With the spate of scandals hitting the headlines in recent months – 2G, Coalgate, IPL and so on – Sadhguru looks at what is needed to root out corruption in India.

Sadhguru:

Creating a strong cultural thread which binds all of us irrespective of religion, caste, creed or language is important if we want to move ahead as a nation.

Corruption is so deep-rooted today that we often ask “who is honest?” rather than “who is corrupt?” It’s important that we understand this in its right perspective. It’s not a handful of corrupt people, it’s a nation-full of corruption. How many people would stop at a red light if there was no policeman? Maybe ten percent. The rest of them are corrupt. If you put them in an “advantageous” position, you know what they will do.

Sometime ago I was speaking to some students, and a fourteen-year-old boy told me he wanted to enter the government’s most corrupt department so that he can make good money! He doesn’t even think it’s wrong, he thinks that’s the way to make your life. This is a country where 65 years ago during the freedom struggle, people threw their lives on the street. In just one generation, a high school boy says he wants to enter the most corrupt government department. This is a disgrace and a huge drop in our integrity level. People think, “Why bother about these things, I’ll take care of myself.” That’s not how life works. Unless our society and country are doing well, we won’t do well no matter how capable we are individually.

Nation building doesn’t just mean building infrastructure, it means building people.

It has become like this today because we have not taken care of certain things. The idea of nation has still not sunk into people’s minds and hearts. We have not done anything focused to build this. Nation building doesn’t just mean building infrastructure, it means building people. Keeping India as one nation is going to be a big challenge when economic prosperity happens because we have still not knitted the country as one. When people are poor they will somehow stick together, but once affluence comes divisions will invariably happen if we do not develop a certain integration of the nation through a cultural ethos.

In India, people speak, eat and even look different every hundred kilometers. So what is it that holds us together as one nation? Essentially it is a cultural and spiritual ethos which has held us together. In the last few decades this cultural fabric is being torn apart. Creating a strong cultural thread which binds all of us irrespective of religion, caste, creed or language is important if we want to move ahead as a nation.