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Anna Hazare - The Dilemma this Nation is Facing by Anas Khan

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Anna Hazare - The Dilemma this Nation is Facing by
Article Posted: 08/29/2011
Article Views: 399
Articles Written: 390
Word Count: 2114
Article Votes: 1
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Anna Hazare - The Dilemma this Nation is Facing

Government,Press Release,Current Affairs
It was on Tuesday that Mr. Hazare was arrested for having violated the conditions put forward by the Delhi police for the fasting at Jai Prakash Narain Park. In the past 48 hours the entire country has been engulfed in the hype, behind the new self proclaimed Gandhian’s fight against corruption. 20,000 people protested on the streets of Delhi alone, about the same number protested in other major metropolitan cities all over the country, including Bengaluru, Mumbai and others. In the backdrop of the uninformed support being provided by the masses, the situation in the country is swindling between festive joy (for the new found cause) and historical doom supported by the very masses. Let us expand these emotions a bit and see what is feeding them, and what they are leading to. The pride and the euphoria of a united nation have been revived after long. It would be incorrect to say it is a national struggle; I disagree out of my respect for the struggle, methods and objectives of the Independence struggle. The revolutionaries, who brought us to our freedom back in 1947, were facing bigger dangers, with more constitutional methods. The result of which is visible today, we are a free nation, although with our own set of intricacies, but which nation state has ever existed without any. Moving on, the state of the masses in the country can at best be compared to the world cup, which was the last pivotal incident of a united nation emoting, praying and supporting a common cause for a positive output (the world cup victory). What is happening today is something closer to the world cup euphoria, but far from the aspects of a national struggle or revolution, as some are fondly and dangerously articulating it as. At the crux of the current situation is a divide within. The whole situation originated out of a divide, between a man with a noble cause and the government that dutifully and rightfully must preserve the prerogatives of the constitution and of its own self. The masses on the other hand, have assumed the role of the supporters, but are inevitably and unconsciously also the feeders to this stalemate in the country. No matter how much support is provided to the cause, the method does not become correct. It only facilitates a greater dilemma for those in power, along with a stronger encouragement for self proclaimed spokespersons of the civil society. It only sensitizes the already sensitive situation.

Let me ask the reader, “Do you actually believe that Anna Hazare’s draft is the only and the best solution to fight corruption?” “Are you aware that this precedence will be used by numerous factions of the society for numerous demands in the future? (Not all will be for a righteous cause, but with the same incorrect method)” “Does your neighbor or fellow bystander in the protest rally understand the conflicts between the two drafts, and the reasons behind them. Or is he/she merely there to fight corruption under societal momentum?” And lastly, “do all of us realize that the time and effort put behind this, if channeled towards equally important issues persisting within our boundaries, would solve more problems for all of us? (Inflation, oncoming recession, poverty, murder of RTI activists, grain storage shortage, crime against women, healthcare, education e.t.c)”

I cannot answer all these for you, because that would make me a self proclaimed civil society voice too, minus the support and cameras behind me. What I can do though is convey a framework, within which contemplation and exploration needs to furthered by every single person who is interested in this fight for corruption. Let us first understand the constitutional aspects of it, then the implementation and lastly the consequential ones. When Anna began this fight about two months back with ‘version 1.8 of the Jan Lokpal Bill’, his demands were preset. They were unconditional acceptance of his draft and its conversion into the law of the land. It should not take much rationale for a person to understand the inappropriateness of this request, (it was far from a request, but let us assume it was). This adamant demand obviously had to be rejected, for in a nation of 1.4 billion people, the mathematical probability of a better or revised solution with more brain storming and discussions for higher implementable possibility is really high. The adamant demand also needed to be rejected, for no matter whom with however noble a cause, cannot be permitted to create laws outside the constitutional machinery. It not only means conveying to the world that all that we have done so far has been on a failed system, but it also implies permitting individual voices to overpower the entire democratic setup. Now let us come to the implementation ambit of these bills (government’s vs Anna’s). The method of the Anna team has been grossly incorrect. When we elect an executive head for the nation (PM), we not only offer him power for betterment, but respect for encouragement and strength. The need for a singular authority to do the needful against all odds is imbedded in the political evolution from the Athenian democracy to the Indian. So when the PM of this nation properly conveys to the masses, the reason and logic behind the reason for not permitting a free flow of decision making authority beyond the parliament, it is a shame to see that he is paid no attention. And most of it is termed a usual political quarrel, and thereby negated.

It is this same position and not the person, which Anna’s draft wants under the purview of the bill. Reasons for such an obnoxious suggestion (it is a demand; I am consciously sobering his tone for his good), ‘there must be no office outside scrutiny’. With the same logic, let me question, then why must we support the Jan Lokpal bill in the first place, for it not only plans to supersede the necessary and free power pillars, but at the same time replicates in itself what it wishes to eradicate.

