There are very strong rumours doing the rounds about the use or misuse of money in the Assembly bi-election held in Thirumangalam, Tamil Nadu a few weeks back. The grapevine has it that Rs.10,000 was the price of a vote. TV’s showed one of the leading political leaders handing over money to a voter openly. Possibly, the Rs.100 crore spent on the election will soon be reclaimed several times brimming over through persuasion or coercion. The winner is now the hero because his guilt has not been nailed.
Raju – From good to bad
Ramalinga Raju was by all accounts very good during the initial years of Satyam. He was known and admired for instilling a culture of quality and efficiency in his company. Then hubris took over, convincing him that he would forever remain the darling of the country and he could do no wrong.
This emboldened him to fashion two pies for his sons, in the form of infrastructure and real estate companies – ventures which require heavy greasing and political patronage to stay in business. He dug deep into Satyam coffers and thus started his descent from good to bad. He was caught and thus became the villain of the nation – and rightly so.
The depth of the Satyam tragedy lies in the fact that people who were in the know of things chose to look on, without seeing, or pretending not to see. The rot was all pervasive and everyone close to Raju became fallen heroes because of their silence and refusal to stand up for their convictions.
Transformation from good to bad
When a young person starts a venture, he is a picture of idealism and healthy ambition. The rat race and greed then begin to take their toll. They bend and crawl, to meet the demands of the political system in the country which encourages patronage, speed money and influence peddling. Expediency takes over moral compulsions. The silence of the co-accomplices is the easiest of things to buy. People who started as good human beings become contaminators of the system – very much like those polluting the holy river Ganges with filth and muck. And sadly, the general public around them becomes immune to the rot around them, accepting them as the way of life.
Nemesis of the bad
There lurks hope amidst all the chaos and murky dealings of people in high places. Perpetrators of crimes are getting caught and brought to book with a heavy hand. Politicians and corporate boards are beginning to realize that the Law of the Universe will mete out to them their dues, multiplied over, and they will all meet their nemesis sooner than later. The Infosys and Wipros of India remind everyone that there is a promise of good things to come for those who remain steadfast in doing the right things, coupled with attention to quality and efficiency.
Cleaning up of the Augean stables
In the aftermath of the Mumbai terror strikes, the media whipped up frenzy, (because danger was at their door, too close for comfort) and forced the politicians to run for cover or mend themselves. They are, with honorable exceptions, unlikely to be partners in the fight against the cancer of corruption and unethical practices because they are part of the devious system, depending greatly on the crumbs, grace and patronage of the political class. Raising a hue and cry depends on you and me, refusing to be onlookers when horrible wrongs are committed right in front of our eyes. And, as Gandhi said, we have to become the change we want to see.
Today, we are entering the 60th year of our Republic. We owe it to ourselves and the generations to come, to force the politicians to mend their ways. Then, and only then, will the significance of the statement of purpose and vision found in the Preamble to our constitution begin to make sense.
The preamble to our constitution assures the following.
We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic and to secure to all its citizens:
Justice, social, economic and political;
Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
Equality of status and of opportunity;
And to promote among them all
Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation
There is a lot of hope hidden behind those words if we the people of India learn to demand them as our birth right.
For India at 60, you and I are the rays of hope.
Image Credit: Bug A Lug