Sunday, August 21, 2011

More on Anna... as promised. Plus, more...


Binalakshmi Nepram is an extraordinary woman from Manipur, who gave up lucrative assignments in London and New York to come back to her home state with a one point agenda - "Get the guns out of Manipur''. That has been her impassioned campaign since her return.Manipur , one of our most neglected and demoralised States is dominated by guns in the hands of trigger happy cops and army men, accountable to no one.... a law unto themselves. Locals have been terrorised and brutalised for decades.. with nobody daring to speak up against this oppression. Binalakhmi has launched 'Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network', and is the Secretary General, 'Control Arms Foundation of India'.Beautiful, articulate and committed, she is also a published poet. Check out www.cafi-online.org. www.neiwip.blogspot.com. I am more than willing to fast for her and with her....
**************
This appeared in the Sunday TOI....



Why I’d hate to be in Anna’s Chappals….

It’s scary being Anna Hazare. Here is one man who has been compelled to carry the collective hopes of over a billion countrymen on his 74 year-old-shoulders. No matter how sturdy those shoulders are, that’s a lot of weight. So far, the situation is tense but not grim. How much longer will the ‘Main Hoon ,Na?’scenario last? Important question. If emotions dry up and nothing concrete comes out of the shrill protests ,who takes care of the disillusioned and desperate Anna followers waiting for the miracle to happen?Ironically, the Anna Phenomenon has divided, rather than united India. Instead of the aam aadmi focusing on the C- Word and backing Team Anna in its valiant fight against India’s Emperor of Maladies – corruption ( as malignant as the worst form of cancer), much-needed energy has been dissipated on finger pointing and name calling. Anna now finds himself in a bit of a spot, and how he negotiates this challenge will determine not just his own future but the fate of tomorrow’s India.Martyrdom is an attractive, seductive option. The thing is, Anna has been appropriated and converted into a talisman. His followers chant his name like a mantra. Some of them believe if they chant it often enough, and observe fasts, their wish for a corruption free India will be automatically granted. Just like Manmohan Singh does not possess a magic wand ( and has foolishly admitted it), neither does Anna.But we the citizens do! It’s called a ‘vote’. But passions have reached such a feverish pitch ,Anna devotees refuse to acknowledge basics(Anna alone cannot rid India of corruption).The solution to India’s myriad problems is not Anna. And this is where the faithful flock is making an expensive mistake.
Anna Hazare is no Jayaprakash Narayan. He most certainly cannot be described as the 21st Mahatma Gandhi. He is Anna - a simple man with a simple mind . Which is his biggest trump card and also his biggest liability. It is his simplicity that has attracted thousands of people to him. But it is the same simplicity that can become his undoing. A great man’s silence is open to interpretation. A diehard fan can read whatever into it. But when the same great man opens his mouth he risks everything if the content doesn’t match expectations. For all his other attributes, even his most ardent admirers will admit, Anna is no intellectual heavyweight. He is not a statesman , nor has he pretended to be one. What has touched so many people’s lives is his courage to take on the mighty, combined with a childlike obstinacy. Is that enough to ‘save’ India? Or are we being a bit too gullible, a bit too naïve pinning all our hopes on a single individual and his Jan Lokpal Bill? An Anna wave is what we have right now.Can it become a mass movement?
That the Congress-led UPA government has enough egg on its face to make a gigantic omelet, is obvious. The Big Boys have bungled and bungled badly. The Prime Minister managed to find his voice a bit too late into the fracas. By the time he spoke up, the Anna show was well on the road, with enough support to shake up India’s Debating Society ( read: ministers who waste precious time scoring debating points on television instead of engaging in smart politics). This debacle has added to the confusion, and worse, caused major rifts within the government. Anna’s decision to carry on fasting and stay put in jail was the master stroke that the Debaters had not factored in. Nor had they paid close attention to the mood of the nation, which was indeed clamouring for change.Unfortunately, what the mood also revealed was a growing sense of intolerance – and this is the frightening part. You had to take sides in a childish way – be fawningly pro-Anna or get labeled anti-Anna. Like we were playing kho-kho. Dissenting opinions were damned.Those who didn’t gush over Anna were dubbed unpatriotic. All this , while discussing the power of democracy!It is this divisiveness that will cost Anna eventually.Hate and condemnation of those with a different point of view can hardly be described as Gandhian thinking.Anna loyalists will require more than Gandhi topis and trendy tees to keep up the momentum, now that we have admitted there is an elephant in the room. Poor Anna Hazare. Who said a folk hero’s life is easy?



70 comments:

Chintan said...

