Sunday, August 21, 2011

Anna Hazare and Anti Corruption Drama

People are raising their voice across India against corruption, led by Anna Hazare. The government of India is completely at sea in its attempt to deal with the situation. But there is something seriously amiss in this whole scenerio.

It seems that people who are participating in this movement think that corruption is something that is perpetrated by some others who are in power or who are rich. This is partly true but not the absolute truth.

Corruption is entrencehed in the system because of people like you and me and the so called anti corruption agitators. Ask yourself a simple question; How will you respond in a situation where the easy way out is by bribe or influence (Sifarish)? Will you stand in a long queue and wait your turn, or visit a court to pay a traffic fine or would you rather hand over a 100 Rs note to the traffic cop and go home?

There are numerous situations where this choice arises; be it admissions to an educational institutions, getting a driving license, making a file move in a government office at a faster pace than others and so on...

Corruption and bribing is not something the nation and its people learnt over night. We have thousands of years old tradition of bribing our gods for favours asked. If such and such event happens or such and such problem or ailment vanishes I will donate a prasad of Rs. xyz in the temple. It is the same mind set which is carried by the common man when he visits the office of power.

Is it only the people who take bribes corrupt or the giver is equally responsible? The fact is that the petite bourgeoisie-auto rickshaw drivers, and constables, if Haryana Police Sangathan support for Jan Lok Pal's bill is any indication, and low paid government officials and assorted elements-have no idea that they are very much part of the corruption. They believe it is a disease outside them, primarily endemic to the government and its institutions, when they are active players in the drama.

The only major difference in the bills drafted by the government and Anna Hazare, apart from bringing the PM into the bill's ambit, seems to be that the government wants to set up a separate investigative agency while Anna and his team want an existing investigating agency like the CBI to report to the Lokpal committee. That would eventually mean the Lokpal evolving into a parallel power vortex, and might make Parliament redundant. In other words, the people elected by you will not have as much say as those appointed or government nominated Lokpal committee members.

As far as political parties go in India, they have clearly failed to represent the people. They do not have the interests of common man in their agenda. Their primary purpose seems to be how to keep clinging to power and make some money for their future generations rather than think of the benefit and problems faced by the masses.

The system has become such that it is virtually impossible for and outsider to find his footing in the political system without money or connection.

This movement should be more of an awakening call for the people to do a self search rather than the Political parties, which anyways seem numbed and have noy been able to come up with any proper response to this anti corruption movement.

I truly hope that this movement helps wake up the common man to stop bribing officials and seeking favors from political masters in their lives. That would be an eye opener for politicians, bureaucracy, police and the powers that be.

I ll finish this article with some tongue in cheek comments later on..cause this is too insipid for my taste.