Wednesday, 17 August 2011


So let me recap what happened on 16th of August, 2011. Anna Hazare refused to accept police conditions for his protest in JP Park. Police imposes section 144. Police arrests him and his associates from his residence early morning. They take him to Tihar jail and then he is released by late evening. But Anna refuses to leave the jail till he gets a permission to protest.

This short description of the events of today can very well go into history books if they finally result in the kind of change in our governance which all of us have desired for so long. Else it will be just another routine political protest that the ruling government of the day has been able to tide over and we are back to square one.

I have long believed that corruption whether big or small is the single biggest hurdle in recognition of our true potential as a nation. Lot of intellectual arguments can be made as to what the right “democratic” and “parliamentary” method should have been for bringing about a change. About who has the right to make laws in a democracy and why an elected government should bow down to unelected and self appointed “civil society”. But when you are talking of masses then no matter how intelligent the masses are it is not a time for intellectual debates. These arguments have happened in past and will continue in future but today the question is should the government bow down to Anna or not. Is Anna blackmailing an elected government?

Here is my argument. Supposing the government does bow down. Will it be the first time the government in the center has bowed down from its stated position under pressure? Let me jog your memory a bit. Hasn’t the government of the day in our country bowed down in past, to corporate lobbying, to foreign governments in international negotiations, to terrorists while negotiating hostage release, to our enemy countries in defeat or near defeat in war, to its minority allies to keep the government in power, to political horse trading to retain power, to Pakistan sponsored terrorism by climbing down from previous position of no talks till all stops to constructive dialog; and the list goes on. Well the government in the center has a history of bowing down to people and groups of much less credibility than Anna Hazare. Why such reluctance now?

I would say that in present situation it would only be democratic for a democratically elected government to not remain rigid and to climb down from its stated position once again in history; to perhaps, create history.

They should climb down from their stated position, and accept, that the Lokpal bill they have presented in Parliament does not do enough to address the real issues of corruption. It is also perhaps time for the black sheep in the political hierarchy to step aside and let the white sheep take center stage or for the gray ones to turn white. It is time for the government of the day to choose between black and white and get rid of this menace once and for all. It is a golden moment for Manmohan Singh or who ever it is in the present government who claims to be Mr Clean to really prove than he can really take leadership at this hour, and give the nation what it deserves; a corruption free and productive governance. A strong independent authority to bring justice to victims of corruption would be the first step in that direction. It can be seen, that the nation believes so.

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