From past few days, I am closely following Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption. And if you are connected to as many Indian friends as I am, then you don’t have any other option. Almost ‘7 out of 10’ Indian friends of mine will update their Facebook status on daily basis in support of this movement. They will write various status messages either in support of Anna or against Congress.
While I don’t have any problem with them supporting Anna, I want them to do it for the right reasons. In order to find out what Anna stands for, I did a little experiment. I emailed few of my friends on Facebook, who stands for Anna, to find out what exactly does ‘Lokpal Bill’ mean? What exactly does Anna stand for? And results were shocking. Almost 60% of my friends didn’t have any answers to my questions. But almost all of them had a perception that he stands against corruption, and if he becomes successful in his journey then we will have a new India, the Nation without corruption.
But then I got thinking……. aren’t we all responsible for the existing corruption in India? I agree that corruption must stop, but aren’t we all part of it? Being in India, we all must have encountered a situation where we must have supported corruption in one way or another. But once the corruption reaches out of our limits, we start blaming the system. Is that fair? For example: most of you won’t hesitate to bribe a policeman with Rs. 200-300 for any traffic violation because you want to save yourself out of the fine. But, when it comes to giving Rs. 15 lakh to a medical college for a medical seat, then you start blaming the corrupt system, because it is out of your reach.
We are all humans, and we have a tendency to become a part of something. And I don’t have any problem with that mentality. But if you are becoming a part of something, then please make sure to get your facts straight. Following someone without reasoning is one kind of slavery. So, don’t be a slave. Ask questions. Find out more information about what Anna Hazare stands for. And if you agree with his methodology of solving corruption in India, then go ahead and support him. But please stop following someone blindly.
Please understand that my intention is not to hurt someone’s feelings. But I want to make sure that if you are fighting for a revolution then make sure that you have the right reasons for it. Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi
August 25, 2011 at 8:56 PM
I think you are just trying to have a different view which is not based on any kind of rational thinking. Please explain yourself
August 28, 2011 at 10:20 PM
@Laxmikant: While I agree that Indian need some kind of a relvolution to solve the corruption problem, I don’t agree with your opinion. My blog is based on my observation and few facts. It is certainly based on rational thinking. I am also bored of corruption in India, and I agree that it needs to end. But following someone blindly to end corruption is some kind of a slavery in itself. I just wanted to tell people to follow someone with reasons, and that was the only content of my blog. So, if you misinterpreted my observation and conclusion then I am really sorry. I didn’t have any intetion to hurt anyone’s point of view through my blog. I hope, my comment explains the thinking behind my premise. Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi
September 12, 2011 at 5:28 PM
Nice post but title of the post does not fully align with the gist of your post, but contradicts it. I agree that our decision will be informed and not just ‘follow the crowd’ type. Even someone does not choose to support Anna or any other activist, that persone inadvertantly has made a choice to support other side. Had you asked your facebook friends who did not know Anna’s agenda, did they know that doing nothing and just trying to analyze forever is better? Sometimes we had to begin the journey and we figure out details on its way. There are many ways to solve any problem and Anna has one and Ramdev has another and Congress has some other. Whatever is best will prevail and should prevail.
I have not followed Anna’s crusade but have read some headlines, my thought is that Anna has challenged ‘status quo’ on corruption issue and that is why Congress is bringing something new.
My opinion is that inaction is not a choice, public has to wake up and make corruption a social sin.
Thanks for sharing your thoghts. Great work!
September 12, 2011 at 8:29 PM
@Kulveer: Thanks for replying to my blog-post. I also got your tweet. While I agree with you that Anna’s movement was a ‘status quo’, I think that people who followed him should have known better details about his proposed solution. Definitely Indian people has to fight against corruption, but just going with the wave will give us an unorganized and uneducated society. I think, some of the people who support Anna’s movement against corruption might themselves be not paying enough IRS taxes. So, my question is ………. Is it ok for me to tell politicians to not take bribes, while I do it openly? Isn’t this change a cultural change?
Not that I am insulting anyone’s religion, but I must say this………..I have seen many people going to the temple (including myself) and giving some money to the God for getting something done. Isn’t that some kind of a bribe?
The only point I am making through these examples is – we should first change ourselves and then try to change others. And yeah! No matter how frustrated we are from this corruption, we should first understand the solution and then only support the cause.
Thanks again for sharing your opinions with me. I always welcome different point of views – Bhavin Gandhi
May 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM
I read your blog and agree that it doesn’t relate to its title. I remember once Mr. Kejriwal adressed youth and said – “don’t go to educated, they are confused people. Go to villagers because they have strong common sense”. What he meant was even if you do not know intricacies of the law, you can sense whether it has merit or not.
How can you infer that just because your friends do not know what exactly is janlokpal bill, the movement doesn’t have any merit ???
You are not the first one to point out that we must stop giving bribe to prevent corruption. Do you know they had campaign against corruption?
Do not get me wrong, but you are one of many intellectuals who loves to give alternate view on topic and make everything on earth debatable. Educate yourself and learn what ‘The Daily Show’ fame Jon Stewart had to say on the show ‘Cross Fire’ and why the show stopped.
Media panelists and intellectuals like you are hurting India !!!! seriously … everything gets lost into debate and in turn helps corrupts.
British divided and ruled …. congressmen divide, confuse and rule. You guys are helping them a lot.
