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Anna Hazare's Anti-Corruption Illusion

Anna Hazare's Anti-Corruption Illusion

April 13, 2011
Barnaby Haszard Morris

The Indian status message revolution, and Hazare's crusade, have missed the point.

Anna Hazare's anti-corruption crusade reached me not through traditional media like newspapers or television, or even through established 21st Century means such as online news portals. Instead, developments hit me in a flurry of status messages – on Facebook, on Twitter, and on the internal messaging system at work. After the social-media-influenced uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, India appeared to be having its own 'Twitter revolution', and Indian news channels were quick to seize on Tahrir Square comparisons 'on the ground' at Hazare's anti-corruption headquarters, Delhi's Jantar Mantar. The people were crying out in unison, and at last the government would listen. Corruption in India would be quashed once and for all.

But this isn't what actually happened, is it?

Those of you in other countries might be wondering what I'm talking about. Last week, Anna Hazare and a band of about 150 followers demanded the Government enact the Jan Lokpal Bill, which would establish in India a chief ombudsman and anti-corruption panel ostensibly outside of governmental and political influence. They demanded this by way of a fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar and, unofficially, scores of millions of Indians offered their support to Hazare through social media platforms and those ubiquitous status messages. On Saturday, April 9, the government agreed to all of Hazare's demands and the fast was broken with glasses of lemon water.

To my mind, Hazare and his Jantar Mantar crew – and the crores of Indians supposedly behind him – uncorked that lemon water a little too eagerly. Well, it's not that they shouldn't have broken their fast when they did; their goals had been achieved. It's that the fast, the movement and its goals, are misguided in the first place.

Before going any further, Hazare and his personal politics need to be removed from the equation. Yes, we know he's largely responsible for the remarkable development of one 'model village' in Maharashtra, and that he is described as a Gandhian due to his beliefs in non-violence and a better lot for all Indians: however, we also know that he lauds Narendra Modi's heavily contentious land reforms in Gujarat, and that he disregards the democratic process in India due to its base of ill-informed voters – the same voters who make up the masses for whom he purports to act. However necessary it may seem to cut the aam aadmi out of the process in order to get anything done, this view strikes me as a prime example of circular reasoning, and of no use when you're trying to change the world.

But Hazare isn't the question here. The question is corruption, and how to scale back its presence in every tier of Indian society. Hazare's answer – at least, his prelude to an answer – in the form of the Jan Lokpal Bill is littered with legislative riddles, and has the potential to become corrupt itself. More than that, it seeks to address the symptoms of corruption rather than the root cause, which is based in the entire country's mentality of acceptance – not the greedy deeds of a reprobate elite.

Then there are those status messages expressing solidarity with Hazare. The sentiment is noble and fine, but I fear they give more support to sheep mentality than to an ideological shift. First of all, the concept is not new: right-thinking people who do their best to consider the needs of everyone have pretty much always been for a fair and just society, and against corruption – so nothing has in fact shifted, it's just been voiced in a slightly different way.

Second, while the collective calories exerted in typing 'Stand with Anna Hazare and rid India of corruption once and for all' (or, more likely, copy/pasting it from someone else's profile) might reach into the millions thanks to the number of people involved, it means little if you pay an on-the-spot fine next time a traffic policeman catches you speeding. Unfortunately, corruption doesn't have clear-cut good and bad guys, like murder or robbery. Corruption doesn't mean the Suresh Kalmadi or the 2G guys are the sole objects of rage and condemnation. Corruption requires acceptance and participation from you, the good-natured member of society. This is why 'corrupted' has a different ring to it than 'murdered' or ''robbed'.

We're all complicit. I am too, I've been here long enough. Real change can't come from throwing new laws and committees at the symptoms as they spring up; it'll come from attacking the cause, the ghosts in the machine, by refusing en masse to indulge in corrupt activity. If someone steps forward and leads that kind of charge, I'll be the first to trumpet their name and cause from the rooftops. Until then, like pretty much everyone else, I'll keep my head down and try to stay out of black money's way. 

