Lokpal will not change India for the better, nor can its vociferous proponents
Vol 2 | Issue 33
I have respect for Anna Hazare, but I do not believe that this man has the magic wand to change India’s destiny. You may say that it’s not him, but it is the Jan Lok Pal that will accomplish the task.
I am buying none of it. There are enough laws and institutions to govern this nation. Agreed the institutions have become corrupt, and the law is not being enforced effectively.
Fans of Anna:A pro-Anna Hazare protest in Chennai
But the remedy does not lie in creating one more institution on the premise that each worker in this newly created authority will be an angel, headed by a god like Anna, who will destroy evil and usher in justice and prosperity into the nation.
Anna has mobilised the anger of the nation against the corrupt politicians, but people should be not be misled into putting their faith in a bunch of activists and vest them with absolute power.
The system needs checks and balances. All power should not be vested in a single authority, even if it is headed by Anna, whose integrity many believe is impeccable.
My voice may be drowned in the roar of the TV channels beaming footages of the ‘revolution’ on the streets of New Delhi. But the emerging voice of dissent against Anna has to find its space in a democracy.
Here are five reasons why I am not a fan of Anna.
1. I find Anna’s reluctance to distance himself from the BJP disturbing. He has to make it clear that he is fighting corrupt politicians in all parties, and not merely targeting those in the Congress/ UPA.
2. By not distancing himself from communal outfits like the RSS, which have offered him support, Anna has elevated the fight against corruption above the battle against communalism - which in my view is more dangerous to the well-being of the nation than corruption.
3. Team Anna has created an impression that only politicians are responsible for the widespread corruption in society. It is half truth and half-truths can be very dangerous.
4. By focusing exclusively on corruption, Anna has relegated issues like poverty, food security, and casteism - all serious issues that hamper inclusive growth in the nation – to the backburner.
5. Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see.” That was a call to motivate people to do their bit for the country. But Anna is rallying people behind him promising them the moon.
The author is Editor of The Weekend Leader