It takes a billion hands to not grease the palms

All kinds of trippy adjectives have been used since Tuesday. That he is the Mahatma of the 21st century. That this is the second freedom movement. That this is India’s “Egypt Moment”. Etcetera. The TV channels, as usual, bring breathless voices and feverish images as if it’s the end of the world as we knew it.

Does ‘Anna Hazare‘s “fast-unto-death” in support of the Lokpal bill drawn up by NGOs and c-soc (civil society) mark a tipping point in the battle against corruption? Or is this another passing cloud, much like the “citizen’s anger” after the November 26, 2008 siege of Bombay?

Over as soon as the candle light goes out; as the OB vans move out?

The answers will be known the next time you offer (or are offered) a bribe, but make no mistake, across the country, the shared anger has ignited bushfires of hope, gasping for oxygen against the cynicism that a million scams and scandals have bred. Like in these bright eyes in Bangalore, on Thursday.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: Scams, scams, scams: Has liberalisation worked?

‘Cash for votes is a way of life in the South’

‘A cradle of civilisation, at its peak or its nadir?’

CHURUMURI POLL: How corrupt are you, yes, you?

CHURUMURI POLL: Karnataka, India’s most corrupt State?

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19 Responses to “It takes a billion hands to not grease the palms”

  1. harkol Says:

    Easy to be cynical about anything. Easy to criticize folks like Anna. But the reality is something needed to be done and someone had to lead it.

    Mumbai 26/11 rage couldn’t be harnessed. This one was harnessed by Anna. Besides, there was no unanimity of purpose post Mumbai as to what needs to be done. Fighting a war with Pakistan?!! That’s madness.

    However, with current movement against corruption, there is a bit more clarity. We need an ombudsman who is independent of the govt. who has both investigative and prosecution powers.

    Like the US Special Prosecutor, who can investigate/prosecute even the President of US. We shouldn’t stop till we get it..

    As to the snide remarks about paying bribe/accepting bribe.. The solution isn’t striking a righteous pose – it is in correcting a system which will change over time.

  2. Ram Lalla Says:

    Farcical. A middle class faux revolution.

  3. the colonel Says:

    one more army man at the forefront.

    three hundred people with him.

    Four hundred cities and towns.

    Yes there is anger.

    Lasting?

    I think not

  4. Rakesh Says:

    Freedom park, April 9. I’ll be there.

  5. Narayana Says:

    Time to show Sholay on TV… Basanti this time will have to dance in the nude because expectations have improved

  6. Kitapati Says:

    We need a systemic solution to handling corruption with properly institutionalzed, regulated and democratic measures. The jan lok pal bill is non democratic and is a big joke. How can a non-elected ombudsman deliver justice. What makes these yuppies think that such a person will not be corrupt himself/herself. Anna Hazare is just another media created joker. Gandhi is dead and Gandhigiri is only good when munnabhai practices it to win over lucky singh.

  7. karihaida Says:

    Damn it.. where were these dharnas when I was in college :) And before I start my candle business this old man has started his dharna :(

    Wonder how many people have even bothered to read up what Anna Hazare is proposing before lighting candles “in support”. Looks like another one of our noble ideas which will never work in practice just like our constitution.

    Sign me up , when someone starts a dharna for total decentralisation of governance and minimization of gov’t. Till that time enjoy the show.

  8. Yella Ok Says:

    Not a single publication or channel has come up with what changes anna is fighting for and asked the powers that be why they are opposed to the same. So much for investigative journalism. People like Rajdeep are satisfied by asking questions such as “is anna the new symbol”, ” do gandhian protests have relevance”, etc – so shallow.

    Even i am ignorant currently what anna is demanding. Only support him with a hopeful trust that he means well.

  9. Suma Says:

    Kitapati,

    Anna Hazare is the key person who initiated the movement for RTI ACT.
    What on earth makes you think that he is a media created JOKER?!!!

    ***

    Also for those who are still not aware of who Anna Hazare is and what Anna Hazare is he fasting for..

    1. Who is Anna Hazare?
    An ex-army man. Fought 1965 Indo-Pak War

    2. What’s so special about him?
    He built a village Ralegaon Siddhi in Ahamad Nagar district, Maharashtra

    3. So what?
    This village is a self-sustained model village. Energy is produced in the village itself from solar power, biofuel and wind mills.
    In 1975, it used to be a poverty clad village. Now it is one of the richest village in India. It has become a model for self-sustained, eco-friendly & harmonic village.

    4. Ok,…?
    This guy, Anna Hazare was awarded Padma Bhushan and is a known figure for his social activities.

    5. Really, what is he fighting for?
    He is supporting a cause, the amendment of a law to curb corruption in India.

    6. How that can be possible?
    He is advocating for a Bil, The Lok Pal Bill (The Citizen Ombudsman Bill), that will form an autonomous authority who will make politicians (ministers), beurocrats (IAS/IPS) accountable for their deeds.