48 Comments

  • ana hazarey
    By
    ana hazarey
    27.08.11 08:41 PM
    MAY AK INDIAN HU MAY PURAY MULK SAY APEL KARTA HU ANA KA KARUSPEN KAY KELAPH SAMARTEN KARO
  • Argha
    By
    Argha
    24.08.11 11:01 PM
    tui giye sonia k chud bhujli to
  • Argha
    By
    Argha
    24.08.11 10:59 PM
    anna tui gaar mara,sala khankhi tui amar pod chat,bokachoda bura boyse hirki uthse sala magi
  • janwi
    By
    janwi
    24.08.11 08:29 PM
    I give my full support to ANNA HAZAREJI .BHARAT MATA KI JAI.JAI HIND
  • karthika
    By
    karthika
    24.08.11 07:27 PM
    every indian should support anna.......jai hind
  • Devendra Rawat
    By
    Devendra Rawat
    23.08.11 10:02 AM
    Dear All,
    All views/comments are well written,appriciable,But one place, I'm not agree with Mr JP Tiwari Jee of Raebareli,his idea to form a another Jan Sabha consisting of 10 elected representatives from 5000 voters in a region.If there are 50 crore voters there will be one lac Jan Sabha.I think it will create another stage of corruption.
    Our struggle is to make India free from corruption,that what we are supporting Anna Hazzare jee and his team.wea'r not cencerned any policiacal party,aim is to bring in force of Anti Curruption Bill of betterment of poor/hungry people.Ana jee aage bado hum sub apke sath hain!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    DS Rawat
    09417312780
    Amritsar
    devendra2345@gmail.com
  • Kamal
    By
    Kamal
    22.08.11 09:02 PM
    May God strengthen all citizen 2 maintain peace and harmony ...that we can develop motherland and take her on the top of the world.
  • Sandip Nimje
    By
    Sandip Nimje
    19.08.11 09:33 AM
    I extend my full support to Anna's August Kranti. Above matter well written.

    I am serious for Lokapal Bill as the comments from our MP's Kapil & Manish are really hopeless. I feel too bad that how come they become so irresponsible to speak anything about Gandhiwadi People. They should just check their past and should not dare to talk about Anna.
  • shikha saxena
    By
    shikha saxena
    18.08.11 08:04 PM
    we all indian need to support anna hajare........
  • ramesh
    By
    ramesh
    16.08.11 05:10 PM
    CONGRESS is changed to CON-GRACE. (That is which party is the most graceful.)


    Government has forgotten meanings of words like DEMOCRACY, POLITENESS, CORRUPTION FREE INDIA it’s not a major concern. A major concern is that government forgot people of INDIA.


    ‘ANNA HAZARE’ is GANDHIJI of modern era. GANDHIJI will born to lead India whenever India gets mislead by devils.


    Government is so stubborn that medicine of GHANDHI THOUGHTS is also not working.


    Government, Please use your power to fight with terrorists and not with nation developing people like ANNA HAZARE.


    If terrorist does not fear from power of ‘Government of India’ then why should youngster of India fear?


    Indian Democracy is not a democracy; it’s a monarchy of SONIA GHANDHI.


    ‘CONGRESS PARTY’ is considering ANNA HAZARE as a threat but not AJMAL AMIR KASAB.


    We people of democracy feel that we are living under emperor; who wants only to fill pockets with money.


    What is difference between India and U.S; Answer is it’s a difference between MANMOHAN SIGN and BARACK OBAMA.


    People of congress party say that RAJ THAKREY break peace of India. What they are doing currently aren’t they breaking peace of India?


    Congress party treating ANNA HAZARE and KASAB alike, both are in jail with high security.



    It’s not important that from how much time party is ruling India, but the important thing is how party ruled India.


