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Monday, May 20, 2013

Welcome to the Spiritual Kingdom of Animals

The Hon’ble Supreme Court was recently compelled to take recourse to the imagery of a parrot to lament the degradation of the CBI into abject slavery.  As if this was not enough, another court, in Bangalore, compared the IB to a pigeon.  It is not exactly complimentary for police forces of the country to be told that their depravity, even of the best of them, their crème de la crème, is on a sub human scale.  How would the garden variety of police men fare on the scale of wretchedness, when put to searching scrutiny: amoeba, bacteria, virus or just inert gooey matter in a state of pre-biotic existence? 

Evolutionary biology tells us that the time and evolution are both unidirectional; they are barbed arrows incapable of going back in time.   But perhaps moral regression is not guided by the laws of evolutionary biology, even though the state of morality is heavily dependent on the social ecology, the environment of power.  The history of the CBI has been one of progressive diminution.  Till the other day, it cut such a heroic figure that the mere entry of the CBI Officer in critical cinematic moments, flashing his I-Card, would lift the morale of the audience, just when it appeared that all had been lost.  How and when did this freakish regression from a heroic stature to a universal butt of joke take place? 

In a crony capitalistic order, in an advanced stage of state capture, “society naturally divides itself into the very few and the many” according to the “unequal faculties of acquiring property” of its constituents.  Such a differentiation of traits is most likely to occur in civil servants, politicians, powerbrokers, pimps.  The several fold increase in public spending has dramatically enlarged the corruptive interface between the consenting public servant and the obliging client.  On the other hand dozens of laws that have been passed have brought more and more areas of our private and public concern under bureaucratic gaze and control.  This has created enormous opportunities for rent seeking and bribery.  The issue of corruption naturally comes to occupy the centre stage of public concerns.  Overwhelmed by  such  situations, governments all over resort to the strategy of - what Leo Strauss calls - “necessary lie”, wherein the rulers, in a bid to distract people from problems closer at hand, feed them fables to keep them peaceful and pacified

Zero tolerance to corruption is the avowed goal of this government.  It is also the supreme exemplar of the idea of “necessary lie”. 

The neo-liberal discourse, however, tends to treat corruption as a purely economic issue - a market transaction in informal services in a bureaucracy-infested, over-regulated state; bribery is purged of its moral connotation and made respectable as facilitation fee for services in a transaction between socially anonymous partners.  So, the distance between the ideological mask and the social reality, in a society on a roller coaster ride to the abyss of market consumerism, is bridged by an ever more strident cry for need for hygiene in public life.  It dupes itself with foolish expectations and sets extravagant goals for its investigative agencies.  Pining for an independent CBI is one such nostrum. 

The CBI is no longer required to handle crimes in the ordinary sense of the term; more often than not it is the criminality of governments – their involvement in bribery and payoffs, their efforts to subvert parliamentarians, their involvement in fake encounters and engineering systemic pogroms, you name it – which keeps their hands full.   Or if it is not the government it is its more formidable patrons, the super-rich, in whose gigantic shadow the government cast its miserable little tent.  But as in the pre-modern days, figuratively speaking, when the crimes and their perpetrators were painted on a less grand scale, it is  still  the sole prerogative of the government (I include the leader of the opposition as a representative of government in exile, and thus an interested party) to appoint the director, equip outfit and determine working conditions of the organization. 

For the last several decades ambitious political leaders have sought to create fiercely loyal battalions of bureaucratic palace guards who, if they pass the loyalty test, are exempted from every other.  The changed environment has led to a proliferation of officers with a natural tendency to voluntary servitude.  Blind obedience confers a massive selective advantage; the courage to stand up renders them incapable of finding a foothold in the fragile ecology of power and they invariably fall by the way side.   So the parrot cannot but speaks his masters’ voice because he is wired like that, protein coded for blind obedience. 

Hegel proclaimed long ago that “self-interested egotism is not the brutal fact of our societies but its ideology.  In given a century and more for the inhabitants of this “spiritual kingdom of animals,” to indulge their self-interested egotism, the regression to the stage of an aviary was but natural.  As long as the moral environment is not restored to a state which is conducive to evolve autonomous, rational, conscious, moral agents caged parrots and white pigeons will abound.  So till then welcome to the land of spiritual animals, welcome to interesting aviary of great diversity of policemen. 


Er. AMOD KUMAR said...

Respected Sir,
You have very well explained the truth of ground.
""""Zero tolerance to corruption is the avowed goal of this government. It is also the supreme exemplar of the idea of “necessary lie”. """"" Very remarkable Point.
With Kind Regards......

रजनीश said...

After raising the issue in prime media, it seems CBI Chief dropped his yearning for autonomy of CBI or he got it(?) !! Definitely factual post sir.

रजनीश said...
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