White-collar crimes are not a new phenomenon in our country. Every other day, we witness some or the other story of a scam involving some corporate honcho, a government officer, or a person considered highly respectable by society. If we go through the criminal records of the last 70 years that have elapsed since the political independence of the country, we will find that more and more VIP’s have been hauled up or prosecuted during the last couple of years than during the last 70 years.
ALSO READGuiding Light: Ending conflicts forever
A thorough study of this sad situation would show that there has been a more rapid slide-down on the stairway of morals with the passage of time and that corruption during the last couple of years or so has made a quantum jump. The securities scam, the banking scam, the betting scandal, cases relating to the import of sugar, the fodder scandal, and cases concerning the allotment of government accommodation are some among these.
ALSO READGuiding Light: Is Ravana still alive?
No adequate reason is generally given for the involvement of so many men and women in high positions, wielding political power and enjoying public trust and name and fame. This situation is often explained away by saying that corruption has become rampant on a vast scale and has spread like wildfire. A notable feature of these cases is that in some of them, close relatives of ministers, state heads, and government officers are deeply involved.
If we apply the age-old wise Indian saying, “As the king, so are the subjects,” we conclude that ours is a decadent society. Have we even now no time to pause and think about what has led us to our present sad state? If we go a little deeper, we will find that all this sad plight is due to a faulty paradigm shift. Bharat, which was once the crown of the world and had a place of pride among the comity of nations, has given up its cultural values and has, after political slavery of centuries, started blindly following the West.
Its slogan now is: materialism, commercialism and consumerism and the accompanying motives of greed and selfishness. Money, money and money is today the prime motive behind all activities. It has replaced spirituality and the spirit of sharing. An analysis of these cases will show that our leaders and our nation have fallen victim to these.
There is no other way to put an end to this precarious situation except through education in spirituality and the right type of cultural values by those who themselves are living examples of sacrifice, penance and service.
(The writer is a spiritual educator and popular columnist for publications across India, Nepal and the UK)