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Chaste Hypocrisy

When did you last openly admit that you love having loads of money in your purse?

Probably never.

Why is that? Hmm! Let me list out reasons

You don't like money? Hell No!
You don't want money? No!
Probably you are a saint, and have no interest in material things? Yes, err, No.

All of us have used one glorious phrase all along our life "filthy rich".

I have this phrase ever since I was a kid. Though the word rich was familiar to me since I was five. The word Filth was latin to me till I was 12.

When somebody makes good money (meaning loads of money), we call him filthy rich. Why not clean rich?

And one of the most common verdict about man who made money is "A man who is mad about money is immoral."

Yes, this is the right reason. A man who is mad about money is immoral. Or is he immoral in truth? Well, no he is considered immoral by the society of which he is part of.

Don't we all love a bit of respect from this society? When this is the case, how dare one take a risk of losing this respect?

This is chaste hypocrisy at its supreme best.

Let me put forward one simple case and for a moment visualize your honest reaction (no strings, honesty just for a moment, not even a minute)

You are walking down a lane. There is this garbage tin to the left side of the road, in which people are pouring all their household filth. They practice basket ball with that garbage tin. One man, who is an amateur basketballer, throws a rather heavy bag at the tin, it misses the open lid, hits the side, and the impact pulls down the garbage tin. All the rut it contained comes out, and it comes out in heaps.

Rats jump over. Unexplainable items in unfathomable complexion gets scattered. The amateur sighs and leaves the place.

You were walking in a straight line, and the straight line was couple of feet away from the garbage tin, when it was standing straight. After it got floored by the Amateur's performance, your straight line would bisect the tin and the ugly, filthy splinters.

What will you do?
Oh? I already see your reaction. Straight line gets deviated. You are heading to the right side of the road. Your nose has also changed shapes. Good. You are a true and thoroughbred man of this society. 

Why don't you go and clean up the place? Would it not be really nice to have a few admirers in the street, who will look upto you for any advice (on how to clean road, sewerage canal etc.)? Won't your image get bolstered as an honest and moral man?

What?!!!! You picked up the splinters, helped the garbage tin stand up. 

In your dreams? Good. You are that thoroughbred hypocrite I was just referring. So much for living for and by this society's rules. 


Start facing the truth. You are one of those thoroughbred hypocrite and are a product of this bastardized society, where one has to have two faces. One external and one internal. The gentle and the scornful, the same time.

The sad part is that, you have got company, not in tens, but tens of crores.

You are one of those spineless cowards who would rather die pretending to be something else, than live defying the impotent demands of this world. You want attention from this world by doing the right (politically) things. You don't want the world's attention for doing something else.

You would love watching a movie on a rebel, a do-gooder, where you visualize yourself as the protagonist, and would love to be that way, but only in your dreams. In reality, you are scared of being outlawed by this society.

Civilisation happened, not just because all men dreamed, but because some men worked towards making that dream happen. They were shunned by the public.

We as humans have evolved, only because of a few men, who had only one face, both internal and external. They were the ones who lived. Others merely existed.

Einstein, Edison, Gandhi, Babbage are classic examples whose emotions, thought process, behaviour were in perfect harmony. To use a cliche, they wore their heart on their sleeve.

Ambani in India could create an empire only because he openly and proudly proclaimed that he wanted to create an empire. Narayanamurthy of Infosys could deliver what successive governments couldn't the Self Made Indian Millionaires from the lower and middle class. He could do it only because he had no two faces with differing desires. He had one face, and one desire.

If you love something, say it loudly, atleast to yourselves. By doing that you would probably accomplish more than what you would otherwise. We live in a world, where greatest of recognitions are always awarded posthumously.

You may live by the society and may be soon forgotten, for you would have accomplished nothing.

Or you may be true to your heart and your deeds will ensure that you have left a mark on this society.


Ketan said…
Wow! A virgin post to comment upon!

I just love my filthy mind with all those filthy ideas in it ;)

I don't love money (sic). But I absolutely need, want and desire things that money could buy. I won't have any desire for money if I were to be guaranteed provision of all the luxuries and resources I were to ever feel the need of in life.

I'm just trying to draw your attention to a breed of people who earn money only for the heck of it--not even realizing or thinking while earning it, what they want or what that money could buy. Such people earn money only like how a child would collect stamps--obsessed with the idea of 'collecting'--not necessarily enjoying it or thinking of its relevance. Some earn money only to gain status in the society or to show others down, or because they just believe they 'ought' to earn money, without ever thinking WHY.

Money has value when it is fluid, it is kinetic--when it is used to buy other things or create other things of value. Otherwise when amassed without a particular reason, it's just a heap of paper, and somehow I can't develop respect for that kind of money or earner. But yes, never would I say they're being immoral in doing that (if others are not being systematically and deliberately harmed in the process), just that I'd consider it a bit naive. And look around, at least in India, many earn wealth this way :)

Again, a very well written post!

me... said…
Ha.. I swear i did not read this post till today, but i still named by blog, with something similar in mind..

I for one care least of what society is, or what it does, to me it is as irrelevant as god is to you. For me it is me, what i want to do, society which tries its best to keep everyone in slumber and away from the reality.. and then there are a few like you who make me feel i aint some kind of lunatic...

And about the saying it loud, that is just a waste of energy that i would rather spend some other irrelevant deed...

Thanks again for letting me know that i am not alone in this world..
me... said…
A small error though in the earlier comment. The second para to be read as follows "I for one care least of what society is, or what it does. To me it is as irrelevant as god is to you. For me there is me, what i want to do in life, there is this society which tries its best to keep everyone in slumber and away from the reality.. and then there are a few like you who make me feel i aint some kind of lunatic..."

