(Background: This article, reproduced from my Notes in Facebook (http://bit.ly/pkcorr), was written immediately after Arvind Kejriwal had made allegations of financial bungling against Salman Khursheed, Union Law Minister. He had alleged that Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, an NGO run by Khurshid and his wife Louise, was involved in financial bunglings of over Rs.71 lakh.)
We have seen the angry response of all politicians against Arvind Kejriwal, particularly Salman Khursheed and Renuka Choudhary on TV.
When you hear a story of a common man raising his voice against the powerful and corrupt, what is the first thing which comes to your mind that can happen to him? Rightly or wrongly, it is retaliation by the political heavyweights using goondaism, not through judiciary. I am sure most of us must have consciously and subconsciously thought that Kejriwal’s life can be in danger. Ask yourself, “Why does your mind immediately think of goondas in such situations?”.
We Indians have been Conditioned to Accept Goondaism
We Indians have been conditioned to accept goondaism as a part of our life. Moreover, the fear of goonda elements has been drilled deeply into the Indian psyche. Our films have nicely conditioned us to firmly believe that if you act against these power brokers, goonda elements will finish you and your family. The real life stories that we hear about whistle blowers like Satyendra Dubey, IIT-Kanpur engineer, and S Manjunath of IIM Lucknow only help to reinforce our fear of goondaism.
Most of our films on underworld depict how a whistle blower hero and the family get tortured, his mother is killed, sister gets raped and the family is destroyed. But in the end, our hero takes revenge and removes all traces of the bad guys. What do you think is the ‘moral-of-the-story’ of such films? “Good always wins over evil”, right? Not really!
The real message which these films have drilled down very firmly in all Indian minds is that if you go against these power brokers, you and your family are finished. While the sufferings of the hero and his family depicted in the films look very real, the way the hero finally wins through super human heroics is most unrealistic and impractical. So the clever Indian mind get the message loud and clear – “Do not ever interfere with the goondas”. These films have created a deep seated fear of the underworld. They have conditioned the Indian to accept goondaism as a way of life and never to raise his voice for any wrongdoing.
Goondaism – Direct Result of Corruption
Corruption and goondaism go hand in hand. Where there is corruption, there cannot be justice. Where there is no justice, goondas are engaged to provide “your own form of justice”. The corrupt and the goonda elements have a very symbiotic relationship.
Put your hand on your heart, close your eyes and ask yourself – what is the first thing which comes to your mind when you ever think of raising your voice against a corrupt official? You will realize that it is the fear of the goonda elements that stops you from acting. We have become very subservient and servile because of this subconscious fear. That’s our strong mental conditioning. So remember that when you fight corruption, you are actually fighting goondaism.
None of us can fight goonda elements alone. They have to be fought collectively by the people of India. You may not feel very strongly about fighting corruption, but you cannot deny that you are suffering because of the Goonda raj. Unfortunately, we are all sleeping.
There are strong arguments mainly from purists who say that each individual has to change to root out corruption, since each one of us is involved. The argument is correct, but impracticable. You cannot fight corruption alone. just as you cannot fight goonda elements alone. You cannot survive by being different in a system which is corrupt. There is a time when, in saner moments, we need to admit that we cannot continue the way we are going, and together resolve to change. It has to be a collective decision and people’s movement.
We Indians are Conditioned to Live a Life of Fear and Misery
We may not be aware, but we are actually conditioned to living a life of constant subconscious fear and a life of misery because of corruption. Life of fear because we have suppressed our natural selves due to fear of goonda elements and submitted to the tyranny of powerful babu’s and politicians much against our wish. Life of Misery because we have tuned ourselves to live in this world of corruption and bribery which we intrinsically do not like but have accepted as a way of life. In fact we have started getting addicted to this life where you pay a small bribe and get away from small offenses, or get small favours. We think we cannot live without it.
We are being Penny-wise and Pound-foolish
We are actually being penny wise and pound foolish. We think we are saving on some small penalties by giving bribes, but do not realize how badly we are losing huge money and how we have made life miserable for ourselves by accepting corruption as a way of our life. Think of the money you spend on your vehicles because of bad roads, think of the money you spend on fuel for your cars, on taxis, autorickshaws because public transport is not good. Think of the money you pay to private doctors and hospitals because we do not have cheap and good government health services, think of the money you dole out as donations to schools and colleges because the government education is not good. Leave alone the miserable life that you lead because of improper facilities and infrastructure around you.
