Tuesday, March 27, 2012

On Corruption, part III

Part I and Part II.

Lawlessness is a vicious cycle. The more lawlessness one observes, the less one respects the law. If everyone is breaking the rules, it requires an almost silly amount of moral strength to follow the law. An average human being cannot be expected to be very strong, and as more and more people start breaking the law, gradually violence, community lynchings, and mobbing become common.

The Broken Windows Theory is relevant here. It is not without reason that "law" is frequently mentioned along with "order". If disorder is pervasive, then what does it do to one's inner faith in the rule of law?

Centuries of oppression have taught Indians that the rule of law is a tool of the state to oppress its citizenry. That law is arbitrary and whimsical, and that courts and police are to protect the rulers and the rich, not the ruled. No wonder we have internalized lawlessness and opportunism.

A relevant article here: Kill the Indian first.

To travel a short distance in India is a depressing exercise in observation of disorder. From throwing garbage on the street, to breaking traffic rules, to arbitrary number plates, to not wearing seat belts, to encroachments on the sidewalk, to spitting, to taking u-turns when not allowed, to drive on the wrong side, to burning garbage, to urinating by the roadside, to overcrowded buses, busting-at-their-seams 3-wheelers, riding 3-up on two-wheelers, honking, high beams, defaced walls, illegal billboards, medicine shops selling drugs without prescriptions, stray dogs, cows on the road, and so on and so forth.

More than that, a vacuum of moral role models has established itself in our current psyche. There is nobody to look up to in the public arena, and optimism is hard to sustain when everyday one more bastion of our socioeconomic arena is exposed to be rife with corruption.

And if the rich and powerful are breaking the law with impunity, their exhortations to the lowly masses to follow the law ring hollow. Why should a middle-class or a poor man follow the law when the lawmakers and the beneficiaries (in the form of taxes) of his labor are lawless goons?

I once asked an official in the ministry of external affairs if it was possible for an Indian national to revoke his faith in the constitution of India and for him to be allowed to leave this country? He laughed at me and said that that man can probably exit India, but the only countries where he can go and not be an illegal alien are probably worse off.

The goons and politicians have imported guns and trained commandos on their side, and for a common citizen to even carry a hunting knife has been made illegal. It is mafia peace and state oppression maintained, literally, at the point of a gun.

In my daydreaming, I sometimes wish that India be treated as a war-torn zone, like Rwanda, and all Indians must be treated as potential refugees and asylum seekers by developed countries. But then sense dawns, and I have the opposite wish. That Indians be quarantined and not allowed to infect any one else.

(to be continued)


Anonymous said...

Harman all you articles stem from one premise: "One can follow a law or moral code only when one sees another following it". This is exactly what needs to change in the Indian psyche.
Instead of looking for a role model, be the role model.
Media can play a big role here by bringing out this concept to the public instead of propping up Anna Hazares and Srisri's etc who can do so much work on themselves first to be good human beings. Hazare's and Sri sris want to change a system without first changing themselves...(and change does not mean donning a gandhi cap after wearing an army uniform or growing a beard and wearing white flowing robes and riding a rolls royce after hailing from a middle class background... only to stand on a mountaintop lecturing others on how to change the world.....)

Anonymous said...

Good article Harman, I agree that where Indians go spoil environment. Indians have to learn to be in discipline and follow it. But don’t you agree that its should start at home and school, where it should inculcate in kids as tradition..we Indian always look up for someone to stand for us, then having courage to stands our selves.

Anonymous said...

The most irritating aspect of Indians who live away from India is they never acknowledge that they left behind a chaotic, filthy, dishonest environment to move to countries where the environment is much cleaner and better. They take full advantage of the countries they now reside in but act and talk like they come from a superior culture with superior values superior education etc. Never once ask themselves why did they have to migrate at all if all that were true. Indians teach the world to look within but never do so themselves.

Anonymous said...

well... the writer of the blog post should most certainly be quarantined and not allowed to infect gullible souls who can't seem to resist getting sucked in by his warped views!!
good for smiles and laughs... never to be taken very seriously...

Anonymous said...

#4....would you mind telling your objections to the author's point of view?

Anonymous said...

one only has to read his articles on actual freedom where he talks about the incremental benefits during his delightful quest of actual freedom. he seems to have come out of the experience unscathed but i wonder how many of the gullible souls influenced by his views are still stuck there.
i hope this puts you on the track to draw your own conclusions about the author's many viewpoints.

Harmanjit Singh said...

@anonymous at 3.28:

There is a risk in any off-beat pursuit and just like I was influenced by Richard, it is possible some were influenced by me.

After my realization of AF as a pernicious ideology and practice, I spent significant effort at weaning away anyone who went there through me (as well as others) who were still there.

Due in part to my efforts, and due to many other factors, I am happy to report that almost everybody has left the building.

Anonymous said...

This is a blog of great anonymous comments.

Anonymous said...

change is law of life..so true for author's too. everyone evolve with time and experiences, therefore, one should appreciate that author accepted n took resposibility of impact his writing had on others.morever, blogs are for grown people, who also have their own rationale while reading n listestening others thought. i wonder how can ppl be influenced by others thought without seeking trueness or fact.

Anonymous said...

The author appears to be a very honest guy who writes whatever he feels at the moment. And he seems to fell variou sthings at various moments! His honesty and arrogant quest for Truth is to be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Well, seems u hv some bad experiences with author n his writing.i hv not seen anyone who thougt n aim hvnt changed with time.indeed i dont agree with author on many topics, n i do argue.but, its upto me take it or not.do u hv objection on this article? point him or tell him others articles too. its not the place for personal grudges.

Anonymous said...

Harman, why don’t you put a disclaimer on blog that its your thought and for people who are mature enough to take responsibility of what they are taking out of it. Its your thought and you are not forcing any one to follow and agree with it!!I read disclaims on many blogs and would suggest for you too.

Anonymous said...

Would like to add to Anonymous 6.35's comment :
This is a blog of great "Yay!!" and "Nay!!" Anonymouses.
Imagine what would happen if Harman quarantines the "Anonymouses" !!!!! Would be no fun for anyone even Harman - right?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3:20 PM - do you think this is fun for you being Anonymous? We are not here to play a mystery game. are we?


Anonymous said...

No Anonymous 4:29 PM - no mystery games, just a simple fun game called Anonymous Timestamp tagging!