Anti-Corruption: The latest fad.

The tale of Patriotic and Political Stupidity

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche

My opinion: Patriotic and political stupidity is making Anna Hazare’s Anti-corruption movement a complete farce.

My advice: Now don’t blow the momentum you’ve achieved for the cause by becoming violent in jest. If you do, the cause will die even before you blink.

Let me tell you why your patriotism is stupid.

Firstly, he is no Gandhi. Don’t trivialize Indian History and even compare this to the freedom struggle, for god’s sake.

This is just mob mentality. The mere mention of ‘corruption in India’ has always brought a look of disgust on people’s faces. It is quite another issue that they themselves have had their hands dirty to get through the system.

India is filled with such kind of people- Hypocrites (like the politicians), Cynics (like me), and Patriotic Fools (like you).

Why I call you Patriotic Fools (with capital letters)? Simply because one old guy out of nowhere comes and gives you the Utopian dream: “I am going to end corruption” and what you do is- run behind him like he is some messiah. Now he stands flanked by Kiran Bedi, Anupam Kher, Chetan Bhagat and more celebrated social activists, the educated middle class and the youth. Everybody is now armed with knowledge of the Lokpal Bill but lack foresight and practical outlook.

Early this year, I remember thinking to myself: What India needs now is a strong, inspiring leader to lead the youth out of the rut of mistakes the previous generations have made.

Soon after, what do I get?

“The li’l  ol’ man in the white topi” on the news channels is the new hero.

I should have been clearer and asked for a young James Bond in suit. Sigh. My bad.

Anyway, the point being we have another oldie in the block. Old people always fast. If he wins and lives, he is the new “freedom-hero” [freedom from what, may I ask?]. If he fasts and dies, he is the martyr. [WTF?]

To the statuses, comments and tweets of the youth on FB/Twitter, I’d only politely add “Get your head out of your ***!” By that I mean, loan some perspective and not patriotism.

Why, I agree, that this is also an example of political stupidity?

Why on earth is BJP (The Opposition) not taking a clear stand? It is only sympathizing with the people and playing to the beat of the moment. Why the opposition itself couldn’t pick the issue of corruption and represent such a “Bill” to garner votes and support of the people earlier? Let me tell you why, because the decision is going to adversely affect them as much. The political parties in the opposition are criticising the government for now. I wonder how they handle corruption in their own constituencies. Cough.. suspension of whistle-blowers against Narendra Modi.. Cough. Cough.

(Okay, that was too difficult to camouflage behind the cough! :P)

Also, seriously speaking, the problem with the government is that it is not even pretending to acknowledge the graveness of the issue. It has made many faulty decisions. Examples: Ignoring the pleas, refusing permission for peaceful protests and arresting Anna. This last one acted like a catalyst. Thanks to the government, the movement has reached a crescendo it wouldn’t have reached on its own merits otherwise. The nation is emotional about Anna; even a scratch on him and patriotic stupidity will take over. This current act of playing-victim-held-in-ransom is not going to solve anything. The government must realize that they are in a better position. Logic and Power is a winning combination. They seem to have forgotten to take ‘logic’ into account.

And by the way, someone go tell America to keep off of our internal affairs. It has a crisis (economic) of its own to handle.

So my question to you is: Leave aside all your silly jargon of optimism and patriotism, tell me by the end of it all do you see corruption controlled (forget eradicated)?

I completely agree when Arun Jaitley says, “You don’t need a magic wand to fight corruption; all you need is political will.”

But corruption is a vicious cycle. It is the height of naïveté to think that the bill when passed will work as well practically as (you think) it has been theorized. There is no instant solution to deep rooted problems. Bringing out a law within the time deadline Anna proposes is foolish, un-parliamentarian and will have disastrous consequences to our legal system. A fast is the last resort; don’t trivialize it to a tantrum. In this case, it is clearly blackmailing in the guise of a righteous cause.

Gurcharan Das on a recent discussion on NDTV said, “India is at its puberty.” It couldn’t be less true.

Any reckless decision/disrespect to the power of parliament/ letting mob-power take control over government will only create more holes in the system; making us weaker to withstand future blows.

The only thing I am patriotic about, if I am forced to mention, is smart mainstream journalism.

