Saturday, April 09, 2011

Quo Vadis? - The Agitation over Lokpal

Cartoon with thanks from 
As I write this, the celebrated Gandhian and social activist Anna Hazare has ended his fast-unto-death, undertaken to push for immediate introduction of a robust Lokpal (Ombudsman) Bill against corruption in civil life.
It is beyond any question that corruption has heavily & rampantly eaten in to the innards of our political and administrative machinery and grossly affected our daily lives. The situation is now so obviously bad that a minimum level of graft & corruption is not only tolerated, it is almost expected.
This desperate situation explains the enormous surge of support this movement has received, aided in no mean measure by the impeccable credentials of Anna. We should be justifiably jubilant about how this movement has brought the issue in to a much needed sharper focus.
But now while we "civil-society" have partaken our share of the elixir of ideological victory, congratulated ourselves by clicking on the Like buttons and celebrated by disparaging the political system thoroughly, it would do well for us to remember that oligarchy is no solution to this problem.
It is the robustness of our political system and resilience of our democracy which still remains the best hope in establishing a fair and corruption-free society. We should therefore not get carried away in our protests and be led astray by the self-appointed custodians of the civil society who are vociferously denouncing the whole political system and pressing for more autonomy and more teeth to their vigilante justice. Most of these supporters have hitch-hiked themselves on to this bandwagon with an attempt to shine in the reflected glory of Anna and serve their respective ends.  
My thought finds congruence in today's editorial of Indian Express (IE dated 9th April'11), which I reproduce here below for you to read.


Prabhjot said...

I dunno Rahul, but, Vigilante Justice actually sounds pretty good to me ...........

AnOrdinaryIndian said...

I read your words & not the post you quoted.
Having said that, has it ever occurred to you that the only exposure that you (WE) have had, till date is to this imperfect yet glorified democracy?
I had a few Pakistani friends when I was a kid & they were not aware of the fact that Pak had ever lost a war to India.
Saudi Arabia (population) was never aware of the crime that occurred on its land.
Is it that you (WE) pronounce the current system to be the best because it has been declared the best 360 degrees all around us & we've never bothered to breach that wall to find out about the countries where people are Actually happy & satisfied?

India is the largest democracy in the world sheerly because of the population...the US is the smartest (hence the richest) democracy in the world because of its control over media (& much more).
How many voices have you(WE) heard / experiences have you(WE) have had across nations to claim what we have is the best?

Why do you (WE) have to take the easiest path of saying status quo has been the best...for ages...& hence will be forever. Why do you (WE) never question about our constitution which was written 60+ years back?

Because..WE know what's the best. Utopia?
Can't we better ourselves so that our kids know Utopia doesn't exist?

Rahul Gaur said...

Prabhjot -
Vigilante justice is what comes easy to us, in our minds at least. And so it sound good. Like the 70s and 80s Amitabh Bachhan movies. Quick retribution.
But the justice which comes out of a system though delayed comes with all checks and balances intact. This is what I think.

Rahul Gaur said...

Vipul -
I can see how strongly you feel about the whole thing.
No, I never said that ours is the best democracy or the best, happiest country in the world.
And I have all the respect for this spontaneous movement, most justified in its intent and content.
Where I beg to differ is that you can not deride politics, blaming it as the scourge of everything bad we are facing and then be led by so-called representatives of the civil society.
Our political system is our strength, mind you. Our class which is congratulating each other through tweeting and texting is able to do this because we are a democracy and not some place like China.
That we are electing wrong people is our problem, and not that we are "electing" at all.
You might want to read Tavleen Singh in the Sunday Indian Express of today.
Having said this, I respect your emotions and understand that while we disagree, we are thinking for the same objective.

Aastha Gaur said...

bhaiya anna hazare sir has taken this step and i see a very long road ahead of is true that corruption has eaten almost the whole country but hope for a better India has not vanished....

Yashu Vyas said...

Kudos to you and coloumists like Tavleen Singh for putting forward the impartial analysis of the agitation in a surcharged atmosphere. Indian public has become so frustrated and cynical of the whole 'system', येन केन प्रकारेण we want to get rid of scourge of corruption. I don’t know how far these 1857 type of mutinies will help us, but in today's time no one is worried if end justifies the means …

Anonymous said...

Jan Lokpal Bill, if drafted, made an act and implemented in all sincerety & honesty , will definetily going to help clean the system to some extent . I do not know how much judicial power this Lokpal is vested with to sentence the culprits and its speed ( it takes 3, 4 , 5 years to clear a case ) or again the judiciary will take over the case from Lokpal . In India , we have become so smart that we will find out some lacunae somewhere in the bill to our advantage . Anna has initiated a very good movement which has moved masses and I wish him all success but what I personally feel is that we as a individual have to observe a very tight discipline in our daily chorus to help clean the system rather than living under the fear of DANDA of Lokpal Bill . It is really pity to see that People`s people ( parliament & legislative assemblies ) who have the responsibility to take such initiatives are making mockery of it themselves and over a period of time some Anna will have to stand and take another required initiative . We have to think in terms of WHY PARLIAMENT AND ASSEMBLIES .

I hope you donot carry opinion that I am a pessimist but as a simple and law abiding individual , it hurts and these are a few words as a caution note .

HK Nigam

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