#Politics Opinion

A seven-pointer, NOT in support of Anna, for a change

Someone who is fighting against his own countrymen this way—however good or bad, ridiculing them on national television, cursing them, calling them “gundas”—may or may not be non-violent, but certainly he is not peaceful, but rather aggressive. Gandhiji was the legend that he was, not only because of his non-violent approach, but also because of his respectable amounts of patience and tolerance—towards the most inhuman of humans and the most adverse of situations. He never was so fiery, and definitely not disrespectful to just about anybody.

Amid all the furore over Anna’s campaign, I find myself not-too-interested. Not because I’m a lousy, irresponsible Indian—the way our generation is made out to be—but because I lack the faith in all this hype. I am not against the movement, but I am not with it too.

Might sound pessimistic, but here are my reasons:

  • For 65 years now, we have been independent, and without any official stats to support me, I’d safely assume that for 65 years now we have also been the way we are: corrupt. How intelligent is it to start believing that things will change all of a sudden? I appreciate Anna and Co’s efforts and apparent intentions, and all that he has done as a social worker in his life for the welfare of other people, but if I’m asked to simply accept that yes, the Lokpal Bill would not be a disappointment, the committee would not be a disappointment, its future members would not be a disappointment and forget the future, the present people would not be a disappointment, then no, I fail to do that.
    I doubt, even if all their demands are fulfilled, we can really be assured that the Lokpal committee would be absolutely stainless, and always so.
  • Please don’t mind me saying this, but at 74, for how long from now can we expect Anna to keep serving the society, the way I’ve heard and read he has, in the past? He is, but, human, after all.
    Anna may be right, Arvind Kejriwal may be right too. MAY BE. But how many “right men” is the bureaucracy left with anyway, to be able to constitute an absolutely neat, honest and righteous committee?
  • The kind of autonomy they are seeking is another threat. Power can be a boon if used wisely, but too much of it can turn banal any day. The Lokpal will keep an eye on all the evil masterminds of Indian politics, but who will keep an eye on the Lokpal? Obviously, you know what I mean.
  • “We won’t spare the Prime Minister too,” they say; are you kidding me? What is the meaning of a position called “The Prime Minister” if anyone can come and overpower it? I agree that the government has been making a bigger fool out of themselves with every passing day, our dear MMS is the hot-joke in the country at the moment—not for nothing, I admit—but if a government fails to live up to even the minimum expectations that it is supposed to fulfil, we have to bring it down, vote for another party and change the rule and faces of those who rule us. That, is what this so called “democracy” is all about.
  • Gandhi of today? Why can't Anna be Anna, and Gandhi Gandhi?

    Anna might be a Gandhian, but he is not the “Gandhi of today”, please. Anything, but that. It was in the year 1917 that Gandhiji sent shivers down the British spines the way Anna is trying to do, today. Back then, his technique proved to be a milestone in the epic Champaran movement that it was a part of—also our first Civil Disobedience, that ultimately led us to freedom. (Refer: This link) As an Indian indebted to the sacrifices of our then-leaders, I feel nostalgic and sentimental acknowledging this, but the current scenario upsets me, annoys me. Someone who is fighting against his own countrymen this way—however good or bad, ridiculing them on national television, cursing them, calling them “gundas”—and thus the democracy, as we are who elected them, may or may not be non-violent, but certainly he is not peaceful, but rather aggressive. Gandhiji was the legend that he was, not only because of his non-violent approach, but also because of his respectable amounts of patience and tolerance—towards the most inhuman of humans and the most adverse of situations. He never was so fiery, and definitely not disrespectful to just about anybody. Thus, no one can ever match up to his name and so, I would appreciate it if Annaji and his followers also understood this. I compare, because they force me to compare. One thing though, a humble soul like Mahatma Gandhi would never have thought of PR and marketing as a necessity. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check: Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. Amazing publicity campaign it was, wish Gandhiji knew of such tactics. But no, his cause was so powerful and genuinely “needed”, that people joined on their own, without being compelled to.

