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Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Corruptest of them All?




I

 

I have a grouse, and an axe  to grind  with  the   “International  Agency “  which has  recently  placed  India at just number 4 in the list of the most corrupt  nations in South and South-East Asia.

 

Clearly, there seems a conspiracy to deny us our deserts even where we justly deserve the top spot.

 

The  Christian world believes  corruption to be  endemic to the human race as a result of the Original Sin;  we  Hindus  make our own corruption without the acknowledgement that duly should be ours.

 

Remember now that whereas  Mammon  was consigned to Hell, atleast by John Milton, we are the only culture in the world who worship wealth in the form of a goddess, name of Laxmi.  And, since the  inception of the neo-liberal economic “reforms,” just how!

 

It is the Washington Consensus of 1990 that finally aligned the world of enterprise to the teachings of the  Hindu Shastras which enjoin that  man (read here upper caste men in high places)  must strive in life to achieve  Vaibhav and Khyati  (opulence and fame) by exercising any of five options over the adversary, namely,  Saam, Dhaam, Kaam, Dhand, Bhed  (negotiation, buy-out, seduction, force, division among the enemy).

 

Rarely have a philosophical archive and free-market vandalism been so matched and married as above, you would agree.  Calvin came much much later, linking salvation to property.   Although it should be obvious why, after all,  the land of Sam and the land of Laxmi have come to  be such strategic partners.

 

 

Having kicked  out  sham notions of socialist equity, we are now finally on the same  glittering  page, armed with the knowledge that there are but only two kinds of people in the world—the winners and the losers.  The chief arbiter being the “bitch goddess” (borrowing from D.H.Lawrence, lest calumny should follow), Money. 

 

 

And what can money not do, as Mr.Dombey was to instruct his little boy, Paul, who had just lost his mother.

 

And, alas, money did not bring her back, the child noted irritatingly.

 

But that was then, in the 1840s; now, among the moneyed, what mothers care for what sons, and what sons for what mothers.  All together and severally care for the latest brand equity.

 

April the 23rd this day, when birth and death both came to the Bard.  How he had thought of the Washington Consensus- to- come when he made Timon say what he did about the power of money.

 

So powerful and prescient that Marx could use it for his own purposes some centuries after.  Alas, it seems, to little end.  Not until  money ends the world, as may be on the cards,  may our animus  reach  conclusion.  And thereafter, again, who knows but only those that had the money would  enter heaven, leaving the carping billions to stew in the swelter of their moral iterations.

 

But, if there is a god other than the goddess, Laxmi, whom  we Indians worship, it is called Cricket.

 

And now that money is seen to have so corrupted this god, will there be forgiveness?  Most likely, yes;  because, as stated at the outset, corruption is the least corrupt concept in the historical memory of  we Hindus.  Nothing more corrupt than the failure to be corrupt with flamboyant cunning.

 

And nothing so heroic as to say to the  silly officers of the law and to that nuisance of a book called the Constitution  “I obscenity in the milk of your virginity” (Lawrence again).  Ha! Ha! Ha!

 

Have you forgotten we are a democracy, and may do as we like?

 

II

 

Unitl the other day most  Indians might have thought that the Indian Premier League of Cricket (IPL) was, after all, another one of the innocent diversions of the rich and the famous, harmless and even pleasureful in the main.

 

Much as you might have told them you could not stir them from their allegiance to their favourite  teams, and stars.

 

Alas, didn’t Marx teach us that in  the  political economy of various ages, that of capitalism particularly, everything is always linked to everything else, but adroitly  made discrete and the nuts and bolts equally adroitly concealed from view?

 

So it has turned out.

 

Name any of the major  scams and scandals of the last two decades and they may all pale in comparison to what the current enquiries into the IPL are fast revealing, a million a minute.

 

Tax haven unaccounted moneys, hawala transactions, underhand deals, insider information networks, mysterious and also non-existent holding companies (ah, Vladimir Illych, how you had spoken of these in chapters III and IV of “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”), broadcast channels neck-deep in graft, ministers and minions sunk in muck, politicians, administrators, film stars, relatives and hangers-on thereof, all out for the kill, and all feeding of the blood and sweat earnings of the duped millions who flock to see the matches played, gaping in wonder at the heroisms displayed, or sighing in pain at failures of those to whom the game has been but a diversion to the main business of making them horrendous piles of money, and partying with the rich and famous of other spheres of  India’s  ten percent predators.

 

 

And to think that when I played my cricket, some four decades ago, and two decades or more before neo-liberal emancipation from scruple and shame, what sacrifices we made to buy the least of our equipment.  But that was merely unevolved and shackled welfare capitalism then, when games were games and profits profits. 

 

 

As I write,  one revelation and one scandal stumbles on the foregone,  news bulletin after news bulletin, swapping space only with the only other archive of matching scandal and scam—the shenanigans of our “godmen”  And the same cast of characters there as well—celebrities, politicians, bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, replete with private jets, private yachts, fleets of BMWs, acres upon stolen acres of public land used for haremite purposes, and  billions of moneys, appearing and disappearing as in some giant display of trick and treat.

 

Ah,  thou unenlightened moron, dost thou not know that all this is but the illusory play of Maya—a mere spume to which thou shouldst  pay narry any heed, leaving such questions to the men in safaris and in saffron.

 

III

 

Yet, I say, is there not perhaps an x-factor somewhere that we are actually getting to know of these matters and to see of it in the light of day?

 

Is it not the case that where ten almighty rogues are hell-bent on doing us all in, a hundred others are devotedly striving to take the clothes off the emperor?

 

Therefore,  O destitute billions that belong to the BPL  (Below Poverty Line) India, wake up even now to what IPL India is doing.  Refuse them your hard-earned pennies, and lend might to the instruments, however shackled and compromised, that are now seeking to unravel the boxes of gold in which their perfidies are stashed.

 

 

Most of all, learn to withhold your pathetic adulation and to spit on their grandeur. 

 

 

For even at your least, and in your greatest suffering, you hide more worth than they do in those boxes.

 

Know thyself, and vow that you will lend no hand in building ever new idols, but rather seek ways to get back your own.

 

In the days to come, let BPL triumph over IPL.

 

For that to happen you need no guns.

 

Just make up your collective mind.

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