The Anna Hazare craze and why I’m not that into it

12 Apr

The post title should illuminate enough the fact that I’m just not that into this entire Anna Hazare craze. I have nothing against the man and believe his intentions to be good, for after all, he is trying to fight something that has affected every one of us at some point in time. It’s the craze I’m not so crazy about.
I know this post, appearing at the time that it is, can be an easily discarded post and perhaps even lead you, the reader, to curse me or judge me or throw a mental rotten egg at me or whatever it is that you choose to do. However, free expression of thought and emotion (or not) has never really stopped me from saying what I think or feel. It won’t.
And so here goes. Why not so crazy about the craze? Because it’s just another farce; I’m bold enough to say. Another farce that has been sensationalized thanks to our so called twitter and facebook generation. Another time bomb that is waiting to blow up right in the public’s (i.e. our) face – something that is definitely not going to be pretty. And the best part is that the government knows this. As do a lot like me.
I’m not trying to be or sound pompous, for what will that get me? I despise corruption as much as Anna Hazare does. Or maybe more, who knows? I realize that corruption has seeped so deep into our system that, like Hazare correctly points out, the war against it has just begun. I despise corruption for what it has done to the country, for what it has done to its citizens, for what it has done to our mentality. I cannot think of voting or paying my taxes without a curse or even wanting to hold a government job because of how corruption makes me seethe. And yes, it does. I have become a pessimist because optimism is just for dreamers – for dreams that corruption long dethroned. I would love to work for my country, to see my dream of becoming an Indian officer come true, of knowing that I can actually look up to the system, of being able to be proud of my duty towards my country, of being able to realize from within that I want to do this as opposed to having to do this, that and the other. You get the drift!
However, I far from believe that corruption or anything else for that matter can be tackled the way it is currently being tackled. So today we decide to fast indefinitely because, lo and behold, we just feel like it or perhaps because no one will listen to us otherwise. Or we chose to sit in front of railway tracks or important ministerial buildings and hold innumerable dharnas because well, that’s what we’re great at doing. I don’t get the drama.
Why doesn’t this reflect the non-cooperation movement that Mahatma Gandhi led? Because we’re not the same people anymore. If today I know that we really want this not because we have people power but because we have will power, then I will reconsider my philosophies. If today we know that we’re in this not because we’re here to achieve a greater good but because we’ve to start at the grass root level, then I’m no one to pass the comments I currently am.
If we cared a damn about anti-corruption the way we are showing it to be, then trust me, we’d have seen the difference already – not in voice but in action. We wouldn’t skip that signal, we wouldn’t pay that bribe, we wouldn’t have the bus conductor take less money minus issuing a ticket, we would pay our taxes, we would be transparent, we would not lick anyone’s ass, we would not ask for favours, we would tip the waiters at the restaurant adequately, we would not get fake DLs, we would not take those free TVs and booze the government offers us during every election campaign, we would not steal, we would not fight, we would not lie, we would not be the way we are today and we would live in a very Utopian society. If we were to be even a tad bit like the people we were when the non-coop movement took place, then we’d be talking. If we knew what it really took to get something, if we knew even for a fraction about how it pinches, then we’d do something. And something big.
Right now, we’re all fasting and chanting and doing street theatre and sitting comfortably in our couches and twittering/fbing away and sensationalizing this thing I call a farce. Are we that ignorant/stupid to try and become aware of corruption NOW? And try to fight it NOW? The honest truth is that we’re comfortable where we are. We give that tenner or twenty or lakh because we have many more. We’re secretly and not so secretly happy. We’re not the change we want to be. We’re really not the people we want to see. I’m honest to God and to us, we’re not. Let’s just ask those who have nothing, what corruption means to them. Let’s just ask the beggar kid whose life and 5 rupees got robbed, what he thinks of anti-corruption, shall we? If we cared a damn, do you really think we’d have come this far, into such a shit hole where coming out is going to take so unimaginably long? If we’d cared enough, we’d have made anti-corruption our way of life, not a flashing piece of breaking news.
Just food for thought. 
Especially for all those who really really do care. 
And I believe one of them is you.


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