The Yin and Yang of life

Amal Chatterjee
9 min readMay 5, 2023

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Source: Google photo of Yin and Yang

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Synopsis: The fight between the good and evil is never ending. It exists in all societies, but I explore the possibility in this blog of how to fight the evil and do good for the society so that we can make progress toward a better living condition and help our country grow in the process through honest means.

I am often bothered by this eternal fight between the good and evil in this world and have written on this subject using my social issue blogs that reflect this conflict. The religious people say that it is the fight between the angels and the fallen angels that has bedeviled the humanity since a very long time and still does.

Now this fight has taken up a new dimension where the evil people seem to get the upper hand and do whatever they want without any fear of the law and its repercussions, so we see an increase in the prostitution racket, human smuggling, animal smuggling, land grabbing, murder, rape, forcible collection of money from the businesspeople and numerous such activities. Such people gain enormous wealth from their evil activities and use their ill-gotten wealth to buy people of influence like the police and judiciary as well the politicians. Some become politicians and win elections because they can buy the votes or through intimidation, so we see this trend in many countries where the law-and-order situation is weak.

I often think of the time when the kings and queens reigned in many countries and administered swift justice, so the crime rate was low, and the criminals were kept in check because they were afraid of the consequences of their criminal activities. The kings or the queens gave strict punishment to those who violated the laws. King Akbar kept a huge elephant outside his court and ordered the death penalty to some criminals. Such people were executed by the monstrous elephant who stepped on the chest of the convict.

We live now in the era of democracy although how much democracy countries practice varies from country to country. Some countries like North Korea is ruled by one man where they do not have a democratic rule, but they still call themselves Democratic Republic while in other countries like India, the government struggles constantly to uphold its democratic values using the rule of law and puts in jail those who are hard core criminals.

This constant battle to defeat the mafia and other types of criminals in India has produced some positive results because many high-profile mafia people have been arrested or have been shot dead in the encounter with the police while many criminals have surrendered to the police because they fear the encounter. But the law-and-order situation varies from state to state because not all the states in the country apply the rule of law evenly and equally. The main reason for the criminals to thrive in such states is the moral corruption of the leaders who run the state who take money from the mafia and in return protect them from the judicial inquiry that may lead to arrest and long jail terms.

So, everything boils down to corruption in the corridors of power where the corrupt politicians take bribe, commission from the government contracts for the infrastructure development or use the police to collect money from the businesspeople just like the mafia to use this money for their political campaigns. People say that the power corrupts people who do not like to give up the power because their alternative is to go to jail so they feel safe as long as they are in power because they can influence the judiciary in their favor. The good news is that not all lawyers or judges are corrupt, so they stand up to fight the evil politicians and their associates once the evidence is collected.

I think that we as humans have a positive as well as a negative side in all of us. If the positive side in us is strong, it keeps the negative side in check but if the positive side is overwhelmed by the negative side in us then we easily commit felony or take bribe that is like a downward spiral that can get out of control and destroy your life.

The positive side in us becomes strong if it is based on religion or some moral code that you learn from your parents so you practice what you learn from them or from the religious leaders but under some circumstances, a person is attracted to the negative side that makes people join gangs to commit minor offenses at first that later may escalate to major criminal activities.

So, the kids who grow up in broken families where the parents constantly fight with each other and where the mothers are subjected to severe abuse or domestic violence, the kids suffer the most and often run away to be free from such families. To survive on the streets, they often join criminal gangs that may give them some money for some jobs they have done for them like selling drugs or lure girls into prostitution as pimps so they can take a commission from what the girls earn.

No child is born as a deviant but later he may become one depending on where and how he or she grows up, so it all depends on what kind of family support he or she gets while growing up. Children born in religious families who are loved and cared for by their moral and upright parents rarely become deviants, but it is also said that the abject poverty a child suffers while growing up can make him take the wrong way to earn money to survive that later turns him into a full-scale mafia don. Such was the case of a notorious mafia don in my hometown in India who was recently gunned down. He had accumulated millions of dollars’ worth of property through his criminal activities that have now been seized by the government.