  • I dare question Anna’s methods, if not his cause. He is causing inconvenience to the general functioning of the state, disrupting many a people’s daily lives. He fasted for 5 days the last time and I do not dare to reduce those many days to the level of nothingness; gosh, I can’t stay hungry for 5 days, he is still 74! But there has to be a logic behind something, some sense. If a kid sulks on not getting a toy and refuses to eat his food, should his parents succumb all the time?
    He says he won’t leave Tihar Jail unless allowed to fast for as long he wants to—may I add, the way Gandhiji did—somebody please ask him, if not the government, does he at least respect the Constitution? If yes, it is a crime to risk one’s life: equivalent to moving towards suicide. But in case his next planned revolt would be to shun the Constitution, I do not have anything to say.
  • I am sick of the public’s herd mentality. Ours is a country where people do not want to waste a holiday, just to go, cast one vote of theirs. They’d rather sit at home and enjoy snacks on this day when they are required to let it be known who they want to see in power. Yet, yet, they have large mouths to cry foul at the wrongdoings of those who succeed in rising to power. The least that you can do to clean the system is play your part in it. The most that you can do is, be a part of it. Funnily and sadly at the same time, our people refuse to do either. But since they do know what is wrong with the system, they do know who all to blame and they also do know how to act innocent and concerned at the same time, if one fine day a certain XYZ comes forward with his theory of transformation, the “Patriotic Indian” in these people suddenly awakens from dormancy and turns aggressive—”I will fast, I will protest, I will die for my country!!!”—he claims. He won’t go cast a vote, won’t buy a bus-ticket to save five rupees (and would instead try to get away stealthily), won’t keep away from bribing the traffic-policeman on being hauled up for a genuine mistake, would go for pirated songs and movies, would use an “approach” to get his work done—like say, getting a driving license, would plagiarize, would steal credits for good work from someone who deserved it, at work, would go for movie-tickets in black, would cheat in any exam for say 5 marks, won’t respect his teachers, elders and won’t be willing to pay his taxes too, BUT, he is ready to die. Funny, that.

I do not intend to hurt anybody’s feelings or intentions, I also do not say my doubts are absolutely correct; but if thought over, I don’t think they are unjustified either. People are corrupted more by power than character. Even the jerks called “ministers” disrupting our economy and exploiting us must have sworn as a kid, “I will do something for my country!”; instead, they ended up doing many things—for themselves, from the country.

The public, a.k.a Janta is a disciplined follower of Gandhiji’s “three monkeys”, but with a twist. It sees the bad, hears the bad, talks about the bad too, BUT, it is deaf, dumb and blind nevertheless. One of Shakespeare’s plays—”Julius Caesar”, the name—a very famous one at that, prominently and poignantly depicted this herd mentality. The public is no less worse than a pendulum, a leftward force and it will sway towards the left, a rightward force and it will sway along again. No force, and it will remain where it is.

To sum it up, Indian politics is a great joke here: the only joke bigger than our Prime Minister himself, perhaps. Every single party out there is seeking newer ways to fool the public. It’s all so crazy: the party in rule faces an issue, the Opposition parties see in this the perfect “opportunity” and run for their life to avail it. They don’t know what the heck it is about, and they don’t even care to know, all that they see is an opportune moment to spit venom at the ruling party. What’s funnier is that they would be doing no better than the in-rule party if they were stuck in that situation, take the current scenario for instance, yet they have all the audacity. The public, in the meanwhile, is busy yelling out slogans, fasting, blocking roads, boycotting, burning properties and killing each other—almost aimlessly. Almost.

And it is a cycle that goes on and on and on, ceaselessly. Thus, this ugly, but funny, face of Indian politics has been so, is so and will forever remain so. Unarguably so.

What if there were no political parties at all—so that in case of a crisis, it was crisis for all and not a golden opportunity for some? Thus, any situation would have to be handled by all the leaders in unison. How easy it would be to decide who all actually deserve to be in power and who all do not, if this actually became true. But then, this is like imagining people being ruled by their conscience. Powerful people, that too!

I wonder how great it would be if even half of this attention was paid to the zillions of bills and laws already stinking in the folds of the constitution. But here we are, in the midst of a terrible tug-of-war over adding another gem to the long list of useless nothings. More rules, more laws, more bills: none meant to be followed. I, thus, trust Anna when he says he is fighting against the government. Did you say, fight against corruption?

Since that is not happening any time soon, let’s just enjoy being the funny lot that we are. Fights won’t ever end, problems won’t ever stop coming up and we—the janta—shall continue to be the herd of sheep that we are. If one day an educated/brave sheep suddenly decides to take the lead, we’ll start following it without waiting to spare a moment of thought. Otherwise, we will continue being who we are: intelligent fools. Okay? 🙂

Following some comments which indicated a misunderstanding of the author’s points, she has posted some more points on her blog in continuation with this article.

About the author




    • Thanks Arjun. Though seven-pointers aren’t so easy to write, I still hope to be able to try it. For now all that I can say is, if a youngster bribing a policeman, or getting his license through sifarish…and other such instances were not such a common sight AND if even half of our ministers were influential people like say Anna himself, assuming he is the way he has been projected AND we paid some heed to the rules and bills already existing—made initially for our good but never followed—we could definitely hope for a better society. At least I could.

