What is corruption? The dictionary defines it as follows…
- Degrading, immoral acts or habits:
- Departure from what is legally, ethically, and morally correct:
- A term that offends against established usage standards:
The definitions above will tell us what it is, but not why it is?
The dynamic & driving principle of Life is “Survival”. No matter what we do, we are either trying to survive or working to enhance our potential to survive. Fundamental “Needs” for survival are food, sleep, clothing, home, physical security etc in that order.
When these needs are met, “Wants” develop for extra “Pleasures” – physical, emotional & intellectual – in that order. This is the most crucial stage in humans, where aberrations may take over the management of human minds. The aberration is – inability to distinguish between needs and wants with their inherent value for survival. The inability to acquire without robbing others fortifies this. Sense of shame is lost!
Needs ensure survival – wants do not. Wealth, power, prosperity, multiple possessions, fame etc. are all wants of varying denominations & degrees – which demand sacrificing basic survival needs like food & sleep. This means wants can drive anyone towards contra-survival … as they breed greed! Read the rest of this entry
What ails India fundamentally? To this simple question, one can expect 1.2 billion answers from the 1.2 billion people of this country – in complex permutations & combinations. Is it rich-poor divide? North-South divide? East west divide? Religious divide? Multiple political parties divide? Linguistic divide? Cultural (Indian – western) divide? Regional divide? Generational divide? Gender divide? Poor governance? Irrational reservations on cast basis? Power in the hands of incompetent?
Well … it could be all and none! One absolute common denominator of all the above is Corruption! Fundamental corruption of Minds – ie- loss of “Ethics & Morals”. But why? What is the reason for our ethical & moral degradation? Spiritually the answer lies in the Karma theory – but philosophically it is in the History! Karma theory is good for knowledge – but history is a good source for solution. So, let us look at history! We have been ruled for centuries by Invading Mughals and Europeans.
They robbed our possessions first. They robbed our confidence later. Finally they robbed us of our “self-esteem”. Material possessions are easy to rebuild with some determination. Confidence can be rebuilt with some collective action & cooperation. But what about self-esteem? That of both individuals and collective population? It appears that we lost it forever (individually & collectively) and never attempted to regain! We have not even recognized the need for it. We beg for importance from the powerful or impose it on the weak – but never attempt to earn it.
Material poverty can be more easily corrected than the mental poverty. Mental prosperity will help us regain material prosperity easily – but not vice versa. We have fairly succeeded in progressively overcoming the material poverty – though not sufficiently as yet. But our mental poverty, which is a more serious issue – has not even been recognized to exist and hence not addressed. The single most important issue to be addressed by both individual Indian citizens and collectively as The Nation (which aspires to become a super power) is to recognize the importance of regaining our lost self-esteem – which is the foundation of ethics & morals. What ails India? Absence of ethics, morals and self-esteem … corruption!
What is selfishness? We tend to use this word very loosely. If some one desires something strongly and acquires it – which he is not prepared to share easily with others – we immediately tend to call him selfish. Is that actually selfishness? Working for wealth, larger income, greater comforts, additional possessions, sound financial security, stability in life, self preservation, emotional security, better education for children, better family welfare, more pleasures in life etc …. None of them can be classified as selfishness! They are all simple mechanisms of enhancing one’s own survival potential against the possible future challenges in life.
Some people argue that selfishness is the basic drive behind all human actions – that there is a selfish motive behind every simple action of a human – be it in friendship, marriage or even worship of God. Even falling in love has a selfish motive. A mother’s or parental love has hidden selfish motive to get back something in future from their children. All these arguments betray nothing but ignorance. Self preservation and self enhancement can never be called selfishness – as that is the basic instinct – the absence of which can be called unnatural. Ambitions and aims of life can never be classified as selfishness – as that is the purpose of life. Then what is selfishness?