Friday, April 8, 2011

Ending Corruption or beginning of newer and bigger corruption?

Sandhya Jain, an editor at VijayVaani, expresses her disagreement in her article Anna Hazare: NGOs for Governance? She makes her points quite forcefully, and her main points are that such movements (fast unto death):

1. De-legitimizes parliament and elected government, by showing anti-democratic disdain for the elected representatives.

2. Wants to enthrone, people of dubious credentials in the name of NGO's and so on, which are puppets of America.

3. The hurried action smells of a hidden agenda, for it tends to underplay the possibly existing dissent.

Sandhya also gives the example of Medha Patkar run NGO whose credibility has taken a beating owing to recent court strictures against it. We agree with her concluding remark:``... I must say I cannot agree with the main object of Anna Hazare’s fast –to elevate a select coterie as national super cop and super judge, as a national daily put it so aptly.''

The building blocks of the article seem sound, however it misses certain salient points.

Since independence (even though the trend had begun possibly before that), India has never been a functional democracy, unless we consider merely the holding of elections as the proof. Time and again, politicians have tried and succeeded in becoming larger than the nation, and above law.

Mohandas was foremost amongst them and was succeeded by Jawahar. It is no wonder that Mohandasians (Gandhians) pursue the same dream. We, as people think of democracy for them, not for us. This means that we often instinctively think that Laws are for them, we are above law.

If we observe carefully, the high-command culture, prevalent in most political parties reflects this same meme. Each and every, street politician lives and dies dreaming this same privilege.

I have pointed out earlier:

``... How can there be a healthy and vibrant democracy in the presence of a high-command culture? Is Congress democratic? NO. Is JD(S) democratic? NO. Each party is a Congress with different Nehru-Gandhi equivalents at the helm. The high-command is taken to be wise. So Sonia-Rahul in Congress, Devegowda-Kumaraswamy in JD(S) are the decision makers. Why, because it is they who have most of the money, and all parties need money. ...''

Thus, it is not surprising that Anna Hazare, Medha Patkar, one and all cherish and pursue this dream. I have also pointed out that Democracy by itself is not the solution. We need a democratically elected government, but a government which works under an effective constitution. We are anyway full of democracy which can be misused or undermined. Thus we need a new constitution.

And it is this constitution that must be arrived at after a series of debates, drafts, discussions, in short after a lot of deliberate intellectual home work. Until then we will have new jokers replacing old jokers.

I am also appalled by Sandhya's allegiance for Manmohan's personal integrity. We don't care a foot whether Manmohan is clean or not. He has been overseeing a government which has been one of the most evil, most corrupt, and the most anti-national government we have had, with the possible exception of Jawahar's governments. And that is enough for us to understand Manmohan.

Sandhya chastises Mr. Hazare for ``...instigating the middle class intelligentsia that comes to hear him at Jantar Mantar – and neither he nor any of his allies is a grassroots mass leader – to despise and distrust politicians and bureaucrats as a class when these are the constitutional pillars of State....''. Sandhya should know that Mohandas did the same, and thus Mohandasians do likewise!

While Sandhya rightly points out various negative aspects of this movement, she fails to provide her solution to the problem of corruption that Anna Hazare claims he is addressing. We think, providing a conception for a workable solution to the problem of corruption is as important as pointing out flaws in other attempts. For otherwise, people tend to drift towards whatever is available in the name of something is better than nothing.

We did propose a framework for a skeleton of possible solution long ago. In our opinion, in the place of what we have been practicing so far, we need:


1. Krishna's non-violence. Not Mohandas's

We must educate ourselves about dharma (a righteousness which alone can truly sustain us) well, so that we can discern if adharma is masquerading as dharma. Never practise tolerance, or non-violence towards adharma!

2. Chanakya's State. Not Jawahar's.

Free market with good moral values. Moral values through quality education about "Freedom, Personal Responsibility, and Wisdom of our heritage Sanatana Dharma". For the moment, we can make only a beginning with this. It may be too far fetched to talk of achieving Ram-rajya at this juncture.

3. Sanatana Dharma's open-mindedness. Not commie-secularism.

Truthful and honest recording of experiences. Learning by verifying or assimilating the wisdom of these experiences. Exploring in a spirit of freedom mellowed with a sense of responsibility. An unswerving and bold allegiance to truth. Discovering, and rediscovering truths pertaining to both Spirituality and Science and reaping benefits from them.


We need to build further on this. All are invited to debate, comment and fiercely criticize. All inputs and ideas solicited as well as respected, and we valuable ones surely heeded. Unless we undertake such an enterprise, most if not all, moves towards ending corruption will only pave a beginning of newer and bigger corruption.

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