Friday, January 3, 2014



Ramblings of a Retired Mind

One of the most important of the Ten Commandments is the Eighth Commandment – THOU SHALT NOT STEAL (You shall not steal) which clearly says “do not steal” and prohibits theft.

There are many forms of “stealing”.

Whereas robbery and burglary are “blue collar” theft, corruption is a “white collar” theft.

Corruption is a form of stealing.

Hence, corruption also violates the 8th Commandment.

However, whereas the law and society is harsh towards those committing robbery and burglary, we seem to be quite benevolent and lenient towards the corrupt persons who indulge in all sorts of scams.

Is corruption really that harmful?

Well, there may be many ramifications of corruption, but one effect I have observed is:

“When Corruption comes in – Discipline goes out”

“Corruption In –> Discipline Out”

Discipline is the bedrock of the Armed Forces.

This is the reason why corruption is most harmful in military organizations like the Army, Navy and Air Force.

As a young officer in the navy, I used to ask myself: “If I remove my badges of rank, then why should a sailor willingly obey me?”

The answer I gave to myself was that a sailor will obey me if he respects me.

And to respect me, the sailor should feel that I am “better” than the sailor.

Yes, an officer will be respected by a soldier, sailor or airman if the soldier, sailor or airman feels that the officer is “better” than him.

Those days, I could not exactly define what the term “better” meant.

Now, I realize that the term “better” means “moral ascendancy”.

Your juniors will willingly obey you if they “respect” you.

And you must have “moral ascendancy” over them to gain their “respect”.

Thus, “moral ascendancy” in officers, especially senior officers, is an essential prerequisite for discipline in the Army, Navy and Air Force.

You have to attain moral ascendancy before you demand respect.

Genuine respect does not come from authority, but from “moral ascendancy”.

Can a corrupt officer have “moral ascendancy”?

Can you expect junior officers and soldiers to genuinely “respect” corrupt senior officers who indulge in scams and scandals and tarnish the reputation of the service?

Once “respect” goes, willing obedience goes, and, as a consequence, natural discipline goes.

Thus, when Corruption comes in, Discipline goes out.

Media reports of various incidents in recent times indicate that symptoms of this indiscipline are quite visible.

Can an indisciplined army fight effectively?

There is a saying that a corrupt and indisciplined army can never win a war.

So, God Forbid, if there is a war, and we lose the war, the main reason will be corruption.

Corruption is harmful everywhere.

But in the military, corruption can lead to disastrous consequences like defeat in war. 

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