Friday, November 26, 2010

How non-respect for individual dignity makes people and leaders corrupt and power crazy?

How lack of adequate thrust for individual dignity in country governance would result in neurotic craving for power and money among people and leaders?

Through time immemorial, man was under oppression and all kinds of subjugation under the reign of Kings, Feudal Lords or foreign invaders. He never had a chance to taste pure individual freedom and dignity. Democracy was an opportunity. But democracy too took over the old concept of 'evil of government', with its fear and authority oriented machinery that was instrumental for the old subjugation of man.

Though fathers of our constitution had placed Fraternity clause as one of the DIRECTIONAL MOTIVES of the very existence of  state,  along with liberty and equality, this one has received the least relevance and attention in governance.

 Police slap any citizen at will on the road, tax men con and extort citizen selectively, village officers and district collectors behave as if they were not different in power and authority from their predecessors under the old regimes, political leaders sway their poor minds here and there in the name of religion, or any  other available ploy or theme for extracting their mandate and what not ! His applications and complaints pile up in government offices every day, unopened, unseen and action not taken. He is despised and scorned at government offices.

Government officers dare to trample upon the citizen this way chiefly because they know that he is the most irrelevant and helpless item in democracy! His cries will reach no where. It may take at least two decades for justice to reach him if some one dare to complain.

The way government's attitude towards the citizen is the way its officials treat him on the  road and offices. If one claim that for most people, the relation between the government and her citizen is like that between a
predator and prey, it would not be an exaggeration! 

How, not caring adequately for this metaphysical need of  man would affect his constitution, character, his relation with the state and his fellow being, and ultimately the development of his civilization is  described below.( Some of these points are there in our NGO web site www.conscienceofthesociety.com also.)

a) The anxiety of every man that his self-hood and its dignity is constantly under threat from the hands of government agencies like police, tax men, electricity office, municipality etc . is very real. Police is the frontal face of every state. Their attitude towards citizen is the attitude of the state towards citizen. Government could not yet bring in the much talked about 'police reforms' despite vigorous efforts from every quarter.

b) When something is extremely difficult to keep and maintain, man tend to abandon it for the sake of practical wisdom. Thus, common man has abandoned his feeling of self worth in the country. Its abandoning has become an essential value in the mainstream life. Even from schools and colleges, what every child try hard to learn is this difficult value of abandoning his self-respect. - -the easiest way to learn it by  not respecting his fellow being, by calling him names, taunting and be violent on him. By such tricks, by taking and giving insult, every one tries to gain 'IMMUNITY' from verbal, and if possible from physical assault.

This is the most desired 'value asset' every young man in the country ardently desire!! No one can refute this day to day fact of life! This is freedom from morality ! One who fails to acquire this quality of roughness and toughness is considered to be weak. He gets often targeted in ragging incidents etc.

If any one manages to grow up with out these values as a principled individual, he will find it extremely hard to perform at his job among his corrupt colleagues, whether in private or government job!  Stories of the plights of such honest officers and political leaders are  often published by our media.

c) The madness to amass wealth and political power is a disease in our country. It is nothing but a neurosis for grabbing one's personal freedom and dignity!! It needs no super intelligence to realize that money and power gives one respect in society. Respect means freedom from violation of one's dignity from the hands of police or any agents of government machinery. Bihar's example is often quoted to prove this point - -maximum civil service aspirants has been from this state until recent years. Feudal system and caste related subjugation was at its most extreme in this state. hence ordinary men are more neurotic to gain power and freedom that civil service provides!

It is like a great flood situation. Politics and money are like rare dry mounts where one can escape the humiliation of being a common man in the country. Hence the national neurosis for money and power! We feel this observation could be true for the entire world, as Democracy failed to upgrade man to his respectful status in society no where in the world. It has ended up as an open, plain game among political professionals for grabbing governmental power and enjoy its traditional fruits. Our call for reinventing democracy may be seen in the attachment - our circular letter to M.P.s for reinventing democracy.

d)   Lack of initiative, sense of duty and responsibility among government servants: We talk endlessly on the lack of effectiveness and initiative of government servants in country administration. But always ignore the central reason behind it - -it is a direct result of their lack of self respect and feeling of dignity as a person. When one has no respect for one’s own self, his work also will be of the same low  quality. 

e)   Lack of sense of reason and scientific spirit: Freedom of mind is an essential ingredient for one to think rationally, as freedom only will make an ‘individual’ in true meaning. One without the basic individual dignity can not ever think rationally as he is merely a dead log, meek and resigned to one’s fate.
f)   Lack of cleanliness and a hygiene  culture : When one feel un-clean and incomplete about him self, with zero sense of individual dignity, he will treat his surroundings also with the same gutter ways. He  never develops a true sense of personal and community cleanliness. He always fail to develop a culture of hygiene for himself and for the community. Hence we have  heaps and heaps of garbage accumulated in our streets and markets despite the existence of municipalities and corporations, and our international reputation as a people throwing garbage from the balconies straight to the street!

g) Growing trend of fundamentalism: Our  generally obedient nature indirectly leaves us as highly  authoritarian too - - We always expect  the same obedience from others too, and gets furious in the absence of it.  Free self expression is never gets encouraged in such societies, and as a result, leaving all of us fundamentalists in nature. A fundamentalist  hates to think his own, but takes the easy way of waiting for orders from top, or the dictate of tradition. Our bullying bosses in offices are nothing but fundamentalists as they too are intolerant.  We are yet to learn the habit of treating the other at the same level and equal, irrespective of his or her socio-economic status.






h) Lack of values in society: Let us compare human values to flowers and fruits that grow on plants. It comes out naturally when the plant gets adequate sun light, space and manure. It is a natural outcome when all these ingredients made available to plants. Likewise, values naturally would flow from individuals when he has his space in society, and when his self respect and individual dignity kept in-tact by the state governance mechanism.

Every form of government in the world is said to be aiming  at achieving this ultimate goal - - - to convert its people into enlightened, free, self respecting individuals. Pre ample of our constitution too has these ideals clearly specified as the very motto of the existence of the state. But sadly, ignoring this central necessity, governments in developing countries put all their efforts and attention in ensuring economic development of its people, completely ignoring this aspect of  individual growth  - - -their blossoming into complete, dignified, self respecting, free, enlightened individuals!

If  atmosphere in the family determines an individual’s value system, the country does it too to its citizens!

We have no doubt about family’s role in the character formation of an individual. Then why should we have doubt about the country’s role in character formation and value orientation of its citizens?  Character of the citizen is fully depended upon the way the government behave, and treat the people. There is nothing wrong in attributing a parents role to the state in this meaning !
State is nothing but the sacred abode of the collective wisdom, reason and common sense of its people in its correct democratic sense.



Hence, a thorough review as to how effectively we could implement our FRATERNITY clause in the constitution in the day to day country governance is a priority need of your esteemed law ministry, and Indian administrative reform committee. 

(drafted and sent to Indian Administrative reform committee during August 2010).

By Conscience of the society- an NGO that stands for philosophic initiatives into causes like Reason, Fraternity and reinventing democracy.
www.conscienceofthesociety.com