G Saimukundhan said…
Money, like anger, has value, only if it is spent judiciously. By being judicious, I am not advocating anything to do with being stingy or frugal or bare necessities alone. But on things we are genuinely interested in, and would make us happy.

There are some who simply throw out money, for the heck of it, thinking that they have lot to spend, therefore they want to spend.

What I dislike though, apart from the above category, is idle funds. That which does not create any value.
G Saimukundhan said…
MSP, I guess every lunatic feels that he is not so! On a serious note, a thought which constantly crosses my mind, and which is in diamatrically opposite direction is this - SOCIETY IS WHAT WE MAKE OF IT. I am not yet able to resolve this internal conflict in me. Someday, I guess, I will be able to.
Ketan said…
Sorry to break into another conversation--but I felt my intervention was HIGHLY REQUIRED--for I say guilt where none must exist.


Here, where's the conflict? Are you trying to imply that individual units are 'good', but it's just the superstructure called society we get that's bad? If that's your belief, then, I disagree on the basis of whatever experience I've had in life. This is one thing I've always wanted to, but feared telling you--that maybe, your assessment of goodness of people is on the liberal side. Fear--because of two things--you're older than me (so assuming you've come across more people and have had a larger 'sample to draw your conclusions) and that I respect your understanding of the world a lot (so, I can't make above kind of statements lightly).

But if you're wondering how if everyone individually wants to amass money, but when assembled as a collective, everyone abhors the very idea of making money, then again that has two reasons:

1. Religion and autocratic rule of the past. The former made everything pleasurable a sin--including making money, which would basically enable you to buy yourself all those pleasures. And keeping people guilty certainly had benefits--people would be frightened and flock to them (religious people) for forgiveness and paying them for performing senseless rituals. A king would want to see himself as the most prosperous, so would curb the earning potential of his subjects. And gradually, with passage of time what would be discouraged by the government would also earn society's contempt.

2. The means through which money has been historically earned in India. Before the Indian economy 'opened up' large amounts of money could be earned only through quite unethical means--think making bonded laborers work, exploiting illiterate farmers by collecting excessive interest from them over loans taken 5 generations back, obtaining license to manufacture something through political connections and paying bribes and then making profits by using monopoly keeping competition at bay through red-tapism and not innovation or efficient business models, or of course, through taking bribes, or opening shops selling things merely at a profit without again doing anything innovative (and not paying taxes). So well, it must have been difficult to have respect for that kind of money...
Ketan said…
...Now as you can see, as it's become easier to become affluent by more acceptable means, earning money has become more respectable. People now openly say they want to earn well (but they also say they want to earn it anyhow ;) )

A third factor, I realized as I was responding here is historical. More than 100 years back when there was no such thing as assembly line manufacturing and technology was much less advanced, one could've afforded any kind luxury or comfort only by exploiting another fellow human being. Like, if you'd want to drink coffee, you'll have to sacrifice some piece of land which would be used for, say, growing rice, and in the process, making someone (actually many other) starve. Likewise, let's say you'd want the comfort of sleeping without sweating, you'd have to make a fellow human being wave the hand fan for you. If you'd want to drink wine, you'll have to make people work in breweries instead of their working in fields to produce much needed food for themselves (and of course, growing grapes instead of something more filling!). If you'd want to year silk, you'd have to engage too many people to weave one yarn of it, and also use up so much land to grow mulberry (on which, I guess silk worms grow). If you'd want live in a luxurious house, you'd have to engage too many workers who'd work for you and still struggle for square meals.

And what would you've done to deserve all this luxury in olden days? Nothing, just taking birth in a royal family! So, no doubt, common man would've contempt for luxury and comfort as that'd have been seen as DIRECT CAUSE of their misfortune.

Now, it might become obvious why enjoying any kind of luxury or amassing wealth would've been considered with such contempt before the advent of modern technology which did away with the direct exploitation of another living being to enjoy a comfortable life. So, the degree to which modern technology penetrates into our daily lives, contempt for a luxurious life would diminish in that same proportion.

For example, see a few European countries like Sweden and Switzerland, which are most prosperous and have least contempt for luxury. They're the countries with least religious influence (largely, atheist) and greatest penetration of technology. And maybe that's why they're more peaceful also by multiple criteria.

I've generalized generously, and made things simplistic, but hope, have been able to add a fresh perspective to the issue.

G Saimukundhan said…
I had pondered about what you said (about earnings some hundred years before), right from my school days. Whenever I read something in history, I used to think only those lines. One man exploiting the other.

On the other side, I guess people will be subservient to others only if they do not know of what is possible or what they can do (those who can't basically think), or if they are totally scared to take the risk, but just wait long enough to join the party once it is risk free.

What cannot be denied, however, is your observation, on the exploitation over somebody's illiteracy or innocence or their weakness. If along with exploiting their weakness for commercial means, if something had been done by the so called autocratic owners to improve their (workers) life, I guess we would be discussing about better things.

Having said that, one of the reasons which was attributed to India's near insulation from the world recession was the India is largely a land of entrepreneurs (since the days of Kautilya atleast, to my knowledge). A person having just Rs.100 can become a businessman. Whatever attrocities that we are worrying about over treatment of labour force, I believe, was the result of centuries of slavery inflicted upon us by certain breed of people who speak original english! (May be I am biased)

What I meant while saying that SOCIETY IS WHAT WE MAKE OF IT, at some level or at some time, we have also contributed directly or indirectly (through our indifference or inaction) to the state we are in, and therefore, we might as well wake up now and make some corrections to it.

Cheers Again.

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