Read ‘Times of India’ or even ‘Mumbai Mirror’ for that matter. I swell with patriotism on reading articles of logical, articulate writer/columnists and journalists we have.

For me, the Pen is always mightier than the sword or in this case, the fast.

Read some articles dated 18th August, 2011:

  • Rules don’t make a Ram, Mumbai Mirror
  • Govt fails to move Mount Anna, TOI
  • Fast and let loose, TOI

(OFF THE TOPIC:

Regional journalism does not have my respect. They have a duty to empower non-English speaking India with intelligent reporting giving an unbiased, correct and forward perspective. They should have a thicker newspaper booklet because they are supposed to report international, national and local news in addition to giving updates on scientific research and local achievements. But they only end up reporting gossip and serving the agendas of regional political parties and that too in “Hinglish” or other mixed-style language).

Anyway, good luck to the Anna Supporters. If you win by reducing corruption (and not just exposing scams [Journalists do that anyway!]), I’ll congratulate you. If you come back from your morcha disappointed, I am going to scream: I TOLD YOU SO!

Do comment with your opinions even though you know my reaction to your passionate arguments will be: Yeha, whatever!

Your Bored Armchair Critic,

Signing off,

Tame SheWolf

WORDLY WISE:

“Power in the hands of the reformer is no less potentially corrupting than in the hands of the oppressor.” 

— Derrick Bell (Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth)

PS:  Super-impressed by the way UK government has dealt with the riots.

New fan of David Cameron! He makes mistakes like everyone, but is the only one with the balls to accept them and correct them.

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15 thoughts on “Anti-Corruption: The latest fad.

    1. I know someone told me that too.. but i don’t subscribe to Hindu so i didn’t have any comments abt it.
      Also, i presume Hindu is a little economic centered and more real India oriented (by that i mean, villagers, farming etc.) compared to TOI’s metropolitan outlook.

      Like

  1. You couldn’t have said it better. Most wont even acknowledge the fact that they’re cynics. Thank God someone disagrees with the Gandhi -Anna similarity thingy.
    Really nice post – wasn’t preachy, damn funny!

    Like

  2. I really liked your blog man, but one thing that disappointed me is your comment against the US – really you believe that US is behind this movement?

    I find that to be a product of hyper hysterical imagination to diver the issue. The US said that Anna Hazare’s fast should be allowed to go on, that means support for Anna Hazare, I don’t think so. Going by that logic, every political party in opposition including Jaitley said it, but he also clarified that they are neither for the jan lokpal bill or against.

    However, the rest of your piece was immaculate, passing it on my fb feed.

    Like

    1. Hey,
      I don’t think the US is behind it. But even that comment was not necessary.
      Nobody asked their opinion. don’t want it , don’t give it.
      I don’t know why as a superpower it feels obliged to comment and makes its stand clear on everything; every issue/internal crisis the world suffers.
      But US plays dirty meddlesome politics. We must be cautious of its move bcz that country has power.

      Like

  3. 1. An effective law is the first and most important step in bringing about change, and is a direct consequence of a strong political will to do so. So an effective Jan Lokpal bill will actually be an exptremely significant step in fighting corruption, it wont all go away, but its a great start. As proved by the RTI act, some great laws begin the revolutionary change required for a society to move ahead.

    2. Anna Hazare has not come out of nowhere, he has had the most impeccable record of public service through social activism for which he has received national awards, and if you study his background, you will realise that he has sacrificed his entire life for the society.Quite honestly, its annoying to see you ridicule him without having known anything about him.

    3. Uve probably stayed in a fancy apartment in south bombay all ur life, blogging away ur troubles, so have i, but its important for both u and me to be at least sensitive to the millions of people who face corruption day in day out, and as a result of which their life is greatly altered. These guys really do need freedom.

    4. Today millions of people, who are below the poverty line, dont get food water or shelter, because all the funds to be used for their development are utilized to fill the pockets of politicians. And these people cant raise their voices, so we the urban class should ! As a gesture of brotherhood.

    I think the most dangerous section in our society are people like you, The educated, Ignorant bunch who have all forums to speak, and all the blog posts to fill, but a lack of sensitivity to truly understand the issues plaguing this country.

    The only person being stupid is you. and p.s its not a fad honey, Its reality, Just because it doesn’t affect you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect millions of people in this country
    This comment was public service.Quite frankly, i dont give a F*** about your reply, so do humanity a favor,use it to enlighten yourself.