  • Absolutely brilliant! Anna Hazaare is indulging in political blackmail with these so called “fasts”. The public too is blindly following each and every word Anna has been saying. His methods are absolutely flawed. Its like a child throwing a tantrum because he isnt getting his favourite candy. If Anna does care SO MUCH about this country then WHY doesnt he get into politics himself? Isnt the whole purpose behind this movement to make a committee which would consist of those “clean and honest” ministers who would put an end to corruption?

    All I can say is, this drama wont yield anything. Its just another black chapter, in the history of Indian politics.

  • Isn’t this what is called as “argument for argument’s sake”?.But still

    1.There can never be anything “absolute” about being stainless….and in today’s muck “heart at the right place” is what counts. Even mahatma had his flaws, not to mention his favouritisms and sometimes hollow ideals.

    2.With you on this one, seriously doubt if there’s enough righteous people to fill the lokpal ranks.

    3.There are more than enough checks on the lokpal, CAG and CVC are gonna do their bit.

    4.Seriously, I fail to find anything PRIME like to minister Manmohan. Him aside, we have had our share of crappy PM’s….devegowda, gujral and maybe behen mayawati in the future…….trust me PM’s gotta be under the lokpal.

    5. If congress leaders like Ms. sonia and Mr. Rahul can take benefit of the gandhi legacy..ANNA can sure too.Vaise bhi, Ganhiji is gonna be the benchmark for Indian leaders for decades to come, one cannot help the comparison

    6.He is not shunning the constitution, He is actually working towards giving it more teeth. He is actually doing Parliament’s work by trying to get a stronger law (though a little whimsical) enacted.

    7. That’s all pent up anger, the lid is finally off now….people have strange ways to let-off steam, i agree.

    And the most important thing that ANNA has done is to provide people with a ransom tool, to ransom with the government for their needs. and in the ideal case these are the things that should be provided by the government, without people having to ask.Not to mention that these are the things mentioned year after year in election manifestos.

    And Mam, am a little sorry for being a liitle over the line but a 7 pointer cannot discredit the movement.

    • “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

      Need I say more?

    • @Tarun, I am not surprised to see all those points up there. Considering how controversial the issue is, there is a point to counter every and any point said about it. All that I now have to say is that I’d be as happy as you if I am ultimately proven wrong, for I too am an Indian like you. But as for the current scene, for the present, I have already shared what I feel about it, and why I feel so about it.
      My purpose was anyway not to discredit the movement, I am too small to be able to do that. But just as the supporters can go about shouting slogans in favor of anna, i can at least write this quiet article not in favor of it. No? Freedom of Expression.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      • yup mam, freedom of expression indeed…….works to the favour of both of us here…..eventually i realize we both are on the same side….and i drop by very often, it always is a pleasure 🙂
        though this time it appears, you have whipped up quiet a storm……

  • too good! but then, don’t all this went for nothing? well here it is, please read both versions of the bill !!

    and moreover we Indians are so, SO very god in criticizing !!

    Oh! come on someone do this !

    *after that someone steps in*

    that man is like this that man is like that !!

    *that sounds gross*

    you think everybody down there can really stand up against the government without a cause? well try this then

    you claim citizen do this n that, we all change its for the better.

    getting your license, moving every single paper !! red taps is rampant !!

    those corrupt people who have plundered India, live a life of the rich! its so sick that children robs their mother of money. just in case .. for you to get the seriousness of this impact.. to grow out for lousy irresponsible citizens to someone a .00001% better .. read about how India was

  • Dude, I agree each and every point of yours without any exception. Its a thought provoking read. you were very humble in your presentation. unlike many, you didn’t presume anything and presented your feelings at they are. and here are some of mine. I could be wrong with anyone being no exception.

    so true that India has been corrupt for all these 64 years. so was India under the rule of British for more than 200 years. I am not bothered about how suddenly it has started. I am happy that it has finally started.

    and also, its a cause for something good. as far as my conscience tells me it helps when implemented, i don’t want to see the intentions behind it. whether it is to gain some popularity or to crush the government or anything else.

    and these days we lack trust in each other. I too agree that no one should overpower PM as there wold no meaning left for the post of Prime minister if someone can overpower it. but there is also news that one of the most corrupt person in the history of politics is a former PM. That couldn’t mean that every PM could be corrupt. This basic lack of trust brings so much instability in the society.

    I am sure that everyone of us had at some time in their life hated the corruption, and still used “the means”. bribery, or a ticket-less travel or something else. So did I. I am no exception. everyone did that because it existed. There is a chance to do that.and I wish, it is completely erased. Even it might cause inconvenience to someone, we do that because it is convenient to us . We lack the sense to acknowledge others.