People’s Movement – Time to Wake up
There are allegations that Kejriwal’s group is doing all this for cheap publicity. I think they are doing all this to awaken us Indians. It is extremely difficult to change any conditioning since it needs mindset change, and this group is trying hard to do just that. Since the war has to be fought collectively by the people of India, they are frantically trying to awaken the people of India by doing what opponents call drama and publicity stunts. But unfortunately, you need more than drama to arouse the reluctant Indians. It is time that we wake up and support them.
I dare anybody if he can risk his and his family’s life to this extent for cheap publicity.
We all know that we will not at all be surprised if all his allegations against the corrupt ministers turn out to be true. We fully well know that such corrupt practices are common in India. Such practices may be on in not just one case, but everywhere where funds are involved. We are not at all surprised.
Does any of us have the guts to face such angry response from such powerful people? We are living with the fear of goondaism. That is our conditioning. It is high time that we wake up and whole heartedly support some bold and brave souls who are ready to risk their lives for us. If we still doubt their intentions, we Indians will deserve the corrupt system that we have, we will deserve to live in misery.
I request all of you to share this. You may counter-argue if you do not agree. But do not just sit quiet and let this opportunity pass. The iron is hot, it is now or never. To start with, all I invite you to do is give verbal and moral support by sharing this with as many people as possible. Only when all of us raise a common voice, can things change. And now we have powerful social media where we can raise our voice even without stepping out.
We have already lost one opportunity when the masses had risen to Anna’s voice. Let’s not allow this one to pass.
Epilogue (Added in Feb 2014)
A lot of my friends did not believe that we are living a life of fear and misery – that we are living under the constant fear of Goonda elements. You have to dig deep inside your mind to realize this. We have got so used to our surroundings that we do not realize it. It is like the air and oxygen around us which you tend to be oblivious of. Let me explain this with a small story.
The other day I was discussing with a friend living in the same housing complex where I stay. He thought we were living a cosy life far from the clamour and hullabaloo of the city with good amenities for recreation – where was the fear and misery that I have talked about?
I reminded him that our builder who built our residential colony had promised under a legal agreement that he would maintain the complex for 5 years at a given rate. A year after handing over the possession the builder backed out and wanted a higher rate. We pleaded with the builder and then gave up. And we took up the maintenance on ourselves and spent much higher. Why? Because we knew that the builder had political connections with the ruling party and was powerful. We knew he had all the goonda power. Many will deny this, but you have to dig deep inside your mind to realize the real cause, since this is a deep seated fear. We Indians know it very well. Many of you may have suffered much more under the tyranny of the builders. Why did we not knock the doors of justice when we had a legal agreement? We knew very well that you can’t get justice against political bigwigs.
Secondly, our colony does not receive water supply from the authorities – something which is rightfully ours- and we buy water through tankers by paying extra cash. We are afraid to ask for our rights and are ready to grease the palms of the powerful govt officials.Why? Because we know they harbor goondas. Politicians and goondas in India is a very obvious connection that we Indians know about. I know you may find all this very queer to read, because we have stopped talking of the obvious, leave alone writing about it.
Are we happy shelling out much more money than what is required? Do we get the facilities which we deserve? Are we not suffering? And why are we quietly suffering all this? Because of fear of goondas. We are not even aware that we are quietly suffering. We have become very tolerant too. This state of affairs has got so much intertwined in our psyche that we do not even realize it. It was an eye opener for my friend to realize that we are indeed living a life of fear and misery. For me too, honestly, it came as a shocking revelation some years back while dealing with a government body. That is the characteristic of any conditioning. We are completely unaware of our own conditioning – it is like being in a trance.
Quite a few people still argue and refuse to admit that it was the fear of goondas which stopped us from demanding our rights. Our mind is never ready to accept our own weakness. But like I said, think quietly and dig deep into your mind and you will realize that for years we have been tolerating a lot because of this subconscious fear. We have learnt to get our work done with corrupt officials by talking sweet to them, whereas deep inside, you feel a great repugnance towards them.
That is the great Indian Psychophancy!