August 24, 2011

India a Ban-Anna Republic?

August 24, 2011 Posted by Vijay 2 comments
A bill supposed to free up India of its corruption menace. Or a man's obsession to be a national hero. The Lokpal bill has been in the backburner for decades together. But it looked like the right time to push the agenda, with a government reeling under heavy corruption scams - the 2G scam and the CWG scam especially. Anna Hazare has taken up the case of acute corruption in India, but has lost his focus completely. What cannot be refused here is his mass popularity and support.

The 74 year old Hazare, claimed that this was the second freedom struggle. In conjunction with the day of his fast being immediately after India's Independence Day, August 15. What baffled me is that, India's freedom struggle fructified on August 15, 1947, when Hazare was just 7 years old. Not sure how he could have been part of that freedom struggle? Was he just senile or trying to trump up the post Independence Day fervour in India? At 74 without a family to support, his motivation for such a noble cause is indeed commendable.

What became alarming and disturbing was the method used to shove his Lokpal bill form down the Government's throat. Anna doesn't have to announce his fast was not unto death. Keeping his age in mind, any fast beyond 5 days is literally a fast unto death in itself. Having had the Baba Ramdev incident of midnight eviction fresh in mind, it was easy for Anna to force his way into getting nationwide support when he was sent to Tihar Jail. While all what the government did was arrest him to prevent any untoward incident. Anna reached out to the masses by his tech savvy self, by playing up his video, vowing to push the Jan Lokpal bill (his own draft of the Lokpal Bill).

Over the next one week, it was drama at the Tihar Jail, as he refused to be released until Ramlila ground was cleared for his fast. It was amusing to watch hoardes of supporters, supporting Anna's fight for a strong Lokpal Bill. With a nation as populated as India, it is not difficult to get thousands of unemployed youth and failed businessmen. Not to mention the oh so passionate IT employees who would presumably have been on bench. Let me confess here about the remaining 1% of those staging protests who would have indeed been genuine.

The media having nothing to cover as headlines (India having given an Asian Paints advertisement with its 4-0 whitewash against England in the Test series recently concluded), caught on to the Anna phenomenon. It touted Anna's case as a tussle between Anna and the Government. This sounded ridiculous, and dangerously veering towards a call for sowing civil disharmony. Though all of India knows that such fasting is not going to change the climate of corruption in India, it was disturbing to watch the crowds swell at Ramlila grounds, supporting Anna, against the Government.

The Government had drafted a Lokpal Bill, but Anna's demands became more a case of an ego tussle with the Government. It sounded more like a child refusing to eat anything until being bought a toy. Anna similarly has started to blackmail the government on continuing to fast until the Bill is tabled in parliament. And also giving the government a deadline of August 31st. Come to think of it, the Government should have not even entertained the bill. Especially after all these events, accepting to proceed with the Lokpal Bill draft by Anna, would amount to encouraging other similar large scale protests.

Just because India's is a democracy, doesn't mean there isn't a Government to decide upon things. If Lokpal Bill is going to solve the entire corruption menace in India, it is like saying that submitting the project report would help me pass my practical exam without appearing for it. The bill as such will not do anything. We as a nation should stop giving or encouraging bribes. It should be a different kind of non-cooperation movement. Just by supporting an Anna and making him famous does not guarantee a corruption free nation. The supporters are just being euphoric in their support and being unrealistic of the final outcome. If the prime minister is brought under the Lokpal ambit, all it will do is dilute the very essence of electing a prime minister through the electoral vote. Then the nation will only end up in civil war, with no governance.

The cause for Anna's protest is good. But the method employed is akin to civil blackmail. The media has played up to Anna's antics and let him become a national icon. It won't be long before he is reduced to just another political pawn and the cause itself diluted. For now, the fact that the Lokpal Bill itself is being discussed is a big enough achievement. If I were the Government, I would have just ignored Anna and all his antics. 


Sankaranarayanan said...

The first freedom struggle was for throwing out Englishmen foolishly to be ruled by Indians (now a lady using the remote switch) The second struggle is to free India from corruption started by Anna. So saying Anna was only 7 ears old in 1947 is absurd. To get things done if we give bribe Anna has nothing to do He is only helping or.d citizen to escape from bribes

Get Educated said...

We must support Anna in this struggle.If we are failed this time we will never again rise over voce against these corrupt polititans.This is great chance for us to free over india from these peoples.