Episode # 263 – “Root cause of corruption is the sheer negligence of a leader on monetary matters!” Vidura’s storming message!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important sloka of the Vidura Neeti wherein he clearly explains three categories of people who would be respected and hailed even by Mother Earth (Goddess Bhooma Devi) herself! This simply means that these categories of people are highly respected by all people in this world. Firstly, those people who have complete control over extremities in anger and joy are respected highly in this world. This is an extremely important quality of a successful leader. Decision making would be accurate and to the point only if the leader can keep himself/herself calm at any situation. It is thus not good to exhibit both extreme happiness and sadness. Secondly, a person who tries to be independent is also hailed and respected highly in this world. This is where we witnessed yesterday that there is a difference between “depending” on others for something and “seeking help” from others in doing something. It should always be remembered that we’re born in this world to accomplish our duties and we should never shy away from performing them by passing the buck on to others’ shoulders. Of course it is perfectly fine if we seek help and guidance from expert people along our path of execution, but that doesn’t mean we shun our responsibility on to the shoulders of those people! The execution part should always rest upon our shoulders at any cost! Thirdly, Vidura explains that those people who maintain a neat record of all monetary matters including income and expense statements, sources of income and destinations of expense, etc. are revered highly in this world.

This is where a leader’s real test lies – At any point in time, a leader should exactly know where is the money coming from and where the money is going to. This is an extremely important aspect even in today’s corporate scenario. It is for this reason we have an exclusive department in any organization that handles all sorts of money-related matters. It is the main responsibility of the leader to ensure that he maintains a tight control of the finances in his organization. Similar is the situation when it comes to the governance of a kingdom or a country and this is exactly where Vidura’s explanation is so valid. He reminds King Dhirdiraashtra that he should not let people in his kingdom to swindle money and power at their own ease, just for their own personal gains. He indirectly invokes the atrocities committed by his son Duryodhana along with his uncle Sahuni.

If we compare Vidura’s words with what is happening in today’s political setups in various parts of the world, we would understand their significance quite easily and on the face value. Today we talk about a deep-rooted problem in many countries called “corruption”.

How does this corruption take place, especially in the government machinery? If we take a look at the current scenario in the Indian government machinery, we would be able to witness widespread corruption right from the grass-root level to the top! Of course, readers should not take this statement in the sense that I’m trying to demean our great nation, but all I’m trying to do is to highlight an important challenge that plagues our nation from progressing swiftly towards the path of excellence. If we look at our seventy years of history, we have witnessed widespread corruption in almost all key areas of the government – Defense, Telecom, Sports, Transportation, etc. at different time periods. If we might remember, the time period of 2008-11 was a crucial phase wherein a majority of the corruption came to light in the public domain! We had witnessed how politicians had swindled our taxpayers’ money without any accountability to the people. Scam after scam broke out in the news and the entire nation was stunned to silence!

If we have a closer look as to why such things happened, we would see that the then leader of the country (Prime Minster in this case) was so weak and powerless that all corrupt activities in the government machinery flourished right under his nose! This is where the problem lies and this is exactly what Vidura is explaining here too. If a leader fails to take stock of the finances of his kingdom or organization or government at the right time, it leads to mass corruption by lower authorities, which would ultimately signal huge disaster ahead of us! Here too, we were witnessing that owing to the widespread corruption during that time period of 2004-14, India was pushed to a disastrous situation wherein the country’s gold reserves were mortgaged for the first time ever in history, for the want of money to run the nation’s everyday activities. The entire treasury of the country was swindled out and it is now taking almost 5 years from then, for the present government dispensation in India to repair the damage.

I do not want to go into more detail in this regard as this would make us enter into an unwanted political debate, which is not the necessity here. I shall leave this point to the readers to do some research upon this point and to know the truth behind my contention.

Thus the main message from this episode is that, as a leader, it is a bound duty to keep a tight vigil on the finances and should never ever give a room for unwanted corrupt activities to take place, which would lead to disaster. It should be remembered that the root cause of all sorts of corruption in any organization or government is only the sheer negligence of a leader to keep a clear account of the monetary matters. Hence for today, let us ponder over this important aspect of “Raaja Dharma” that Vidura is explaining. We’ve taken couple of episodes to bring out the significance of this point because of its high relevance to the modern day scenario and the important lesson that we need to learn from it! We shall thus wait for the next episode to witness Vidura’s next important point of advice. Stay tuned! 😊

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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