Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

There are some very interesting aspects of the Anna Hazare movement, in the context of modern India. I add to the tons of material on the subject, with my 2 cents of thought, as below:

1. Modern India is shining:

A party may have lost an election on the India Shining tag line, but we cannot deny the fact that India’s doing well, economically, and the general standard of living has gone up, across the board. People have work, people are busy, people are making money.

So how does that impact this movement?

Well, ordinarily if you are doing good, you have less reasons to complain.

And yet, we have HUGE mobilization of people, from across all sections of society. Reason is that the economic growth has happened IN SPITE of this corrupt government, and not because of it. And as one more mega scam gets exposed after another, there is a sense of detest amongst the people. That with all things going well for us, why is there this pain point in life? And due to which reason, people are protesting.

But at the same time, it is this prosperity that makes the few “intellectuals” give their deep analysis and keep finding the little loop hole here and there. If India was not shining and life was tougher, even these so-called nay sayers would have joined hands in the protest. But sitting pretty, they can afford to do their analysis paralysis!

2. Modern India has Social Media:

Again, this has had dual impact.

The huge mobilization has happened with help of mainstream media, but also because of social media. In fact, mainstream media almost “had” to fall in line. The tendency of our media brands, and especially the English television kind, is to look down upon anything that is even remotely looking like right-wing. This was not. But still the tendency of the media was to keep pointing the “other” side of the story. When they sensed the groundswell, on ground as well as on Social Media, the media vehicles had to fall in line with the popular point of view.

On the other hand, Social Media also makes it easy for the “experts” sitting at home, in front of a PC (or whatever device) to pick the holes. And put out blogs and Facebook updates and what not. NONE of them has given ANY practical solution that I have read so far, but all claim to find issues in the present movement. Luckily, this one time, the groundswell opinion has drowned out the voices of these naysayers, and the movement continues to generate momentum.

3. Modern India is Young:

Not just in this movement, but in society in general, I find people on the other side of 40, being resigned to India’s “fate”, as it may be. I am also on that other side of 40, and there have been times (though rare – I try to find positive things in life, in general) when I have also felt a similar resignation of sorts. But these people I talk about, usually think in terms of ‘politicians will always be like this’, ‘corruption is the way of life’, and stuff of that kind.

These are also the people who felt many years back that we’ll just have to wait 5 years to get a car allotted, or phones will die in monsoons, or that we’ll always have to go with a begging bowl to the IMF.

Well, some things have changed. And others MIGHT. Who knows?

The modern India is young. It has not seen the license raj, except in a film like Guru. For them, it is a piece of fiction. And they are the Jaago Re generation. They don’t take shit. They want things their way. So while the smaller problems they deal with themselves, and get change to happen, when it comes to larger issues like nationwide corruption, they did not know how to bring about change. But in an old man Hazare, they have found a connect. Which is where you see the mass following from the youth, from college students, even from school students. They want the country of their dreams, and this man offers them a hope to get there. And they are willing to follow (Few days back, a lady was sharing the story – someone asked her teenage daughter who her ‘ideal’ was, and instead of the likes of Dhoni or Aamir Khan or an Anand Mahindra, she chose her grandfather; the youth today respect a person, irrespective of age!).

4. Modern India THINKS: 

This is not to say that we did not have thinkers earlier. But in a less connected, less literate, far more rural India of yore, personalities were bigger. The aura of Mrs. G worked just because it was Mrs. G.

Today every Indian has an opinion of his own. Equipped with knowledge and enabled with technology, opinions are shared and can convert to mass thoughts. Personalities will be rejected if they are not convincing in their thoughts. The reputation of journalists is as good as the stand he / she takes, and how well it resonates with the people’s opinions. A Barkha Dutt was soundly rejected when she made her plea in the Radia tapes case. In spite of her reputation. Same goes with a Rajdeep or an Arnab or a Shobha De.

Which also means that there are hundreds of views on a movement of this nature. Whether the approach is right, whether he should blackmail the government, whether the new proposal of the Lokpal bill are adequate, whether there are better ways to making the impact, etc.

The fact is that the issue is not trivial. If you ask for solutions to get World Peace, you think it will be a one-liner that everyone agrees upon? The current problem is not much different in complexity. And which is why, there will be many opinions, on parts or all of the solutions proposed. Also whatever Anna Hazare and his team have proposed is not perfect nor is it a panacea.

So IN SPITE of these holes being found in the proposals, IN SPITE of people not agreeing on everything, the movement has taken shape and has gained momentum. Because he is at least DOING something. And the thinking modern India agrees that while it is not perfect, it is a move in the right direction. It will hopefully stop the southward movement of governing value system, and will give a hope for a bigger change to emerge in time to come. Also as they say in Indian mythology, the current government pot of sins has grossly overflown, and people DEMAND a stop to this.

That is the view of modern India, and which is why it has wholeheartedly supported the movement. In spite of a few differing points of view. Also of course, due to the fact that Anna’s team has been very conscious of getting it right. They have made sure that there is no connection to parties, the people in the forefront are pretty ‘clean’ and in spite of Manish Tewari’s histrionics, there is little to find obvious and apparent fault with. Unlike say, in case of the Baba Ramdev attempt.

We could be witnessing history in the making. The turnaround of the nation. With everything else going for it, as a country, we are also resisting the corruption bugbear! Wow.. I am so excited. If we win this, can ANYTHING stop us as a country, then??

What do you think? I, for one, am in support of Anna Hazare. Salute the man, salute the movement.

