The last time I heard about someone talking serious business about corruption was ‘Tata Tea’ echoing “Jaago Re”, and that campaign did get the company serious business. Accolades to the communication agency but we never moved from square one and the tea did not taste any better either.
And then one fine day appeared Anna Hazare. Here was an old man, leading the corruption struggle in the nation that ranks highest in youth population, unwilling to change his stand, staring in the eye of those who had given in to the system and questioning the creators of that system.
An ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi, his ways too are non-violent but Gandhi was lucky (I think), ‘Freedom from Corruption’ seems more difficult to attain compared to ‘Freedom from Foreign Rule’. The reason being simple, WE WERE SIMPLE. The freedom struggle was a battle we fought united while corruption has its own set of followers that display affinity and kinship with their own ‘cause’. And hence we stand divided.
Divided between the interested and not interested, between believers and non-believers, between exploiters and exploited, between the most corrupt and least corrupt, between you and your conscience.
I am unable to rationalize Anna Hazare’s stand vis-à-vis the constitutionality of the same though I do recollect we do have the right to hold peaceful processions but then when were Indian laws in favor of the common man. The National Congress Party of India has accused him of serious corruption charges, that Anna’s fight for a corruption-free India is nothing but a political gimmick.
This isn’t the first time that the Padmabhushan Award winner is protesting against corruption. He apparently has dedicated himself to the cause and is also known for restructuring the village- Ralegan Sidhi from poverty to a model village in the state of Maharashtra. After serving in the military and escaping fatal accidents twice he began dwelling on the purpose and meaning of life. Dear Political Parties, using the word corrupt for him may be a bit too harsh.
When we say India is corrupt, it has less to do with the system but more to do with the mindset. We have accrued it and it is as Indian today as the Bharat Mata. Corrupt goes beyond money, right? Corrupt is lacking in integrity. My concern is that when it comes to integrity we all fall flat on our face. Remember the terms secular, equality, free speech, blah blah blah?
But that does not mean that we don’t make a start. That is precisely the reason why Anna Hazare matters. Inspite of allegations if people have turned up for his support, it is because they are sick and tired of being helpless. We do extend our support to the parties when we vote, we have hardly got any rewards out of it. Toh fir Anna Hazare ko bhi support karne mein kya jaata hai!
Tomorrow, he will begin his fast unto death, he is ready to go to jail, he has taken this fight to the corridors of power. If it is a gimmick, it will be forgotten like any other scam. If this old man fails, be thankful that he tried.
If he wins you may forget Kisan Baburao Hazare but you may not forget Anna.