    Like

    1. wow. I love the passion.
      someone went out of the way to criticize my blog. Not that’s a new one!

      anyway, i am not stopping/hindering your movement. While you are busy criticizing the government, i am forewarning you/ criticizing your methodology.
      The end does not justify the means.
      I am all for the cause, just minus the emotions please. 🙂

      BTW, you’ll be shocked to know i don’t live in a south bombay flat like you! I regret that 😦
      Also you must know my mom thinks like you. But we manage to live peacefully under one roof and discuss more abt it without being aggressive.
      I understand, it’s your passion overflowing.
      Tell your grandchildren you fought corruption. I will take no credit.
      Sorry to disappoint, I am a cynic out of habit!

      Like

  4. LOL Kajol..Your reply to Akhil is one of the most sporting ones i know…!:)
    Saying that now,you do figure out that i myself am a Anna Supporter. Or would it be precise to say An Anti-Corruption Supporter.
    The last few years spent learning that whatever values they talk about in school are completely opposite to the ones they follow outside.
    It was heartbreaking to hear Every1 say you wouldnt survive with that Honest attitude of yours,its India!..
    Yeah Watever…
    Well all that i get from this so called Struggle of these men is that they have resolved not to indulge in that disgusting corrupt practices of theirs.Plus they take a risk of living a law abiding life. Hell it scares me too. If at all bribes where eradicated we would have to submit all the right paper work n all the pain of doing it on time.
    Studying then wouldnt be optional to the economically Blessed!
    An India we are so sure which can’t be might as well sprout into existence.
    For all this I am a neutral supporter,as much as I would appreciate the Bill..I hate the fact that i miss college because of public transport strike. But then again,Indian government that regretfully, we chose doesn’t give a Damn if we live or Die and I don’t feel a need to highlight that for You.
    So for a Change I myself am Enjoying their ‘Buri Halat’ because its Karma. You get what You give and Oh yes there will be one change for sure, the relief from the guilt that we never had the guts to stand for something we all believed in..N all thanks to One old Man.
    An EternalOptimist.

    Like

    1. Oh, Gargi I have been battling so many persuasions, passionate arguments recently.. from my mother, from friends, from strangers :O I am being pulled to be together with you in support for the movement. But if you go to see, I am. I am for the movement, not the madness. And here, my mom will say, “The madness is required.”

      In my heart, I want y’all to win. But my head knows the situation is dicey. And the cynic in me has never been disappointed by reality.

      Corruption is also a moral issue.
      “Are you upright and incorruptible only when someone is watching (the bill). As soon as the watchdog is removed or in its absence, do you go back to your primal evil?”

      Having said that, I believe there is primal good too
      And i want you to win! really!

      Like

      1. YO..I believe you..!
        and for that matter do what You believe is Right.
        N yes corruption is a moral issue,lets just say ‘Its easier to train the dog with a stick in our Hand’ (At least in today’s condition) 🙂

        Like

  5. “Let me tell you why your patriotism is stupid.” Let me tell you why this line is irksome , arrogant and foolish. You wear your cynicism like a medal, but are quick to condemn those who want to be patriotic and/or passionate?
    ”This is just mob mentality. The mere mention of ‘corruption in India’ has always brought a look of disgust on people’s faces. It is quite another issue that they themselves have had their hands dirty to get through the system.”So, Only those who’ve never paid a bribe can complain about corruption? It’s like giving health insurance only marathon winners.

    “India is filled with such kind of people- Hypocrites (like the politicians), Cynics (like me), and Patriotic Fools (like you).”
    Patriotic fools, all of them! It us hereby proved that all patriotic people are foolish and there exists no other category whatsoever.(btw, weren’t you the one who had an equally irrational debate with me about judging people?)
    “Why I call you Patriotic Fools (with capital letters)? Simply because one old guy out of nowhere comes and gives you the Utopian dream: “I am going to end corruption” and what you do is- run behind him like he is some messiah. Now he stands flanked by Kiran Bedi, Anupam Kher, Chetan Bhagat and more celebrated social activists, the educated middle class and the youth. Everybody is now armed with knowledge of the Lokpal Bill but lack foresight and practical outlook.”
    One word: ignorant.
    Also, oversimplifying is a sign of the lack of foresight and practical outlook.
    “Early this year, I remember thinking to myself: What India needs now is a strong, inspiring leader to lead the youth out of the rut of mistakes the previous generations have made.Soon after, what do I get?“The li’l ol’ man in the white topi” on the news channels is the new hero.I should have been clearer and asked for a young James Bond in suit. Sigh. My bad.Anyway, the point being we have another oldie in the block. Old people always fast. If he wins and lives, he is the new “freedom-hero” [freedom from what, may I ask?]. If he fasts and dies, he is the martyr. [WTF?]”
    Ignorant again. In all that dreaming, checking up on facts and reading about what was done prior resorting to the fast , had to be compromised, no?

