Updated: Jul 28, 2018
This post was written by me on 21st August, 2011 in the aftermath of the Indian anti-corruption movement heralded by Anna Hazare.
Almost all of us have a very wrong notion in mind (thanks to the media!) -
You are either 'for' Anna Hazare or 'against' him. And if you are not for him, then you must be corrupt. Whatever the government does is wrong and Anna is self-righteously correct each time.
The fact is Anna has only the slightest clue about how the system works.
Most of his interviews suggests that he has little knowledge about this legal functioning and therefore he resorts to vague terms in order to play with the sentiments of the foolish, common man. Actually Jan-lokpal is Mr.Kejriwal's (whom I admire a lot) brain-child.
Anna Hazare is a Gandhian but he is no Gandhi.
What was so unique about Gandhiji’s movement was the dignity with which he piloted it. He was resolute and unwavering and yet never disrespectful in his conduct or utterances.
Contrast this to how The “Anna Team” is conducting this whole movement. They call our politicians cheats and liars and then they go back into the joint Lokpal drafting committee meeting expecting the government ministers to co-operate and agree to their point of view.
Gandhiji fought against the tyrant British, while Anna fights against those who are elected popularly by the masses.
We must acknowledge the fact that a mass movement cannot decide the frame of any particular law.
That is a matter which must rest entirely with the Parliament, and Parliament is not meant to merely wink and nod at everyman’s attempt at drafting legislation.
It is simply not right of anyone to demand that Parliament must accept any particular version.
This is a perversion, and it is central to Team Anna’s thinking -
"All of Parliament is corrupt; therefore, it is not qualified to legislate; therefore, the draft proposed by us, ‘civil society’ — who do not dare face an election — must be rammed through".
Mr Hazare is within his rights to travel to every corner of the country to muster support for what he believes in. But he is not entitled to threaten wide civic unrest if his version is not made law.
That is simply blackmailing and it undermines the Constitution.
If the Parliament bows down this time to a blackmail, there will be many more fast-unto-deaths cropping up, demanding a law of their choice to be legislated.This defeats the very purpose why Parliament was setup by our constitution.A standard 5 kid can't be handling the job of a principal! If the public is dissatisfied with the parliament they might not want to consider electing them again.
Anna believes that he has a mass appeal and therefore his view is correct.
It is partly true. But most of the people gathered at Ramlila maidan have only the slightest clue about what they are fighting for. Half of them don't even know the difference between their version of the lokpal and that of the governments.They have gathered perhaps to vent out their frustration and also to prove that they are an integral part of the society.
You might have perhaps seen visuals of the Doctors holding candles at India gate and protesting. But how many of them actually pay their income taxes?? Many of your parents(in particular businessmen) evade paying their taxes and yet now feign to show their support against corruption.We ourselves are tarred with corruption and yet have the audacity to point fingers at others !
If you had the patience to read this entire article, you might have assumed me to be anti-Anna and a pro-congress guy. But thats not the case. Anna's ideals are right, but his means of attaining them are not. Besides, this government sucks and in all probabilities going to be replaced the next elections. So, what's the right step? In my opinion, the most obvious and law-abiding step would be to introduce the Jan-lokpal version in the parliament as a private member bill.
But this disease of corruption cant be cured merely by a monitoring system, unless we cure its very symptoms. It is we who are corrupted(take bribes, don't pay income taxes..etc) and it is we who have elected this corrupted and incompetent government.
Each of us should introspect deep into our hearts and pledge not to walk on the path of corruption, howsoever lucrative it might be. Only then can we improve the State of our Nation.