I know a man senior in age to me
who lives near my house.
I occassionally say Hello to him,
he hardly responds.
The other day he stopped me on the way,
said, come and join in the candle-light procession
today at 7 PM to express solidarity
with Anna Hazare.
I said, Wait.
If Anna is made lokpal,
I am OK.
But when Anna goes,
do you get another Anna?
He said, Anna does not want to be Lokpal.
Then, who will be the Lokpal?
That is a later matter, he said.
I said, fine, as far as sentiments of people
He went away.
But here is a point to ponder.
Tell me, how many people
do not cringe when paying taxes?
Tell me, how many people
do not break or bend rules while building houses?
How many of us will not agree to cut short a process
by palming off some money?
Well thought out systems are not usually faulty.
It is our individual priorities, ambitions, greed
that will put knots to systems.
Bring any system in place.
Human talent will always know how to bypass it.
Gandhian non-violence can easily be twisted to Dharna & Gherao.
Thoughts of welfare can be transformed to Natzi hatred.
Sometimes a concept of self defence
can lead to army offence.
Concept of jihad (titiksha) can prompt people
to terrorism worldwide!
Anna, how can you get over
men's base instincts.
People will salute your sentiments.
But will they purify themselves?
Comments on this Poem
Recently I put up my following observation on website “Muse India”|
To the relief of all, Anna-ji has withdrawn his fast and ‘victory marches’ in different cities across the nation will follow soon. One of Annaji-ji’s agenda was to ensure that people choose only ‘clean candidates’ for the legislatures. In this context, it is remarkable that some “tainted politicians hogged the limelight as they negotiated to loud public applause with members of Team Hazare to end the fast” (courtesy, Rajinder Puri, The Statesman issue of 29th August 2011). Mr. Puri also observes, the present frenzy across the nation (to me, somewhat naïve) has quite obscured the formidable issues which had kicked it up in recent past (e.g. 2G spectrum allocation, Commonwealth Games scam, Hasan Ali scam et al). However, we can hope, these will be revived to a logical end once the dust settles down.
But, my concern goes deeper while I recall my experience as Auditor with the Bharat Coking Coal Ltd.(BCCL). in late eighties of the 20th Century. The workers there were suppose to do overtime almost the entire month in gross violation of the statutory restrictions on overtime work. As a result, their pay packets used to be quite hefty, in which, there was hearsay, the coal mafias and the political parties had share, to verify which as auditors was out of question as the accomplices to this practice would obviously go without any record, though the formidable ‘Overtime’ legally not tenable was glaringly on record.
But, this “Overtime’ was only relatively a minor facet of the entire corruption in BCCL. Much more formidable was theft of coal directly from the mines in connivance with the staff, forest guards, Railway men etc. At that time, the Bofors scandal was very much in the air, where Late Rajiv Gandhi allegedly earned Rs. 62 Crore as illegal commission. I wondered if in BCCL a Bofors was not being committed every day!
Incidentally, these Audit assignments used to be given by CAG to the audit firms normally for 3 years. One audit assistant of the firm which got the assignment in the previous term of ours, was murdered within BCCL area for his over vigilance in his audit responsibilities. Naturally, on the first day of our assignment while we were being led to the BCCL guest house, the topic of this murder came up. One of our escorts had said, ‘it is very unfortunate; the second one remarked ‘it has been very bad’; the third one made us wiser- ‘the murder was committed under that tree (pointing out yonder) and later the dead body was thrown on the rail track afar’. We were thankful to those escorting us for imparting us the wisdom where the “Laxman Rekha” of our audit should be! The dialogues are still ringing in my ear after lapse of almost a quarter of a century.
I wonder, if Anna-ji will ever touch the hair of these coal mafias.
Rajat Das Gupta
(Kolkata, 29 August 2011)
Thank you, Prafulla Sahu. I am happy the message has got through. Thanks.
Well said ,all the protesters in Anna camp cannot be genuine.Sentiment should not rule us.let all introspect .but i like the message more than your poetry.|