Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Uprising of Common Man......

Its more than 36 hours since Anna Hazare has been taken in custody & moved to Tihar Jail as the protests moved beyond the second day …..the country has come together in an unprecedented support for him, pushing the inept Central Govt already in disarray, on the back foot.

Despite several opportunities to reach a consensus with Anna Hazare and other sections of civil society for the framing of an effective Lokpal Bill, the Central Govt attempted to push through a farce of a Bill. That it misread the national public mood is obvious. People have taken to streets across the country… it school children, college goers, office goers, professionals, housewives, industrialists, celebrities, common man, et all…..there have been nonstop peaceful demonstrations, lighting candles, switching off all lights at home/ office from 8.00pm to 9.00pm as a symbolic protest against corruption, fasting… has been an unrelenting movement, something which the Centre had not envisaged. Being at Azad Maidan Mumbai, through the evening going into late night for the second day in a row, I witnessed what a country wide stir can achieve. The anti-corruption movement initiated by Anna today is gaining momentum with hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens who are fed up with a system they believe is opaque, corrupt, and driven by greed. Here is a common man who wants to exercise his basic fundamental rights to protest against the rampant corruption that exists in the Govt machinery.

In sheer display of arrogance, the Govt orders the detention of Anna Hazare, even before he began his fast in support of stronger anti-corruption provisions in the Lokpal Bill, which lead to the arrest of a large number of peaceful protesters across the country, mainly in Delhi & Mumbai. No representative government in a democracy can deny citizens their fundamental right to dissent and peaceful protest. Instead of honestly dealing with the issues raised by successive corruption scandals, the UPA government chose to cover up, & when that became unsustainable, it resorted to slurs and dirty tricks, and incrementally raised the level of repression to smother voices demanding accountability and corrective institutional measures.

It was shocking to see our PM shivering like a decaying leaf in the Lok Sabha….still trying to with hold their stand against Anna. It was a mockery to see that even in this moment of crisis, our worthy PM, has to refer to a note sheet to deliver his speech….he cant even speak impromptu….trying as ever to make a “politically correct statement”…..with his so called lawyers, or shall we say liars in support, trying to justify, all their actions. Imagine the headlines “Foreign hand behind Anna’s stir, doubts Congress”….. how ludicrous & bizarre could this get !!! Every action of the UPA Govt over the recent past suggests that they have completely lost it…. The longer they stay in power, the farther our Country will go into the dark ages.

We need to continue our peaceful agitation, till this stupid, insipid, incapable Govt relents & allows a dialogue to begin for a justifiable end to this matter. It’s a dream that our freedom fighters cherished….a dream for which they lay their lives & everything they had…..a dream so simple and true. An India without corruption, a nation to be proud of, a nation called the biggest democracy on earth. A prosperous and stable India with opportunities for all Indians across all sections of the society. A nation that offers its citizens a bright future with chances for the poorest of the poor to lead a life in dignity, with jobs and education for all children. Primary healthcare for all, a functional infrastructure, no illiteracy, a working social welfare system for the needy and poor.

In fact, a strong Lokpal Bill with a rotating jury / committee involving equal representation from every level / strata of the society to watch over every department in the Govt machinery, will put the responsibility and power back with the people. They will get a sense of belonging, while transparency will build a sense of ownership. With active participation, people will understand what efforts go towards every decision and the rationale behind it. It’s a paradigm shift, which arguably will usher more cohesion with less protests, less apathy to public property and more participation in debate for solving problems. In fact it will take off a lot of burden from the government rather than increasing it. It’s a question of belief & faith, once corruption has been eradicated.

Vande Mataram….