    8. It’s an entirely new thing right..?
    In 1972, the bill was proposed by then Law minister Mr. Shanti Bhushan. Since then it has been neglected by the politicians and some are trying to change the bill to suit thier theft (corruption).

    7. Oh.. He is going on a hunger strike for that whole thing of passing a Bill ! How can that be possible in such a short span of time?
    The first thing he is asking for is: the government should come forward and announce that the bill is going to be passed.
    Next, they make a joint committee to DRAFT the LOK PAL BILL. 50% goverment participation and 50% public participation. Because you cant trust the government entirely for making such a bill which does not suit them.

    8. Fine, What will happen when this bill is passed?
    A LokPal will be appointed at the centre. He will have an autonomous charge, say like the Election Commission of India. In each and every state, Lokayukta will be appointed. The job is to bring all alleged party to trial in case of corruptions within 1 year. Within 2 years, the guilty will be punished. Not like, Bofors scam or Bhopal Gas Tragedy case, that has been going for last 25 years without any result.

    9. Is he alone? Whoelse is there in the fight with Anna Hazare?
    Baba Ramdev, Ex. IPS Kiran Bedi, Social Activist Swami Agnivesh, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal and many more.
    Prominent personalities like Aamir Khan is supporting his cause.

  10. twistleton Says:

    I’m so glad to know I’m not the only cynic around that i could cry…

  11. babuds Says:

    I see lot of cynicism in the postings. Our generation can’t be blamed for showing such cynicism, because many such movements, including JPs (in the 70s), met with no permanent or long lasting consequences. But I see lot of young ones school children, vowing support to eradicate corruption. My only hope is that even if the movement blows out as fast as a bubble, the young minds would get reasonably aligned against corruption in public life and one day they will become leaders to lead the country towards cleaner and better governments. For this they need not understand what Anna’s proposals are. It is enough if they start hating corruption.

  12. karihaida Says:

    @Suma,
    “Baba Ramdev, Ex. IPS Kiran Bedi, Social Activist Swami Agnivesh, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal and many more.
    Prominent personalities like Aamir Khan is supporting his cause.”

    No wonder this is a fast “fest”. And Aamir Khan joining this drama is corruption in itself. Poor Anna Hazare might have started this with noble intentions, but these leeches will swing it away for their 15mins.

    @babuds,
    nostalgic about old feel good movies i guess :)

  13. Ram Lalla Says:

    Does Hazare know Kiran Bedi’s daughter was given a medical seat in Lady Hardinge College in Delhi from the Mizoram quota at the expense of Mizos? And that she quit the course midway to go to the US to study journalism?

  14. Faldo Says:

    Suma, thanks for providing answers to the frquently asked questions (FAQ). I think Anna’s intentions are very noble and such a bill needs our support. However, all relevant points have to be considered and well debated before it is passed.
    Care needs to be taken in deciding how the Lokpal is appointed and deciding on the powers. If the selection commitee has a vested interest in propagating corruption, they could start appointing pliable persons.

    Even if there is a well defined process to appoint the Lokpal with strong poweers, we can get eminent persons to agree to be the Lokpal only if they are given adequate protection and independence in performing their duties. At the same time checks and balances have to be in place to make sure the Lok Pal does not start persuing his or her own agenda.

  15. Kitapati Says:

    Aamir khan was in the 5 crore cricket viewing cabins purchased by Mukesh Ambani just a week ago. The money laundering babas and swamis are another big support group for Anna Hazare.
    My SWAG on this is Anna Hazare is going to stop his fast soon as the IPL has started. Media will now move to IPL. He timed the start rightly just after world cup.
    Some revolution of petit bourgouies.

  16. twistleton Says:

    Kita

    That’s harsh….but true. I almost feel sorry for the Govt. They needed to be taught a lesson, but not by self-righteous ‘patriots’.

  17. Anis Ahmed Laskar Says:

    people got emotional and supporting Anna in a strong way. But if Anna wins, Indian democracy will be in trouble. When the civilian rule over the govt. total system will collupse.

  18. PVS Bala Says:

    Gandhi would not have wished that a very near anarchy will be created by another gandhian. fIght is for the right cause but not at the cost of very foundation of our democracy.

  19. praveen kodabagi Says:

    Anna Hazare is a simpleton. The corruption in India is too big to be removed by a single Jan Lokpal. How are we going to remove corruption by a single institution ( presuming Jan Lokpal will be so) it all seems a big drama. It is very foolish to assume that it is going to remove the corruption in a country ruled , led by millions of people who are corrupt not necessarily by taking a bribe. The media in India too is largely biased focussing on useless things such as this movement. In the very act of removing the corruption the Jan Lokapal itself will become the very thing it sought out to remove. we should stop calling anna hazare as Gandian, supporting violence is not Gandhian, supporting the slapping of somebody implicitly is not gandhian and most importantly beating the drunkards is nt gandhian.

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