‘Support Anna Hazare’, ‘Free India of corruption’, read the banners, news channels have totally rejected existence of other important newsy issues and have sent their entire fleet of camera to cover the protest(s) 24*7 and the nation is abuzz with umpteen protest marches. People who are still unaware of the Anna-ism, which has caught our nation in a tight grip, would be very few. Chances are that you happen to be one of those unaware souls, which we really doubt but still if miraculously you do not really know who Anna is and what is he upto and what is the protest all about then please do not feel ashamed as a reading of what is to follow would make you feel that you are not missing on anything.
Well let me make it clear in the beginning, I’m not into Anna Hazare but I also have nothing against him. I understand he’s trying to fight corruption; one of the gravest problems our country is facing right now. The issue has been a serious problem for a long time but not as big as it has become since Anna took over, probably enraged over the series of scams, which allegedly saw thousands of crores go down the drain.
The issue here is not whether Anna is right in fasting or not or how many people are behind him but then what bothers me the most is that most of the people, who say they support his movement, do not understand the reason they’re doing it. It seems to be a herd mentality or rather the middle class Indian conveniently making Anna a leader and blindly rallying behind him. They say they want the Jan Lokpal Bill, but the sad part here is that they have neither read the bill nor have bothered to understand the issue at all.
The first thing people must understand is that this Lokpal Bill, for which Anna is fighting, would do nothing to stop the root causes of corruption and I’m afraid it may instead aggravate the problem. So what would this bill do? Corruption mainly occurs when there is unaccounted power and I’m afraid the bill proposes to make way for more and more of it. It proposes an unparalleled concentration of power resting on a single institution, which at any point of time can command police or judicial action. So in other words what we are essentially doing here is that, in a situation where unquestionable power is the problem itself, we are fighting for something which encourages more of it, that too which would rest in the hands of a few appointed and not elected members.
And when I say it doesn’t tackle the root causes, I mean it. It isn’t that always corruption happens in the form of direct bribing. For instance take the following cases:
i) Take the case of obtaining a driving license. The first thing we do in such cases is to go to a driving school and register yourself there. The moment you do that, he takes you to the nearest RTO and gets you a learner’s license, almost immediately and that too without even paying the requisite fee of Rs 30. How is that? I did not even exchange currency with anybody there but at the end of 30 minutes after registering I am in possession of a learner’s license.
ii) In the next case recall the times when you’re in desperate need for a railway ticket. You search as much as possible in the website, trying every combination, looking for every quota, and in the end all you come to know is a waiting list 137. Now, the next thing you do is to call your travel agent, ask him to book one for you giving the necessary details. And to your surprise, the very next day (mind you he was one day late) he comes home with a ticket, a confirmed one, in the very same train which you saw had a waiting list of 137.
Now, what does Lokpal Bill do in such cases? The Lokpal Bill clearly states that “once someone makes a complaint against any officer, it followed by action etc” .In this case who do you think will make the complaint, I? Why would I, haven’t I got my things done? Or do you think it will be the officer? you must be kidding!
So, with the Lokpal bill what we’re essentially doing is to pluck the leaves of a tree when your actual aim is to root its very existence out.
I say it again; I’m not skeptical about Anna Hazare. His intentions are good but I’m afraid he’s fighting for the wrong solution and that is something which each of us must understand before we go out on the streets. The issue here is not corruption but the way to tackle it. Everyone wants to rid the country of corruption, we all are increasingly becoming sick of it but that doesn’t necessarily mean you support anybody who floats a solution for it. For a man, as credible as Anna Hazare, one who portrays himself with ideals of a Gandhian, it is definitely not right on his part to put the country at stake. His fascist approach is nothing close to Gandhian ideals. I’m not asking him to stop fighting, let him hold dialogues with the government, let him debate about it but at the end of the day when it comes to lawmaking in the country, a decision should be arrived at with consensus and a solution which is as far as possible flawless accepted.