Megalomania

Give a man a reputation as an early riser, and he can sleep until noon.” – Mark Twain.

Corruption in India is a disease. It is omnipresent and has pervaded every strata of the society. The nexus between the bureaucracy, politicians and criminals defines it. It is compounded by the fact that the majority of people residing here are poor, illiterate and are governed by interest-oriented people. Corruption has a corrosive impact on our economy. It worsens our image in international market and leads to loss of overseas opportunities. A statistical analysis of India’s position in the global corruption barometer can be found here –  http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2010/results

There are forces operating within the country which in the name of restoring rectitude and transparency in public affairs are actually attempting to subvert the democratic process that has been laid down in the Constitution. What is equally unfortunate is that many sensible and educated people are being lured by the appeal of so-called civil society movements. The elected representatives of the people who sit and deliberate in Parliament have the responsibility of making laws. This responsibility cannot be appropriated by individuals and groups who are not elected by the people of India but only claim to speak for the people of India. This threat is difficult to combat since it appears in public in the guise of honesty and its aims are seemingly not mala fide. Appearances notwithstanding, any force working against the democratic process in India, even if it is non-violent, cannot be ignored since it attacks what is at the core of the Constitution and, therefore, of the polity.

The Congress-led government has everything against it. Inflation, corruption, inability to handle terrorism has eroded the faith people placed in them. This led Gandhian social activist Anna Hazare to take up the cause of the Jan LokPal Bill. Incase you are out of the loop, hit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lokpal_Bill .

It is very difficult to choose the right in this scenario. Both Anna Hazare and the government have faltered in their own ways. The right to protest and voice his opinions has been given to Anna by the very Constitution for which he cares not. He wants his version of the Lokpal Bill to be adopted oblivious of the fact that he is no more than an ordinary citizen who can’t be allowed to script laws. That job is implemented by the legislators and elected representatives of the people. His demands are thus unconstitutional and undemocratic. More than anti-corruption, his movement is anti-government. The Government’s handling of issue clearly sends a message that it dissuades any form of dissent and it isn’t accountable for its actions. Instead of putting Anna behind the bars, it could have reached a negotiation, strived to eradicate corruption or informed the people about Anna’s unreasonable demands.

History stands testimony to the fact that all great leaders(Malcolm X, Martin L. King , Mahatma Gandhi, Angela Davis, Joan of Arc, Geromino, Nelson Mandela. Rosa Parks  to name a few) have been to prison atleast once. Anna Hazare has thus been promoted to the status of a great leader by the actions of the government. The government’s fear that allowing Anna to launch his fast could trigger public unrest has come back to haunt them on a bigger scale. Yet another nail in the coffin for the Congress.

Millions of Indians have joined hands to support Anna Hazare in his crusade against corruption. If only a fraction of these supporters could vouch for the fact they have never indulged in any corrupt activities all through their lives, India would have been a better place to live in..