DISCLAIMER
This is a work of fiction. However, any similarity to persons living or dead is purely intentional 🙂
——-
There was a lot of commotion in the women’s barracks in Tihar Jail. The first class rooms were being cleaned and cleared. There was a special guest arriving.
Not that it is unusual for Tihar. Except that this was in the women’s section. There are not as many such special guests in the women’s quarters. Most of the other special guests were men.
Well, there WAS that one lady, who had been there for a while. Ah, finally she will have some company.
In fact, the lady also seemed excited. She was making unusual chatter with the women guards. There was a wide smile on her face. Almost childlike.
And then they heard the noises outside. The cavalcade of cars stopping one after the other. A rush of personnel heading towards the gate. To catch a glimpse of the Rajya Sabha MP making her way into Tihar. Some went to welcome her, some to escort her inside.
After her concierge completed the paperwork and formalities, she was finally escorted to the first class barracks.
Where the other lady was eagerly waiting for her. Constantly looking out in the direction of the door. Almost chewing her nails out. “When will she arrive? Why is she taking so much time?”
And finally, the door opened.
And NR saw Koi waiting at the door. And she almost jumped in joy. The grin on the face was from ear to ear.
And she ran towards Koi, and Koi ran towards NR. There was screaming and shouting, like teenage girls.
And they hugged and gave their air kisses to each other. Muah.. muah..
And they looked at each other, like long lost friends having been reunited.
Oh, what a scene. The female guards who had come to escort Koi into the barracks could scarcely believe the scene they had just witnessed.
And then, after the initial brouhaha had simmered down, NR escorted Koi inside, and they sat down and started chatting.
So many things to talk about, so many things to catch up on.
Koi: “Soooo, how have you been? How’s jail treating you? You seem to have lost weight?”
NR: “Oh, it’s okay. The first few days were tough. Missed my bed, my car, my team, my phone, my office. But slowly, I have got used to it.”
Koi: “But what’s with this weight loss? Don’t they have good food here?”
NR: “No, re. They have a great gym here. And since there are fewer calls to handle, I get all the extra time. So finally managed to do regular work outs that I was never able to do outside. Does not hurt to get into shape, while I am here, no?”
NR: “Don’t worry about the food. There is good choice, and you can order what you want. Some privileges of being in the first class barracks!”
Koi: “Ah, thank God. I need my rasam and idlis. I will die without those.”
NR: “But I am soooo glad to have you here. I was getting thoroughly bored.”
Koi: “You are saying you wanted to see me in jail?”
NR: “No, no.. not like that. I am just glad to have your company. I don’t wish you, nor me, nor any of my loved ones to be here. But now that we are here, we are here. May as well be here with a friend, than with a foe. What say?”
Koi: “Yes, that is right.”
NR: “And we can talk to our heart’s content. After all, there is not much else that we can do here, anyway!”
Koi: “And we don’t even have to worry about tapped phones.. ha ha.. “
NR: “Don’t remind me about that. In fact, pleasssssee don’t mention tapped phones. I have just about come out from regular nightmares about phones and tapping.”

After some more idle chatter, the talk moves on to more serious stuff. Like work!
Koi: “So tell me N, how’s work? While you are here, has work stopped or what?”
NR: “It’s pretty bad. RT and MA want to keep safe distance now. I don’t blame them, you know.”
Koi: “Too bad. Your big two.. wow. That must be tough.”
NR: “I know. Nobody wants to touch my agency with all this baggage.”
Koi: “So.. have you laid off your team or something?”
NR (with a smile): “NO! I manage to stay busy…”
Koi: “But you just said that no one wants to touch your agency..?”
NR: “Well let me answer this the filmi way.  I know you watch only Tamil films, and that too, mostly the ones starring someone from your family. But I am sure you remember the Yash Chopra classic, Dil To Pagal Hai…”
Koi: “Yes, I do remember. But in response to my question on work, you are giving me an example of a romantic film of Yash Chopra?? Hey N, did you find love in the jail or what??”
NR (laughing heartily): “Nooooo… no such thing. But I like the thought!”
NR: “As they say in that film, there is someone out there meant just for you. And you will find that person/s… “
Koi: “Oh.. that way? Ok.. so whom did you find?”
NR: “Well, you know, due to my tough times, the MAs and the RTs of the world want to keep a distance. Those are the kind who do not want to touch our agency at this time.”
NR: “But then there are others, who need our kind of help, and NO agency is willing to touch them, at this time.. “
NR: “Makes for a perfect match, doesn’t it?!”
Koi: “Ah.. I am sort of getting the idea. So tell me what kind of new work you have picked up?”
NR: “Well, there is SC who wants my help to mediate with his Norwegian partners.. to let him hang on!”
NR: “And there is SB who wants my help to reach Dubai, for some rescue act for him and his partner. After all, his Godfather, SP is also in trouble right now, and not much help to him..”
NR: “And then there is the toughest assignment of all.. “
Koi: “Oh, which one is that?”
NR: “The one who is not even in yet, SK. He needs me to tap my journalist friends, to persuade the GOP to stop now. They have already expelled him, and he wants them to stop there, and not get him here! Although he had “played” sports all his life, he is not really that fit to handle a jail stint.”
Koi: “So why is it that tough?”
NR: “For one, I do not have any journalists friends anymore. No one wants to talk to me, on phone or otherwise! And with so many state elections coming up, the GOP wants nothing to do with SK, and wants to make him the big sacrificial lamb.”
Koi: “So what will you do?”
NR: “Well, they don’t call me the best for nothing, you know. I will figure something out!”
Koi: “Hey, you seem to have your hands full with work, then? Hope you have time for me!”

NR reaches out and gives Koi a nice hug.
NR: “I will ALWAYS have time for you. You are my most loyal client. You were there with me when I was outside, and you have followed me in here, and continue to be with me. Can I EVER abandon you??”

And then, its time for lunch.
The buffet beckoned..