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(Corruption & Black Money)

After @NarendraModi’s brilliant stroke against Black Money & Corruption, during his first term – & 4 years later – it’s worthwhile to ask this question: are Hindus more corrupt than others?

We will look only at Hindus & leave aside Muslims, as they were the masters of India for so long, that they needed not be corrupt. The same is true of the British, who made their riches out of India and did not have to cheat their own Government – and hence the class of Anglo-Indians they had fashioned to be the go between them and the ‘natives’ was not corrupt either. India’s 3% present Christian minority is thus excluded from this study. We will be also be looking at statistics and facts over the last ten centuries, as it will give a more complete overall picture.

I have defended Hindus enough – lately through these series of articles on Hindu Power for, that I may allowed to criticize them: Hindus of today – and yesterday – are indeed corrupt, deal a great deal in black money, cheat their Government, whether it is Congress or others, and they will be the main target of the @BJP4India Govt drive… But let me first excuse them.

First of all, Hindus have been so heavily traumatized by ten centuries of savage Islamic invasions, that cheating, breaking the lines, finding the loophole, hiding, became a matter of sheer survival. Hindus were killed, their women and girls taken as slaves, raped, their temples razed, they were forbidden to ride horses or palanquins, and more than anything, they had to pay a heavy & humiliating tax , the Jyzia… Naturally cheating and hoarding happened – and it became a habit – even after it was not needed anymore.

Secondly, at Independence, Nehru, who was a great admirer of the British socialist system, chose to tax the rich for empowering the poor. Industries and individuals were levied up to 90% of their revenues for decades and of course they cheated. Once more it was more the Hindus, as Muslims were often in the less fortunate categories and Christians a tiny minority. It can also be added that the poor, under successive @INCIndia Govts, never really benefited from whatever amounts the taxmen got from the rich, as bureaucrats took their cut on the way down (pity that Mr Modi’s last budget seems to have taken a leaf from this habit of taxing the rich to benefit the poor).

Thirdly, contrary to Christianity, there is no concept of guilt in Hinduism. Thus there is no moral brake to corruption and black money, as there is in the West, and I have often observed that Hindus from the poor to the rich, do not feel they are doing something wrong when they are defrauding their own Government. I will never forget in Almora, seeing a village woman cutting a young tree sapling for firewood, in an already dwindling forest, and when we pointed it out to her, she said: “so what, it belongs to the Sarkar”…-

The paradox is that in my 45 years in India, I have come across so many honest Hindu Collectors, police officers, bureaucrats and I have never been asked for a bribe, maybe because of my white skin. Yet living in Delhi, I know for a fact that my fellow foreign correspondents fellows pay extravagant prices for renting their flats in Jorbagh, Golf Links or Defense Colony – at least 40% of which are in cash or on foreign accounts, most of them owned by Hindus. As I said in an earlier article, I remember how horrified a colleague from @LeMonde newspaper was, when she asked the owner of a Sujan Singh Park flat in Delhi (a part owner of the Imperial, New Delhi), where were the bathroom for the servants – and he told her nonchalantly that they could go to the public toilets of Khan Market ! This dreadful attitude can even be seen at airports today, where there are no toilets for the staff, even in Delhi’s T3, and they crowd the passengers’ toilets. I know also that builders in India are the most corrupt and the ones who hoard the maximum black money. Anybody knows that to buy a flat, you need to pay 40% in cash. Again, most of these contractors are Hindus.

Hindu politicians are also exteremely guilty. How will they buy the one laptop per student, or the one TV per household, that they dispense by millions like lollipops, at the time of elections? How will all the Mulayam Singhs, Stalins, Mayawatis, Mamta Banerjees, deal with this huge cash problem? How will the Hindu leaders of the Congress – yes, 97% of Congressmen and women are Hindus – get the cash to buy votes, or MP’s, as shown by the cash for votes scam, exposed by Suddhendra Kulkarni? Unfortunately, we did not see a great transformation in Hindu politics, thanks to the 500 & 1000 Rs notes ban. Economically too, has this been a great game changer and at last will we witness an India capable of catching-up China, its deadly enemy? Does not seem so….

In conclusion, it is the system that triggers the temptation to corruption. Hindus, because of tremendous colonial and invasional traumas, have made of cheating a habit. Nehru prolonged it, by severely taxing the rich and not so rich. Mr. Modi had opened a channel to reverse this trend – but seems to have partially gone back on it. It is first in their minds, that Hindus must lose the habit of cheating. Then will it happen on the ground.

A true Hindu power has to be honest, Chanakya and so many others great Hindu kings, the last one being Krishna Deva Raja of the mighty empire of Vijaynagar, have shown that true Hindu power is Dharmic in spirit, that is honest, hard working and generous to all, irrespective of their ethnic origin or religion. One must congratulate the BJP Govt for having initiated what in 70 years plus of power since Independence, the Congress did not dare to do.

François Gautier

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