A couple of friends posted the following on FB, and I couldn’t agree more. Exactly my sentiments on the issue currently broadcasted on national television 24/7.
1. I'm anti-corruption.
2. I'm anti-Anna Hazare.
3. Hazare is a sanctimonious right-wing tyrant so cloaked in his own virtue that he believes he is above the law.
4. The law is frequently an ass.
5. Nevertheless, the law is frequently our only hope.
6. Better the elected asses than the dictatorial unelected.
7. The government is playing into Hazare's hands with its idiocy.
8. Yes, these views can be held simultaneously.
No denying the fact that corruption has assumed epic proportions in our country (India) and if nothing is done now to contain the contamination, we will never be able to redeem ourselves.
And, no denying the fact that Anna Hazare is a genuine social activist with the most noblest of intentions – his clean image and spotless career do provide an ideal anti-corruption voice.
However, we cannot deny the fact that we are living in a country, which is led by democratically elected representatives under a constitution that dictates law and civil behavior. Yes, it has loop holes and it is misused and misinterpreted, and hardly implemented in the right scenarios – yet that is our only hope. Because law enforcement is weak, you and I cannot proclaim ourselves to be the highest judiciary to whom all should abide.
Many argue that peaceful protests are within the peripheries of our civil rights – yes, provided they are done responsibly. While I agree that confining Anna Hazare to Tihar Jail was a knee jerk extreme reaction, protesting that Anna knows it all - is also not right.
How does fasting help the cause against corruption? The first time Anna went on fast – everybody sat up. It was a bold step to awaken the collective consciousness of a billion people – I will not argue with how many support and how many don’t. Of course, all of us are frustrated with the current state of affairs, and at this time a person like Anna Hazare does emerge as a larger than life hero. Though I was skeptic of where this would take us, as long as the government was forced to take a more serious look at the lok pal bill and implement it, I thought I’ll keep my cynicism in check.
But once the awareness has been created, media attention has been focused and the government has been trying to implement (so what if only a rudimentary form of) the bill, I feel Anna and his supporters should have proactively facilitated the process. In a democracy, nobody gets everything that they want – there is compromise – so many times even on the rightful demands. You tell me, is it not better that we start somewhere and take it from there, rather than fight as to where the start point should lie?
We are simple going overboard now. I am not for or against any political party – the party in power is behaving like any party would and the opposition is behaving like any opposition would – I do not attribute any morals to their words or beliefs.
It is the common people who are seldom affected by the changing power reigns that I feel are let down in all this. Who decides the righteousness of the independent body of the jan lok pal bill. Anna? In a country, where religion and technology, money and power, all are dictated by the electoral vote bank supposedly, define “independent” for me, please.
And, for god’s sake, don’t bring Gandhi into the equation. Gandhi adopted satyagraha as a means of protest against a forcefully constituted foreign government that made rules only to oppress the people of this land for their selfish interests. He was not fighting against a democratically elected government, which has been elected by us.
If we cannot find the right people to vote for, and we who consider ourselves right don’t stand for elections, please justify the success of this ideal independent body to form the jan lok pal bill.
Holding a government to ransom by fasting in today’s times is blackmailing the rule book of law and subverting the fundamentals of democracy –– My way or the highway is hardly a done deal – Means is as important as the end. That is why Gandhi fasted and Anna should not.
[Image source: www.firstpost.com]