The state of India

In the days when society is losing its moral roots, it is becoming ever so hard for the tree of civilization to survive, let alone flourish. We have become the gears in turning the society into a mechanism of greed and of crime – both however seem to have their roots in each other. Crime happens for greed and greed harbours crime.

We must beware of trying to build a society in which nobody counts for anything except a politician or an official, a society where enterprise gains no reward and thrift no privileges.

– Sir Winston Churchill

It is painful to admit that India of late, has successfully built the diseased society that Sir Winston Churchill described. Every Indian at birth comes with a price tag on his soul. It does not take much money to have someone killed. It is very easy to start a communal riot.

It is said that India has never attacked any other nation in all its history. It was perhaps because we Indians never had time to do so, as we were, and still are busy fighting each other. Truth be said, the real Indian does not exist anymore. There are only north Indians, south Indians; Bengalis, Biharis, Malayalis, Tamilians, Punjabis, Kannadigas, Gujaratis, Marathas; Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs; hundred other sub-castes under each of them; and lastly the rich and the poor. It is hard to believe that India is a single democracy. It is more like an unwilling unity between communities of people living separately under one flag. The only solace in this dysfunctional existence is that it beats the alternative. If India were actually broken down into separate countries, we would have fought and killed each other long ago.

The world sees India as the land of the intellectuals, the software hub of the world and the “yoga-land”. That’s all true, however there is a magnanimous skew in the ratio of such people who are contributing to the progress of the country to persons who leech off the loop holes in the system, the worst possible way. There is a way around every law in this country. Got caught over-speeding? Want to avoid the ticket? Cost Rs. 100 (~$2); Free, if you are the son of the brother of the barber of some minister. That’s how far and deep corruption has engulfed us. Many of our ministers and bureaucrats have criminal investigations pending against them – such are the people who are running this country. Rapists and murderers are released without so much as a slap on the wrist; and justice in many cases is an eluding illusion. Celebrities and cricketers are worshiped (literally) as Gods while soldiers who fought for the country are abandoned. Our women are not safe – female infanticide, rape, eve-teasing, molestation, dowry-related violence, domestic violence – have plugged them into a shell of insecurity.

India Corruption

When security (Police), well-being (Housing, Health, Water, Electricity) and literacy (Education) departments in a country are among the top corrupted, there’s very little to say about what remains. We Indians suffer from the disease of complacent indifference towards all these social vices. And unless there is an intellectual and social revolution, the situation will not improve.

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The biggest sin

What is a sin? Is it something that we do against the accepted norms of the society? Is sin the same as crime? Is it a crime to commit a sin? Or is it a sin to commit a crime?

Before we delve into the answers, I reinforce the fact that each one of us are sinners. Some are ignorant sinners, while some do it all-knowingly and many others who find themselves in an obligation to commit a sin.

Another interesting fact is that, we (at least most of us) believe and accept to be sinners. But we vehemently proclaim to have not committed any crime. So could we conclude that a sin is not the same as a crime? And the measure of this difference is huge. Probably because we don’t get punished for our sins the same way as we get punished for our crimes. A crime is violating rules, while a sin is violating norms. Since, norms are not enforced, sinning is probably taken easy by us.

More often than not, the act of sinning is associated with religion, and with God. Many believe that sinning is an act of treason against the ‘Heavenly King’. However, I’m somebody who thinks that sinning has more to do with one’s conscious than with anything else. If you find yourself lying to yourself, then you have sinned. If you think you must have reacted differently (better) to a situation, you have sinned. The punishments that our sins bring us are sometimes very obvious. When you lie, you get into a tangle of lies and it becomes really hard to escape without saying the truth. And the mental suffering that we go through is the punishment for lying. Some of us believe that committing small acts of sin are OK for the ‘greater good’. But, who measures the size of the sin and how do we define the ‘greater good’?

Coming to the actual point of this post, what is the biggest sin in one’s life? For me, its having someone else do your work for you.
If someone else gets me a glass of water when I could have done it myself, then I have sinned!