Tuesday, August 23, 2011

No Hazare

In what can be described as an epic battle of good v/s evil, the Fight against Corruption has caught the fantasy of a billion people. Whether you are the CEO of a conglomerate or a lowly farmer, Hazare and his million followers have turned the Struggle into television's biggest tamasha.

Now, amidst all the controversy and the mud slung, I still support the cause- That of creating laws that will uphold justice and uproot corruption. Yes I do.
But something incredible has happened. Now, I am not a person who can be easily convinced. As a realist I need facts.
A movement that promised a change in how India is perceived both by its inhabitants and the world in general, the struggle has been subtly hijacked by ideologies and people that are suspect and well, give you that familiar feeling of all is not well.

Couple of reasons why I think Anna needs to pause, think and pull up his socks.
Proof of how 'Role models' have turned this struggle into a free for all fight for 15 minutes of fame

Anna is not India and India is not Anna.
Much like the ominous 'Indira is India. India is Indira' chant that reverberated through the dark years of Emergency, we are focusing on the man and not the purpose.
His well dressed compatriots all who have accomplished a lot in their public lives, are opinionated to a point where there is confusion on what Anna stands for and what the Bill wants to achieve.
This movement and the Bill that it fights for, has become a symbol of rebellion by an resurgent middle class awakened by 'Breaking News' round the clock.
A convenient way of removing the government without the ballot. While the government did miss the train by not reacting swiftly and it floundered badly with poor policies and a weak commander at the top, we should not circumvent existing mechanisms to cover up our weak electoral sense.
How did a guy who introduced sweeping financial reforms in the last decade become the weakest PM the country has ever had?
I am pretty sure Singh would've wanted to quit while the song was still sweet, but his inability to rein in corruption and his obvious submissiveness to Sonia will be a legacy that he will have to live with.

Lokpal is not our magic elixir.
The fact that there are many thousands marching on the streets who do not know what the Bill is nor can lead to, is a dangerous phenomena.
While we are definitely tired of corruption, the Bill is not all that we need.
As a nation of extremely opinionated people, we'd have a million ways to say that corruption cannot be uprooted. Not many can tell us how we can. Naysayers Plenty!
We already have enough institutions that are supposed to fight corruption. The National Advisory Council (NAC), an Institution with powers to veto any bill and monitors the government. Comprised of 14 eminent professionals in their individual fields, our focus should be towards strengthening existing anti corruption institutions like the NAC.
Because, what we need is not yet another Institution. We need a process.

Perhaps Anna can think on this while he is fasting.

What we need is a stronger government. A swifter one. A government that will work for its people while not keeping the good stuff for itself. A government that will treat all its citizens with respect, equality and merit.

'Democracy is where one confused person thinks he can change everything. Eventually we will need to kill him' but again, this is not about one man's fight against another. This is about how we need to change the way we work within the framework of democracy.
We, the people need to exercise better judgement with the electoral process. Resisting the temptation to vote because you were bribed to, we need to show our activism through democracy. After all, we are still the World's largest democracy.

We are not you, Anna. We support your cause though
The Fight is not rocket science nor is it brain surgery.
So, why are we not getting the point?

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