Merry Christmas to all Readers!
At the outset let me state that my intention in writing this post is not to hurt anybody’s faith or feelings. I respect each one’s right to believe what s/he believes in. This is only to state certain thoughts that came up while going through Christmas messages and the news items related to proposed Lokpal.
Christmas is celebration of the birth of Jesus, the son of God, as a man. Why God decided to take birth as a son of man and why he allowed himself to be crucified? In my understanding, it was to perform the highest form of sacrifice to save the human kind from sins.
As the belief goes, human beings were created by God. But it seems even God is not above mistakes. God could not create a perfect human being; nor could God prevent the first pair of human beings from committing sin. The result is that human kind is plagued with various kinds of sins.
God continued his efforts to free human beings from sin. He gave them the laws and commandments so that they can just obey those and be saved from sins. Even that did not succeed.
Then God asked for sacrifices as a means of repentance and seeking forgiveness. God asked human beings to conduct various sacrifices, including that of animals. It culminated in demanding the sacrifice (almost) of own son from Ibrahim Nabi, as the Muslim faith goes. Yet the sins of human beings continued unabated.
Then came the ultimate sacrifice. God himself took birth as Jesus, the son of Joseph. As the Bibles says, “God himself became a man, so that he could die to save us from our sins. My sin carried the death penalty - but he chose to die in my place so that I might live, and he died for you too)”
Did this supreme sacrifice of God succeed? Have human beings got free of sins? Answer is obvious if we look around. God must be thoroughly disappointed at the incorrigible sinners, his favourite human beings!
Coming back to contemporary India, we all acknowledge that the sin of corruption is prevalent in the society. We proclaim the eagerness of 120 crore Indians to get rid of the corruption (don’t ask me if entire Indians are against corruption, who are the corrupt in India? If corrupt were only a limited number of political leaders and/or bureaucrats, then corruption could not have been so rampant!).
We Indians, like God, have sought to save our Nation from sins through laws, but to no avail. Then we sought sacrifices in the form of resignations / jailing of Ministers. Again corruption has not receded.
We are now seeking the ultimate sacrifice. We want to create a Lokpal that has the power to remove corruption from us. We keep hearing clamours for increasing the powers of Lokpal even at the cost of the effectiveness of all other governance systems. We want to set our Police free of our own control exercised through our representatives. We want no control, whatsoever, to be on the Lokpal. We want all our authorities to be accountable to Lokpal and Lokpal himself accountable to none.
In other words, by creating a Lokpal we are willing to undergo the supreme sacrifice to get ourselves freed from the sins of corruption. We are willing to sacrifice even the well established constitutional principles of division of powers, accountability to elected legislature, independence of judiciary etc, for our single aim of freeing the Nation from corruption.
Many of us seem to believe the Lokpal will be another avatar Like Krishna or Rama who will come and eradicate the corruption! We seem to have forgotten that in spite of all avatars, the sin has remained unconquered. Even in Gita, God only promised to be re-born each time the Adharma gains prominence over Dharma, to defeat the same; but never to eradicate the Adharma itself.
Jesus gave up his life. We, as a nation, are seeking to give up our democratic governance system itself as a supreme sacrifice. Would our efforts also end up being like that of Jesus, with ultimate failure to remove the sin of corruption from our systems?
Jesus was God’s son. Third day of his sacrifice, Jesus resurrected and was elevated directly to heaven. So there was no great loss in the materialistic analysis. God made an effort, met only partial or no success; went back to heaven and the status quo remained.
But, if our sacrifice fails to bring in the expected result, would our present systems be resurrected? Or would by then the all powerful Lokpal be able to stifle any efforts to change the status quo that is surely in its favour?
I don’t want to sound like a doomsday prophet. I like to believe what we are seeing is only another stage in the Nation’s evolution and things will keep changing. But I just want to remind about the danger of knowingly walking into the trap of dictatorship (concentration of power in select few) because once we create the monster, ending it may not be as easy as the creation!
The efforts of God, in all religions, shows there is no permanent solution to the sins of human beings. It is in the nature of human beings to sin. What we can do is to reduce the opportunities for committing sin. Take the case of corruption; even the ardent supporters are not claiming that Lokpal will be able to eradicate the corruption. It can at the best improve investigations into reported corruption cases, ensure proper prosecution and hope the judiciary will punish the corrupt (remember, even death penalty has not removed the crime of murder).
Administrative reforms, simplifying the procedures, bringing transparency into governance, reducing the governance itself, are some of the measures that can be used to reduce corruption on the bribe takers’ side. From the bribe givers’ side, it is value/moral education (as against mere religious education) and creating a public opinion in favour of honesty and integrity that might improve the situation. But to expect complete cleanliness in our public affairs, even at the cost of supreme sacrifice, is going beyond the nature of human beings!