Last point, not a single intellectuals like you has come forward with an alternate executable way to curb corruption at top level….. and remember gyaan like …. ‘stop giving bribe’ is not a practical solution.
If Anna Hazare movement is undemocratic, what sort of movements do you suggest?
May 18, 2012 at 4:16 PM
@Amit: Thanks for reading my blog, and providing your valuable feedback.
I guess, we have a disconnect here. I have never argued on the Lokpal movement itself, the premise of my argument is very simple. It talks about why not to follow the movement. And the reason is……understand the movement first, and then only, make an informative decision for yourself.
The intention of this blog post is not to diminish this movement in any way, neither to force my readers to come up to any conclusion. The sole intention of this blog is to awake people, who support this movement on just the face value and nothing else. Basically, following someone blindly is also some kind of a slavery.
I know………everyone is fed up with corruption in India. And maybe that is the only reason why, they are taking this movement on the face value instead of finding out their facts. What I meant to say….people who follow this movement, sometimes, doesn’t even know what the solution has to offer. And I just want people to realize that. That’s all.
I don’t think I have the perfect solution for ending corruption at the top level. But what I would do is…….make all the financial records public. Make all the government spending/income transparent. For example: You must have heard the largely discussed case of GSA disaster. I mean……instead of having a committee to look at this, have the entire population to see.
Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi
May 18, 2012 at 6:00 PM
Let me ask you a question first. If you do understand Anna and Lokpal Bill, do you agree with his movement? The gist of your argument is that if you do not know facts behind Lokpal Bill, you are wrong in following blindly. What if someone (you) knows in depth: should he support?
Do you believe in God? If, yes then similar argument could be that if you have not seen God and cannot prove his existence, you are wrong in following blindly. My point is, millions of people followed Anna just because they used their ‘common sense’. The way Congress got baffled and played all tricks to curb the movement, it sent a strong signal that the movement had some merit. The problem started when intellectuals and self-proclaimed political pundits started digging deeper and came up with arguments like ‘Frankenstein Monster’, ‘Anarchy’, ‘Parallel Govt., ‘Threat to supremacy of parliament’ blah blah ….. I agree that the Lokpal Bill was not complete, but it was enough to get started. Going all over against merit of the Bill without giving any pragmatic alternative, did not help India. The movement got lost in the debate. This is the reason why I have so much grudge against media crooks and armchair intellectuals. Media is doing its duty in being an arbitrator and bringing both sides of an argument. However, a good arbitrator must take a stand in the end. This is where it failed miserably. I am sick of listening to media panelists because it is helping politicians to get away with anything. (my reference to Jon Stewart) Politicians are getting free ride. Think over it!
I request you to take my argument with open mind, had Anna got blind support (as you said) from Billions and Congress implemented the Lokpal Bill, we had a better India today. But wait, just two days back stones were thrown at Anna by youth Congress and A Raja got bail. This is sad state of India today and believe it or not an argument like your post helped Congress indirectly, along with media crooks.
I spent whole day learning about Anna and Kejriwal and I decided that they will have my ‘blind support’. Kejriwal would have been a crorepati by now, had he continued in his govt. service. But, what he has done so far is beyond our capability. I am sure I will never go wrong supporting him blindly.
I am sure in this information age (TV, Facebook, Twitter etc.) people are more informed about Anna’s movement than other movements in age of Gandhi and Mandela. People associate themselves with mass leader by gut felling (common sense) thinking he will help fight against common problem. It doesn’t require getting all the facts known.
Lastly, your last para proves my point that you do not have any practical alternative solution and if someone wants to pass a bill to make financial record public, how it is going to happen? Politicians will not dig grave for themselves. If it has to be through mass movement, I am sure it will have worse fate than Anna’s movement.
We Indians are thick skinned with crab mentality and love to debate.
August 27, 2013 at 6:08 PM
Thanks for sharing your views on the Anna Hazare (AH) Movement. Alike many of your readers, I too agree that you have not exactly justified as to “Why” the movement should not be supported by others (in your opinion). So first and foremost, the title is irrelevant to the text. I was expecting you to express you views or what parts of the AH movement you feel are not worth supporting. And yes, each of us have our own opinion. You stated yours, but failed to reason it.
Now, regarding the rest of your blog. I agree with your view that at some point all of us have taken advantage of corruption. More than corruption, I would say you are talking about law and order in some manner. When someone breaks a red light, there’s no strict law and order in the country that people are scared to follow. And we easily take advantage of it. Similar can be explained regarding many of the domestic problems in India, weather rural or urban.
I respect AH and his movement because unlike you and me he has the balls to do something about corruption, pardon my language. And people admire his initiative. People are so disgusted by corruption and so many other political/socioeconomic matters that we’ve become impatient to analyze and mircroanalyze and ask the “Why?” questions. There’s a sense of urgency and no one has the time, although it might seem the right thing to do. It’s easy for you and me to comment on such matters sitting here in the USA or watching it from a birds view. Truth of the matter is, it’s all B.S. until it means anything and take full responsibility for the situation.
I appreciate what AH is doing for this country, I have respect for what he’s created, no less than a revolution I must say. But, dare I comment on why some one else should not support him, why ? a) I am not doing anything about it, b) I have no alternative movements going on nor any solution and c) If I said it, I’d be a hypocrite. However, I personally can or cannot support it, of which I do.
Finally, I would never say “Why you should/ should not support…”, Instead, I’d say “Why I do/do not support…”, that’s just me.