the intended? Obviously, most of it gets absorbed by a league of corrupt business and government machinery which owes its origin and progressive evolution in shamelessness and cunningness to the sustained ill-conceived and motivated actions of the elected governments over time. It is a good measure of peoples’ growing cynicism and indifference that such things continue their march unabated even after they have visibly stooped to such low and unethical levels as they have done during the past few years. No wonder people have become so unscrupulous about taking advantage of such motivated government measures without any regard to whether their acts would be considered as legal or illegal by the corrupt prompters and intermediaries of these measures.
ii). The Aesthetic, Ethical and Religious Codes and Corruption
Violations of these codes are often termed corruption. Historically, the legal codes of the collectivities were derived almost entirely from these. A few years after the Great Depression of the 1930s in the US, an increasingly important role of the state in managing an economy was advocated by J. M. Keynes and was progressively accepted by most democratic countries. It was only after this that the legal code began to be extended to such areas and issues that had hitherto been mostly free from any action of any kind of codes. Therefore, the newly made provisions of the legal code in these new areas were quite independent and without any strong supportive base in other codes.
Basically, legal code incorporates provisions of state administered physical punishments (corporeal, financial, etc.) to supplement and augment the effectivity of the aesthetic, moral and religious approbations, since, for a sizeable portion of humanity these alone are not a sufficient deterrents and one cannot reasonably expect such ones to refrain from doing unacceptable things except through the fear of adverse and painful physical consequences. In this day and age the utilitarian spirit which tends progressively to erode all the codes of conduct is ever growing and has become so all-pervasive that it is threatening the very existence of the human race. Therefore, in such a scenario, an efficient – swift and effective – administration of the saner parts of the legal code has become both an imperative necessity and, thanks to the working of the utilitarian spirit, an insurmountable difficulty unless, in response to a call from below, the not easily approachable layers of the deeper and higher parts of our being are opened by the Grace enabling the descent of the truths of the eternal and infinite spirit in our being and nature to uplift all our life and action here to a higher plateau and set moving towards the Eternal and the Infinite.
All the aesthetic, ethical and religious codes have their origin and source in the truths of the Supreme Spirit which is infinite and eternal and unaffected by variations in the Age (Yuga), culture, nature and the form of organization of the collectivities. In the absence of any written legal code – which emerged only when the organization of collectivities in its evolution reached a secondary or tertiary level – these codes played a supremely important role in the preservation and the smooth functioning of the collectivities. Some parts of these codes – although often varying in their scope and importance – are common to the whole human race, while others differ according to the Age, culture, nationality and religion to which a collectivity belongs. These codes have their origin in the suprarational and tend to penetrate such deeper and higher levels of the subjective being of individuals that a purely formal legal code cannot at all even begin to approach. Thus, these codes encompass a very deep and vast region of human psyche and tend to be far more effective than any direct action of the spiritual powers, these alone are responsible for maintaining order and harmony in the collectivities. It is only these codes that enter and maintain order, harmony and efficiency in the area of services such as health, education, philanthropy, social service, etc., because in these areas – which are impervious and altogether beyond the purview of any legal code – a right feeling and right will among the participants is indispensable if they are at all going to be effective in their task or worthy of the name of service.
iii). The Spiritual Code and Corruption
Essentially, the Spirit is an atmosphere created by the luminous and liberating action of the Divine Grace in the universe to save it from the darkness into which it has fallen by linking it to the unthinkable and ineffable mystery of the Absolute. The fundamental truths of the Spirit are the sole basis of the spiritual code and all the other lower codes that derive from it. These truths have found their highest and universal expression in the following triple formula of the Vedanta whose unequivocal assertions are: I am THAT, thou are THAT and all are THAT. Each unit or element – right down to the level of the ultimate particles of matter – is altogether THAT and identical with it which holds back nothing of itself from anything or anyone and gives itself completely to each. It is, thus, as completely and equally present in an ant-hill as in a solar system. This is the mathematics or the logic of the Infinite – this is complete, that too is complete, take the complete out of the complete and the complete is the remainder. The above Vedantic truths are the ultimate and the only true source of all ethics, morality and spiritual injunctions. When man is concentrated on the externals, these may seem to be completely covered up or even non-existent but in reality they are not capable of being diluted or reduced in their secret action behind all the appearances, for, these are forever and are the sole unalterable, basis of all that exists.
