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.
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.
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.