The Pyramid of Corruption
– India’s Primitive Corruption And How to Deal With it
Author: Kiran Batni, Publisher: Notion Press, Chennai – 600 005. Pages: 262 Price: Rs.495/-
The book with the intriguing title, ‘The Pyramid of Corruption’ is a thought provoking work which delves into the mine of corruption and comes out with the discovery that corruption is a pyramid because its roots are to be found in the already existing pyramid of shame that is the Pyramid of Varnasrama.
Of course, corruption has become ubiquitous, to be seen in all government offices where no palm moves unless it is greased. This has also become everyday talk. And now and then some people make loud noises about it and make a show of fighting that kind of corruption. But the real source or corruption exists somewhere else, and compared to it, this official corruption is but negligible.
This is the main contention of the book written by Kiran Batni. He avers that the greater the gap between the divisions introduced into a society, the larger will be the quantum of corruption. When the rulers overlook these divisions, and bring them under an artificial unity, the corruption increases. In a divided society the rulers are not even aware of their exploitation of the ruled. Conversely, the masses who are exploited are not even aware of the exploitation when the rulers are far removed from them.
Referring to the British rule, the author says that the very process of unification of India into a single unit unmindful of its multilingual and multicultural ethos was an act of corruption. Drawing profusely from Rabindranath Tagore, he says, “Rabindranath Tagore….described nation as the ‘organised self-interest of a whole people where it is least human and least spiritual? a nation for Tagore was essentially an organization of self-interest, not altruism; of automatons, not humans; and of materialism, not spiritualism.
….one organized gregariousness of gluttory, commercial and political.”
Tagore goes on in this vein in an article he wrote in 1915 and Kiran Batni goes on quoting from it in his work, to substantiate his theory that there exists in every nation what he calls ‘primitive corruption’ which the people themselves are not even aware of the while vociferously condemning what he calls operational corruption’ and trying to root it out, hardly knowing that they are harming themselves in the process.
Further, the rulers could exploit the foreigners without any qualms or feeling of guilt which they would have felt while exploiting their own countrymen. British Colonialism takes the cake for being the worst and the cruelest of all colonial governments in corruption and exploitation, maintains the author.
Citing experts, the author maintains that the plunders of Bengal ultimately funded the Industrial Revolution in Britain. That was the magnitude of plunder in the British Rule. Going elaborately into the dubious deals and pure deception by which the princely states were annexed, Batni reveals that it was “an act of corruption second to none in the world.” This was how plunder of a similar magnitude was initiated in free India.
In the same way, the Pyramid of Varnas structured by the Aryans is nothing but a pyramid of corruption. This Pyramid has the brahmins at the apex, followed by the kshatriyars, vaisyas and the ‘impure’ races of sudras, who had to bear the weight of the entire structure. And even the distribution of population was in the shape of a pyramid, the Brahmin being fewer in number and the sudras consisting of the native messes forming the multitude. People of each Varna look upon those who are below their stage as aliens and have no hesitation in exploiting them.
The North Indian Aryan Brahman Bania axis had no feeling of guilt in exploiting the South Indians. Nor did the exploited Southerners realize that they were being exploited. Exploitation goes on in all fronts – political, economical, cultural and linguistic, blessed and aided by the age old pyramid structures. On the other hand, they make mountain out of the tips collected by the office attendants. The British corruption and the Brahmin connection joined together because they were far removed from the exploited lot and the Brahmin empire could remain in tact after the exit of the British.
Kiran Batni is convinced that our aim must be to block exploitation at its source, which is to put an end to the unified structure of the government and to ensure total autonomy of the linguistic states.