The spiritual instructions and injunctions are the external and, for that reason, necessarily diluted forms of a spiritual Guru’s dealings with his disciples which having their ultimate basis in the fundamental and suprarational truths of the spirit are too nebulous, varied and often contradictory in appearance to be stipulated and satisfactorily expressed in the form of a written spiritual code. In the Indian conception of Dharmas, that is, the standards, rules and laws of right action and living formulated by the sages and seers, the specific form of these depends – as repeatedly pointed out in the traditional Indian formula – on Desh (Place), Kala (Time) and Patra (Person). The Dharmas may be looked upon by some as coming close – atleast at their loftiest heights – to the nature of a spiritual code; but here it must be understood that the spiritual code at its core is constituted not so much by the Dharmas as by the laws of the nature as it rises towards the Divine and in the highest formulations of this code, it is not the following of Dharma (however lofty and wide) that is enjoined on a mature spiritual aspirant but the abandonment of all Dharmas – sarva dharman parityajya. More appropriately and strictly speaking, the Dharmas are a part of religion which is – inspite of a jungle of formulas, prohibitions, practices and rituals of which it is supposed to be constituted – in its essence a mould for enabling a growing human soul to climb to the peak of all human achievements from where it can proceed further freely by rising into the wide-infinite skies of the Spirit. Therefore, in the spirit of Sanatana Dharma, it is best to leave the spiritual code open ended even when one prefers to treat some of the noblest and loftiest formulations of the Dharma as parts of its treasure which contains the most precious possessions of the human race. It is a strict subjection to the yoke of the Dharma that dept the historical Indian monarchies from degenerating into the despotic tyrannies characteristic of the Persian and the Western and Central Asian polities. With the passage of time, the Dharmas get codified in the form of a large number of treatises composed by the seers for the purpose of providing a detailed guidance to individuals and social groups in their actions and dealing with others. These are called shastras and are the chief source of the traditional aesthetic, ethical (or moral) and religious codes in India. It should be obvious from the discussion above that the infringements of the spiritual code – which by their very nature are too subtle to be visible to anyone but the adepts in this field – would not at all come into the ambit of corruption as it is commonly understood, for, even, when they come to common notice, such infringements are apt to be looked upon as deviation, retrogression, or fall from the path for the spiritual aspirant rather that corruption.
The Absolute Reality is invariably present behind all the happenings and appearances in and beyond time and space and is the sole ultimate and immediate determinant of all that exists, comes into existence or goes out of it. All what really matters to us is always safe in THAT. In the words of Sri Aurobindo:
An outstretched Hand is felt upon our lives.
It is near us in unnumbered bodies and births;
In its unslackening grasp it keeps for us safe
The one inevitable supreme result
No will can take away and no doom change,
The crown of conscious Immortality,
The godhead promised to our struggling souls
When first man’s heart dared death and suffered life.
One who has shaped this world is ever its lord:
Our errors are his steps upon the way;
He works through the fierce vicissitudes of our lives,
He works through the hard breath of battle and toil,
He works through our sins and sorrows and our tears,
His knowledge overrules our nescience;
Whatever the appearance we must bear,
Whatever our strong ills and present fate,
When nothing we can see but drift and bale,
A mighty Guidance leads us still through all.
After we have served this great divided world
God’s bliss and oneness are our inborn right.
A date is fixed in the calendar of the Unknown,
An anniversary of the Birth sublime:
Our soul shall justify its chequered walk,
All will come near that now is naught or far.
