When Adharma becomes one’s Swadharma…

Last week I came across two bizarre stories. Here’s the first one. I happened to meet an old acquaintance and casually asked him  about his future plans. He said he is going to quit corporate life in 4 years from now. I was taken by surprise because he is close to forty, doing reasonably well in his career and has a family to support. Moreover he is generally cheerful in his disposition. I mean he is certainly not a cynical guy. So I asked him what happened. He said he will go back to his village. “And do what”, I persisted. To my utter surprise again, he said he wants to become a pujari or a priest in a temple. He, then, revealed a secret of his life –  he was once a priest in a temple before qualifying himself and getting into the corporate world. Perhaps, he now feels life in his village is more peaceful than the rat race in a corporate. I asked him who is going to take care of his wife and 7-year-old kid. He said casually that his wife is a CA and can take care of his kid and herself. Moreover, he is leaving behind a 65 lakhs worth flat for her. Well, one may or may not agree with his choice but he seemed bent on his decision. He may be following his Swadharma. (I’m using the term in the sense of one’s aptitude or natural inclination).

If the above conversation didn’t shock me or the readers, here’s a real shocker. This came from my driver on the following day. He said he met an old friend of his on the previous day whom he happened to meet after a gap of 6 long years. Where was he all these years, I inquired. He was in a jail in Thane for 6 years and was released recently. What was his crime? I asked. My driver explained further: He worked for a gangster or an extortionist in his area and we all know how they operate.  A self-styled  leader would crown himself as the badshah (king) of the area. Every shopkeeper in the area would pay up a monthly fees to the guy as protection money. Protection from whom? A badshah will explain succinctly: Well, I will protect you from myself! So, these badshahs demarcate their areas of influence and operate within that area. The problem starts when a badshah gets greedy and wants to extend his area of influence. In any case, to cut a long story short, my driver’s friend was hired by one badshah to kill another badshah. The poor fellow was caught by the police during the encounter, beaten up and jailed for 6 years.

I said to my driver: Poor guy, he must have got mentally depressed after 6 long years of isolation. My driver said: Sir, you are completely wrong. This fellow is in great spirits. He is in great shape physically as well. As proof of his statement, he showed me his photo on his smart phone. He went on to add: He is unrepentant and says he will definitely follow the same career – a career of violence, murder and the accompanying excitement. He is used to the excitement of living on edge and is lured by prospects of easy money. Now he has better network having met lots of criminals in the jail over the past 6 years. In short, he has a very well laid out career plan. He has plans to work as an apprentice under a politician who are always in need of thugs like him. And eventually who knows, he could become a badshah himself if luck favours him.

What a contrasting story. Both the guys are following their hearts. My wife says: to each his own.

Both are following Swadharma.

Once a guy is a criminal, it seems he is condemned to become only a more hardened criminal. A part of the blame for this goes to the society we live in. Is anyone ready to employ a guy with a criminal past except of course a politician? No way. So Adharma becomes his Swadharma. He finds his excitement only in immoral and criminal acts. If this is the psychology of most criminals (I hope not), this is truly dangerous. We urgently need rehabilitation programmes for ex-criminals.

On the other hand, it’s not surprising to find a person with saintly roots to seek opportunities to reset his lifestyle to suit his disposition.

Published in: on March 5, 2017 at 12:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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