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Why Is India So Corrupt? Part I

  1. Why Is India So Corrupt? Part I
  2. Why is India Corrupt? part II

Indian scholar, author, and speaker, Vishal Mangalwadi is one of DNA’s Idea Shapers. We are happy to offer here, in two installments, the introduction to his forthcoming book, Why Are We Backward? to be published by Aspire Prakashan, New Delhi.

WARNING: This article is not for family consumption. It is intended for mature readers.

I was in Hawaii on August 18 when, about 10 pm, Kamala, informed me, “Anna  Hazare just left Tihar Jail in Delhi. His procession is on its way to pray at the Gandhi Samadhi.”

This was the third unsolicited briefing from Kamala that day regarding Anna Hazare’s fast against corruption. She knew every detail about how he was forcing the government of India to accept his version of the Lokpal (anti-corruption Ombudsman) Bill, his arrest and release, his refusal to come out of the Jail except on his own terms, and now his march to pray at Gandhi’s grave before sitting at a fast, Gandhi-style, unto death.

“Has our government become just as bad as the British Raj that we need another Gandhi?” I teased Kamala. “You seem to be glued to the TV, as though this was a Cricket match.”

“I’m not!” she protested a bit embarrassed. “I’m telling you because my sister just called me.”

“Why is she glued?”

“She’s so mad at corruption that she wants to shoot every corrupt man, if she could.”

“But why; she’s always come across to me as a quiet, hardworking, simple woman; why would she want to become a terrorist?”

“I can’t tell you,” said Kamala, “she made me promise her.”

That really aroused my curiosity. But to get Kamala to break her promise to her sister, I had to stop teasing and become seriously interested.

“Usha is enthused about Anna, because corruption has ruined her life.”


“She toiled for more than four years to complete her Ph.D. thesis on ‘Folk Literature and its Psychological Appeal.” After a whole day’s job as a teaching assistant, she cooked, put her family to bed, then read and wrote until she fell asleep. He husband hates the fact that for four years she has been more devoted to her PhD than to him. He tolerated these years when his wife was in the home, but not really with him, in the hope that a doctorate will help her become a professor. But, now her own advisor, to whom she was deeply devoted, has turned out to be a slimy snake.”

“What did he do?”

“That’s what I am not supposed to tell you.”

“Please do tell me, because I really want to understand why so many people are so excited about Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev.”

“Usha read every book and journal her professor suggested. She visited pilgrim centers described in our folk literature. She wrote her thesis exactly as he advised. But he returned it with only negative comments. When she confronted him he said that it may take her four more years to get it right, unless he re-writes it for her. He said he didn’t have the time to help her during the day, but he could re-write if she came to his home after dinner. She went. He took her to his study next door. Inside, right after the entrance was a little shrine with lamps and incense burning before a Shivalingam. Hooded Kobras and Parvati were worshipping the lingam. The professor bowed before the lingam with deep piety . . . Usha followed his example . . . before they sat down facing each other.”

“The professor kept gazing at the lingam, so Usha also took a good look. Behind the lingam was a large photograph.”

“Do you recognize that temple?”

“Yes, that is Mylapore temple in Chennai.”

“This lingam is special because I brought it from there. Do you know that temple’s story?”

“Yes, Shiva and Parvati were sitting there.  A peacock came by and Parvati was distracted. Shiva got angry and cursed her. She became a peacock. Shiva was pleased only when Parvati began worshipping the Shivalingam morning and evening. Then he turned her back into a woman.”

“’Correct,’ said the professor. You’re researching folk literature; you know the legend; but have you learnt the lesson? I do not need to re-write your thesis. All I have to do is to re-write my notes on your thesis. Then you can get a Ph. D. within months.”

“So, what do I have to do, sir?”

“Learn from Parvati. Serve my lingam.”

“But sir, your wife is next door!”

“I’m a Brahmachari (celibate). Like Mahatma Gandhi I’ve renounced my marriage in search of self-realization. I’ve not touched my wife for ten years. She knows that this room is my shrine where I awaken my Kundalini. Those serpents represent Kundalini Shakti. My Parvatis come here to assist me in my quest. I help their pursuits.”

“But Sir, this is hardly Gandhian or holy.”

“You’d know how Gandhian this is if you take the trouble to Google Gandhi and Tantra[i]. Gandhiji learnt Tantric tradition from Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, and Aurobindo. That tradition had gone underground due to foreign invasions, but it was kept alive by the very literature that you’ve been studying. I’m just making sure that you’ve actually learnt what you read.”

“But my husband will kill me. He is already frustrated that I am here and not with him.”

“Both of you have to learn from our Advaitic culture. You have to transcend this nonsense of husband-wife dualism. Parvati is worshipping Shiva’s lingam, but is she is his wife? He is a Brahmachari. She is his consort; his spiritual partner. This is what Gandhi was teaching all his assistants whose wives slept with him. Sex has to be divinized. You are Brahma – not female or male. By awakening your Kundalini – your serpent power – and experiencing your true Self, you realize that you are one – complete. Both male and female are within you. ”

“But sir, I came here to re-write my thesis . . .”

“But I called you here to make sure that you’ve really understood our religious literature, our gods, as well as our great men like Mahatma Gandhi. What’s a Ph.D. worth in folk literature, if you can’t be a Parvati?  You know what I’m talking about. I’ll give you a few minutes to think and decide whether or not you want me to re-write my notes on your thesis.”

“The professor went into the bathroom. Usha heard the shower. She didn’t know what to expect next, or what to do. … [ continued next time]

[i]  See WAS GANDHI A TANTRIC? By Nicholas F. Gier, Professor Emeritus, University of Idaho. http://www.class.uidaho.edu/ngier/gandtantric.htm

– Vishal Mangalwadi

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Vishal Mangalwadi is an international lecturer, social reformer, cultural & political columnist and author of seventeen books, including The Legacy of William Carey and Truth and Transformation: A Manifesto for Ailing Nations. Vishal is also the founder of Revelation Movement, a ministry to help groups and individuals around the world join together to disciple nations through church and Internet-based education and use the media to present truth.