Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dance of Democracy!

For the past few days the events which unfolded, has caught the nation's imagination like nothing else has in my living life. The cause - India Against Corruption, has stirred an emotion amongst millions of young, which was very apt and necessary to fight this hydra headed demon, which has a uncanny way of having an unsustainable hunger to evolve and consume anything and everything it comes across.

On a spiritual/philosophical note, the genesis of corruption's existence is human-beings' hunger to have & amass more than their wants/worth. Staying with the topic (and not wanting to be drawn into a parallel philosophical discussion here), India (along with its neighbor) has the dubious distinction as the world's most corrupt nation. Not something to boast about for one of the economic Super-power, but that is the ground reality in our country. Corruption is an integral way of life. It is a great leveler which binds together all the enterprise, offices (mostly though not limited to govt) & departments across the length & breadth of the country and is Omnipresent!

Everybody is fed up of having to satiate the hunger of this greedy monster and hence this "revolution", if I may call so, spear-headed by Team Anna found resonance with all alike. The interesting point to notice was the participation of millions youngsters across the country, most of whom dedicated a decent part of their personal/professional time for this cause. Young generation in India now have an REAL role-model in Anna to follow brushing aside many current hollow national icons(comprising of politicians, film stars, sportspersons among others), who are mostly interested in milking the masses off their money by endorsing fairness products or selling soaps & energy powders(remember the complete meal!) thereby ultimately fillings their pockets.

The cancerous effects of corruption has hollowed & eroded the faith system of our country and reaffirmed an unsaid belief that corruption is an integral part of our existence. To check rampant corruption and book the corrupters, Lokpal Bill is one effective tool among the arsenal needed.

Background:
Lokpal Bill (LB) was first introduced by Shanti Bhushan in 1968, but couldn't be passed. Till date it was tabled ~9 times with the same result - NOT PASSED. One of the core reasons for this fiasco was insufficient votes to push this across parties. The honest truth being that the ruling govt (which mostly comprised of Cong or its collation allies) didn't ever want this to be passed in all its seriousness. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not a BJP/NDA supporter but given the number of years this country has been ruled (or led) by Cong & collation, I largely blame them for the inherent delay, though not discounting BJP/NDA.

The core reason one can understand is that if an effective tool against corruption does come into existence then the corrupt will have no way of being in "business" which is rampant across party-lines.

Pros:
Anna Hazare or correctly Team Anna led this big push for LB with Anna going on fast till at least the core values of LB are accepted in principle by all the parties. Govt's seriousness stood exposed by their dilly-dallying stance which eventual left the 74 yr old fasting for almost 13 days! There was lot of drama & miscommunication in this entire episode, an perfect fodder for a Bollywood script.

Having said that some of the notable highlights were:

The adherence to non-violent way of protest, which exemplifies India’s unique way of protest, is really commendable given the fact that the largest populations of the protesters were youths.
Prim Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh heading the current govt, lauded Anna for bringing to notice (I didn’t understand though how can someone not notice corruption) the seriousness of corruption back to focus and appealed to Anna to end his fast.

Speeches on the Penultimate day:
Sitaram Yechuri, CPM Rajya Sabha member: who pointed out the fact, how he in 2004, as part of the UPA-1 collation govt, had via its Common Minimum Program draft outlined and tried to table most of the demands which Team Anna have been demanding; but couldn’t garner enough votes to pass the bill.
Varun Gandhi, BJP Lok Sabha member: who in his impressive extempore speech (which was also well within the allocated time frame - a rarity in today’s political circles) expressed solidarity & echoed the sentiments of the movement. Good sign of a politician’s awareness of the nation’s pulse.

Cons:
Rahul Gandhi, Congress Lok Sabha member: Who is projected as the next Prime Minister of our country was rambling around the key issues and rather than taking a clear stance on the 3 pt agenda went on to build ambitious air-castles by suggesting to create a Constitutional body. Avoidance – a quintessential Congress way of dealing with important national issues!

Speeches on the Penultimate day:
Sharad Yadav, SP Lok Sabha member: Trying to mislead the masses stating that this protest was unconstitutional; may be since for the 1st time Indian masses demanded accountability from politicians! He went on media-bashing for keeping the masses updated on the current events and in a very veiled & threatening undertone targeted the likes of Kiran Bedi who raised the issue of politicians’ being two-faced.
Lalu Yadav, RJD Lok Sabha member: A joker who entertained all the members of the parliament with his typical style, went on to reiterate Sharad Yadav’s point and then played vote-bank politics painted it communal & caste overtones by stating that this movement alienated the backward & minority community like the Dalits & Muslims!

Overall most (if not all) of the politicians were clearly shaken and troubled by this awakening of the masses! A good sign for this populous nation to continue to believe that change for the better is very much achievable.

Contemplate:
Though almost all the parties agreed in principle to Team Anna’s 3 pt agenda, this "victory" is not a magic-wand which can ultimately root out corruption and its allied effects. The ramification of corruption is much more potent than the antidote of LB and the likes of it.
The only way forward for a corruption free India is for each & every Indian to do away with their chalta-hai attitude towards corruption, believe and swear not to be part of this malaise. All of us have to put to practice the words of anti-corruption slogans that they have been shouting at the top of their voices for the past 12 odd days.
Only when our voices against corruption resonate with due sincere actions will India be on the highway to being corruption free. Agreed this might be a tall & difficult target to achieve, but remember belief, actions & perseverance will eventually pay rich dividends for us & the nation together. Failing which this Dance of Democracy will be nothing but another flop & cheap theatrical by the millions of countrymen of the nation who spear-headed this entire revolution!

Amen!

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