    Government will say after few days- According law and order now onwards definition of democracy has changed it is not people who choose people for people but it will be like People who choose people for CONGRESS PARTY. Furthermore they will say; we will arrest who dare to point out finger against this definition. It is law and order. You have to accept what we decide.
  • Hansraj Prasad
    By
    Hansraj Prasad
    16.08.11 01:05 PM
    Citizens who missed or unable to fight for the Indian Independance now have their chance to show their presence for the country. JAI HIND
  • manisha gupta
    By
    manisha gupta
    16.08.11 11:40 AM
    indaian goverment ka rawaiya misra k tanasha husan mubarak k jaisa ho gaya hai jo loktantra ka gala ko ghtane ka kaan nahi kar rahi balki usaka gala kat kar corruption karane me lagi hai
  • sanjay gupta
    By
    sanjay gupta
    16.08.11 11:34 AM
    ye kaisa loktantra hai jaha aaj bhi hum gulam hai jiska taja example anna hazare ki giraftari hai
  • jmp
    By
    jmp
    16.08.11 10:05 AM
    P.M. writes to Anna

    Dear Anna. You and all India know that I am a rubber stamp P.M. How can I instruct Delhi Police without sanction of Sonya Gandhi and you know she is in America at present. More over that when my ministers do not follow my orders, how delhi police will?. I am here for speeches only. What I can do is to give good speech against corruption if you want. Unluckily you are not satisfied by speeches.
    Yours anti corrupt P.M.
  • aftab
    By
    aftab
    15.08.11 10:57 PM
    Rs 20/day for 80 percent people in India!
    we must be sorry,woke up so late,
  • shweta agrwal
    By
    shweta agrwal
    15.08.11 07:40 PM
    ANNAJI HUM AAPKE SATH HAIN.
    JAI HIND
  • chnader
    By
    chnader
    15.08.11 05:45 PM
    We all Indian need to support Anna Hazare.

    Because present Indian Government is totally corrupt.

    Every is hiding behind PM Manmohan Singh.

    Even party higher members also involved in corruption.

    Late Rajiv Gandhi was also involved in corruption.

    If Mr Manmohan Singh is clean person, then why is do not want to come under Jan Lokpal Bill?