    There is some sense of Patriotism,Righteousness and etc and etc qualities hidden inside everyone of us. I feel happy if someone realizes the person inside him at least today than thinking “how and from where did he come all of a sudden?”

    and I believe that no person in this world is bad. His intentions might be bad sometimes. If I am left the choice to give the judgement for those who were corrupt, who stacked black money in banks, I would…. I would simply forgive them. My objective would be fulfilled if everyone realizes their mistakes and gets bold enough to accept them. Also I believe, there is also my share in the guilt for their corruption. Some X is corrupt today because we have let him. each and every Indian, dead or alive is responsible for this. Lets take the responsibilities. This slack mindset/mentality has been passed down for centuries. It is in us. accept it.

    i am very poor at expressing my feelings. but the above post has inspired me to dare to write one.

    • @IIT Patna Guy:

      I am really happy to know the post inspired you to share your own opinion. That apart, I even more respect the fact that you could appreciate my work even though my thoughts don’t match with yours, as it appears. One should be first able to express clearly, then good or bad, you expressed clearly and I got what you meant. I can just say I wish I am proved wrong and your optimism is proved right, so all of this won’t end up in vain. Thank you so much. 🙂

  • This is such an uninformed and so ridiculous an article that I fell sickened after reading it.

    The writer seems nothing but a novice, add to that sceptic, who just wished to write against the flow and hence wrote all crap with most inapt analogies and no rationale to stand upon.

    And no this is not just another blind supporter of Anna writing here, I can rip you apart on each and every point in a very rational and reasonable way but I don’t want to spend my precious time on uninitiated soul like you.

  • regarding your seven pointers

    1) I would simply paste Tarun’s point “There can never be anything “absolute” about being stainless….and in today’s muck “heart at the right place” is what counts. Even mahatma had his flaws, not to mention his favouritisms and soe metimes hollow ideals.”

    2)There is a possibility that lokpal commitee won’t constitute of right members but if they are right then it will curb the corruption or else if they are corrupt then no action on govt. as is the case now. So no harm in taking a chance.

    3)Their power will not be a threat as posed by government because nothing is more absolute than parliament in a democracy. Lokpal is not a policy making body or a body getting huge funds to implement those policies so chances of money misappropriation are less. If they go wrong then necessary action can be taken on them by parliament or judiciary. The point is they should be autonomous like CAG, CVC.

    4) Regarding prime minister, he is a MP and bill includes all the MPs , so if PM is kept out of its purview then it would be unconstitutional and supreme court will struck this bill. But the main issue is if PM is out of this then they can’t get access to PMO office and so no necessary enquiry could be conducted against any ministry.

    5) No one can be Gandhi and neither countrymen should stand for Anna Hazare against our democratic form of government. But in last six decades this is the opportunity for us to stand against autocracy of Indian democracy and to end the second colonialism imposed on us by our MPs. I dare to say but more than 100 of our Mps are facing murder charges.

    6) Please no need to compare Anna either with a kid or Mahatma Gandhi. Its not necessary that if gandhi used to walk with a stick in his hand then Anna should also do. What he is doing is completely in accordance with constitution. Government making Delhi police its escapegoat got him arrested curbing his Right to freedom of speech. He didn’t want to come out of jail because similar to Ramdev, Govt. might have sent him back to maharastra forcefully. Obviously he even wanted to pressurize govt. but in no way has he ever taken any action that could prove to be a breach to our constitution.He has not put his life in danger till now and rather than being concerned about future we should wait for the outcomes of his fast. In order to free ourselves from 64 years of tyranny I hope we can spend 10 days of our life for a noble cause which in long term will ultimately benefit us.

    7) We throw stuffs on roads, bribe policeman and god knows thousands of things that can be counted on our finger. But what if we go to Singapore.. The same Indian won’t dare to do anything that he can do freely here. So my point here is good governance itself leads to peoples participation and in country like India that has different mentality of people needs a strict bureaucracy and tight rules and people would follow that. Also the thing is you can’t compare a common man greed by a minister buying MIG planes from a corrupt agency for money and our pilots dying out of this. Common people greed is very limited and it won’t harm anyone in a major way but “With great power comes great responsibility”. Corruption in government machinery leads to 26/11 attack, babri masjid, godhra kand,etc,etc.

    The bill is stuck since 1958 and if the social activists wouldn’t have protested against it then it would have never been tabled because it is in direct conflict with politicians and bureaucratic interest. So instead of pinpointing out the methods and credibility of person we should respect the cause and try to do as much as possible.

