Corruption and Regionalism :- Commas and Semicolons in India

While watching the debates of our Parliamentarians and the discussions of so called activists and intellectuals on the three important issues of Lokpal Bill today, one could sense the uneasiness of the politicians, reluctance and ego of the ministers and the technicalities of our intellectuals standing between a Strong Lokpal and no-Lokpal.  However, we still believe on the constitution and political system and still have faith on the aamjunta’s struggle –  a Strong Lokpal will come into force very soon.

Over the years, there is an exponential rise in Corruption by the Government, Sate/Central Officials, Politicians, Media and the Corporates – the level of corruption has crossed all its limits. The reports of CAG on Common Wealth Games (CWG), 2G Spectrum auction, Adarsh Housing Society scam, ISRO deal, KG Basin deal, Hasan Ali‘s case and Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) soft approach to the entire episode, black money and Swiss Bank accounts by politicians and others, Land deals by Karuna’s, BSY’s and their families, Jagan Mohan’s disproportionate and unaccounted rise in wealth, Reddy brothers’ mining mafia, BSY’s drama on resignation, Mayawati’s Taj Corridor and Birthday celebrations and many others… have proved that India is in its neck deep of corruption. Saying all this, one should not undermine the level of corruption in lower offices, where every day the common man is harassed and taken for granted, that no file will move unless the officials are bribed, no gas connection if you do not bribe, no telephone line if you do not give mithai and no ration card if you do not pay for chai pani

These definitely have sparked the uneasiness among the people like Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal, Justice Santosh Hegde, Prashant Bhushan and many others. This has led to protests, slogans, dharanas and above all Anna Hazare’s fast and determination to bring a strong Lokpal. To this the “Sense of the Parilament”  has definitely brought a sense of relief among the aamjunta. In a country like India where democracy is prevailed, Constitution is supreme and Parliament and Judiciary are the two faces of a Check-and-Balance system, corruption to this extent is really not acceptable. When there are protests by the common man, by the majority of tax payers and by the intellectuals, there is definitely a sense of seriousness and urgency to be dealt with. But, these protests should not be limited to just protests only!! These should laid the foundation of a corruption free and developed India. Moreover, instead of only participating in the protests and raising slogans the aamjunta should also participate in the system – getting elected through the system, exercising their voting rights and clearing the mesh.

Protests of these kind in-fact are taken seriously. However, there are serious comments and oppositions by the Media, so called intellectuals, activists, and our legislators – that this movement has undermined the supremacy of Parliament and is a threat to our democracy and constitution. Even there are attempts to divide the protests in line of caste and class – that the protesters are confined to only middle class and to upper castes. Religious cards are also played.

These kinds of accusation and attempts to divide the society are selfishly motivated and are signs of immaturity. Before accusing and dividing the protesters, the media, the MPs and the activists should introspect on (i) is there any other alternative when there is no seriousness by the politicians for the last 43 years to pass this bill; 8 failed attempts so far, (ii) why more than 4 ex-ministers and MPs and 20+ senior bureaucrats (pointing their fingers to the Prime Minister and Home Minister in court) are in Tihar Jail ; only after Supreme Court’s intervention and Dr. Swamy’s serious attempt, (iii) why do you appoint some one as Chief Vigilance Commissioner, when he is an accuse in a serious corruption case, and (iv) when MPs are booked for “Cash for vote scam”??

With so much corruption in place, what other option is left out for the aamjunta? In-fact the protesters should be appreciated and thanked for keeping the protests so far non-violent. When the entire world is struggling with violent protests (fighting for power in Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, riots in UK and many others are just few recent examples), we the Indians still believe and adopt non-violence. One thing I would like to point out here, that, the protests and dharanas of such type are not threat to our democratic setup as reported/targeted by Barkhas/Sagarikas/Arnabs/Arundhatis/Arunas… and supported by the pseudo-activists, rather a check-and-balance mechanism to our political system which can strengthen the democratic setup. Otherwise, every one including the PM and the leader of opposition will keep on saying that “we want a strong Lokpal“, but will not pass the bill and would not have even discussed in the parliament!

Many a times our honorable PM has blamed the political compulsions of the coalition government at the center for the current state of our country. This is in-fact true. With the rise in the number of regional parties like NCP/DMK/AIDMK/TMC/BJD/BSP/SP/Shiv Sena/MNS/TDP/NDF/Akali Dal/TRS and many others with their regional interests, there is definitely no chance for a single party like BJP or Congress to rule the country; no single party in the center will have the majority and hence cannot pass a bill on its own. It is true that many regional parties which are part of the Govt., force the Govt. (some time even at the gun point) on various issues – in cabinet formation, in inter-state issues, in development related to individual states, using CBI for political gains and in bringing family legacy into power….

