In the previous episode we had witnessed Vidura’s interesting and important explanation on a modern day concept in Human Resources Management called “Nepotism”. This term is used to indicate a situation wherein a leader acts in a biased manner by inducting people from his closed circle (family members, friends, etc.) into the organization without judging their real capabilities to be in the respective organizational positions. This is a dangerous phenomenon because it devalues merit in a way and as a result, existing employees feel dmotivated and eventually would quit the organization owing to lack of due recognition for their contributions to its development.
This concept of “Nepotism” can be seen in Mahabharata too, wherein King Dhirdiraashtra has been totally biased towards his own sons and against the righteous Paandavas. This is exactly what Vidura is targeting here – He drives home the point by saying that a righteous king should always take a neutral standpoint towards any issue. He should be very careful not to take sides. If he does so, the people are going to get hurt and eventually they would overthrow the king.
Similarly in today’s world we see innumerable examples of people in different walks of management – Be it in political parties, organizations, etc. In many political parties for instance, if we see the leadership lineage in the past decades we can see a clear pattern – The leadership would only be passed on to the children of the leader who is in power. This is what we call “Dynasty”. I’m not saying that dynasty regimes are wrong. There are innumerable family businesses that even today run extremely well. But the problem comes when this concept is applied blindly. For instance we see one of India’s largest national political party which believes in the concept of “Dynastic politics”, wherein the leadership batton is passed on from the father to his daughter and from the mother to the son. I’m not having a problem with this – But the only issue here is, whether the son is a capable person to be a leader or not. If we look at his capabilities today, this “first son” of that political party unfortunately doesn’t possess even one quality of a good leader! This is the main reason why this party has gone into shambles and struggling to get up from the floor!
To continue with this important point of discussion on “Nepotism”, Vidura explains clearly that just because we are in a top position today, we might end up doing lot of activities that are against the Dharma. But down the line if tomorrow if we aren’t in that same position anymore, there are chances that our successor would start probing into all the irregularities that we have done in our previous tenure. Vidura pokes King Dhirdiraashtra again with this important point. He explains thus, “Oh King Dhirdiraashtra! Today you are in this throne and you are a proud king! But what if tomorrow you are no more in this throne? Please realize that the position in which you are is highly unstable. If tomorrow somebody else becomes the king of Hasthinapura, that person would definitely start investigating all your wrongdoings and this would cause endless misery for you! So please correct yourself and your son and mend his ways now! Just because you are the king, you are just blindly favouring your wicked son Duryodhana. Please stop this!”
How applicable is Vidura’s advice in the modern day world! We see this happening in front of our own eyes, isn’t it? How many cases of corruption do we see with almost all of the political parties today? How does this corruption begin? Just because of the greed for power and money, we tend to do all wrongful activities today by misusing our office and funds. This would be very easy and pleasurable today. But if tomorrow when someone else replaces us in the same office, and if that person senses some wrongful activities that had happened in the previous tenure, he/she is going to launch an investigation and we would eventually be caught! This same story has recently happened in one of the prestigious government universities in the state of Tamil Nadu in India wherein a person who was the “Controller of Examinations” had been misusing her office to allegedly take bribes for changing students’ marks in the answersheets. How criminal an act is this! All these instances only make the common people lose faith in our Indian academic system.
Thus the message from today’s episode is that, the root of corruption starts from greed for power and money. People tend to misuse their office for performing illegal activities to earn “quick” and “more” money. However when the tide changes direction, they get caught. Sadly the reality today is that, these people who get caught like this, never even realize that they’re being caught for their wrongdoing and they still resort to the same mistake again and again! So for today let us realize that we should never misuse our office for any wrongdoing. This is against the Dharma and we should avoid such illicit activities. We shall wait till the next episode to explore more into Vidura’s teachings. Stay tuned! J