Monday, August 15, 2011

Dangerous Precedent Being Set

I have not blogged for almost a year and reason for that was primarily due to me being to lazy and turning in to corporate sell out who is only driven by the phrase " Show me the Money" or that is what I would like to think it is or I am just having way to much fun being back in India and my beloved city of Hyderabad.


Anyway coming to the point of this post, for the past few weeks the news has been pretty much dominated by one topic " Team Anna Vs The Government". When the story first broke about this old guy (no disrespect to him in anyway) and few prominent folks that we all have heard about are getting together to do something about corruption I as typical cynical Indian dismissed this issue/topic as something that the media is reporting on since there no other burning issue in the country/ world. As time passed I noticed that I was wrong, India's dismal cricket tour, US financial crisis, Telangana, London Riots and Fabregas finally moving to Barca (ok this doesn't belong here but its my blog) could not seem to push the issue out media spotlight.



Now what is this issue all about ? I think long story short one can sum it up by saying, given the recent slew large scale corruption instances occurring under governments nose being brought out in the open (such as instances appear to be highly correlated with Cong rule, wonder why ?) a few people who in corporate terminology are "go getters" decided we need to do something about this. Given that the most impactful way to protest in India is to fast ( Thanks KCR !! wonder why he was never taken in to preventive custody ?) Anna Hazare backed by his team decided to fast so that he can get the government to act on dealing with corruption.


Anna and his team read the book on " How to get something from the government when not in power " latest edition and had seem to have a foolproof plan to achieve their objective. Now one would have thought the government would have learnt it lesson by now and would know how to handle such issues but guess what a bunch folks who graduated from some of the most elite schools in the world still had no plan in place to handle such issues (you think they would have learnt their lesson from previous issues).


Alright so he suggested that our politicians be made accountable, great the whole country I am sure has no issues with that. Then they met the government told them what they felt needed to be done, okay so far so good. But then came the twist government decided to tweak his suggestions and change the format of the bill ( ok let it be clear that this bill has been the works since 1968) to what they seemed was appropriate, this was not acceptable to "Team Anna" and thus the melee ensued.


Dont you think it was naive of Anna to think bill would come out in the form they wanted it, as a democracy is about consensus no one gets everything they want. You need to believe in the people or government else the idea of democracy loses its very purpose. My belief is that for democracy to work you either believe in the government and the constitution or the people when it comes time to vote.



Now I have serious question, based on what has unfolded over the past few weeks. Before that let me just clarify I am picking sides, I am justifying anyone's actions or belittling any body. Are we saying that a person who has a mass following can hold the country/city to ransom by going on a fast to death ? You might say the end might justify the means, corruption is ruining this country but are you implying that plight of the people in Telangana for whom KCR went on a fast was/is not legit ? Here is a hypothetical situation, tomorrow lets say some goes on fast saying I will fast to death unless a temple is built in Ayodhaya and he has support of the masses should we oblige ? ( these might be real bad parallels but I hope you are able to understand my point )

When does the end justify the means ? In my very humble opinion this is a very dangerous precedent to set in a democracy like ours where numerous factions of people who have valid grievances that need attention, is this the way forward ?

In all this spare a thought for Irom Chanu Sharmila she has been fasting since 2000 to get rid of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. This act is responsible to disappearance and loss of lives of numerous people in J&K and North East regions of India. I wonder why she is not in the news ? Is her cause less important than anyone else who is fasting ?










24 comments:

satyabetold said...

Mohith - Finally a blog from you after a long time ! Glad to see you haven't lost your touch in articulating arguments !

I think positive precedents are being set with these non-violent albeit disruptive tactics. This should compel the government to be more receptive to issues and deliver better governance.

In any case, fasting is way better than armed struggle against the state.

In the case of Irom Sharmila and AFSPA, while their concerns may be legitimate, their causes are not finding among the larger public. May be they should argue for better counter-insurgency policy as opposed to repealing of AFSPA.

Cheers !
Murthy

M0H!TH said...

Murthy: This is a slippery slope we are threading if the we believe the only way things can be fixed are by armed struggle or mass demonstrations. These 2 options cannot be the only way out, may it is time people truly asked themselves why we are here ?

The other pint that is sadly being missed here is why bring in this new body with such unlimited powers why cant we better equip and more grant more autonomy to institutions created by the constitution.

I mean EC and CAG have been doing the great job given the limited powers they have, why do we have this attitude that everybody on the other side is bad, its either my way or the highway or you either with us or against us attitude is not good. I mean Raja, Kalamadi, kanimzohi are in jail right ? somebody is doing their job right ?

Fox said...

I agree with you, Mohith. You are hitting the right chord. I am finding it hard to come to terms with the 'means' as well. I know corruption needs to be weeded out, but doing it like this will do more harm than good in the near future.

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