    Yes I am sounding like anti government but I know today we all are fedup of policies that are made so that they could benefit out of it.They displace poor tribals, divide society on basis of caste and religion , make us fools and god knows ,,list is endless.

    P.S The views are highly personal and may not be liked by many members.

    • @Abhinav Prakash: I respect your views, believe me, I do. Like I said somewhere, the issue is such that there exists a point that can counter just about any point. It is sad that amid all this, everyone seems to have easily forgotten this one line: I am not against the movement, but I am not with it too. (pay heed to ” I am not against the movement”).
      I have raised my doubts here. Those who share them, seem to have liked as well as “liked” the post. The others, choose to say what they feel, and I ought to respect that; unless of course someone gets too disrespectful personally. Your comment reflects your optimism, I respect that too.
      I wish I am proved wrong in all this and you all are proved right. In the end, what matters is not this post or its correctness, but the nation and its welfare. I pray whatever happens, happens for the best.
      Your points there counter my points above and my points above counter yours. As for the rest of the discussion, I hope you’d agree when I say, it is literally never ending. And certainly not feasible at this platform.

      Adios 🙂

  • RTI act came into existence bcoz of Anna’s effort..: fast+protest…

    he has turned his poverty ridden village into a ultra modern village,where they generate their own electricity through solar power and wind mills.Because of his efforts 400 corrupted officers are in jail.

    Lives in a small temple,owns arnd 66000 rs in bank,nvr married.

    awards : http://www.annahazare.org/awards.html
    for SA RE GA MA. : 1917 conditions and today’s conditions are different. In 1917 ..there wer no mobile phn’s ,no internet ,in short lack of resources .Now in 21st century ,whn we have resources than why we sh’d use them ?

    he is a master piece ..a combination of Gandhi + Shivaji.

    • @Shivam: Okay. Yes, I too have read and heard of Anna’s contributions as a social-worker. Did I ever shun them? No. I am too small to do that. Certainly, our country needs more of such endeavors to be carried by our people at small and large scales, for a change to occur. Having said that, I want to make clear, I am not against Anna. I am just not WITH the Lokpal. So the reminder was perhaps not needed, but thanks for your opinion anyway.
      If people are happy with a Gandhi+Shivaji bringing about a body more powerful than all: the government as well as the people, and think that it would function honestly enough to deliver its promised measures, I don’t want to spoil their hopes.
      As for publicity, Gandhiji wouldn’t have needed it anyway. He still drew MASSIVE support from people, because his cause was entirely right, for the people and there were no two faces to it. It was genuinely, genuinely the need of the hour.

      And when I compare Anna and Gandhiji, I am told to not do so. Sigh.

  • i agree with your points of freedom of opinion but since you are saying that we need to be educated fully and not be a part of the herd therefore i feel that when we state an opinion we should be also educated in every way the issue demands …a lot of things do make sense…but do not see the whole picture

  • A normal 7 pointer not caring about anna hazare is the right title for me atleast and many more i think.But it is not coz of the the upper reasons that we dont support anna but we(atleast my college buddies) are too carefree to do even think about it.:P

    your notion of non changing indian society is a bit extreme i think.Yes i also think that this movement is far far away from a revolution in corrupt political system and fickle nature of people will take it nowhere;but still it does sends a message to government time and again.And we cant say for sure that not even a few bunch of youngsters will join the politics and try to change it.

    about anna he is a nearing to be an example of “power corrupts people” for his recent actions(absurd demands,course of action) are far from his agitation philosophy coz of which he is losing influence among his followers…..but still we are not concerned about him ; but how these recent events will influence the politics of India.

    Dont know much about arvind kejrival.He is getting a base with this movement.But if he is the change everyone is waiting,he can become a role model for the young ones to follow and it may ultimately lead to change in indian political system.

    Well guess we will have to wait and watch.

    neways a nice piece.:)

  • Whatever you have said in the post but Gandhiji was not the actual reason we have got the independence. Its because Britishers had made a mind to give up Commonwealth after 2nd world war and also it was pressure of UN which lead to our independence.
    And about Anna its all because of this Media in India. I have read somewhere that a similar kind of protest is being held by a small girl in a small part of Manipur. But as there is no Media Coverage and Media haven’t find anything worth selling in it they haven’t showed it and we fool Indians just follow this nonsense Media (yeah kind of India TV) everytime.

  • I can’t believe i read the entire article! Yes, i’m one lazy ass but then again, you spoke my heart out. I’ve been telling the same to everyone in the campus and yet i couldn’t find a soul to understand that nothing’s gonna change with this movement. Herds.

    Its a shame we don’t see any solution either.

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