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Saturday, May 18, 2013
The turmoil within!
The ongoing turmoil ignited by the Mahesh episode is akin to a tsunami slamming the nation. It has also led many of us to look within and ponder on the growing absence of character and value systems as one rises (if one calls it rise) within the system. Yet it is surprising that within official forums in public or private sectors, one rarely witnesses either a focus or an open discussion on the pressing need to eradicate corruption, instil value systems and build character within the machinery meant to manage affairs. These fundamental issues are almost always brushed under the carpet in favour of mundane matters or vested interests. These also continue to remain taboo and are never brought on the table, perhaps due to the absence of men with sound value systems who have the courage to call a spade a spade.
Yes it is true that in the bureaucratic arena, a spade is often identified with a spoon or a fork. Sheer absence of stress on “truth” in the land of the Mahatma ensures that the torrid state of affairs retain a valid ground to continue ad infinitum. It is also apparent that whenever the custodians of rules, procedures and systems abdicate their responsibility for personal gains, lack of concern or out of fear, disgraceful incidents like the one recently witnessed start surfacing.
Professional honesty is the key and the lack of it acts as a powerful catalyst for corruption of the financial kind, yet what the nation invariably witnesses and remains concerned about is matters relating to financial impropriety. A myopic view of the organization, delaying execution of decisions and projects, lack of objectivity in decision making and contractual matters, lack of objectivity in personnel matters, inability to stand up to illegal orders, maltreatment of subordinates and a lack of concern for growth and development are few of the glaring examples of professional dishonesty that invariably cause a more permanent damage than isolated cases of financial impropriety. Quite often even established rules processes and systems are either followed or given the go by merely to suit the convenience or moods of the powers that matter. Sad it is that even the written word appears to have lost its sanctity.
Financial impropriety quickly spreads like a wave in an organization that is devoid of professional honesty. That corruption touches the lives of almost all citizens in almost all spheres of their existence is therefore a hard reality that is not surprising at all. Moreover despite the majority of interactions of individuals and organizations with the tantra being laced with graft, it is a strange scenario that everyone complains and curses yet expects someone else to stem the rot.
Mere symbolism will not do. On my morning walks cutting across the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri, the names of the streets always make me chuckle with amazement. Nyaya Marg, the street of justice is followed by the Satya Marg, the street of truth. Niti Marg, the street of propriety comes next to be followed by Shanti Path, the street of peace and tranquility. Next comes the Vinay Marg, the street of humility and humbleness. And the most interesting of them all is Satya Sadan, the homes of the truthful. It is evident to even the novice that a lot of water has flown since the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri came of its own.