Dedicated service, the only hope – Recollecting Rajaji’s perceptions on ‘the pull of money-strings’.

DEDICATED SERVICE, THE ONLY HOPE
[written by Rajaji – May 4, 1963, Swarajya]
 
THE FATE OF THE NATION is doomed if corruption poisons its life in very sphere, as most people feel and complain that it does today in our land. Administration at all levels, the economic controls which the Government exercises over those engaged in production and distribution, the transport service by road, rail and air, the elections that are held to recruit persons to the various public bodies from the villages up to Delhi, these and other public activities are poisoned with this fatal poison, and the process is so widely prevalent that people seem reconciled to it. Democracy is disclosing itself as a puppet dancing to the pull of money-strings. It is painful having to say all this about one’s own country, one’s own people and one’s own administration. But the evil cannot be got rid of by being un-confessed and our sufferings borne in silence.
 
Human nature cannot tolerate this state of affairs. The crisis will lead to revolution of some kind, communist or fascist or military. The people have to face this corruption on one side and high prices and unbearable tax-levies on the other. Oppression and corruption must lead to revolt, and passing through anarchy, democracy must turn into dictatorship. Neither can the resulting tyranny escape the total evil of the times. The dictatorship will not be a relief, for that, too, will be corrupt.
 
The only hope for the nation lies in the possibility of restoring good government. The interference of ministers and others with legitimate and illegitimate powers derived from so called democracy has transformed a fairly good government (of 1950s) into an intolerably bad administrative machine. Can we retrace the steps and secure an improvement in the morale of our administrative machinery? I believe we can. Let us hope we can secure a dedicated set of young people to join the service ranks in all departments through whom we can get this revolution of character accomplished. In order to hope for this, we should make sure of a few things besides appealing to intelligent youth to dedicate them selves to a holy war against corruption. 
 
We must elevate the simple life to the status it had enjoyed in Gandhian and pre-independence days. It is the ‘standard of life’ that has corrupted and is corrupting our souls.
 
We should make administration less expensive by reducing the number of people engaged in that unproductive but important work, while at the same time paying adequate salaries to those employed.
 
The development of productive industries, should be unhampered by controls and bureaucratic hurdles, so that they may grow quickly and absorb more and more of intelligent young men instead of their being driven by necessity to government service.
 
Less taxation and less inflation, abandonment of wholly wrong plan of finding industrial capital by oppressive taxation, and release of private capital and private initiative from the barbed wire entanglement of Central planning – these will help to a large extent in clearing the air of the poisonous fog of corruption.
 
There is hope if the young men and women of our country vow to live simply, and to be honest under any circumstances and in any employment. Education is of no use if this dedicated spirit does not crown the acquisition of useful knowledge. Rectitude and rectitude only can save us. Hope thus rests on the restoration of faith in God, and even this must be given by Him. May He give us that faith in His mercy and enable us to save our dear motherland, which does not fate that over-hangs it.
 
Source: Rajaji – May 4, 1963, Swarajya

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