    Is PM and Government is saving it corrupt Minister and its Officer.
  • anumeha
    By
    anumeha
    14.08.11 10:57 PM
    all indians by u ,with u & for u anna
  • anna
    By
    anna
    29.06.11 01:32 PM
    congress kyu nahi support nahi kar rahi hai..sochne wali baat hai..
  • raj kapur
    By
    raj kapur
    28.06.11 03:57 PM
    It is tuff for me to make out difference between Gandhian nonviolence and ruler Britishers VS Anna Hazarre and government. Britishers were use to make rule of their own benefit and todays government(Politicians) seem to be the same .
  • J.P.Tiwari
    By
    J.P.Tiwari
    25.06.11 11:31 AM
    Complete Control of Corruption
    Corruption will longer be allowed and tolerated by 130 crore Indians as it will destroy our country completely from where restoration towards normalicy will be very difficult. Due to corruption crores of Indians are facing premature death.Every Indian is... fed up from any type of corrupt practice.In future country may face a demarcation in terms of clash between Rich and Poors.Any kind of loot can not be allowed on the name of anybody, may be any constitutional authority ( P.M.,M.P.,Judge etc ).Jan Lok Pal is the one and the only solution in this regard.Anna Hazare Ji and Ram Deo Ji should convince all the Parliamentarians,P.M.and U.P.A.Chairperson Sonia Gandhi Ji for this.
    Principal J.P.Tiwari Raebareli ( U.P. )
    Posted by J.P.Tiwari at 10:42 PM
  • raj kapur
    By
    raj kapur
    24.06.11 08:00 PM
    Save millions and billions of money
    Avoid black money
    Initiative
    1. There should be no advertisements for polling by any of the individual party.
    2. At all Panchayat, Block, District, State capital headquarters, election commission office should be established and advertisements for polling should be done by these offices and on internet, news-papers etc., for every candidate nominated for election.
    3. All people should have to be conscious by them self and by information given by above means for polling about every member nominated for election.
    Benefit
    1. No need to spend money for polling advertisement by any Party and should be banned by election commission of India.
    2. Even a poor candidate can get benefit of same polling advertisement as that of financially rich candidate.
    3. We can save millions and billions of money, which is spent in elections by all party (black/ white money).
    4. There is more probability that more and more people will become conscious about voting, a genuine candidate either National party / local party or Nirdaliya candidate.
    5. No need to fear for ministers , no need to save money or store money by ministers for next election i.e. tensionless five year working. Hence there will be a sense of fear or confidence for ministers, whether he/she is doing right or wrong job.
    6. This is also a solution for voters who want to choose genuine member but due to shortage of money genuine candidates usually have not enough money for their polling advertisement.
    Drawback
    1. There can be chances that governing party may interfere with or may bias the proper advertisement for and proper information of other Party candidate nominated for election.
    Solution
    2. There should be proper channeling for unbiased advertisement for every candidate nominated for polling by election commission of India. Definite role of media for unbiased advertisement for nominated candidates and it should be properly watch by election commission of India.
  • gurvinder singh
    By
    gurvinder singh
    22.06.11 11:43 AM
    anna hazare instead of starting a fast again should seek volunteers and they should start working at the grass root level educating people regarding lokpal bill and creating third national party in two years,because now there is wave against corruption.baba ramdev has already caused a lot of damage,trying to be a hero in the crusade , the govt is also ruthless,and will do everything possible to save all the looters of this country.
  • raj kumar
    By
    raj kumar
    18.06.11 08:39 PM
    I support to anna hazzare anti corruption movement and feel a necessary need of today all of Subhas chander bosS,Bhagat singh,Chader Shekher Azad,Ghandi ji,Rajguru,Bismila khan etc Freedam Fighter Follower should united [SHANGADIT] come out on road against corrupt politician[Hero of corruption and anti-nation and enemy of future generation no singal word found to use for that person ] All youth generation join MOVEMENT FOR FUTURE OF COUNTRY AND NEW GENERATION .IF Anna Hzzare going Fast till the death Than KIRAN BEDI ,SANTOSH HAGRE,AGNIVASH JI ,KEJRIWAL etc SHOULD GO TO UNIVERSITY AND LEARN STUDENT ABOUT CORRUPTION AND SUPPORTER EAST-WEST NORTH-SOUTH OF INDIA TO JOIN ANTI CORRUPTION MOVEMENT OF YOUTH IN FUTURE OF NATION
  • J.P.Tiwari
    By
    J.P.Tiwari
    06.06.11 12:21 PM
    Attack on Swami Ram Deo Ji and his supporters is a step to ruin the country, to kill the interest of 100 crore people of India,to allow the looters to loot and to support corruption by the govt. All Indians should be united to root out such a corrupt govt.
  • J.P.Tiwari
    By
    J.P.Tiwari
    26.05.11 11:48 AM
    IAS officer like Sada Kant should be severely punished alongwith recovery if found guilty through speedy trial for misuse of power and official position .Simply reverting him back to UP cadre is no punishment.
  • J.P.Tiwari
    By
    J.P.Tiwari
    22.05.11 12:53 PM
    Election Results in Tamilnadu
    Election Results in Tamilnadu in favour of J Jaylalitha by a huge and unpredictable majority ,are a lesson to all political parties and to those political leaders also who were of the opinion that Corruption will not be a issue in elections now ,corruption will no longer be tolerated by Indian Public .Public can not be made fool now.Up till now all political parties have been able to exploit public sentiments through many diversions and even now also taking disadvantage and misuse of innocence and lack of knowledge on many national and international issues.Till removal of illiteracy same process of exploitation will continue.Media people should explain all the national and international issues in a very simple language so that middle educated people may also understand issues of common national and international interest.People are now fed up of price hikes and corruption etc.If any State Govt in India controls only one thing i.e.bribery control from all offices ,80 percent countrymen certainly will support that political party leaving all other things on one side because 80 percent countrymen are victim of this biggest evil of our country.
    Principal J.P.Tiwari Raebareli ( U.P. )
  • vijay
    By
    vijay
