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Issue No.: 546 | December 2012
 

Indian Anti-Corruption Movement Now Derailed

N.S. Venkataraman
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ociates will, in all probability, go into oblivion after the next parliamentary elections with people rejecting their methods and outlook, the forces of corruption will remain undefeated.
 

When Anna Hazare launched a nationwide anti-corruption movement with the image of being a Gandhian and using the Gandhian tool of fasting, there was genuine support and appreciation from all quarters. However, when Anna Hazare declared that Lokpal Bill would be the ultimate tool to root out corruption in India, many people disagreed with him while still having faith in Anna Hazare’s commitment to the cause. It is a tragedy that the Anna Hazare’s movement got diluted with all and sundry getting into the bandwagon thus losing sense of direction. When Anna Hazare’s movement inevitably collapsed  due to  the use of vituperative language and apparently coercive tactics (with people like Ramdev facing tax evasion charges also being associated in some way), Anna Hazare had to withdraw the movement for all practical purposes.
 
Now, Anna Hazare has announced that he will revive the anti-corruption movement and has formed a new team. It remains to be seen whether Anna Hazare’s move to provide a second birth to anti-corruption movement will take off.  Of course, his movement and pronouncement will be covered by the sensation-hungry media.  What is important is not the media coverage but creating faith amongst the people that the revived anti-corruption movement would do good to the country. Considering the fact that Anna Hazare will continue to adopt the same strategies of whipping up mass hysteria, it is more than likely that his movement will remain only as a ‘movement of sensation’.
 
Today, in India, corruption exists at all levels and in every field of activity.  One cannot even cremate a body without paying a bribe. Therefore, the battle against corruption should be fought in the minds and hearts of people if it is to achieve the intended results, where individuals in large numbers would be willing to sacrifice personal benefits and comforts for the sake of the anti-corruption cause. It remains to be seen whether the new team formed by Anna Hazare will aim at a micro level campaign against corruption without politicising it, but in all probability, this looks unlikely.
 
Kejriwal’s Antics

While a large section of countrymen feel sad about the petering of Anna Hazare’s movement, Kejriwal and his friends tried to fill the vacuum, giving an entirely new colour to the movement. The dignity associated with Anna’s movement is not evident in the antics of Kejriwal and he has virtually brought ridicule to the movement by levelling allegations from public platforms and through the media without following the due process of law to expose the corrupt people.  His method is one of provoking hatred about people whom he selects for targeting at his whims and fancies.
 
Further, Kejriwal’s source of funding is being openly questioned by several well meaning people and the lack of transparency is obvious.  Kejriwal and his associates do not have the wisdom and maturity to understand that wild accusations and the use of abusive language will have only bring short term gains; it will not sustain any movement. The average Indian can see through the game of the politicians and activists, as has been repeatedly revealed by the defeat of several political parties being removed from power during the elections. Certainly, people do not approve such antics and do not trust the media beyond a point.
 
Kejriwal has derailed the anti-corruption movement by trying to step into the shoes of Anna by playing to the gallery. The movement in the country is back to square one now. While Kejriwal and his associates will, in all probability, go into oblivion after the next parliamentary elections with people rejecting their methods and outlook, the forces of corruption will remain undefeated. The country will continue to search for new messiah. The abusive stage shows by Kejriwal has done damage to the movement. While it is absolutely necessary that the anti-corruption movement forge ahead, it appears that the country has to look beyond Anna Hazare and Kejriwal to sustain the movement and take it to its logical end.
 

N.S.VENKATARAMAN IS Trustee of Nandini Voice for the Deprived, Chennai
Email:-
nsvenkatchennai@gmail.com

 
 
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