Needless to say that the action of the supreme Spirit or even of the individuals permeated with its presence, regardless of the appearances to the contrary, cannot even remotely be affected or stained by the utilitarian spirit or any vicissitudes of the workings of the terrestrial evolutionary nature. Herein lies the foundation of our ultimate safety and assured fate which, in the words of Sri Aurobindo, has taken here the form of a mutual debt:
“A mutual debt binds man to the Supreme:
His nature we must put on as he put ours;
We are sons of God and must be even as he:
His human portion, we must grow divine.
Our life is a paradox with God for key.”
It is difficult to get a hearing for such notions in the present din of words that only plead for the reign of trifling truths of temporal worth. However, all those who have been able, inspite of the present dark scenario where the prospect of an impending ecological and moral disaster looms large on the horizon, to keep their faith in the Divine Grace intact will find the following words of Sri Aurobindo very assuring:
“When darkness deepens strangling the earth’s breast
And man’s corporeal mind is the only lamp,
As a thief’s in the night shall be the covert tread
Of one who steps unseen into his house.
A Voice ill-heard shall speak, the soul obey,
A Power into mind’s inner chamber steal,
A charm and sweetness open life’s closed doors
And beauty conquer the resisting world,
The Truth-Light capture Nature by surprise,
A stealth of God compel the heart to bliss
And earth grow unexpectedly divine.
In Matter shall be lit the spirit’s glow,
In body and body kindled the sacred birth;
Night shall awake to the anthem of the stars,
The days become a happy pilgrim march,
Our will a force of the Eternal’s power,
And thought the rays of a spiritual sun.
A few shall see what none yet understands;
God shall grow up while the wise men talk and sleep;
For man shall not know the coming till its hour
And belief shall be not till the work is done.”
The quality and soundness of a culture depends entirely on its education system. Today, under the complete influence of the utilitarian spirit, the chief aim of education – which should be “… to help the growing soul to draw out that in itself which is best and make it perfect for a noble use” and “…not to prepare a man to succeed in life and society, but to increase his perfectibility to its utmost..” – has become to prepare oneself to “….pass examinations with success, for with diplomas, certificates and titles one will be able to find good positions and earn a lot of money.
With this kind of aim how can we expect to have any decent education that concerns itself deeper values of life and culture.
For this very reason and with an underlying commercial mentality, the following things have become common in the field of education:
• Illegal charges levied on children’s school admission forms which are supposed to be free.
• School places ‘auctioned’ out to the highest bidder.
• Children from certain communities favoured for admission, while others are subjected to extra payments.
• Good grades and exam passes obtained through bribes to teachers and public officials. The prices are often well known, and candidates can be expected to pay upfront.
• Examination results only released upon payment.
• Undoing of the consequences of failing exams by (re-)admitting students under false names.
• Embezzlement of funds intended for teaching materials, school buildings, etc.
• Sub-standard educational material purchased due to manufacturers’ bribes, instructors’ copyrights, etc.
• Schools monopolising meals and uniforms, resulting in low quality and high prices for these.
• Private tutoring outside school hours given to paying pupils, reducing teachers’ motivation in ordinary classes, and reserving compulsory topics for the private sessions to the detriment of pupils who do not or cannot pay.
• School property used for private commercial purposes.
• Pupils carrying out unpaid labour for the benefit of the staff.
• Staff exploiting and abusing pupils in many different ways (physically, sexually, etc.).
• Teacher recruitment and postings influenced by bribes or sexual favours.
• Exam questions sold in advance.
• ‘Ghost teachers’ – salaries drawn for staff who are no longer (or never were) employed for various reasons (including having passed away). This affects de facto student-teacher ratios, and prevents unemployed teachers from taking vacant positions.
• High absenteeism, with severe effects on de facto student-teacher ratios.
• Licences and authorisations for teaching obtained on false grounds via corrupt means.
• Inflated student numbers (including numbers of special-needs pupils) quoted to obtain better funding.
• Bribes to auditors for not disclosing the misuse of funds.
• Embezzlement of funds raised by local NGOs and parents’ organisations.
• Politicians allocating resources to particular schools to gain support, especially during election times.
This is only a small fraction of a bigger picture that has more serious implications.
