August 15 is celebrated in Delhi, the national capital of modern India and the Indraprastha of ancient India. Amid the never-ending whiff of corruption, inflation and economic growth, one wonders if the government has become irrelevant. It is collective strength of money power, business and power of information (and disinformation), which seems to be running the world. The scenes in Hastinapur and Indraprastha, depicted in the Mahabharata, has come back to haunt us.
Actions of many world leaders, including in India, remind us of the Kaurava hero, Duryodhana. Asked whether he was aware of his misdeeds, he retorted, "I know what's a righteous behavior, I know what's evil. I, however, act according to the dictates of some forces who dwells in my heart." At least, he was an epitome of frank candor.
Unfortunately, a similar yardstick of honesty doesn't apply to many world leaders, more so in India, and also a large section of the citizenry, who stand accused of dereliction of their duties and responsibilities.
Every newborn in the country learns corruption and black money as the first few words. Every hour about 2,000 babies are born in India alone. It indicates that the demand for resources like land, water and food is increasing exponentially. Besides, air will require more oxygen, and fewer pollutants. The environment will be hotter than before. There will be a complete depletion of underground water table from major Indian cities. An ever-increasing number of plant and animal species are near-extinct. Population explosion and misuse of natural resources remain the biggest worry. Population growth is not the only culprit, misuse and mismanagement of earth's resources is the most important factor.
There is an Indian phrase, gyan papi, which literally translates to "knowledge sinner" or wrong doing even after being aware of the misdeeds. David Maister summed it up well in Strategy and the Fat Smoker: "We often know what we should be doing and why – just as fat smokers know they should stop smoking and lose weight. Real strategy lies not in deciding what to do, but in devising ways to ensure we do more of what we know we should do".