Just like Manmohan Singh does not possess a magic wand ( and has foolishly admitted it), neither does Anna!

This is a strong statement and true indeed. I too have been blogging about this issue and unless each and every Indian willingly sheds the corrupted side of theirs Anna alone can do nothing but fast. I feel sorry to see his state, people are singing, dancing and getting their made up children to Ramleela to grab the attention of the national TV cameramen. Sigh. We always tend to look at short term benefits, those who are piling up in the grounds, half of them would jump traffic signals and give that 50Rs note to the traffic police.

When each and everyone, including You, me and that corrupted traffic police man change, the nation will follow.

Jyostna said...

This post seems well knit. I have penned similar kind of thoughts after Anna's first fast. What happens next after his fasting, will ppl continue to protest against corruption or forget this after few days.
It is true that Anna alone cannot be a crusader to help cure this most malignant tumor called Corruption. But I would belive, that this movement has given some food for thought especially to the youngsters who may get succumbed just as the elder citizens to the prevailing system if left unaddressed n the address which shld be in a scale that reaches the masses. Now that lot of them started realising that this should be protested, we can at least expect some of them to change.

goodluck said...

some sane voice in the midst of all the noise.

Desi Babu said...

Dear Mrs. De,

It is a very well written post and very objective at the same time.

I like it when you say that Anna is neither Gandhi, nor JP. However, he has reminded a lot of people about both these gentle giants, who have had a profound effect on India's destiny.

And I fully agree on the "childlike obstinacy" that Anna has shown. But, as you would probably agree as a parent yourself, the hardest thing that I have ever had to deal with, was when I had a two year old, throwing a tantrum on the floor.

It will be interesting to see how the government deals with this childlike behavior.

Wish you a happy Janmashtami!

Desi Babu
http://peanutexpress.blogspot.com/

Theyoginme said...

Raj Narain was no Gandhi and neither is Anna.

Ravi Lingam said...

I don't agree with you and all the people sound like you. Its not the question of one man or five man or 10 man. It should be the content of the draft which should be discussed. Have you the read the draft completely and the Govt's version of it. There may be some short commings in the draft but they can be improvised which is secondary. But at least there is someone who is ready to get sacrifised for the betterment for of the rest. What is he asking? He don't even want the Gove to change. Its too much easy for someone to sit in their comfortable homes and speak against or for any subject. One needs to be careful. I just say one thing. Dont get bother about he his just a one single man and how can he carry the burden of the rest. He is asking the reforms so that corruption can be stopped to certain extent. He is also aware that it will not completely remove it. But his one step has at least shaken the system and made them to think. Even if the impact of this gives no pot-hole roads for us i will be happy. But the impact can be much more that this. Please dont look always for some publicity.

KAPPA said...

Hats off to Binalakshmi Nepram!

the indian said...

Mahatma Gandhi joined a freedom struggle which already existed. Anna started a struggle against corruption which never really existed anytime before this. Anna may not be Gandhi and doesn't have to be, but Anna is Anna and we are proud of him. We all use Gandhi's teachings and so does Anna. Anna's ideology can be said to be inspired by Gandhi but ofcourse he is not Gandhi and doesn't need to be.

Jain said...

I am worried and at the same time amazed why the leading newspapers and popular media channels don't air more views like this one. The latest trend in this country is getting publicity and popularity whether it is media or whether it is the "Anna" and his types. It is always fashionable to make inflammatory statements against Government and gain popularity instead of trying to bring out the real issues and attempting to have an intellectual debate. People of India (including cops and various government officials) may be corrupt due to various compulsions of their own but at the same time they are highly emotional and passionate who can easily get carried away in the name of patriotism as false and as misplaced it may be. What we don't realize is that the false sense of patriotism is not far from tyranny. Nobody needs another Hitler in the garb of Mr. Anna claiming to represent 1.2 Billion people of this country of his own will by gathering some crowds on the streets.
I really wish the popular media for once behaves more responsibly otherwise very soon if not Anna someone else like him is going to bring down the biggest and one of the most progressive democracy in the world.
No system in this world is perfect. While we all want to improve our governance system at various levels we need to be sensible and practical in our approach rather than just being completely self centered and autocratic in the thought process and risk the entire fabric of free and democratic society. This is extremely dangerous.
As a citizen of India I thank you for writing such articles Ms Shobhaa De.

blue sky thinking said...

A child throws tantrum for candy, or some self-centered gain like that. Anna has put his life on the line for the good of people. To brand his selfless resoluteness as "childish" obstinacy is the most dishonest argument I ever heard. And you pretend to carry on a intelligent debate?