It is well known that in certain regions even the curriculum or certain portions of certain subjects are rewritten with political motives behind. There have been instances where chapters are introduced in the curriculum by certain political parties or their leaders to praise their work.
A methodical effort is being made by so called big institutions to distort the past of our culture. Under the influence of various Semitic religious groups or the political groups with their vested cheap interests, a wrong picture is provided to students about the history of our culture. There is a systematic brain-washing and forging and infusing into the brains of the students that all the past achievements of India were not made by Indians but foreigners. And this is truly disheartening and a big blow to our cultural and spiritual heritage. Here it is not only money or any utilitarianism that is involved but the action of dark and destructive forces that are working to undermine the future of the country.
In the words of Stephen Knapp, an author of numerous works, dealing with the history of India: “Indian history has been turned topsy turvy in lauding destroyers as great builders.” There is a global conspiracy by various motivated groups both political and religious to methodically soil the history of our religion and culture and they find that the best way for achieving this aim is to present before students a completely distorted and false picture of Indian’s past. And for some vested political interests of their own, our political leaders, even after they come to know of such facts, take no measures to check this and worse still, the persons exposing such truths are penalized and somehow or the other silenced.
This shows the extent of corruption that is there in the field of education. This has repercussions not only for the future character and mindset of present generation but of future generations also because it has an adverse impact on our culture and precious spiritual heritage which are the very backbone of our country. More and more facts are being unearthed to show how this kind of corruption in the field of education compromises the future of our nation by depriving our young from feeling a sense of pride in their culture – and therefore all positive dynamism for the country – and by trying to make them the spokesman of alien culture. Our present day education, instead of making him a person of character and clear vision, makes him a slave of his own selfish desires and lower tendencies – a self-centered person. Naturally, any walk of life these people enter, they know nothing better than to step on others and make their way towards an individual success ensuring in the end their own degeneration and that of the collectivity they are part of.
Medical professionals are rarely seen to offer treatment out of any sense of service or duty. If the driving motive behind medical profession is money and fulfillment of the medical practitioner’s own physical and vital desires and interests, then the relation between a doctor and a patient becomes purely commercial like that of a buyer and a seller. In such a case, nothing good can be expected from the medical system and it truly becomes, and in fact has become, a nemesis for the country.
Here is a glimpse of how patients are being looted by doctors.
• Up to 60% cases are being referred to lab tests: when a patient approaches a doctor he is generally prescribed some tests. The labs conducting those tests have their certain commission terms set with the concerned medical practitioner. The commission in certain places may range up to 60%. In this frenzy of making money they end up prescribing some of the tests that are unnecessary or thoroughly irrelevant, and ignore even the fact that the methods or processes involved in some of the tests have harmful effects on the health of the patient.
• Fixed commission percentage for:
• 30-40% for referring to specialists, consultants and surgeons: when a patient approaches a General Physician and if he refers him to some other specialist or surgeon, there are commission terms fixed.
• 30-40% of the total hospital charge: if a physician refers his patient to a particular hospital, he receives 30-40% commission on all the bed charges, ICU charges and other implicit charges.
• Admission of patients for unnecessary reasons: it is a general observation that more often than not, patients who do not need any kind of observation and have nothing serious as such, are unnecessarily admitted and after being kept under mild sedation and saline drip, are released. And all this is done just to make a long bill that the poor patient has to pay.
• Unnecessary caesarean surgeries: in most of the cases when surgery could be avoided and there are no apparent reasons for any surgery, still even in such cases the deliveries are carried out surgically. This phenomenon is not confined to any particular region or hospital but is a general practice throughout the country. Bigger the label of the hospital, higher are their charges for their customers.
• Emergency surgery on dead body: this is worst of all the practices. The patient lies dead in the operation theatre or in the ICU and a doctor comes rushing and asks for some life saving drugs, the poor relatives unaware of anything somehow arrange for the requirement and later on the dead body is handed over to them. Not only this, the whole system has no concern either for the psychological condition of the person attending the patient nor how he or she is going to procure expensive medication. This phenomenon is more common than one could even imagine. There are innumerable cases when relatives have been forced to stake all their possessions in unsuccessful attempts to save the life of their family member.