    08.05.11 08:10 PM
    hazarre like people votes should be used to elect a right politician
    they should be given 25%to elact a politican thay should git at least 25% votes of good freedom fiters and who are doing good for country
  • J.P.Tiwari
    By
    J.P.Tiwari
    04.05.11 12:59 PM
    Terrorism its control
    Osama Bin Laden and his associates are responsible for killing lacs of innocent people in the world just for nothing i.e.no gain.USA should take a leading role to kill all the terrorists in the world by uniting all victim countries and other countries also of the world, fight against global terrorism as the entire world is like a single family .Terrorism is not only against a particular country ,it is against entire humanity and then only global terrorism can be controlled.Terrorists understand only one language i.e.gun language and do not have any right to live.Their crime is against Almighty/Nature.
    Principal J P Tiwari
    Raebareli ( U.P. )
  • J.P.Tiwari
    By
    J.P.Tiwari
    02.05.11 09:02 AM
    Advise to Sachin Tendulkar
    My dear bete Sachin Tendulkar,
    Please advise your admirers not to call you as "Cricket Ka Bhagwan"as it will be an insult to Bhagwan i.e.Almighty who has created this Universe ( Creature of All Living Beings ).Almighty is Bhagwan for all the games may be Cricket,Football etc.There can never be a second Bhagwan.Almighty is only one and will remain so.You are an example before the entire world because of your performance in cricket.I have addressed you as bete Tendulkar as I am 60 years old.Please spend major part of your income to feed needy people of the world who are unable to arrange two times meal a day and are dying because of hunger.By doing this you will reign this world for infinite number of years in your many rebirths.People are asking "Bharat Ratna"for you
    which is improper as you are already a Bharat Ratna.In fact every Indian is a Bharat Ratna.Please do not be behind any award as you are a natural awardee of all awards.
    Principal J.P.Tiwari
    Raebareli ( U.P. )
  • J.P.Tiwari
    By
    J.P.Tiwari
    01.05.11 04:58 PM
    Corruption in our country is more dangerous than any external threat .It is looting a common man whose number is more than 80 crores in India and a common man is at this primary stage is not daring fully to stand against corruption because of fear from mighty corrupt people.This is right time and duty of every common man now to stand against corruption without caring for his/her life.Because of these looters a common man is dying because of hunger.crores of children are not getting proper education ,can not read or write a paragraph even after passing std V .When these crores of uneducated youths will grow after 10 to 15 years from now they themselves will be a threat to these looters/corrupt people and will punish them. Process of taking sanctions to punish corrupt bureaucrats or any other person may be in any capacity found involved in any scam should be scrapped so that these officers/persons may not dare to feel that they are above law of the land .At present they feel protected and think they can simply be transferred .The present All India Service conditions of IAS/IPS officers should be changed accordingly. 66 lakh crores black money is deposited in Swiss Banks which is basically of corrupt bureaucrats,corrupt politicians and corrupt Industrialists which is 13 times of foreign debt on our country.In U.P.10 most corrupt IAS officers and 10 most corrupt IPS officers were listed few years back but none of them could be punished.Yesterday we came to know a koyla ghotala of 26 lakh crores disclosed by Mr Santosh Bhartiya.Thanks to Mr Santosh Bhartiya.A DIG involved in a sex scandel is underground for the last 10 years because of the punishment announced by Naxlites. Situation in our country is alarming.Govt of India should take necessary steps before the situation goes out of control.It is the duty of every sufferer of corruption to stand and fight against corrution.There has been enough tolerence up till now.Corrupt people think that "aisa hee chalta rahega aur hum log subidha shulka lete rahenge".Ab Subidha Shulka ka jamana gaya ,public tumhen punish karegi apni jindagi ki parwah kiye bina.
    Principal J.P.Tiwari
    Raebareli ( U.P. )
  • suman agarwal
    By
    suman agarwal
    30.04.11 11:30 PM
    I thought everybody wants remove corruption, but corrup doer ia doing without fear. process of fighting to corruption is very dangerous, common man dont want to put himself/herself and his/her family in danger.Avoiding all sound, they have only one way to bear corruption or shut own mouth, because corruption has a power to destroy common man.
  • Barnaby Haszard Morris
    By
    Barnaby Haszard Morris
    28.04.11 03:31 PM
    Mr Tiwari, I'm afraid I must respectfully disagree as I feel that having even more elected representatives only creates more opportunities for corruption. I base this belief on the existing scenario, in which a great number of individuals invested with public powers abuse and ignore the law for their own gain.
  • J.P.Tiwari
    By
    J.P.Tiwari
    28.04.11 02:16 PM
    Corruption
    Till corruption exists in our country ,talking about development will be futile.Corruption is compelling our crores of poor countrymen to face premature death who are unable to manage two times meal a day even after putting their best i.e. hard labour .Many politicians,bureaucrats ,NGOs and other persons are looting our country whenever they are given some funds to complete a task/project.There is a need to overhaul and change the entire system through decentralisation.On the pattern of Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha there is a need to form a Jan Sabha consisting of 10 elected representatives from 5000 voters in a region.If there are 50 crore voters there will be one lac Jan Sabha.This Jan Sabha will replace the existing Gram Sabha/Panchayats etc.This Jan Sabha should be given funds as and when demanded by it for the development from the Govt which should have powers to appoint,suspend ,to retrench on account of enefficiency ,terminate and stoppage of increment and salary for the officers and employees working in schools,hospitals etc under its jurisdiction and control and then only Corruption can be checked upto a greater extent otherwise Country will be passing through the worst phase after Independence after few years in terms of a struggle between looters/corrupt persons and poors ( 10% versus 90% ).
    Principal J.P.Tiwari
    Raebareli(U.P.)
  • Barnaby Haszard Morris
    By
    Barnaby Haszard Morris
    25.04.11 03:40 PM
    I wasn't aware that anyone was commenting here! Apologies for late response.

