Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why does the modern Indian suffer from morality coughs only when public figures are dragged down from the high pulpits?

I would like to compare Modern India to the Roman era, only substitute one Rome with a few more. The senate had the most immoral and debauched group of leaders that the world was to ever see. But, they frowned on the outsiders and threw them to the gallows with regularity. Democracy while it was flaunted for namesake, actually stood for blatant state repression most conveniently. The civil society was thrown a few choice messages and they saw all good coming out of the senate and so the society thrived and the world saw the happening of a great civilization. Perception Management at its best?!

Most governments still apply the same rules generally. Send out the right messages. Work quietly on the unpopular ones. Leave the tenuous ones to conjecture and rumour. If it starts to get uncomfortable, just leave those messages and decisions alone. They die a quiet death. Communication people in the government work this perfectly.

Companies and Organizations picked this art up in the last 400 years quite effectively. Remember East India Company and their idea that they were here in India just to trade! And we know what happened. In the last millenium, there have been various instances where rules were broken but the right messages allowed us to be lulled to sleep again. Monsanto, GM, Union Carbide, Toyota, Vedanta, Mittal Resources, Many Pharma companies have repeatedly flouted all kinds of rules and put a positive spin to their deeds and got away with it.

Now, over the last few years, we see the immorality strike sports and entertainment too. Lip synched songs, stolen writing to create movies, the IPL fiascos and match fixing, all show us that morality is really at a premium and the green buck governs almost all things. Funny thing is, if we still look at the society at large, greed does not govern all our actions. The old and the very young are still being looked after. People generally pay after availing services of other people. The family is still governed by a few values. But the cracks have started to appear. Are we prepared to govern ourselves just that little more to enable a better tomorrow?

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