Monday, October 3, 2011

Is Anna Hazare justified with his plan of action?

BY:- Abigail Menezes. No:-3752

Anna Hazare’s intentions are right but overall I think he chose a wrong path. It’s unfortunate that we are mixing it with Gandhiji's situation. Keeping that in mind, that time, Gandhiji had no option to sit and talk with them. But today Anna has an option to talk and settle things down. Moreover, Gandhiji didn’t use slang language whilst addressing the government in public announcements calling them all sorts of names like Anna Hazare and his team does. Calling the Prime Minister a lose case will not solve the problem of corruption.

Anna Hazare and his group of self-righteous middle-class moralists are, of course, justified in fighting corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. It would perhaps make people aware of the issue and throw out corrupt politicians. They, however, cannot do much about career bureaucrats. Also, their efforts are hampered because all political parties have corrupt people. It is like throwing a crook and bringing in another.

The problem with Anna Hazare is more serious, he wants to bypass all democratic channels. If Parliament is bypassed and NGOs they may be honest with learned people, want to draft the country’s laws, it raises serious questions about the legitimacy of democratic practices. It is a legitimate moral weapon to keep politicians under pressure, but moral blackmail is not. Anna Hazare is doing just that. But he is not the first.

It is true that the people who suffer the most belong to the poorest of the poor and their needs and rights should indeed be taken care of. But the way Anna Hazare is using this kind of outrage against the government seems almost like Blackmail. He is arm-twisting the government and instigating the masses. I don’t think it’s a rational, practical and a realistic solution to combat corruption. The issue should be portrayed as a mass movement involving one and all. This is in no way a movement to make the government accountable.

The issue here is not whether Anna is right in fasting or not or how many people are behind him but then what bothers me the most is that most of the people, who say they support his movement, do not understand the reason they’re doing it. It seems to be a herd mentality or rather the middle class Indian conveniently making Anna a leader and blindly rallying behind him. They say they want the Jan Lokpal Bill, but the sad part here is that they have neither read the bill nor have bothered to understand the issue at all.

The first thing people must understand is that this Lokpal Bill, for which Anna is fighting, would do nothing to stop the root causes of corruption and I’m afraid it may instead aggravate the problem. So what would this bill do? Corruption mainly occurs when there is unaccounted power and I’m afraid the bill proposes to make way for more and more of it. It proposes an unparalleled concentration of power resting on a single institution, which at any point of time can command police or judicial action. So in other words what we are essentially doing here is that, in a situation where unquestionable power is the problem itself, we are fighting for something which encourages more of it, that too which would rest in the hands of a few appointed and not elected members.

Anna Hazare even supports Raj Thackeray’s tirade against non-marathis. Are only marathis included in the civil society Mr. Representative? Anna Hazare had said that he respected what Narendra Modi had done with Gujarat. He was all praises for him. It received a lot of news time. Anna came to Gujarat a month or two after this and openly criticized Narendra Modi, again catching a lot of eye balls. When asked why he had a change of heart, he said he found out the actual condition only after he came to Gujarat. So if you had never been to Gujarat and did not know what work Narendra Modi had done then on what basis did you praise him in the first place? Or is it all about staying in the news?

When the dust over this issue was settled Anna Hazare again announces that our Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh is a good man but Sonia Gandhi controls him with a remote control which stops him from working to his full potential. Another controversial statement at the time when the newspapers seemed to have moved on to other news. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

There are people who believe that the Jan Lok Pal Bill will create a separate government like structure and that Anna Hazare is trying to be the Prime Minister of that government.

We don’t need the Jan Lok Pall Bill. We already have enough laws to tackle corruption. We just need better people to manage the country. We need people to vote responsibly. We need to work as a nation. We don’t need a revolution. We need a well planned and constructive plan to tackle corruption and improve governance. We don’t need Anna Hazare or representatives. Individuals or a small group can and always will make a difference but not when their intentions are questionable and their means unconstitutional.

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