By Abhishek Saha and Md. Zishan Khan
Compiled and Edited by Abhishek Saha
Inputs from The Hindu, Frontline, EPW, and several other websites
The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the writers, and are not to hurt the sentiments of anyone.
The Anna Hazare phenomena has gripped the nation for a couple of months now- with the media multiplying the truth of his struggle and broadcasting him as the next Gandhi, and rational critiques and social scientists rubbishing his style of fight and some even objecting to the nature of “his” Lokpal bill. Through these months the developments in the Anna Hazare case, has been gripping and shocking at times. And recently, the government made a poor exhibition of its shaken seat, by arresting the 70-something old man and drastically putting him behind the bars.
Well, we all know that India has a history and habit of producing overnight heroes, the most recent name in this “Transient Hero List” is Anna Hazare. Suddenly, he has become a household name and has taken a permanent seat in the hearts of the people if not in the parliament. Well, Anna is a 74 year old Gandhian who suddenly one Monday morning thought of making his regionalized anti corruption movement to go national and reached the ‘Seat of Nobles’ – Delhi. His noble thought of curbing the malaise of corruption from Indian administrative and executive body by proposing to make parallel pseudo-governmental machinery against the corrupt should surely be commended not as a thought but as an initiative revival.
“A corrupt government devoid of moral authority is ill-equipped to deal rationally with legitimate public anger” –Editorial, The Hindu, August 17, 2011.
The bewildered, panicky and frightened government is trying all sorts of measures from firing allegation against Anna to locking him up in Tihar jail. It is suddenly being questioned from all directions by the public in press and by the opposition in the parliament. While everybody is trying to extract maximum of this movement (politicians aspiring for their political gains, wannabes for coolness, brands by maximizing profits by selling tees with “Anna, I m with u” imprinted on them, TV channels by holding some nonsense debates) the government is tasting the most sour of grapes just going around corner to corner trying to answer but instead spilling out something rubbish out of panic.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
Things fall apart the centre cannot hold
Mere anarchy is let loose on the world…
-The Second Coming
By William Butler Yeats
Well, to people Anna has been the Second Coming of Gandhi because as per an oracle there was to be a second coming of Gandhi (as of Christ) when the world will be engulfed by sins and sinners. Anna suddenly emerged as godly figure to save India and Indians from thy wrath of the evil politicians…
People have accepted Anna as their messiah who will give them shore in this strong storm of political upheaval and widespread corruption. So, the citizens have turned devotees of thy guru Anna) against this evil and corrupt government.
The very interesting point to note at this juncture is that, is the Team Anna and the Congress government completely unaware of the fact that taking a chance out of their anti-corruption crusade’s clash with the scam-tainted government, a rather devastatingly communal opposition is taking over the political scenario of the country, by turning the issue as an anti-Congress agenda? The prime minister of the country and Sonia Gandhi are being criticised in rallies backed by political agendas as if they were the one and only embodiments of the corruption menace sweeping over the country. The people of this country have to understand a crucial point that neither corruption was created by a magic wand nor can it be remedied using a magic wand! A prolonged pattern of financial system dominating the country has resulted in this widespread sickness and, as Prabhat Patnaik says in a latest essay in Frontline, “The steep rise in corruption is due to the change in the property regime brought about by the freeing of markets and the privatisation drive”. (You can refer to the complete essay “Roots of the Malaise” by the reputed intellectual for a detailed analysis into the root causes of corruption.) Yes strict laws and stringent steps will obviously go a long way into curbing this malaise, but, my dear Anna Hazare ji does the answer lie simply in creating a mass hysteria kind of thing and convincing the common people that only a “ … draconian, anti-corruption law, in which a panel of carefully chosen people will administer a giant bureaucracy, with thousands of employees, with the power to police everybody from the Prime Minister, the judiciary, members of Parliament, and all of the bureaucracy, down to the lowest government official” (Arundhuti Roy, The Hindu) , is the only solution of the problem? We haven’t achieved the India which you see now in a day or two; 200 years of struggle for a democratic, republic, free, sovereign, secular nation has led us to what we call India today. We have a heritage of our democracy; but yes along with that in these 64 years of Independence we also have a heritage of political thieves, corrupted leaders, and incidences that can be sceptically called to be gang-rapes of democracy. But does that still justify the undemocratic clauses of your bill, and your adamant attitude in the face of world’s largest democracy? Can any rational judge of the entire incident overlook the fact that by waging a violent or non-violent war (Maoists or Team Anna) against a sovereign democracy, what you are doing best is nothing but destabilising an entire nation’s democratic system and making people lose faith in a stable democracy, which is certainly not the way to fight corruption?
“The youth has awakened. They are the biggest strength of the country. They will not tolerate any further loot and corruption.”- Anna Hazare at the Ramlila Ground.
The youth? Which youth are you talking about Anna Hazare ji?
That youth who do not vote? Or the one which doesn’t cooperate in census? Or that which always try to fly from India? Does this youth follower of yours know about the tribulations of people in Gilgit-Baltistan or the fast of Irom Sharmila in Manipur?, Or that youth generation which prefers Woodland leather over Bata, and looks down at everything Indian brand( in short gives a dumb thumb to everything Indian be it the government or public toilet )? Or that youth mass which has out of the blue found a new cool fashion/ lifestyle/ attitude brand -The Anna brand?
Anna Hazare ji, if you think that the youth, the materialistically dominated, politically disillusioned and illiterate, chronically alcoholic and porn afflicted youth, which doesn’t know the head or tail of Indian heritage, culture, the history of Indian democracy, are really up with you by understanding your cause, then we are sorry to say, that you are very much mistaken and out-dated.
It’s a mass hysteria, and please don’t stay in an illusion that it’s a mass upheaval. And moreover without a proper ideology, a political or financial ideology, there can’t be a revolution in the country which will change the system- just like any random guy shooting dictators can’t be Bhagat Singh (who had a very strong Marxist- Leninist ideology guiding him), similarly politically or financial- knowledge wise unsound crowd can’t bring in a social revolution.
Corruption is a malaise that cannot disappear overnight by having a certain law; it needs active participation of the people, moral responsibility of citizens and awareness about one’s rights. It would not be even legitimate to fantasize about a sudden shift in India’s rank from 87 to under 10 in next Transparency International report; it’s not like you woke up one day to find you are 30 year old man from an 18 year boy, you will have to get pass your birthday each year to reach there, but you will certainly get there one day. Change needs time and time will change but not with such a hush-hush attitude. So, with all due respect, Anna ji please don’t give the slightest of probability to an extreme power authority which is over government, you yourself are aware of the coups around the world. We don’t want to join the league of Pakistan and Myanmar (we just want to be their geographical neighbours and allies) where it is not even feasible for a government to be stable for even the blink of an eye.
Md. Zishan Khan is a third year Civil Engineering student at BIT Mesra, Ranchi. An outstanding student, he writes political essays and poems.
Abhishek Saha, a third year Civil engineering student at BIT Mesra, Ranchi, is an active blogger and freelance photographer.