    “To the statuses, comments and tweets of the youth on FB/Twitter, I’d only politely add “Get your head out of your ***!” By that I mean, loan some perspective and not patriotism.”
    So, they must all loan some perspective .not research and form their own.SO visionary.

    “Let me tell you why, because the decision is going to adversely affect them as much. The political parties in the opposition are criticising the government for now. I wonder how they handle corruption in their own constituencies. Cough.. suspension of whistle-blowers against Narendra Modi.. Cough. Cough.”
    This was absolutely unknown. We all thought it’s going to be easy to get the JLPB passed because the opposition will check corruption in the govt, as enshrined in the constitution!

    “Also, seriously speaking, the problem with the government is that it is not even pretending to acknowledge the graveness of the issue. It has made many faulty decisions. Examples: Ignoring the pleas, refusing permission for peaceful protests and arresting Anna. This last one acted like a catalyst. Thanks to the government, the movement has reached a crescendo it wouldn’t have reached on its own merits otherwise. The nation is emotional about Anna; even a scratch on him and patriotic stupidity will take over. This current act of playing-victim-held-in-ransom is not going to solve anything. The government must realize that they are in a better position. Logic and Power is a winning combination. They seem to have forgotten to take ‘logic’ into account.And by the way, someone go tell America to keep off of our internal affairs. It has a crisis (economic) of its own to handle.So my question to you is: Leave aside all your silly jargon of optimism and patriotism, tell me by the end of it all do you see corruption controlled (forget eradicated)?I completely agree when Arun Jaitley says, “You don’t need a magic wand to fight corruption; all you need is political will.”
    Wow. That’s the author of “Political strategy: what I will do from my couch” for you.

    Gurcharan Das on a recent discussion on NDTV said, “India is at its puberty.” It couldn’t be less true. (grammar nazi on the prowl)

    “Any reckless decision/disrespect to the power of parliament/ letting mob-power take control over government will only create more holes in the system; making us weaker to withstand future blows.”
    You really exposed your poor understanding of political functioning here.

    “The only thing I am patriotic about, if I am forced to mention, is smart mainstream journalism.
    Read ‘Times of India’ or even ‘Mumbai Mirror’ for that matter. I swell with patriotism on reading articles of logical, articulate writer/columnists and journalists we have.”
    You really took ‘loaning some perspective’ seriously, didn’t you?

    “For me, the Pen is always mightier than the sword or in this case, the fast.”
    If your words convey half-baked, borrowed and pseudo-radical ideas, the pen might just disappoint.

    Like

  6. I think I took “tell me what you think” a bit too seriously.
    I don’t mean any offense to you, but I’m tired of people living under the impression that the man on the street is an emotional fool.
    I’m hoping this isn’t taken too personally, I only mean well! 🙂

    Like

    1. Strong adjectives show your passion. Yes, it isn’t taken too personally but I think on these points you got personal and ridiculed the writer, more than critiquing it as a supporter:-

      1. You really took ‘loaning some perspective’ seriously, didn’t you?
      2. If your words convey half-baked, borrowed and pseudo-radical ideas, the pen might just disappoint.
      3. “So, Only those who’ve never paid a bribe can complain about corruption? It’s like giving health insurance only marathon winners.”
      &
      “Wow. That’s the author of “Political strategy: what I will do from my couch” for you”
      (found this contradictory bcz it takes away my right to speak but stands by the “patriotic fools” to voice their support for the movt 😛 )

      I don’t wish to discuss my stand with you like i did with other readers. For PERSONAL reasons. I mean well too.

      Like

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