So, the Yin and Yang that balances the society anywhere has these two aspects in it called the good and the evil because there is no such country that is free of the evil and where everything is positive, where people are happy and where people live in peace and prosperity. So, the degree of criminality varies from country to country. In China, the government executes the serious criminals to keep the crime rate low while in other countries like India, the criminals can escape the justice using the paid lawyers who can delay a court case for many years using some legal loopholes. Such mafia people in jail still control their criminal activities just using cell phones or through the couriers.

Women can be just as vicious as men when they get into the organized crime business. We see this trend in some countries where the government eliminates the mafia don, but his wife or mistress takes over the business of crime.

One reason for the corruption to exist at all levels in any society is due to the greed some people have who want to get rich taking bribes for doing their job whatever they may be so the common man suffers who wants to access some government services. These are called petty bribe takers who start by taking small bribes at first and gradually they become more powerful and more ruthless.

The second reason is the huge amount any government spends to develop the country that attracts corrupt people like flies because they take commission from the deal they sign with the suppliers. It may be the purchase of fighter planes or weapons deal or other purchases worth millions of dollars. A 10 to 20 % commission is worth in millions so these corrupt politicians get very rich quickly and start buying properties in other countries where they can retire and live in comfort. They hide their black money in the banks of some countries where the scrutiny of their ill-gotten wealth is minimal or nonexistent.

So, one way the Government of India now fights this type of corruption is by doing government to government transaction directly and eliminating the middlemen and their bribe/commission taking methods. Now the Indian government sends money directly to the bank account of a receiver of the government subsidy or benefits, so it also eliminates the middlemen who were always taking a commission.

The farmers get a fair price for their produce when they sell it to the government directly and get paid directly into their bank account. No middleman can now benefit from the deals the farmers make with the government. This commission worth millions of dollars that the politicians took advantage of have now dried up so they are looking for other ways to cheat people.

When I was working in Sudan, I had to purchase many things for my project, so I went to Khartoum to order them. I was very surprised when the businessmen offered me a 10% commission for whatever I bought from them like office supplies, motorbikes or furniture. When I asked them to reduce their bill by the amount, they wanted me to have as commission, they refused. They could not understand why I refused to take commission.

This culture of taking commission is the root of evil in any society that spreads like cancer and destroys decent human values. A corrupt politician can sell his own country if he can get a commission. They are the traitors who do not love their country and work against the national interest. I am sorry to say that my own country India is full of them, but the government is cracking down on them and has put many in jail so far.

There is nothing wrong in an honest living. You work hard to earn a living that allows you and your family to live modestly within your means, so you do not take a bribe to do your job or take commission because you are an honest person. Such people may be poor, but people respect them but when you become corrupt because of the temptation, you lose your values and people lose all respect for you in your society. Your own children and spouse may not show you any respect if they have good morals and values.

A country is nothing but the entity where millions of ordinary people live and raise their family. So, it is the collective moral strength of millions of ordinary families that helps any country grow. Japan was destroyed during the last war, but they rose from their ashes to rebuild their country through hard work and high moral values to become one of the major economies. Surely, they have their share of criminals there, but the country has grown steadily in spite of their Yakuja. Similarly, China became an industrial and agricultural giant where it reduced the poverty level through hard work, so it is possible to minimize if not totally eliminate the Yang to keep a balance in favor of the overall development of any society.

We just have to learn to be proud of being who we are and in our ability to overcome any challenge we face as a society and in extension as a country so that our country develops to bring prosperity to the common man and sets it up as an example that we too can grow like Japan or China if we can think of our nation first and eliminate our own personal greed to get rich through illegal activities.

Midas touched anything that turned into gold, but he realized that it was a curse because his food turned into gold that he could not eat. So, corruption is also like the curse that may make you rich for a while, but you will always live in fear of getting caught someday and end the rest of your life in jail where you will not be able to use your ill-gotten money.

The Yin and Yang will always exist, but it will be good if Yin always wins and keeps the Yang down like what they did in Japan, South Korea, China and now India. It is quite possible.

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Originally published at http://aumolc.wordpress.com on May 5, 2023.

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