The starving old man was everywhere. In the newspapers, a minute by minute account of his health on the national television, on the lips of every single person you want to have a conversation with. I even had a fight with my wife over this guy.
I am all for this movement. I love the fact that the citizens have come out and made it extremely clear to the government they have elected that they are slightly miffed at the way things are currently being run. It was also amusing the way the said representatives of the people used different strategies available to make this problem go away; arrest, deflection, diversion, debates, prophesies of doom; whatever it takes not to address the problem.
Like I said, I am all for holding the servants of the Janata accountable. In fact it should be mandatory. If it was up to me, I would install cameras on every single politician’s forehead when they swear in and have live feeds of their daily working available on the internet. The only thing stopping me is my insatiable appetite.
But I am not into hero worship.
I admire the chap. I think its great that he is giving this movement a good representation but beyond that I think the movement should be bigger than Anna and not the other way round.
Personally I have always avoided putting people on pedestals. One, its unfair to them, because I place them in a position to fall based on my expectations. Two, they always fall.
Its rather stupid. The message is always bigger than the messenger but who listens to me?
An ideal is just that. It can never become a reality. That's why its called an ideal. It does have what it takes to exist. It is a potential to strive for. So a corruption free society will first require all the citizens of the country to change. If there are no bribe givers, it stands to reason that there will not be any bribe takers. But what do I know? Maybe the answer lies in punishing the users not the dealers.
What I could not find in the bill was that.
Do people who gives the bribe stand judgement on the ones who receive it? Personally I would like the bribe givers to also be included. Then it becomes fair. After all, as the old saying goes yada raja tada praja. The government is only as good as the society who elected them, and society is a reflection of the individuals. So philosophically we are fighting ourselves.
Isn't that a riot!
I am not politically savvy. In fact I avoid newspapers and news as much as possible unless something momentous happens. I do not consider general knowledge as intelligence. I am of the poor opinion that anything that keeps changing is not worth keeping track of unless it affects me directly. That is why I have no clue who is who in the government. I lost touch after Indira Gandhi. Its the same with the Indian Cricket team. I know it up to Kirmani as wicket keeper. And you know what? It didn't matter. Now, I don't seek general knowledge, it is referred to as and when I require it. It has not made me any less stupid than I already am.
To me, Anna is a representation of the people, nothing more. Idolizing him is insulting the millions that has given him that role. I guess in the end I do not like being dictated by one man's Anther Atma. Mine says that he should be asking the people what theirs are saying.
I feel that is more democratic. After all that's what we are supposed to be, right?
I am an optimistic animal. I always say the glass is half full - of Jack Daniel. So the ending of the fast and the government meeting the people half way are all great signs. I am, however, also a very realistic person. I know that there is no magic formula to completely eliminate corruption but what the people will be given is again a hope that it will get better.
So here are my practical approach to fighting corruption. Simple technique.
Make your intention clear.
Wear a badge stating : I will not give bribes.
And if you are at the receiving end, wear one that states : I will not accept bribes. Or if you are one that wants to have your cake and eat it, wear one that states : I will not give bribes but will gladly accept them.
My wife thinks I am mocking a great struggle but nothing could be far from the truth. Its the struggle that is mocking me. After all, I did end up spending 10 days of my 15 days vacation on the couch while Anna fasted.
Photo credit: Satish Sringeri