Evil in the society can be controlled only by hard hitting laws. Untaxed money or undeclared income is at the core of our society. All of us are guilty of some amount of corruption in money matters. Corruption can also be at the heart level of getting what we want through hidden agendas. None of us can claim to be righteous. Our Govt with ‘some good intentions’ decided to implement demonetisation to set our society right. According to their calculation they are the chosen ones to wipe out black money, arrest terrorism at the borders and make India digital and all will be well.
Is it blind leading the blind?
There are reasons why, as people of a great nation, we accept corruption so easily. We take pride in being a tolerant society.We tolerate everything including all that should not be tolerated. Toleration is ‘putting up’ with something or someone for various reasons. It can arise from lack of conviction, respect or from benefits or personal advantage. May be we just don’t care enough! There is much injustice, violence, partiality and unfair practises in the society. Very few people pay tax. As we do not have social security, good medical care or good education for all, people choose to take short cuts to get some extra cash for emergencies and for the future of their children. Comfort and convenience are available at a price but many do not have the means to get it. Unemployment and addictions kill the human spirit. Powerful and influential people get away with much dishonesty. They have the buying power to manipulate people and systems. Life passes by without noticing the common man. There is a build-up of frustration in the poor as they are faced with their harsh reality.There is a sense of betrayal by the democratic government to take care of the grievances of the common man. There is a denial about our true condition. All political powers behave in the same way. Their promises are the same and their failures are same. Leaders who are elected to be servants and representatives of people, now become masters who forget their primary role.It’s so depressing to watch the debates and discussions in the media. Blame game is the norm and the media thrives on this unashamedly.They get their energy from making the parties bash each other up. The spokespersons are drilled to defend their position by lies. The past sins of others seem to give them a good enough reason to continue their own corrupt agendas. Those who read or watch the game feel so lost. People at large feel betrayed by the very own leaders they chose. Inability to change anything for the better, we tolerate all that's going on. Our collective sins are too many to have a simple solution. We are our own enemies.
We as a nation have lost the moral authority to talk about good governance. There are no absolutes. Everything is grey. Laws can be twisted for personal benefits.Many can get away with wrong doing. The judicial system can also be manipulated, so faith in that system is also eroding. No one has the decency to apologize or admit wrong-doing. One’s status or public image is more important than sincerity. Sentiment is more important than justice. The corrupt shall inherit the earth is the reality today. We all know this - it’s nothing new and nothing much can be done to set it right adds to the pain of living. We rejoice when some one is caught by authorities without acknowledging our share in the collective moral failure.
What is the solution to this sickness? As a nation, we need mechanisms to enforce the laws as no one will embrace personal or civil laws willingly. Religious instructions or fear of punishment help some to live with checks and balances. But it does not touch the core of our being with a desire for truthful living. Knowing what is good but impotent to do it is the human dilemma. We know too much but it does not make any difference to life. “I do not know what evil resides in me” wrote the Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi. This truth can be multiplied by 1.4 billion to see our true situation.All of us are fallen creatures and, no system can make us what we ought to be is an unpleasant truth that we refuse to believe. We have enough proof of this pathetic condition within and without. Education has not diminished it, development has not touched it and philosophy has not transformed it. This is universal and all are infected with this inner corruption. The differences are only in the shade. We can live comfortably only as we lower the standard of ethics.
As a nation, we can work towards some civility to make our daily living tolerable. Some degree of well being is possible within our current situation. It can be enhanced by many factors. Unless we embrace common good, we will only be self-seekers. But do we have a good enough reason to think about others in our scheme of things? Unless we are convinced and convicted of our reasons, we will never desire change.
Family, school and religious institutions are the basic pillars that mould our thinking and direct us to take the path of goodness and truth. We have no role models for children to look up to and be inspired.But if these pillars are falling apart in delivering the ethics and reasons for choosing, then we fail ourselves dangerously. We promote an unhealthy and polluted culture. We influence our children’s world and train them unconsciously to take the easy path or the broad way. Thus the key to creating a civilized society is compromised forever. We move towards becoming a superficial people group whose god is plastic money and parent is google.
But there is a superior way for a personal transformational encounter with Truth that can produce radical change from within. This happened to an income tax officer called Zach. His deep desire to come out of the restlessness within drove him to take up the unusual method of climbing a tree to get a glimpse of a Sachguru, ‘Teacher of truth’. It was an encounter of truth and falsehood, light and darkness, around the dinner table in Zach’s house.
In that brief meeting, his lies and darkness acknowledged the the inner state of his heart. His lavish home, his bank accounts, his gold and silver that gave security, all were stained with corruption. He had taken what did not belong to him rightly. He had used various unethical means to acquire wealth. He had exploited the poor. He had coveted and cheated to get what he wanted and now it was giving him a burden that was too much to carry. The only way to his inner freedom was to unburden himself by giving up all that he had taken and shifting his value system. He embraced a different life style for his future. He found joy in giving up something that was eating away his soul, to get that which could not be taken away from him. He was willing to lose everything to find another way of living. The teacher did not ask him to do it. Darkness walked away in Light’s presence. It was spontaneous, voluntary and joyful.
What political maneouvering could not do, the Man who is Truth did over a dinner table. It was not enforced but embraced. Zach found his reason to come out of darkness into Truth. Salvation comes from unexpected places. Why only Zach? Can this happen to us today? Do we want to live a truthful life? Are we willing to pay the price?
There is no limit to our greed. There is no limit to our twistedness to make happen what we desire. “I have a streak of cruelty in me that compels people to attempt the impossible in order to please me,” said Mahatma Gandhi. Our deception has no boundary. No enforcement is going to touch our hearts. We will find new ways to do old things. We invent our own unhappiness.
Demonetisation is a call to examine our hearts in the light of truth. It is not a call only to empty our pockets but our hearts. It’s a call to shift gears and change lanes. It’s a call to come down from our vantage points and face our truth however painful it may be. It’s a call to look at the incarnated Truth and embrace the moment of grace to change.All these depend on our eagerness to be free from the bondage of living a lie. If there is a welcoming place in our hearts and homes for truth, then the Man who is Truth incarnate will set us free to a life of contentment.