In an excerpt from the upcoming episode on the Headlines Today TV channel featuring Anupam Kher in conversation with Sadhguru, Sadhguru speaks about corruption and the important role a citizen can play in a democracy to defeat this malaise.

Sadhguru: Participating in the democratic process does not mean you just cast your vote once in five years – most people don’t even do that – but even if you do that, that is not enough. Democracy is an active sport, not a spectator’s sport. You cannot sit back and say “Let somebody do democracy.” Democracy means you are the boss, you can’t sleep on it. You have to be active to everything around you. If you do not bring that consciousness in people, that awareness and activism in people, it will not work. At the same time, if you protest for everything and call a bandh for everything, that is the technology of how to stop the nation. But how to run the nation is a different technology.


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At least once a month, in your street, in your region, whatever is the sticking points in your area, make a list of that, get a few people together, call whoever the councilor or MLA is for a meeting and talk to him about what needs to happen. A leader is just a citizen who is on temporary employment. Casting your vote once in five years is not good enough, because you employ somebody and you don’t see that he works – that doesn’t make sense.

It is very important that everybody understands this properly in its right perspective, because in these sixty-four years (as of 2011), that means two generations of people, at least fifty to sixty percent of them have had such a bad deal. Today, you and me will talk all this and go home and eat well. There is a whole bunch of people, almost four hundred million people who cannot do that.

Democracy is an active sport, not a spectator’s sport.

Every Indian should understand this. Economy does not just mean stock market, it is about hungry people who will have food on their plate. That possibility is being jeopardized. Wherever I go, I speak to various economic and political leaders around the world. Everybody says, “We want to come to India. India is a big possibility, but the humiliation of corruption, we can’t bear it.” The humiliation that they are put through on a daily basis, which we have gotten used to, they are not willing to go through that. “It doesn’t matter if we don’t do business, but we don’t want to come there and go through all that rubbish.”

If we handle the next five to ten years right, we can change that. It is a tremendous possibility which is on our threshold. There is an economic possibility sitting on the threshold. If we conduct this right, we can change their lives, those people who have not eaten properly, those children who are malnourished, those who are not educated, those who don’t have opportunities, those who are in that horrible social and economic pit, their lives can change in the next five to ten years if we conduct our act right.

Editor’s Note: Through the Mystic Eye is a series of episodes telecasted on “Headlines Today” every Saturday and Sunday at 7.30AM featuring Sadhguru in conversation with several eminent personalities. KV Kamath, Virender Sehwag, Shekhar Kapur, JP Narayan and many more of India’s leading celebrities and public figures engage Sadhguru in discussions ranging from business and governance to sports, education and mysticism.