Sunday, January 1, 2012

Trade Mark of 2011 is Corruption- A historical year for Indians

On the last day of 2011, I pondered what trade mark is to be assigned for this ending calendar year. After deep thought, I found one word “Corruption” which attracted the most. It is a social product of Anna team. They are marketing it with full fanfare as social marketers. This is the single issue which hits all Indians inside as well as outside the country.
Anna team is not alone to take its credit. To know its genesis, we need to focus on Baba RamDeo. He is making people aware with the platform Swabhiman trust for many years. Initiall, he staged a protest in RamLila ground. He tried to raise the issue of black money and corruption. He pressurized the government of India to act for bringing black money back. He is highly successful in his mission. Government reacted against him and he suffered because he did some unthinkable mistake. One main reason among many is that he is not having a good team to carry on such time taking and slow changing process.
After black money issue of Baba, another team came into picture. This team is led by Anna. He is having a core team of renowned persons. They took a protest in Delhi against corruption. To curb the growing cancerous corruption, they put a demand for a strong lokpal as a weapon to kill it. This lokpal bill is pending for last 43 years. They termed their agitation as second freedom movement against corruption. Corruption is very rampant and affecting all in some form. They got support beyond their imagination.
People get medium to vent up their negative energy generated by corruption. The image of Anna was one major factor for gathering huge support. His agitation brought central government to its knee. Political parties are playing with this issue to get some benefit. But overall impression of pubic is against the political class. This is very dangerous proposition for the country. Reduction of faith in political actors and institutions are not good sign. But it is a fact and it is known to them.
Corruption is the biggest hurdle in development. It is growing slowly and silently. It is affecting all and retarding their growth pace. Inspite of its great negative effect, it couldn’t become a public issue. Thank to god that he sent two saints in 2011 in the form of Baba and Anna who made it a visible public issue. They compelled the governments to act upon unwillingly.
Social media played very important role in connecting people and exchanging their ideas freely. Through free social media, public supported, endorsed the movement against corruption. It took a shape as it is a movement leading the country to free it from corruption. Yet, we don’t get a tangible result in the form of lokpal, but a strong environment against it has been built. Its heat is felt by the corrupt government. It may be of any party or any state. The credit of government of India is at stake. Chief Minister of Karnataka lost his seat because of his corrupt practices. This is an irony that he was forced to leave even he was having majority support in house. On the other hand most troubled state of Bihar is hailed for its good governance. This tells that good governance is now the agenda for political actors to worship to please the ‘God’ to get power.
When movement was at peak, to dilute it, congress and some its allies said laws are made in parliament not on streets. This type of blame game was played to dilute the issue and movement. It is true that laws are enacted in parliament as per our constitution. In streets people are not making any law, but they have every right to make parliament know their needs and wishes. And this is the strength of our cherished democracy. If our representative will not keep and act as per the wishes and need of public in parliament and will do what party high command will say, then what option is left to public to tell their wishes to law makers. Should they not go on streets?
India is a representative democracy. Needs and wishes of masses are put before the parliament and legislative assemblies by their elected MPs and MLAs. But reality is what we know all. For a MP and MLA, the wishes of Party high command are prevailing over the wishes of people. Arvind Kejriwal- a prominent team Anna member- in his article dated 1st January 2012 in Times of India “India needs real democracy” very rightly and artistically said about high command culture prevailing in our multi-party political system. Whole system is dwarf before two or three of top leader who think himself as owner of the party. Its members do what so called high commands wish to see irrespective of public demand.
Our constitution says by the people, of the people and for the people. But in light of ongoing practice, Kejriwal quoted it like “of the party high command, by the party high command and for the party high command.
To prove his point he gave example of Rahul Gandhi. Rahul said Lokpal should have a constitutional status. After his debate in parliament, cong is behind it on war footing, leaving all previous exercises. He comes in category of party high command of Congress. Hence his wishes are prevailing over the wishes of the country. If not then why not this proposal before his debate in parliament. This raises a question. Does our democracy is practicing as it is in blue book. Its answer is a big “NO”.
This big NO has compelled to all of us to think seriously what to do to bring a match between practice and statute provisions. There is a tolerance limit of everything. If we see very minutely, we can say our representatives keep themselves above law by manipulation or by hooks or crooks. This alarming situation brought down faith of public in political actors and their associated bodies which in turn is very dangerous for the country.
Based on above discussion and cited reasons, I endorse the heading of Arvind. Party workers can’t change it even if they desire. Because party political system in India is very loose and can be manipulated easily. The related highest body is Election Commission of India. Its proposals for political reforms and opinions of public are eating dust in cupboards. Political reforms are utmost required, but it is yet not in picture. This type of functioning of our democracy is not desirable. If it will get the attention of party high command anyhow, it will be passed within no time. Thus, I see the dust created over corruption and black money by Anna and Baba as a very positive sign in the betterment of the country.
I would share the opinion of the others who see it wasted of time, money and many more things. Tavleen Singh wrote a heading “A wasted Year” in the Sunday express on the 1st January 2012. She says it is a myth that by creating a powerful lokpal, we will be able to dismantle the vast and complex infrastructure of corruption which have a life of many decades.
I think team Anna is not saying this. They are not saying that Lokpal is a magic stick with which ghost of corruption will set on fire. What I have heard and read from Anna and his team that Lokpal is a starting and it will be a strong weapon in the hands of people like RTI. This is the reason, they have announced to take up issue of political reform after getting it settled and operative like RTI. I fail to understand the logic given by madam Singh. It is like ‘acts are not made on streets.’ She has criticized NAC for food bill and Anna for Lokpal together. She has tried to prove her case meticulously, but I’m not convinced.
So far we were confined to 2011. Turn towards 2012, A news item in ToI (1st January 2012) says “2012 will not be easy for the country.” To some extent, I see it true, but not entirely. Spill over of USA and Europe’s bad economy will affect us negatively. Added to this, our corrupt practice will provide some acceleration to it.
Being an optimistic person and positive thinking man, I see some good fruits of social crop showed by Baba and Anna along with Indian public. Now ruling and opposition parties at Delhi and in state capitals have received many shocks of corruption earthquakes erupted intermittently in the 2011.
To prove the point government of Uttar Pradesh dropped nineteen ministers on the charges of mal practices till date. Further to add, Raja and his secretary are still without bail. BJP changed his chief minister in Uttrakhand before election. Why? Its reason is an open secret. It is all due to an environment against corruption built by two saints. Political class has its own compulsions, which we need to understand.
2011 is a historical year. In this year, we launched second movement to liberate the country from corruption with Gandhin style. As per me, 2012 will bring mix results. We will reap good fruits of crop showed in 2011 and we need to take pain to plant more trees like political reform bill to see India as a developed nation by 2020 as envisaged by APJ. To historical year 2011bye bye and welcome to 2012 with full optimism.
(Views are personal)
Heera Lal
www.makingyouhappy.org


ref:
1. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-toi/special-report/India-needs-real-democracy/articleshow/11322587.cms
2. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/a-wasted-year/894281/
3. http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/publications/data/2006-11-01_nravi.pdf