27 August 2011

Anna Hazare - Black, White, and shades of Grey

The recent events over the past few weeks have given rise to quite many questions.
Make no mistake, the questions raised by Anna are very valid, however bad/good his path may be. Haven't our very own holy scriptures and everything else mentioned this -- The path that you take may be through sludge, but you must reach Ayodha ? When our very own members of parliament quote vedas and such, I see nothing wrong in quoting it here.

Here is some food for thought for Anna's detractors. Time and again, the most common statement that is being brandished out without any thought is this -- India is a democracy and it is supreme. Now here are a few questions to those people.

1) Let us assume that in a constituency, a candidate A, out of 100 votes, polls 40. All the remaining candidates poll 60. Obviously enough, A is declared as the winner, oblivious to the fact that 60 candidates did not want him to be their representative. Now, candidate A is the choice of the majority and nothing else. In what way is this different from a group of people demanding something ? If they form a majority voice, why can't they get something done ? And yet, the off repeated statement is that the parliament cannot listen to the voice of a bunch of people who claim they have majority.

2) Gone are the days when a single party had the complete majority. We now have a bunch of people, whose parties would have fought against each other in a few constituencies, coming together post elections to form a government, out of nothing but pure greed. Now, consider this situation -- a convicted felon can contest an election, and win it sitting in the jail. Haven't we forgot Shorabuddin ? In the current state of affairs, assuming that a party needs one seat to form a government, there is nothing to stop this convicted felon from supporting that party and even becoming the prime minister ! Is this democracy ? Isn't this a farce ? Why should the prime minster be above law in this case ?

3) A bunch of statements are being thrown around that Anna is blackmailing the elected representatives. Haven't we forgot the times when the parliament was being blackmailed by someone who was not even elected to the parliament ? Have we forgotten Karunanidhi and his blackmailing methods to get the posts that he wanted ? Have we forgotten Jayalalitha who did the same and forced second elections upon us ?

4) Another off repeated statement is that justice will prevail and most corrupt folks are in jail. Agreed they are in jail, but what happened to the money they looted ? Why should the oppressed and suppressed tax payers of this country bear that burden ?

5) It took a Lokayutka to expose the mining lobby and the scam it perpetrated. However, the lack of sufficient teeth to it resulted in Yeddiyurappa appointing his crony into the Chief minister's post. Is that democracy ?

This country has hundreds of honest and hard working bureaucrats. It would need strong laws and a fear of punishment, for them to continue being honest and hard working.

There are times when poison must be administered as an antidote for poison. This is one of those times.

There may be hundreds of folks out there who are against Anna Hazare. But there is no denying the fact that the questions that he has posed are very real and need to be addressed immediately.

As long as we continue to think that the parliament is supreme, or our version of democracy is the best, the lack of powerful laws will ensure that the efforts of hundreds of people to uphold their duties will go down the drain.

The Indian public has let go of a golden opportunity to do something good for itself, by raising dissenting voices against this opportune moment.

But then again, haven't we known all along that the real enemy for us Indians, is our own brethren ?


Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 7:33 PM 31 comments