Friday, 30 December 2011

Has Anna Lost the Battle?

           Anna's Fight Against Corruption

I was in anguish when I saw the face of Anna Hazare on TV during his fast in Mumbai. He was adamant to carry out his fast despite running high temperature and he tried his best to keep his promise to the nation.. This frail old man of 74 has personally nothing to gain out of this struggle but wants to see Rama Rajya established in Bharat. I have purposely used the words 'Rama Rajya' and 'Bharat' because they are drawn from our ancient culture and not imported. However, let me make it clear that I have not been advised by any party or social group to use these words. Nor has Anna Hazare been advised by any party or social group to undertake a crusade against corruption. Had it been so, the Shiv Sena supremo would not have expressed his dislike for him.
Mumbaiites failed this selfless soul for reasons best known to them. Reasons can be many. One, Mumbai people are time conscious and do not have time to spend for political rallies since time has a cost for them and they attend the rallies of Politicians only because they are paid for the same. Two, proper logistics was not planned by IAC to ensure proper attendance coupled with State Government sabotaging it by creating transportation hurdles. Three, people found no reason why Anna should undertake fast when the bill was being tabled in the Lok Sabha. Whatever reason may have weighed heavily on the minds of the people, fact remains we failed this sincere crusader against corruption. I refrain to call Anna a Mahatma or a Second Gandhi because such tags raise the expectations of the people from the mortal human beings.
During the past several months the Government used many a method to bring down the image of Anna and his team. Initially they questioned their integrity and their past record. I do not know how much truth is there in such allegations but question arises as to why did the Government not take action against them at proper time and preferred to undertake a smear campaign now. Fortunately,this adverse publicity did not find favour with the public. I would like to add here that no body in this world is perfect and there is a possibility of some mistake having been committed by any one of them. What has to be seen is whether the act committed was with an intention to amass wealth and become rich or was it a mere act of oversight? I would advise all the members of IAC to declare their assets and let any one conduct scrutiny as they please.
When the Government failed to smear the good name of  IAC activists, it resorted to communalising the whole issue through their hounds who day in and day out publicized that the movement had the backing of RSS. For the sake of discussion, let us presume that the movement has a backing of RSS, what then? Is fighting against corruption an anti-Muslim act or anti-Christian act? Does rooting out corruption adversely affect the rights of Scheduled castes, Scheduled tribes and Other backward Classes? Muslims are known to have least representation in Government jobs. Would anti-corruption measures not reduce nepotism, communalism and money power in recruitment and ensure that all deserving Muslims get their due? Would machinations of high-caste babus not be exposed if Lokpal bill was in place? Would we not get a society which believed in equality of opportunity? If RSS backs a movement which benefits all the citizens of the country should we oppose it just because a Hindu body supports it. I feel we should welcome any step taken by anybody if it is for the welfare of the entire society and not for a few. In fact it is today I wish that Muslims and Dalits had sincere and selfless leaders like Maulana Abulkalam Azad and Baba Saheb Ambedkar who would have shown them the right path.
An objection was raised whether a nominated body could take to task the Prime Minister or the elected representatives of the people who indulge in corruption? The answer is make the Lokpal also an elected body. Let the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha elect the members of Lokpal. Even by selecting the members of Lokpal through PM, Vice President, Speaker,Chief Justce and an eminent Jurist , he becomes indirectly elected as majority of the selectors are elected representatives of the people. The only thing an independent Lokpal ensures is that it will focus on eradicating corruption from the country and would expedite such cases.
And then the big questions that Prime Minister will be belittled if he comes under the purview of Lokpal. May I ask a counter question as to why should a Prime Minister do an act which calls attention of a Lokpal?  If he is upright , every citizen of India including the Lokpal will bow before him and he will write his name in golden letters in the history of India.
Last but not the least , I feel that there is still time for the Parliamentarians to rise above party politics and petty personal gains and give to the people of India a Lokpal which is truly an independent body so that the generations to come will remember them the way they remember B R Ambedkar and the constitution makers.

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