unanswered questions

I was wondering what I would blog about this morning. Writing a post is almost therapeutic for me and has a cathartic effect as it enables me to share what otherwise would remain bottled inside and threaten to choke me and cloud my functioning.

This morning I opened my mailbox not expecting much, it being a Sunday. A mail from the editor of a site named views point sat patiently waiting to be opened. Not knowing the sender I may have deleted in on another morning but not today. I opened it and found that it asked one to share ones' opinion about the Satyam Scandal.

I had not planned to talk about this as I am a complete dodo with financial issues and corporate sagas. I barely find my way in the plus and minuses of the tiny project I run. I must confess that in spite of my poor grasp of things, the size of the swindle was mind blogging: 5000 crores and plus. I read the article I had been solicited to comment upon.

The article raised many issues that I have touched upon in my years of blogging: corruption, the lure of money, political nexuses and above all the need of apportioning responsibility. The author highlights the need for introspection and that is what I have tried to do and often urged others to follow.

You do not need a Satyam kind of scandal to find that we are living in an impossible imbroglio. My experience of corruption, political nexuses and greed is bases on my experience with a very tiny part of India, one that remains invisible and voiceless, where scandals go unnoticed because they are too small to increase TRPs or touch people too scared to voice their plight.

I do not know whether the real perpetrators of the Satyam scandal will be punished or whether another masterpiece in whitewashing will occur and a few fall guys will face a token punishment after an interminable legal drama. I must confess that based on my experience of the past I do not hold much hope. The Satyam scandal affects thousands of innocent hard working employees and millions of trusting investors -was not Satyam one of the no risk company-?

The nameless and faceless scandal I refer to is the one that touches scores of millions of people each day as they set out on another day of survival: the weekly tithe to be paid to the local beat cop so that one can set up one's tea stall or food cart; the wad of now crumpled notes saved over months that need to be handed over to the wily tout to secure a coveted job in some remote government department, a job that will never come your way, only the size of the wad increases; the other wad of money borrowed at some astronomical rate from the local money lender so that one's drunk husband can be released from the police station and so on. The list is endless. Corruption is rampant and has reached the tiniest crevices of society.

Can I dare hope that the Satyam scandal will perhaps awaken us of our slumber and our ataxia and make us say enough is enough. For only when each one of us mouthes those words will things begin to change. And that means not paying a bribe to the traffic cop when you bust the red light but accepting to go to the court and pay your fine and so on. The list is again endless and in each case the price to pay heavy! But I am convinced that corruption can be defeated only when each one of us agree to do so and stop wanting to cut corners. Looks daunting and almost impossible. That is where the need for introspection lies.

The Satyam scandal raises another question: the lure of money and the extent of one's greed. How much is enough. That is again a question begging for an answer. I can easily say that I have curtailed my needs to a bare minimum since I embarked on the pwhy journey. The flip side is that I am constantly panhandling to meet the need of others. I guess the bottom line here is that the sky the the limit provided you go about garnering your wealth with honesty and hard toil. Sadly the consumer society we live in, the lure of materialistic ware aptly promoted by the idiot box and the access to credit makes it all very difficult and quasi impossible. So where does wisdom lie, or rather how does one build the right set of values in each one of us? More questions that need urgent answers and yet there seems no one who can give them.

I normally am not a cynic. If I were I would never have created pwhy. But faced with the present scandal I cannot but say that I have scant hope that anything will happen. Memories are short, and soon everything will be forgotten as another scandal aptly fanned by TV channels will replace this one. Life will just continue as always and I will go back into my world trying to change one life and then another hoping against hope that a miracle will come our way.