• Methodical conspiracy by mainstream lobby of doctors against alternative therapies: it has been well proven and is being increasingly accepted globally that so called incurable diseases with no cure through allopathic treatment are being often completely or partially cured by alternative therapies. The term ‘alternative medicine’ is generally used to describe practices used independently or in place of conventional (allopathic) medicine. A case study of more than 13 countries has shown that around 40% of cancer patients use some form of the complementary and alternative medicine. Why did Swami Ramdev’s yoga mission prove to be a success worldwide? People are increasingly getting disgusted with the so called conventional form of medicine and its practitioners who not only empty the pocket of their patients, but also deprive them of their natural health. But as there is a growing awareness among people about the ill effects of allopathic medicine, there is also a growing conspiracy among doctors to somehow curb the movement towards alternate therapies.
In 2009 a documentary – Marketing of Madness – was released which showed how there was a world-wide conspiracy by doctors who methodically make more and more people addicted to psychotropic drugs under the pretext of mental disorders of which there is no scientifically proven way to diagnose. In 1952 the number of listed mental disorders was 112 which grew to 374 in 1994. By 2012 it is believed that this number of disorders will rise still further. Worldwide, there seems to be a methodical conspiracy of psychiatrists who are rigorously trying to invent new and ingenious ways to somehow label most human behavior as symptoms of various mental disorders. According to their criteria of psychological disorders, not even a perfectly healthy child would be considered psychologically normal and would need consultation and proper medical prescription from a psychiatrist. A whole complex system has been devised to convince the masses of the truth of such disorders which are nothing but various moods or shades of human nature or one’s psychology at different times and in different circumstances. And in this business there are not many tests involved but once one is hooked to one or the other doctor he is likely to never come out of it.
But this is not the whole story. It’s only a part of the whole. There are gangs who hunt for human organs and run an illegal business of organ harvesting. There have been numerous scandals in which children have been kidnapped and once their organs were snatched, their bodies were dumped as a waste. The cases where patients go through an unnecessary surgery and organs have been taken out without them knowing anything about it are not very uncommon. No one knows what goes on inside an operation theatre. Because once the check of any idealism or healthy feeling is removed and the sole aim is to somehow earn more money, then nothing much remains to check such underhand practices. The situation has become so acute that there are proofs of propagation of AIDS and cancer cells through the vaccination program run by the government. It is the anti-divine forces who with the help of our corrupt medical system are trying their level best to cripple this whole culture and nation.
When India became free from British rule, her society had become eroded at every level by the impact of economic and political exploitation. This was more true of agricultural production than any other. The British had systematically destroyed her traditional and time-tested agricultural practices to pillage her wealth for England. At the same time as forcing Indian farmers to produce raw materials for the British industrial revolution the Indian market was used to dump the poor quality goods churned out by the same revolution. In the early nineteenth century the agricultural output of food in India was no less than today in terms of quantity while the quality was much superior. Dr Voelcker, consulting chemist to the Royal Agricultural society in England was deputed to India in the 1900s to make inquiries. He had this to say, “I, at least, have never seen a more perfect picture of careful cultivation, combined with hard labour, perseverance, and fertility of resource…..nowhere would one find better instances of keeping land scrupulously clean from weeds, of ingenuity in device of water-raising appliances, of knowledge of soils and their capabilities, as well as the exact time to sow and to reap, as one would in Indian agriculture, and this is not at its best alone, but at its ordinary level.”
When Indians became responsible for their own welfare they found that as a result of two centuries of malpractice they could not even grow enough to feed themselves. The acute food shortages in the mid 1960s led desperate Indian leaders mesmerised by western science and so-called material prosperity to turn to the techno-political strategy called the Green Revolution as a panacea. This nightmare consisted of using chemical fertilisers to rape the fertility of the soil and when in protest diseases spread in the cultivated crops, pesticides were used to ruthlessly suppress these outbreaks. This vicious cycle has continued to the detriment and almost complete breakdown of the fragile ecological balance as well as causing untold human suffering in the form of diseases.
