Anna: the anti-corruption diet?


For the past few weeks, New Delhi has become one big festival city with elocution and fancy dress competitions galore (Gandhi cap has replaced the superman cape we used to drape in our childhood). In general, it looks like one big mela promoting anarchy in the name of democracy.

The very thought process that Anna’s VLCC Xtreme diet will lead to eradication of corruption is ludicrously similar in logic to AB Junior’s Idea ad which proposes that 3G can lead to a reduction in population.

Elaborated below are a few reasons for skeptics like me to believe that all this wrestling will end up with just an additional public body (Lokayuktas), without any arms or legs.

1) Execution: There have been innumerable bills passed in the past like TADA, POTA, etc. but has that stopped terrorism? For every single law developed, we Indians can find 100 ways to circumvent it.

2) Power: The scent of power to humans is what blood is to vampires – almost always difficult to ignore and impossible to stop when you taste some. All the Robins to Anna’s Batman seem to be adulating in the new found power. And as soon as one becomes powerful, the original motive for starting a movement goes for a toss. Let’s see what this Jhing-bang does next (hopefully not the creation of a new political JanLok Party!)

3) Bureaucracy: A bloated public machinery had been one of the reasons for our painstakingly slow progress in the first 5 decades of independence. By adding another layer in the form of Lokayuktas at all levels, we are creating an alternate power centre which might be potentially misused.

4) Anarchy: We’re fanning the potential to anarchy in the future by allowing different factions to arm-twist the government to a my way vs Highway option.

5) Ignorance: Most of us hardly know the contents of the Lokpal bill draft, let alone the differences between the government’s and Anna’s draft versions. It’s just the feel-good factor and some misplaced sense of higher civil consciousness that we’re contributing something worthwhile, which has made Anna and team – the pied pipers of Ramleela.

In summary, I feel this will be similar to the annual candle marches post every Bombay blast or the slutwalks, which increase people awareness and allow them to vent out their pent-up frustrations but just about stop there, in terms of effectiveness.

Nevertheless,  I’ll be the happiest person if proven wrong and infact, there is a desire in the heart that somehow this outcry clicks and India shines as it is actually supposed to.

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