Black Money, Blue life, Bleak Future-Part 2: Can a thief catch another?
PS Deodhar 24 September 2015
Widespread, uncontrolled corruption has become a way of life in India. This enemy within should be a bigger worry than keeping terrorism and our war-thirsty neighbours at bay. This is the concluding part of a two part series
 
The intensity of the problems and fears of the B-rich are extremely complex. The consequences of their mental agony is far deeper and menacing too. To begin with, everything in their corrupt life looks rosy. The easy money helps in living comfortably and compensates for the shortage of hard-earned money. But when more easy money starts flowing in, trouble starts almost unknown to the family. Not only the B-rich, but his or her entire family slowly goes into a spin due to easy access to lots of unearned money. Insatiable greed engulfs their lives. Money takes centre stage. Family values erode. The woman of the house either joins in or keeps worrying continuously. 
 
The corrupt head of the family soon becomes involved in prayers and rituals, seeking gurus and visiting temples by day and dance bars by night. There is a cultural decline. Soon alcohol in bars fails to intoxicate sufficiently. When he sees pretty young women, he gives in to temptation. He soon finds a concubine. Money finds yet another outlet. He is now bothered by the fear embedded deep in his mind - the fear of being caught. For some time, he manages to silence the woman of the house with bribes of jewellery, but she soon realises his game. Marital peace vanishes and moral support at home evaporates.
 
Initially, relations flock around the B-rich, some with admiration and some harbouring jealousy. Some expect financial help, and so a sense of superiority sets in. One starts looking down upon relations. Many of the relatives start hating this attitude and relationships sour. Restlessness takes its toll in a variety of ways. The problems of the poor are situational, but the problems of the B-rich are self-inflicted. Time and again, it is seen that the fear of man’s dark side and the greed for more make the B-rich turn to a temple, mosque or church. Lack of moral learning makes him seek solace in religious blind faith. Even there, he attempts to bribe his God with money rather than pray. Finally, the greedy lifestyle, alcohol abuse, sexual adventures and unsettled mind result in deteriorating physical and mental health. 
 
The biggest impact of this black poison is on their growing children. Most lose respect for hard work and learning. Such an environment is conducive for laziness and lust. There is a decline in morality. Children react depending on the friends and teachers they have. The morally inclined lose all respect for the father, and soon hate and disgust overwhelm them. Family woes start piling up. Other children take the cue. Education means nothing, scoring high marks looks meaningless. Easy money makes them attractive prospects and they join the gangs of local goons. Local goons, in their super white attire and white shoes, displaying multiple chunky gold chains on their unbuttoned bare chest, catch these vagabonds and make them their young lieutenants. Money soon takes control of everyone in the family rather than the family controlling it. 
 
Studies show that in spite of their easy money, B-rich families slowly deteriorate morally, culturally and emotionally. Hard sincere work in their life gets replaced by an easy life. The easy money earner gets bolder and arrogant in his behaviour. Materialistic affluence makes the family greedy and venturesome on the one hand, and fear of being caught makes them unsettled and confused on the other. Self-inflicted mental tension and unhealthy lifestyle leads to physical and mental health problems like high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes etc. Further, tension arises due to their pitiable efforts to hide their fears and weaknesses. 
 
Saint Vinobaji Bhave, in his discourses in Marathi, highlights the distinction between Prakruti (Natural life), Sanskruti (Culture) and Vikruti (unnatural behavioural distortion) with a most appealing example. He says, "If you are hungry and you eat a roti, it is prakruti. If you find a hungry person sitting next to you and if you first feed him half of the roti you had, then it is sanskruti. And if you disregard and eat all by yourself without sharing with the needy person, it is vikruti.” If Vinobaji was amongst us today, he would have indeed lost faith in humanity.        
 
World renowned psychologist, Dr Dick Millar, called this affliction as 'Affluenza'! According to his research, excess ill-gotten money, either black or white, drives men and women to indulge in immoral behaviour. In this context, it would be interesting to see the famous Hollywood movie, 'The Wolf of Wall Street'. Money, he observes, makes people self-centred. Sometimes it manifests into inhuman actions. They believe and try to even buy happiness with money. When they fail, they lose their sanity and try to get it by force. Criminality sets in.        
 
As against this, a common hardworking person though not well off, conducts himself thoughtfully and in total resonance with the society, he or she lives in. This morally endowed person finds it necessary for their peace and safety. Social research  conducted by the University of Berkeley shows that the B-rich, in many cases rising up from the middle class, display contempt for the poor and are arrogant and rude in their approach. The horsepower of their newly acquired cars enter their shoulders as they drive through pedestrian crossings or jump red lights, much to the chagrin of pedestrians and other motorists. Come to think of it, a research scholar in the Tata Institute of Social Research could easily earn his doctorate by conducting a similar study on the behavioural tendencies of the B-rich in India today. 
 
