How would 1.2 billion people react when corruption in India suddenly comes to a standstill? When policeman stops taking bribe and actually confiscates our car till the insurance is cleared or till we are able to produce our legal driving license (that is if you have a legal driving license)? When colleges stop taking donation and forcing millions to stay back at home? When people will lose the freedom of tomfoolery in the open because they have lost the assurance that the maximum penalty would be a small bribe to the policeman? In all reality, we are not really ready to face such an India. It is one thing to preach and a completely different thing to practice.

The Anna Hazare movement is a noble gesture by a person who has devoted his life for the betterment of the country. His previous achievements are exemplary and his latest movement for passing the Lokpal Bill is a social media success. It is a pleasure to see twitter and facebook respond in such a optimistic way. However a close watch on latent intricacies behind it is also needed. If we feel that passing the Lokpal Bill is the first step, then let me remind you that such many first steps are already in the pipeline- take for example the Women’s Reservation Bill.

Some of my observations on this movement and where we need to maintain precaution would be

• The bill would just give birth to another body which penalizes corruption. Haven’t we already seen such measures before? Rather the motive of a new initiative would be to uproot the issues which breed corruption. Much of the Anna Haraze movement’s supporters will lose their credibility when they vote for the wrong candidate this election.

• Having an independent body for fighting corruption could potentially lead to another independent body of corruption. Again not far from memory are the examples around our very own Central Vigilance Commission

• Thirdly, the movement must reposition itself from the feel good factor which it is generating. Of course showing support is very necessary. But more than changing facebook profile pictures or joining the missed call movement, it is more important that we stop playing the honest cop and ask again if we are ready. If you are supporting a Gandhian inspired civil disobedience movement, then have the courage to abide by what Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in this world”. Anna Hazare is a true Gandhian but unfortunately not many of us can claim the same

Years ago, Hong Kong suffered from similar if not more levels of corruption like India. This prompted the ruling country England to pass the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC). It was an exemplary success. Corruption levels dropped especially in the governmental departments. A similar paradigm shift is difficult to imagine in India which is a country 10 times bigger and has a population 165 times greater. Moreover the sentiments of patriotism and nationalism in Hong Kong are vibrant because it is still in a nascent stage when free countries are concerned.

Writing all these doesn’t mean that I am withdrawing my support from this movement. A corruption free world would definitely do wonders for our country. But it would do even worse if the supporters itself become the felons. People comment on the provision of Rs 250 penalty in the bill which would be imposed per day if results are not delivered in time. I say that a country that can make money out of soldier’s coffin shouldn’t have any problems taking care of that.
Calling me a cynic? Yes, I am and a cautious one too.



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