Feb 22, 2024
Feb 22, 2024
Anna Hazare created the biggest commotion in the public consciousness against corruption since independence. He branded it as Second War of independence. Everybody may not agree with him but the task it is yoked to, is no less significant than winning independence from foreign rule. In actuality, it may be even greater in importance. Winning independence from alien domination was simpler because the target was glaringly visible and direct. Uprooting corruption, the target is spread among all Indians; it’s not conspicuous in the sense it’s not residing at a single entity – it’s distributed all over the entire population. In fact, it’s harder than gaining freedom from British rule. It has to be eradicated from the blood of billions of Indians. However, current thrust is directed against blatant corruption existing at higher echelons.
It will be too simplistic to think it’ll not have any impact on the public mind. Anna is responsible for arousing national consciousness on corruption to an unprecedented scale. To consider it was just a momentary bubble that burst prematurely may be wrong - a few missteps, here and there, notwithstanding. Anna’s legacy will go on forward in to the future. For the time being it may be in slump. But the disease it was aimed at is cancerous. It affects everybody of the society and will continue to pinch all as always. It will surface again, probably many times over till it is brought down to some reasonable limits.
What we gained from this movement: widespread national awakening about corruption. Earlier, people suffered with a groan but never thought they could be freed from this malice. Now they can hope. This generation of hope is the biggest and long lasting gain. Whistle blowing will be easy. Honest people, who used to be mute witness to corruption, now will have courage to expose it – now that whistle blowers’ protection Act is in the offing – an essential corollary to this popular wave.
Past practice: they were subjected to endless harassment, now their action will be appreciated by the public and the government. It will work as a deterrent as the corrupt people will be afraid of being found out to face the consequences. Gradually, it will sink deep in the psyche of every Indian to induce a bout of hesitancy while giving or taking bribe. At this stage, till we achieve some sort of moral standard on corruption, the call ‘don’t give bribe under any circumstances’ may not be practicable for everybody – there could be unavoidable compulsions to concede. Such inescapable examples are many – though they are mostly petty cases. This is a reality, we must admit. Currently, let us focus on big-ticket corruption, slowly zeroing in on all others. Even that can be postponed till ‘Lokpal’ is in place. Fixing priority is essential. Targeting P.M and 15 other ministers may derail passing of ‘Lokpal’ bill. As of now, it should be single point programme – passing of the ‘Lokpal’ Bill.
We need not worry if the movement is in temporary slump lately. We should remember even in actual warfare the strategic lull is a necessity. Wait till it gathers momentum again – which is bound to. Discouraged by the momentary decline in public enthusiasm to jump into political foray seems to be a wrong step. It’s hasty and reflects a defeatist mentality. It is tempting to get distracted by other alluring issues at the risk of diluting the main problem. It is imperative the movement remain on track. Better to keep it confined to arousing collective consciousness and shaping political course. It is well-known, politicians of all hues don’t want to dig a grave for themselves by passing the ‘Lokpal’ bill. To bring about the change by entering into politics will be a herculean task. It’s unlikely Team Anna will ever muster the number required to effect change by joining politics. If someone of the team have individual political ambition that’s a separate story. Soaring on the Anna wave it may felicitate to get elected. But it is a move away from Anna’s agenda, and may not serve the desired purpose.
The malady is malignant and pandemic. It will come to a boil from time to time even after getting the ‘Lokpal Bill’ passed. To expect by simply passing the bill will solve all the problems is wrong. Lokpal Bill is only the beginning. The enormity of the task will unfold afterwards.
Team Anna is not lost. It’ll go a long way to create a proper political climate in future. Seed sown by Anna will germinate many times more. Corruption will not die out in one go. Anna’s agitation has to be resurrected again and again. Along with it Anna’s legacy will keep on propelling India to a better future on and on. Anna’s legacy will be far-reaching. Long live Anna spirit.