    There has been too much written by you all for me to respond to each comment individually, but I thank those of you agreed with the spirit of what I wrote. To those who respectfully disagree, I very much appreciate your considered opinions, which have given me food for thought. I hope that the symbol of Hazare's fast will mean something in the long term - though I have to admit, I do remain sceptical.

    And to those who found things in my writing that weren't there (criticising Modi? pats on the back for bribe-givers?), I understand your passion but I hope you can look again and see that I wasn't saying what you thought I was.
  • R.P.Singh
    By
    R.P.Singh
    22.04.11 09:12 PM
    we should learn from J.P. movement that after making government the honest people converted into corruption now a days they are Arabpati. when and how we will free from thease bloody corrupt buorocrates and politicians(not all).who badly plundered our BHARAT MAA.
  • R.P.Singh
    By
    R.P.Singh
    22.04.11 08:55 PM
    we should join honestly to anna Hazare not for chance
  • Jaai
    By
    Jaai
    19.04.11 06:53 PM
    I agree that it shouldn't be referred to as Anna's campaign. That gives him too many powers and stardom that is not good for him or for us.
  • Rama Mohan A
    By
    Rama Mohan A
    16.04.11 07:03 AM
    I agree with you. This is just a first step. At least people begin to think rise their voice against to corruption.

    There should be physiological improvement to move away from corruption.
  • Pundit Commentator
    By
    Pundit Commentator
    15.04.11 08:57 PM
    I'm afraid you've missed the point. Please tell me who would pay a bribe if one lives in a society where government functionaries do not demand one? This is not a bottom-up BCC type problem like honour killing or female infanticide. The approach must be top down and that is what Anna Hazare is trying to do. Please read his letter to the PM. The only demand was a seat at the table. India Against Corruption specifically tells the PM Jan Lokpal draft is not the last word.

    You write with the cynical guilty conscience of a self admitted bribe giver instead of the optimistic constructive attitude of all the Indians who turned out to support Anna Hazare across the world. Your unfortunate attitude is a cover. It pats on the back everybody else like you to signal that it's OK to carry on with their daily lives and the odd small bribe. We had our 4 day reality show in between cricket tournaments. Back to regularly scheduled programming for you lot.
  • Vidya
    By
    Vidya
    15.04.11 05:51 PM
    It has been so long since Indians stood up for anything-sure there are the ifs and buts-but for me personally I heaved a huge sigh of relief-and really it proved one thing to all Indians -the power of standing up and taking a stand for something! Of Modi its difficult for me to even type that name! I cringe!
  • Mohini Puranik
    By
    Mohini Puranik
    15.04.11 12:40 PM
    Hi NRI! Nice independent thinking.!
  • akhil
    By
    akhil
    14.04.11 07:37 PM
    I think you are right ....Hazare should have ...ended the fast only after the law ...was enacted....and also Hazareji next you fast ...you should be sure tat your RSS friends dont share the diaz...
  • Sourav Adhikary
    By
    Sourav Adhikary
    14.04.11 01:56 AM
    Public intervention would surely be a very necessary tool to stop miscarriage of governance. But we must keep an eye to the persons who are eager to occupy the position as the custodians of public conscience in general. Are they really that simple, powerless men cut off from any nexus? Or are they, very much part of it? It's not about Anna, or Congress or BJP or the Commis in specific. They all have such lobby groups consisted of journos, columnists, full time activists and socialites. Before crying out revolution the middle class must make themselves prepared for the responsibility.
    nstead of wheelchaired by a so called civil society or some stalwarts of it, we must give a thought to civilise the society at large and ourselves as a part of it; the quality of verbal volleys seen on Facebook or Twiter or other such sites certainly doesn't speak of us or or our debating skills very highly. Or else the untimely call may well lead to a situation when one day it'll be felt that the only door that offered rays of hope about a better democracy distilled by aware and responsible public participation, also has been locked long before, with these activists solemnly guarding it and not letting anybody else through it, as if he or she inherited the monopoly over that, understandably with every possible negative consequence associated with such a conjecture. Like Kafka’s door to justice!
    I would be glad to share my view if you have got a few minutes-