Moreover, some time the threat issued by these state parties have really threatened the structure of Indian union and the civil rights of the common man; be in Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad or in Jammu. One can argue that the regional parties are born with the philosophy of a particular culture or a political compromise or because of the discriminatory feelings of the local “sons of soil” population, and hence are not bad for India’s democracy. Then, why is the political compulsion and PM’s inability to control corruption and other serious issues?

Every one should remember that we need to move ahead and move even with the hurdles of corruption and regionalism – corruption and the regionalism are just commas and semicolons in a sentence of a big essay called “India and Indianness”; they can neither stop the “India” nor the “Indianness”, though may put some punctuations or hurdles into it.

Aamjunta, what do you say? – do share your thoughts.

Jai Hind!

Note: The title of this article is inspired by Mark Tully’s Book – “No Fullstops in India“.

8 Responses

  1. Is democracy the universal answer to every specific political problem – is it any more efficient than undemocratic systems?

  2. Aamjunta, you have neatly pointed out the lapses in this governance… And here are my thoughts:

    1. I strongly believe the media has a much larger role to play ! It must be very sensible while choosing to release or with-hold certain facts, considering the necessary factor of “unity” amongst all people hailing from various faiths & sections of the society. Politicians most often play their own games !! So, during those situations, only matured citizens and a sensible media can together act with great responsibility towards the country. This would also help people to keep the focus on the issue-in-hand instead of foolishly letting the politicians drift away to their own safe zones.

    2. Well, peaceful protests may not always be the solution. And it need not necessitate use of armed forces either. Protests can be extremely aggressive-in-voice (advantage in a democratic system as it is the direct voice of the electorate) and enduring for the long-run i.e. until the change-for-good is sought !
    Protests depend on the type of governing system (democracy, monarchy, etc.), the problem of the citizens, its related consequences and the attitude of the people of a country. Still, from a broad angle I would say that to prevent undemocratic ways of protest, it is always wiser to nip the issue in the bud !

    3. Many of the Congress’s legacy things need to go !!!

  3. Nice article given the mood of the nation. Lets hope for strong lokpal bill and better India. I think there should be many reforms to eradicate corruption at all levels and lead to a powerful India. But we should be cautious, because many political leaders are now showing-off their fight against corruption to cash on votes, as if we dont know anything about their past. For example, super-fraud-Chandrababu-Naidu is staging many protests in Andhra Pradesh to take advantage of the situation.

  4. Effectively stated and with excellent timing

  5. Thanks David, Ryka, Shaik, Shanki and others for your support and for sharing your thoughts with aamjunta.

    I think we all need to come out from the self-mode and think for the community and for the India. This is the high time. The struggle led by Annaji has actually brought many true pictures of our politicians, media, intellectuals and activists to our knowledge. Many more will follow; just wait and watch. Jai Hind!

  6. Hello – Great site, just checking around some pages, it seems to be a really nice platform you are running here. I’m currently using WordPress for a few of my sites but looking to switch one of these over to a platform similar to yours just for a tryout run. Anything in particular you would recommend about it?

  7. Perfectly said! The govt. is now in a revenge mood – notice after notice against all anna members. Not surprised on the notice against Baba also. But, what will they get out of these cheap politics? God save India and our Ministers.

  8. In response to a reader’s comments, I would like to mention something out of my personal experiences…

    I have been in Hyderabad when Mr.Naidu’s party was in power as well as after it was voted out of it. Let me tell this – there was a huge difference in governance. There might have been certain lapses during Mr.Naidu’s period but his ruling period definitely scored more plus points. Please rem’ber – Hyderabad is today what Mr.Naidu shaped it or gave it its very foundation as a Hi-Tech city, and that had happened in a very short span of time. And to highlight a second important point.. as a female s/w professional, I found the city safer to travel even in late hours. Many more positive airs about his leadership…

    Well, there could be different views from readers. But in my opinion (as someone who has experienced the city’s different governances in the recent past), I believe (assuming its good-old record) that Mr.Naidu’s leadership would still be a “better” bet. Lapses can be everywhere but it is in our greater interest to choose the one with more or bigger plus points 🙂

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