Off late while general public are supporting the anti-corruption movement, most experts seem to be acting pessimistic. With each passing day, as the Government is starting to agree to Anna’s terms, we read in newspapers of various groups calling different names to this movement such as upper caste uprising, etc.
I have recently read an article of a blogger Rahul Kamdar who has very nicely put of Q & A directed towards the pessimists. You can continue reading his article below or can also directly visit it by clicking here.
i am anna, why?
Not only the quintessential cynic but also the well-meaning, enterprising and proactive Indian youngster would end up saying this statement when commenting on the state of the country. The reason – one word – HELPLESSNESS.
The country has backed them as it has backed no one since independence, barring the Indian cricket team. The idea of a peaceful, non-violent and people-driven protest – which almost seemed impractical in today’s society and only impressive in munnabhai movies – found takers in all sections of society – rich and poor; young and old; white and blue collar; public and private sector – across castes, religions and political affiliations!
However, a lot of intellectuals have brought forth some important questions (and by asking such righteous questions I think are actually supporting the movement) and this is my attempt at answering them and in the process justifying why I completely support Team Anna:
- How many of the supporters have really read either the Lokpal bill or Jan Lokpal bill? Or how many even know how this change is going to take effect?
A. The question is directed for the masses, many of whom I agree may not have read either bill. But let’s be honest, how many of us, especially the ones posing this question have read the Manifesto of the candidate they vote for in every election? How many of us have read the ‘terms and conditions’ of every email account, every Facebook or Google+ or LinkedIn or Twitter account before signing up? Not everyone.If we find the summed-up benefit of what we are signing up for to be satisfactory, we go ahead and sign it without really reading every line of the agreements. The same applies to masses. They are seeing that a bill is being supported by not just some fundamentalists of the country and not just by people of a particular class of society BUT by very educated, refined and reflective people – including official support from the IITs, IIMs, lawyers, doctors, working professionals and so on. They see that the people opposing the bill are politicians, who as we all have now come to a consensus are largely corrupt. No wonder then that they believe this bill will solve the problem.BUT this is no excuse to not knowing the bills and I want to point anyone who doesn’t know the differences to look here: http://www.indiaagainstcorruption.org/downloads.html
- Is this the right way to enforce your demands? Doesn’t this amount to blackmail?
A. If this does, then so does any decision ever made. Most decisions are never made with a 100% consensus. That is expecting things to be extremely IDEAL. The movement for Jan Lokpal Bill started in April 2011. It went through an entire process of awareness, discussion and debate until mid-August 2011. All through this period, the communication channels of Team Anna and India Against Corruption were open.If you are asking this question, let me ask YOU – did you EVER in the time period from April to mid-August make an attempt to put your contrasting viewpoint to Team Anna?Even the time-line of the protests was announced much in advance. All this offered sufficient time for debate and discussion. In this time period, everyone sat peacefully at home watching news on TV and newspapers and let Team Anna go about the process of fighting with the Govt. and authorities. They eventually reached a version of the bill, and as already described NO ONE apart from the Govt. really objected to it until now. So logically this bill had everyone’s consent and it certainly seems to have the majority consent as of today. If that is the case, logically this is what must pass – what’s the blackmail? It’s like saying, just because a political party got majority seats in Parliament they are now blackmailing the others that they will form the Government.If you don’t agree with this, show us your method of formulating and establishing a strong anti-corruption law. If you can only say that this is wrong but I don’t know what is right – then honestly you don’t have a point.Do remember that sitting in the comfort of our homes, offices and clubs we can make seemingly sound plans and ideas. BUT executing and implementing them in reality is a completely different ballgame altogether. If you haven’t done anything and cannot, then please don’t criticize. Please have the maturity to understand the scale and complexity of the problem and it’s solution AND have the humility to change your stand and support the right cause.
- Some few lakhs of people don’t represent the whole of India (this statement of course started with Shri (?) Digvijay Singh who said some thousands don’t signify Indian population)
A. Maybe they don’t. But isn’t this the rule of a democracy? It gives you a right to vote, protest and freedom. If you practice this right, you are counted, if you don’t, you are the one losing out. Do we say that because only 35% people voted in this constituency let’s not consider the result? Do we say that because no single party got majority – so no single party really represents the people and hence no alliance government should be formed? NO we don’t!Similarly, each person has the right to protest, even against Team Anna’s protest. Please come out and make evident your displeasure with solid reasons as to why you don’t agree. Let there be a logical debate. Just resorting to individual tweets and Facebook status messages will only form an excuse for not coming out on the streets and doing that extra bit for your country.
- There are other problems in the country like illiteracy, female foeticide, farmer suicides. Why aren’t they solving that?
A. Totally agree that these are very serious problems and there must be efforts to solve them. An awakened and inspired India is just the right setting for solving all these problems. But we cannot solve ALL problems at the same time, especially with a Government that doesn’t want to solve any problem voluntarily. Congress/UPA defended all the ministers it had to eventually put behind bars – Kalmadi, Raja (and hopefully more in the future). And Congress/UPA eventually acted against these ministers when it was forced by the exceptional judiciary of our country, ably led by Justice Kapadia (a man of great integrity and honor). In fact, deviating for a moment from the question-answer – the practice of taking a stand and then retracing to take that stand back – has become synonymous with Congress/UPA.Anyway, my point is that let’s start cleaning the system and solving the problems. Let’s make a positive start with this movement that offers not just hope but a real concrete solution.
- Is Team Anna as pure and clean as is claimed?
A. Team Anna is as pure as a team can be practically.Anna Hazare himself is beyond ALL suspicion. All attempts to prove the contrary by Manish Tewari were satisfactorily quashed.And Anna Hazare is the undisputed leader of the movement. Frankly even our PM now and certainly not our President has equally convincing credentials. As a natural consequence, this makes Team Anna more reliable and trustworthy than the team that runs our country. And which is a higher point of comparison than the teams vested with executive power.
- [EDIT - Added on 22/08/2011] I respect Anna Hazare for what he is doing but I refuse to be told what is right by Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and Bhushans.
A. Why? Give us a good reason – why? You don’t refuse to what corrupt politicians make you do OR you don’t refuse to the local Mafia’s various tactics. But when a team led by able, honest, qualified and just people give you a solid effective proposal to solve the country’s problems – you refuse. Is it that your ability to read and write better than a large section of society makes you feel ‘intellectual’ in such a manner that you don’t like being ‘led‘? Is that you don’t want to associate yourself with the ‘masses‘? If not, give us good reasons as to WHY?Of all the ‘intellectuals‘ I spoke to and who didn’t agree with the way of this movement or the bill, nobody so far has given a single concrete reason as to why they don’t agree. Until you don’t provide such a reason, #1 you are not an intellectual or frankly not evenlogically sound #2 you are just making an excuse to not take any side – and trust me that is as bad as not voting in elections and then criticizing the system.
Ideally, there shouldn’t have been a need to provide these justifications or answers. But then again, nothing is IDEAL!
I intend to keep adding questions and answers to this post.
In conclusion, I truly believe in Team Anna and it’s movement. I have made a sincere attempt at understanding the scale, complexity and inherent challenges of pulling off such a drastic positive change in the country. And I am absolutely convinced that there is NO better way to put it across, to gather public opinion and to get it passed in a real practical world.
Let’s all come out and lend our support. Let’s not just talk to justify not taking any action. Let’s bring a positive change. I am Anna Hazare,are you?
If you wish to reply or comment about this article, I would suggest you visit http://blog.rahulkamdar.com/2011/08/21/i-am-anna-why/.