Why fighting corruption is important ? : Dr. Swamy: "The entire world is watching as Indians attempt to purge India of corruption using classically Indian means of protest. Hindutva and Sanatana Dharma represent the only viable cures to the cancer of corruption which is destroying the entrails of our civilisation."
One of the worst problems with corruption in India is the creation of “black money”— money that is used in such transactions and is obviously unreported, hence is neither taxed nor is spent openly. It travels to secret bank accounts abroad, or, worse, is used by the corrupt to indulge in gross luxurious consumption and bribery. Such black money stock also creates inflation by enabling easy finance for hoarding of supplies even as the GDP growth rate accelerates.
Corruption, therefore, impacts on economic development of a nation in five dimensions:
1. Decisions taken for corrupt motive sub-optimises the allocation of scarce national resources and hence in the long run lowers the rate of growth in GDP. It also encourages buccaneers instead of innovative entrepreneurs.
2. By the use of bribe money which escapes the tax net and is mostly stashed away in banks abroad or in trunks in safe houses, is deployed in luxury goods purchase, ostentatious life, splurging in five star hotels, real estate, and on partying. This raises demand for luxury production and services, and in turn distorts investment priorities. In India, 70 per cent of the investment goes directly or indirectly to sustain the luxury sector.
3. Unaccounted bribe money is lent to hoarders and speculators who then cause artificial shortages and thus inflation and property bubbles.
4. Since the most in corrupt activities would be in public office, they enact laws to not only to safeguard the booty by lax criminal investigations and prosecutions, but to enable earning interest or return on the bribe money. The invention of Participatory Notes (PNs) and the Mauritius Tax & Capital Gains exemption treaties is aimed at that sordid objective (see below).
5. Corruption enables beneficiaries to involve foreign governments seeking influence and criminal gangs resident abroad to launder money and provide protection.
The view of Integral Humanism as propounded by Deendayal Upadhaya or what we have for centuries have called as Sanatana Dharma is that a society is healthy only if there is a harmonisation of material pursuits and spiritual advancement in a human being. The social structure called Varna, till it degenerated into a birth-based social cartel, was designed to downgrade wealth as the indicator of status and elevate sacrifice and simplicity as a desirable value.
Our goal has to be thus the efficient use of resources, human and physical, hardware and software by an able and human spiritually guided and ethically organizational leadership in a framework of competitive market economies.
Hence, concisely stated, for a corruption free society to be achieved on a long term basis the Indian economy should be founded on a harmonisation of efficient organisational leadership and abiding spiritual values which we call as Sanatana Dharma. That can be nurtured only bottom up i.e., educate our growth accordingly — to synthesise material pursuits with spiritual values which lauds simplicity and eschews greed.
Ultimately it will also be decided by how we vote in elections. But we need a new ideology to combat the cancer of corruption in our system. For this we need a new breed of Indian leaders-educated, courageous, and rational risk takers. That we can get only if the ethos of our people changes from the purely individualist pursuit of material pleasures and goals, to an integral outlook. Corruption is the cancer today in our society but Hindutva (Hinduness) or Sanatana Dharma imbibed character is the cure.
The writer is president, Janata Party