Friday, August 26, 2011

My take on the so called 'Anti Corruption' movement

This is how I view the ‘Anna agitation’, based on my understanding of the current situation.

There are enough laws existing to govern our Country. Implementation and enforcement of the laws, and judicial reforms is the need of the hour. One more law - an anti corruption law, will in no way guarantee eradication of corruption in the Country. Creating an unaccountable ombudsman will add another such check post unless you believe,
like Hazare, that Gandhian purity can keep the Lokpal’s office forever clean. We are in a sense, barking up the wrong tree. 
Envisioning a system whereby the Lokpal - an all powerful body who will oversee and prosecute the Prime Minister, all politicians, the entire judiciary, and the rank and file of the Government machinery. Team Anna has proposed a way by
which the Lokpal and the Lokayukt will be appointed, but there is no answer to the question " Who supervises the Lokpal'?

Imagining an end to corruption by making a Lokpal sit in judgment over everyone, including Parliament and the judiciary, is not just undemocratic under India’s Constitution, it is a bizarre thought. 

Team Anna need to understand that the mass support they are witnessing is actually the people's campaign against corruption, and not for the Lokpal Bill. If and when the Bill is passed by the Parliament, Anna's mission would be complete and his agitation would be over. If the law fails to eradicate corruption where do the mass supporters go? Back to Anna? Will Anna resort to another fast? And then another?

Anna Hazare’s fast-unto death is a clear instance of a lack of understanding of democracy itself. Anna and his supporters believe it is quite democratic of Anna to either get his way or commit suicide. It’s not. A threat to take one's
life or to commit violence, even to oneself, if you don’t get your way is BLACKMAIL. "Even Gandhiji fasted - so why can't anyone?" This too is a misconceived notion. The essential difference is - Gandhi fasted against
imperial rule in an undemocratic society, and not against the Constitution and the democratic framework of an independent India.

In any case, resorting to that step was perhaps prudent, to be able to shake the Government out of slumber and indifference, and start acting. There is now enough evidence to see, that the Government has got shaken up and is forced to act. Its time to give up such a rigid stand. There is a clear intention on part of the politicians – the UPA and the opposition both – to find a ‘middle ground’. This should be seen in a positive light by Anna Hazare.
Anyone who says my view should be the only view and adopts a rigid stand on this belief, is  wrong

As I write this, most of Anna’s closest supporters – Santosh Hegde, Swami Agnivesh etc have openly started questioning Anna’s rigid stand, as he ends the eleventh day of his fast. There is a movement towards the future and
there is hope.  The right thing for Anna to do at this stage, is move from the ‘ideal’ to the more ‘practical’

There is no doubt in my mind that Anna Hazare’s intentions are noble.  There is also no doubt in my mind, that his method and demands are not.