The Jan Lokpal committee if brought under effect will be the new PM in the context of absence of scrutiny. Today there is only one office that stays outside this ambit, tomorrow there will be a committee with numerous members outside the ambit of scrutiny. So why does Mr. Hazare and team wish to bring the PM under scrutiny? It is for check and balance. Then who provides the check and balance to the committee, does it not have an equal probability of going haywire if not more, considering the PM is one person and the committee will include many. It does not end here, although I feel the need to change the paragraph, but I must continue to highlight a few other logic blocks, of which the people are not aware, and hence are ending up supporting the expansion of a dyslexic movement. The Jan Lokpal bill which is the Anna’s version of fighting corruption, wants the MPs in the parliament (the discussion and formulation forum of the country) to be under scrutiny of a distinct kind. They demand that the powers of these MPs in lieu of speaking, voting and behaving must also be under the committee. Don’t they realize this hampers the whole point of having a functional democracy, where solutions are found while catering to the versatility that we have as a nation. It is not an old saying, yet forgotten, “India is a nation with unity in diversity.” The committee also requires the inclusion of judiciary in this ambit, which again implies formulation of a parallel judiciary, and if there are problems with the existing one, then who guarantee the everlasting stability and serenity of the parallel one. There are numerous such differences between the Jan Lokpal and the Lokpal. The point to be discussed here is this, the government version of the Lokpal bill is far more implementable and stable compared to Anna’s Jan Lokpal version. It should have been obvious to the masses much earlier, for the Lokpal was formed by member of the parliament, who for two consecutive terms have been formulating policies and drafts for this nation. And I dare not say that we have gone downhill ever since the current government came to power in 2004. Whether we could have climber higher is question of hypothesis, the reality stands as it does, because we got through the recession, our food inflation rates have dropped today, our markets and masses are being empowered even if on a gradual scale. These are things to be considered, before we support a movement that is obscuring our government from functioning. Let us move on to the final ambit of consequentiality. As of today there are people protesting for the cause and people profiting from it. At the top of the list are the media houses with record breaking TRPs, there are also trivial profiteers like the flag sellers at Sadar Bazaar Delhi, who are selling a 50 Rs flag at 150 Rs and 250 Rs ones at 500 Rs. In the backdrop are also people like, Shailesh Saraf of Morgan Stanley, who has taken a fasting leave from his company which is based in Hong Kong to be here for the protests. Although he is gaining the moral satisfaction of participating in a movement for the betterment of his country, the question remains, is any of this relevant if the final end is unachievable, which is to eradicate corruption from our country. How will the TRPs of the media houses, or the profit of the flag seller or the conscience satisfaction of Shailesh going to help us? This is precisely why the participating masses must ponder over what they are doing, and where this whole situation is heading. It is but obvious that the constitution must not be overridden, and it is also but obvious that Mr. Anna will not co operate or compromise because now his incorrect methods have public backing. Hence deducing our destination from the current situation is not difficult. We are heading towards a prolonged deadlock, where the government will hold its stand for it is correctly viewing the situation with a holistic eye. And Mr. Hazare and the protestors will continue to stand their ground, because Anna believes he has the final and best solution already, and the people who are incomplete in their view are going ballistic in terms of their support. This deadlock will only lead to more parliament adjournments at the cost of 10 Crore a day, it will lead to more policing requirements when the police to citizen ration is already skewed and it will also lead to a historically and internationally negative image, of the masses of a country against their own democratic institutions under the garb of so called revolution. The change, the real transformation for the change we desire needs to be initiated by us, the public. We need to ponder over the arguments and facts, the likes of which I have mentioned above. And we need to decide our stand. Anna claims to be doing everything for the people, and the government is claiming the same. So what exactly are the people doing for themselves besides jumping on one bandwagon or the other, nothing! The people of this country are the only entities that can truly bring about betterment for themselves. All we need is a decisive direction to move forward towards. It can either be the overpowering of our constitution, with the idea of one man, yet without the guarantee of this man towards its functional and lasting possibility. Or else we can move towards the democratic direction, where the government and the Anna team is forced to discuss and debate there differences for a true democratic solution. It is nation where good must be done for everyone without bias, and this good must be done after keeping everyone’s good in mind. Hence for Mr. Hazare to hold an individual view and desire its acceptance is unacceptable to all those who truly believe that our country and institutions have not failed us, but only need refining for a better tomorrow. And to refine something, one needs two expertise, to identify the impurity and to isolate the purity. To hold a singular stand will only bring us joy and feelings of a revolution, it will not bring us an end result. I urge all readers to not be lost or blinded by the plethora of information and tantrums being launched from all sides. I urge you to decide righteously, with our future, with our practicality and ourselves in semblance.

Related Articles - Anna Hazare, anti corruption, lokpal bill, jan lokpal, Jan Lokpal Bill,

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