We just celebrated 69th Independence Day. Besides hearing the speeches by our political leaders, this day is also an occasion to remember the great sacrifices that lakhs of Indians made in 1940s to throw off the yoke of British rule and give us an independent and democratic India.
Yet in the last few weeks we have seen the mockery of Indian democracy and degeneration of Parliamentary ethics. The degeneration of Indian polity seems to have reached its ultimate depth. It showed corrupt politicians, whose only purpose is to cling to power and do least governance, sabotaging the democratic process. What can be done to remove these corrupt politicians? This essay is an attempt to answer that.
My father who went to jail for two and a half years in 1942 independence movement told me that the greatest gift that Gandhi ji gave to all Indians (besides giving us independence) was to rid them of the fear of Englishmen. This removal of fear brought in a quantum jump in the mind- set of Indians and made them aware that they could manage their own affairs with their own people. I feel removal of fear was the single most important factor that got rid of the foreign rule.
Yet 69 years after independence we as a nation suffer from fear. Fear of losing out, fear of not having enough (which most of the times is quite irrational) and just plain insecurity beset us.
We should therefore resolve and pledge to remove fear from our psyche because it is the fear which leads to insecurity and ultimately to greed. And the sorry spectacle of non-governance that we see in Indian politicians is because of their greed and selfishness which ultimately leads to corruption.
Fear comes from insecurity which is an outcome of a brain which cannot resolve the issues after taking into account all eventualities. This inability to evaluate all outcomes transcends caste, creed, or economic situations. Thus most of the people no matter whether they are rich or poor suffer from insecurities – for poor it is the insecurity of their future and for rich on how to increase their wealth and keep it safe. It is the removal of these insecurities by a powerful brain that can rid us of fear. Yoga helps developing such a brain through meditation and focus on a single thought for a long time – called Sanyam by Patanjali.
Another way to get rid of fear is to be thankful for whatever we have and count our blessings. If we do that continuously then it gives us a sense of contentment and happiness since our burdens and insecurities are reduced by the thought that somebody will be there to help us and everything will be O.K. This also has the ability to sublimate the greed impulse.
The removal of fear should start from childhood. Children are most vulnerable mentally and they are the ones who are beaten or scolded by the parents for slightest mistake. All our schooling is based on strict regimentation so that whole day children are told to study and fear of failing is so ingrained in them both by their parents and school that they sometimes commit suicide if they fail. All this puts a tremendous fear complex in their minds and later on this translates into insecurity which ultimately propels them to amass wealth (by whichever means) in order to allay their fears.
I also feel that the fear of missing out and the insecurity of what will happen to our future is what produces greed and in turn corruption and corrupt politicians. These corrupt politicians then hijack the agenda of India and democracy for their selfish reasons.
So on any solemn occasion like independence or Republic Day let us swear and pledge that we will rid ourselves of the fear complex. Because it is this fear complex which leads to greed and ultimately to corruption.