For many of us, the decline of values and rapid increase in those leading self-centred lives is a cause for concern. Globally, rising moral decline is castigated, but in India, widespread, uncontrolled corruption has become a way of life. It is dangerous and is corroding the social and moral fabric of our country. This enemy within should be a bigger worry than keeping terrorism and our war-thirsty neighbours at bay.    
 
I conclude by narrating an interesting observation from a friend of mine who retired as the head of a highly rated research laboratory. During the last two decades, the jewellery stores in Bandra and other prime localities in Mumbai have grown faster than any other retail outlet. With a small team, covering a period of three months, he studied patterns of people visiting these jewellery stores. He found that over two-third of these were government servants including bureaucrats, police officers, BMC staff and revenue officers. The remaining one-third comprised of businessmen, medical doctors, and corporate honchos. I wondered briefly, as to why our government, which has vowed for a corruption-free society, does not question and arrest these corrupt buyers as they step out of the jewellery stores. Then I woke up to reality; you cannot expect a thief to catch a thief! 
 
(PS Deodhar is founder and former chairman of the Aplab Group of companies. He is also the former chairman of the Electronics Commission of the Government of India and was an advisor to late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on electronics. He also was the chairman of the Broadcast Council in 1992-93 that set in motion the privatisation of the electronic media with metro channels.) 
Comments
MUKESH
9 years ago
As per my approach, First layer of rich are high end politicians, businessmen, corporate facilitator/lobber. they were happy and have luxury life even in British rule. They have property all over the world so that even in remote case of full war between India and neighbor country, they may leave India by their own private jet.

Second Layer of rich who belongs to lower and middle society and earn money only by corruption after getting government jobs. Their expense pattern only in real estate, jewelry and cash in hand.

Third Layer of rich of businessmen who earn the money more than requirement by charges more and not paying Direct and Indirect taxes deliberately and manage the show by bribing. They keep their money mostly in Cash.

Fourth layer is of newly job seeker of IT professional. The IT company charging extremely high fee and charges for their innovation from purchasers of their software (Banks/Government/High business tycoon). they pay high money in exchange of their wards get job in IT companies without work.

The solution for ending corruption is from highest vertical that is government which is not possible due to high investment in election they won. The only hope is standing of government for 10-15 years so that after recovery of investment and savings for future, they may think to help low society members at large. Second is closure of Bank notes of 500 and 1000 so that black money may deposit in Banks after payment of taxes.
K. M. Rao
9 years ago
If the government really wants to tackle black money, it could have done it very easily - just by passing an order to hand over all existing currency notes of denominations of Rs500 and Rs1000 and replace by new bills. Most of the black money could be busted as many of these hoarders keep lots of their ill gotten wealth in physical form and will not be able to explain the source of the same nor will they come forward to exchange with new currency.
J Pinto
9 years ago
"patterns of people visiting these jewellery stores. He found that over two-third of these were government servants including bureaucrats, police officers, BMC staff and revenue officers."

What is the Dharma of the corrupt of this country ?

Pu 10% in the Hundi of Tirupati and enjoy the remaining 90% guilt free.
J Pinto
9 years ago
The Hindu right wing in India conveniently ignores the cancer of financial & moral corruption within.

They define the greatest threat to the idea of India as the existence of Christians and Muslim citizens.

This is how Hindutva is defined. Disenfranchise Christians and Muslims or send them to Pakistan and India will be able to transform itself into a blissful state of Ram Rajya.

Vote for BJP. Vote for Shiv Sena.
Anand Vaidya
Replied to J Pinto comment 9 years ago
Hindus, in general, do not count the mere existence of Christians and Muslims as threat. In fact we pay no attention to your religious affairs. I am sure many of us don't bother when someone leaves Hinduism towards Christianity or Islam

Things get worse when a genocide is conducted against Hindus (Kashmir, Bengal etc) or forced Conversions are adopted (missionaries)

The insecurity of the Hindu right comes from 800 years of Islamic genocide and 200 years of Christian subjugation, killings (Goa), forced conversions etc.
Babulu Gangisetty
9 years ago
As rightly said by Sri P S Deodhar, IT Officers must obtain the footing of security camera and issue notices to the buyers and collect 50% of amount towards the tax and also launch prosecution for non -disclosure of the amount. Only prosecution and getting them convicted in Courts only reduce corruption. Can we find a single person who is convicted for non disclosure of income in India.
Vikram Dhotre
9 years ago
On the last Moneylife event, the speaker Mr. Amitabh Kant made the remark that corruption will come down when public interaction with government departments is reduced to the minimum by introducing digitisation. Feels like a step in the right direction.
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