Archive for August, 2011
To call Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption a ‘second freedom movement’ may be hyperbole but in recent times there has been no mass upsurge for a purely public cause, that has captured the imagination of so many.
For an Indian public long tolerant of the misdeeds of its political servants turned quasi-mafia bosses this show of strength was a much-needed one. In any democracy while elected governments, the executive and the judiciary are supposed to balance each other’s powers, ultimately it is the people who are the real masters and it is time the so-called ‘rulers’ understand this clearly.
Politicians, who constantly hide behind their stolen or manipulated electoral victories, should beware the wrath of a vocal citizenry that is not going to be fooled forever and demands transparent, accountable and participatory governance. The legitimacy conferred upon elected politicians is valid only as long as they play by the rules of the Indian Constitution, the laws of the land and established democratic norms.
If these rules are violated the legitimacy of being ‘elected’ should be taken away just as a bad driver loses his driving license or a football player is shown the red card for repeated fouls. The problem we face in India is clearly that there are no honest ‘umpires’ left to hand out these red cards anymore and this is not just the problem of a corrupt government or bureaucracy but of the falling values of Indian society itself.
That is why it is not clear at all whether the passing of the Jan Lokpal Bill with its draconian powers of oversight over government functioning will work as an effective measure against financial or political corruption.