Use of pesticides poisons the food cycle and adversely affects the health. Studies show that traces of pesticides found in food grains, fruits, vegetables etc. cause asthma, birth defects, neurological disturbances and hormonal imbalance among other lethal diseases. Cancer in its various forms can almost exclusively be attributed to the various pollutants ingested by humans through the air, water and food. In addition to pesticides entering the food cycle at the growing stage various chemicals are used to process the foods before they come to the market. Fruits and vegetables are injected with different harmful substances to increase their size or to make them appear more attractive for sale like adding colour or artificial sweeteners. Bananas or mangoes are picked before they begin to ripen to increase their shelf life or transportability. Calcium carbide, which contains traces of arsenic and phosphorous, is then used to artificially ripen them. Spices like turmeric, chilli, pepper, etc. are adulterated to increase weight or attractiveness. Tea sold in the market is treated at every stage in its production with harmful substances. Sugar is so thoroughly processed that it has almost no nutritive value left and is known as white poison. Soft drinks have been shown to contain lead contaminated water what to say of the harmful effects of the sanctioned additives. Cooking oil is refined by ‘washing’ it with various chemicals. Jams, sauces, savouries, biscuits, snacks, juices, etc. in ready to eat form often use monosodium glutamate (msg) as a flavour enhancer among other chemical preservatives etc. This has been known to precipitate asthma and severe headaches among other symptoms. We can add contamination by packaging materials and imperfect storage conditions to the factors ruinously affecting packaged food.
The list of various harmful substances we ingest seems endless. Milk or what is sold as milk has become a cause of grave concern. Synthetic milk consisting of urea, caustic soda, cheap cooking oil, detergents, and water is added to natural milk. This has been known to cause loss of sight and hearing. Even natural milk is obtained by injecting the cow with hormones. This is in addition to the chemicals that enter the cow’s milk through the feed. Milk products like paneer, ghee. yoghurt, and khoya are no longer made of milk at all.
In the continuing trend of trying to manipulate nature rather than living in harmony with her, seeds are being modified genetically. While the multinationals pushing the genetically modified seeds (GM) on the market claim GM seeds are superior to the traditional ones, their effects on humans as well as the ecological environment remain unknown in the long run. Already certain adverse consequences have been observed, which may very well bring the human race to verge of extinction.
The cycle of using more and more chemicals to enhance the marketability of food and food products continues driven by competitiveness of our current economic system. The consumer is forced to ingest ever increasing doses of nasty chemicals through poorer quality food. If we do not wake up and take radical remedial steps it will be too late for not only Indians but the human race. In answer to exactly such a desperate situation, the past few years, more specifically the past one year, have seen various agitations and movements local, national and global expressing their serious concern. Although this situation is being addressed and measures taken to return to organic methods, for all of this to be truly effective, a growing awareness among people is what is needed. Only when there is a complete rejection by the consumer of food products which have been manipulated at one stage or another can the problem be tackled. At the end of the day, it all depends on a change of human consciousness. To conclude with the words of the Mother, “The conditions in which men live on earth are the result of their state of consciousness. To seek to change these conditions without changing the consciousness is a vain chimera. Those who have been able to perceive what could and ought to be done to improve the situation in the various domains of human life – economic, political, social, financial, educational and sanitary – are individuals who have, to a greater or lesser extent, developed their consciousness in an exceptional way and put them¬selves in contact with higher planes of consciousness. But their ideas have remained more or less theoretical or, if an attempt has been made to real¬ise them practically, it has always failed lamentably after a certain period of time; for no human organisation can change radically unless human consciousness itself changes.”
For a detailed study:
The role of the media in any country is very crucial. Advancements in information technology have indeed made it a very powerful tool. Even with the best and purest of motives it is difficult for a human being to rise above bias and prejudice. The conditioning of religion, social milieu, education is practically impossible to overcome fully. However, with the increasing influence of vested interests using political and monetary coercion, the media has lost even the last vestige of a claim to an unbiased and impartial reporting.