    http://simplysourav.blogspot.com/2011/04/some-thoughts-that-cropped-up-on-corpse.html
  • Sourav Adhikary
    By
    Sourav Adhikary
    14.04.11 01:47 AM
    First of all I would like to state that I do have nothing against raising mass awareness, public participation in governance, and decentralisation of power that would lead to more accountability to public on the part of govt, or Anna Hazare in person. But, is not such mechanisms as CVC already in existence? One may argue that it is not sufficient. But then we need to take steps so that this agency could be more effective. This very Indian idea of multiple commissions, committees and agencies are actually a camouflage , one guesses.One cannot be blamed if he suspects that this is just a way to make the public fool, divert their attention, make another arrangement of engagement for a set of people wasting public money. How much of it is really directed at public welfare and how much in giving some people, some activists and lobby group, entry to the corridor of power? If misinformed voters are a cause for skepticism about electoral democracy, that won't change with a bill. Now that will also need people who'll facilitate it. If that lies with the same set of people, or just a new set of people, these activists,can one guarantee the fulproofness? We better stop naively believing that activism is free of vested interest; Anna personally is not meant here.Those who are sharing the status message in social net sites, would better have analysed the dynamics of so called activism coupled with media trumpeting, rather than claiming it as 'their fight'.who can say surely that it is not actually a personal struggle to power of a person or a group of persons, the shepherd or the shepherds? But for that we need to do some actual struggle, to come out of , as the author puts it, 'sheep mentality'.
  • Pulkit
    By
    Pulkit
    13.04.11 10:08 PM
    First of all, very well written, Barnaby.

    I agree with some parts of your argument - everyone is corrupt, individuals need to stop indulging in it, etc. But at the same time, I don't agree about Hazare's circular reasoning - the "ill-informed voters" exist in a large part because of decades of corrupt governments that don't allow their populations to become more educated and informed. They have relied on gifting rice and saris and whatnot to get votes, it's the easiest way. So it's a vicious circle at the institutional level.

    Also, the bill targets institutional corruption. I think, to a certain extent, if that process works then it will eventually trickle down to the individual, like Jayanth said above. Changing mindset and habits of an entire population take time...a very long time. And really what activists should be pushing for is better education of the people.

    In the meantime, watch out, you might just get a job offer from the local government for NOT supporting Hazare! Haha!
  • Abhishek Bharadwaj
    By
    Abhishek Bharadwaj
    13.04.11 09:51 PM
    It is shameful that you are using this platform for criticizing Narendra Modi.He is better than any of the politicians in the country as of now.Either you lack proper information or you are suffering from the same prejudice which most of the self-proclaimed secularist suffer.If you are really interested to know the truth, then go to Gujarat first.Dont write contents only based on media reports.
  • jayanth tadinada
    By
    jayanth tadinada
    13.04.11 09:04 PM
    very well written...

    I agree that we need an ombudsman law not because it is going to remove corruption once but it gives a psychological boost to the people.

    I am quite skeptical about any real change coming from this movement because I am sure most people who pledged their support for Anna did so from their pirated version of windows and went home to rent a pirated DVD and they even refuse to acknowledge it!

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