Does India have Moral Code?

The Election Commission (EC) has sought an explanation from BJP Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Mr. Gopinath Munde about his poll expenses after he had publicly stated that he had spent far in excess of the legally permitted amount in the last election. Mr. Munde dared the EC and said that he was prepared to be unseated from parliament for speaking the truth. Mr. Munde however has not responded to the EC notice by promptly confirming his remarks but by instructing his lawyer to give a response. Possibly he may find legal arguments for his defence.

Meanwhile his party colleagues have praised Mr. Munde for speaking the truth about the sordid reality of poll expenditure incurred by all candidates. They congratulate him for daring to speak the truth in order to introduce electoral reform. Mr. Munde’s daughter has likewise praised her father for honestly admitting what all other politicians practice but do not preach. Both the BJP and Mr. Munde’s daughter are correct in asserting that the gap between what is spent by most poll candidates and what they submit as poll expenditure is vast. But that raises a fundamental question.

What precisely is considered acceptable moral conduct by Indian society?

After all by the assertions of the BJP leaders and Mr. Munde’s daughter most candidates lie when they file their poll expenditure returns. Do they have no qualms when they do that? Because lying for the sake of quick gain and expediency is a universal habit in India, has it become part of our accepted moral code? Is that why when Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh first entered parliament’s Rajya Sabha by submitting a patently false sworn affidavit that he was a permanent resident of Assam it failed to elicit any serious criticism?

When Indians bemoan the state of governance and the spread of corruption in our system they need to very seriously ponder on this question. If speaking a falsehood for the sake of expedient gain is considered to be acceptable conduct in our moral code it is difficult to see how there can ever be effective governance in any field of activity.

For a national appraisal of this aspect it would be most appropriate for the RSS to initiate a serious debate. After all, Mr. Munde has been a lifelong member of the RSS. And the avowed aim of the RSS is to build character among its followers. Is speaking the truth at all times relevant to good character? Perhaps RSS leaders might ponder this question and enlighten us with their conclusions.

See also: Honestly, We Must be Dishonest! 


More by :  Dr. Rajinder Puri

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Views: 3393      Comments: 3

Comment Many a times we are forced to wonder about this. The fact of the matter is that if one fights for justice & truth, it is taken for granted that he has to SUFFER. That is why even if one knows who is lying, one keeps quiet about it & thus inadvertently tramples the moral codes along with the one who is lying. Look at Kejriwal's non-existent voice now.

14-Jul-2013 08:30 AM

Comment Rules can be in any numbers. Are they enforced ? This is the basic reason of the present pathetic scenario.

Vasan KSS
09-Jul-2013 20:15 PM

Comment Mr Puri, truth needs to be redefined in our Indian context. Truth has already become a vague term. It is important who says it, not what is said. I appreciate Mr Munde's courage to speak out something which is an open secret. Who does not know that what is shown as the expenses in electioneering is only the tip of the iceberg. Rules are framed to generate documents; not to divulge truth.Everyday all around us so much lies are pronounced, it is difficult to discover the needle of truth from the haystack of lies.

In a corrupt society like ours, a lie can turn into truth by the influence of money and power; and a truth will be brushed aside as no one believes that there are some Indians who still adhere to truth as a morality.

Our moral decadence is complete. Hence, if one emphatically says that he is telling truth, people suspect him more, or look at him, as if an extinct species uttering out from a fossilized history..

Taraprasad Mishra
02-Jul-2013 08:21 AM

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