|Demand of the question |
Introduction. Contextual introduction.
Body. Seven sins and it’s relevance.
Conclusion. Way forward.
Gandhiji mentioned Seven Sins in Young India in 1925. These sins are quite relevant even till today. It reflects the importance of balancing values with growth.
Seven Sins by Gandhiji and it’s relevance-
- Wealth Without Work– This refers to the practice of getting something for nothing – manipulating markets and assets so you don’t have to work or produce added value, just manipulate people and things. Today there are professions built around making wealth without working, making much money without paying taxes, benefiting from free government programs without carrying a fair share of the financial burdens, and enjoying all the perks of citizenship of country and membership of corporation without assuming any of the risk or responsibility. New social mores and norms are cultivated that cause distortions in their judgement.
- Pleasure Without Conscience: People seem to want pleasures without conscience or sense of responsibility, even abandoning or utterly neglecting spouses and children in the name of doing their thing. To learn to give and take, to live selflessly, to be sensitive, to be considerate, is our challenge. Otherwise there is no sense of social responsibility or accountability in our pleasurable activities. The ultimate costs of pleasures without conscience are high as measured in terms of time and money, in terms of reputation and in terms of wounding the hearts and minds of other people who are adversely affected by those who just want to indulge and gratify themselves in the short term. Conscience is essentially the repository of timeless truths and principles – the internal monitor of natural law.
- Knowledge without Character: As dangerous as a little knowledge is, even more dangerous is much knowledge without a strong, principled character. Purely intellectual development without commensurate internal character development makes as much sense as putting a high-powered sports car in the hands of a teenager who is high on drugs. In the academic world, we do not focus on the character development of young people. Values should be infused in society through our education system and through corporate training and development programs. A better balance between the development of character and intellect should be achieved.
- Commerce (Business) Without Morality (Ethics): If we ignore the moral foundation and allow economic systems to operate without moral foundation and without continued education, we will soon create an amoral, if not immoral, society and business. Economic and political systems are needed to be based on a moral foundation. Our economic system comes out of a constitutional democracy where minority rights are to be attended to as well.
- Science Without Humanity: If science becomes all technique and technology, it quickly degenerates into man against humanity. Technologies come from the paradigms of science. And if there’s very little understanding of the higher human purposes that the technology is striving to serve, we becomes victims of our own technocracy. Threats like terrorism, species loss, biodiversity loss will continue.
- Religion Without Sacrifice: Without sacrifice religion doesn’t fulfill the purpose. It takes sacrifice to serve the needs of other people – the sacrifice of our own pride and prejudice, among other things. A sense of service or inner workship is must. The great servant leaders sacrifice their pride and share their power. Sadly, many people want “religion,” or at least the appearance of it, without any sacrifice. They want more spirituality but would never miss a meal in meaningful fasting or do one act of anonymous service to achieve it.
- Politics Without Principle: If there is no principle, there is no true politics. Politicians spend huge amount of money just to create an image, even though it’s superficial, lacking substance, in order to get votes and gain office. And it leads to a political system that is inefficient and corrupt.
The key to a healthy society is to get the social will, the value system, aligned with correct principles. Thus Gandhiji seven sins not only guide what is done, but it strives to achieve a balance and correctness leading to sustainable development of an individual, society and an economy.