Friday, April 8, 2011

Campaign Against Corruption

Anna Hazare's fight against corruption and pushing for the Jan Lokpal Bill is laudable. Its great to see the huge mobilisation happening across the country, especially the fence sitting middle classes. If politicisation of the middle classes and the youth is happening around the issue of corruption its a good thing but will the politicisation sustain - is this only an event, a media event? One sees a lot of supporters coming to Jantar Mantar to commit support to Anna Hazare and his cause. They extend their support but the likes of Baba Ramdev and others come and play their own tune also on this platform - they all want to seize this opportunity to push their own agendas and hog the limelight. Many political leaders have tried to associate but supporters of Anna Hazare have kept them away. I dont know if that is a good thing. Campaigns cant be successful alienated from politics because what we want changed is the politics and not just the setting up of a Lokpal Authority. We have had the Lok Ayukts and other anti-corruption agencies but no dent against corruption has happened.

The problem with the India Against Corruption is that it is anti-reservation and so it alienates a very large section of the poor, exploited, opressed and impoverished people. So this is a clear urban middle class, non-lower caste platform and the protests are largely confined to cities. We are told the corporate sector is supporting this but what about their corruption? Are the corporates willing to list the bribes they have paid? Are they willing to tell us about the taxes they have evaded? Are they willing to tell us about their "swiss" bank accounts and various other frauds done in collaboartion with politicians? Let them come clean and then become supporters of this campaign. They are cashing on this campaign because with 2G and other scams their misdeeds are being exposed.

My fear is that the government may accept the demands of the protestors and even pass the desired bill soon but then what next? Will the Lokpal office be able to rid the country of corruption in public life? Unlikely. We already have enough laws to prevent corruption and take the corrupt to task. Another Act will not add much value. The question is that how do we get the various public institutions to function the way they are supposed to function, without political interference and without the fear of being victimised. We have to change the politics and unfortunately I dont see that demand in this campaign.

1 comment:

  1. You said may be this bill will be passed but what after that ?
    Its one year back but govt never pass this bill. We all have seen govt only did formality to bring this bill in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha..Members from RLD intentional stop the bill and Cong. bring this bill on discussion table on the last day of RS.

    The reason is clear, Cong don't want to bring this bill neither BJP.