In addition, all the news is filtered to attract the attention of the readers, because then only can higher profits be generated, and for that often different strategies and cheap tactics are being used which involve:
• sensationalization of facts,
• exaggeration, overstating or understating facts,
• tampering with the actual facts,
• colouring facts or giving them a particular bent to favour a certain group,
• presentation of wrong facts
• highlighting only certain aspects of an incidence and thus creating a confusion
There is presently a blog circulating on the internet: Who Funds Indian Media? And the contents of this blog are very disturbing and disheartening, it says:
• NDTV: A very popular TV news media is funded by Gospels of Charity in Spain. It supports Communism. Recently it has developed a soft corner towards Pakistan because Pakistan President has allowed only this channel to be aired in Pakistan. Indian CEO Prannoy Roy is co-brother of Prakash Karat, General Secretary of the Communist party of India. His wife and Brinda Karat are sisters. During the Gujarat riots in 2002 there were horrific incidents of Hindus and Muslims being burnt alive in a cycle of reprisals and revenge. Rajdeep Sardesai and Bharkha Dutt working for NDTV at that time got around five million dollars from Saudi Arabia to cover only Muslim victims, which they did very faithfully… Not a single affected Hindu family was interviewed or shown on TV, it is reported.
• INDIA TODAY: Which used to be the only national weekly which supported BJP is now bought by NDTV!! Since then its tone has changed drastically and it has turned towards Hindu bashing.
• CNN-IBN: This is 100 percent funded by Southern Baptist Church with its branches all over the world and HQ in US. The Church annually allocates $800 million for promotion of its channel. Its Indian head is Rajdeep Sardesai and his wife Sagarika Ghosh.
• TIMES GROUP: Times Of India, Mid-Day, Nav-Bharth Times, Femina, Filmfare, Vijaya Karnataka, Times now (24- hour news channel) and many more…Times Group is owned by Bennett & Coleman. ‘World Christian Council does 80 percent of the Funding, and an Englishman and an Italian equally share the balance 20 percent. The Italian Robertio Mindo is a close relative of Sonia Gandhi.
• Star TV: It is run by an Australian, who is supported by St. Peters Pontifical Church in Melbourne.
• Hindustan Times: Owned by Birla Group, but hands have changed since Shobana Bhartiya took over. Presently it is working in collaboration with the Times Group.
• The Hindu: English daily, started over 125 years has been recently taken over by Joshua Society, Berne, Switzerland. N. Ram’s wife is a Swiss national.
• Indian Express: Divided into two groups. The Indian Express and the New Indian Express (southern edition). ACTS Christian Ministries have major stake in the Indian Express and the latter is still with the Indian counterpart.
• The Statesman: It is controlled by Communist Party of India.
• Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle: Is owned by a Saudi Arabian Company and the chief Editor is M.J. Akbar.
• Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka.com: Regularly gets blank cheques from Arab countries to target BJP and Hindus only, it is said.
The ownership details show the control of media in India by foreigners. The result is obvious and explains why media is so much biased agains Indian religion and culture.
This blog contains with it a chart that depicts eye-opening list of linkages of media people in India. Although the moderation of this report is left to the reader, as yet there seem to be no counter statements to this. The link to this blog is: Click Here
This is in no way intended to accuse any particular news channel or any specific media group but it has to be understood that the way the whole system is working at present, it is virtually impossible for anyone to keep oneself safe from getting exposed to distorted facts and dishonest reporting of the truth.
The underlying reasons for this is:
• Utilitarian spirit (motive): as we have said before, the underlying motive behind each and everything is the utilitarian spirit, how then could media be expected to escape this contagion. If the only aim is to somehow make more money, then what else do we expect the media to do. It is only trying to achieve this goal in whatever way seems possible to it. And to achieve this aim, there is no hesitation in the use of any just or unjust means.