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,
“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.