Anna is simple, but not naive,nor an island. He is open for debate. The bill from team Anna is the most sophisticated composition. Lot of brilliant minds worked in 14 iterations to arrive at that and they are open for more. If you have any real courage take the bill point by point, show you are interested in real debate instead of propagating dishonest propaganda.

Jain said...

If he is that honest and smart and intellectual why doesn't he engage in a dialogue with the Government or the parliament. Why is he trying to make fool out of people by saying that the only way of bringing India out of corruption is his bill and everyone else in this country who says otherwise is dishonest and corrupt. No sincere, honest and intellectual person ever says "do exactly as I say otherwise ........". Even the greatest scientists after years of strenuous research and hard work propose their theories and eagerly look for critiques and reviews from others in the community. Imagine if some scientist said build an airplane exactly as per my theory without any discussions or modifications and have 10 thousand people sit in that plane and if it crashes .... "well I made a mistake", but I am not going to let you question my theory before implementing it..
That is what Anna is trying to achieve.

goodluck said...

Jain, anna is having powerful backing by Toi and Timesnow. They are running the show and now every channel blindly follows anna.
Dont cry for this country or its people which deserves this type of tamasha.

blue sky thinking said...

It is wrong perception that Team Anna is saying theirs is the only way...Their bill is out there for public review for quite some time. They took ideas from as many as 3000 people, and did 14 iterations and open for more. Where were you? Have you bothered to read thru?

The government bill is obvious fraud (tell me how it is not), and Team Anna are open for debate and comparison between the two. Haven't you heard them saying "we are open for discussions"? Don't spread false notions if you are sincere about a good anti-corruption solution. But I understand those who benefit by status quo drag their feet about this. At the least show some integrity to do honest debate about solution, instead of shamelessly resorting to diminishing Anna as personality. Branding him as a childish tantrum is new low.

It is now government's responsibility to restart a sincere dialog. Why are they so quiet now?

चंद्रमौलेश्वर प्रसाद said...

The situation is grave but not out of control i.e., not in the graveyard :)

Jain said...

I thought Anna made the statement, "I won't end my fast until Government accepts my bill as it is". Government actually offered them to debate on the bill in the parliament, but they refused saying it has to be accepted in entirety (or with so called basic principles included). He wants to violate all laws and regulations of parliamentary democracy.
Moreover, I am not advocating that Government is all correct and truthful. What I am saying is that there is no absolute truth about Anna's honesty and his bill either as he seems to claim. Why doesn't he end the fast and accepts the Government's offer for dialog, simply becauz that's going to take away the lime-light and news channel coverage from him. Just because some people jammed the streets on his command (or in his support, whatever you may want to say) he now feels bigger than the Government of India. He is nothing but another guy who wants absolute power and attention and that too in a short-cut manner. As soon as he has got just a little support from people in the streets he has already become arrogant and high headed. If he gets as much power as the ministers he will become probably more corrupt and dangerous than them... If you are a smart citizen recognize the devil in the making in early stages before he ruins our lives even further.

blue sky thinking said...

No you are wrong about that, as early as an hour back I herd him say in hindi "Hum Batchit karne ki liya tayyar hai" So please keep yourself updated before spreading wrong notions. It amounts to derailing sincere attempts to reach solution.

blue sky thinking said...

It government who have all the power have shown lack of sincerity. Any person who claims against corruption should raise his voice against that, instead of shooting down those offer serious solutions.

Jain said...

really! whats this updated at 8:08 PM
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Give-us-our-Lokpal-Bill-or-quit-Anna-warns-government/articleshow/9686225.cms

So in other words you agree that if he is giving such threats his ideals are not as lofty as he claims..

blue sky thinking said...

It is only tough negotiation, to brand it as threat is misleading. Government already proved to be dishonest (do your agree?) the way they produced fake lokpal bill at the end of first round. Now instead of tough talking to government, if one attacks those who trying to find a sincere solution, what does that say about their loyalty?

Now only if government produces a bill proposal worthy of promise, then it would be justified to soften stand on them. Anything short of that would be a trap. Dont expect Team Anna to be that naive

Jain said...

I agree Anna and his team is not at all naive. Day by day my suspicions are confirmed that they are smarter than what any of us has been able to perceive. They have a much bigger agenda than just the lokpal bill. If it was just that they would have gladly accepted Government offer of discussion on it.
It is really scary, what they are really upto. Lokpal bill is just a reason to begin rebel rousing.
And what you are saying is that they using threats to negotiate or in other words playing politics with the Government of their own country. So they are nothing but wannabe politicians with some very sinister motives. God save us from people like that. They wanna use emotionally charged people against their own country.
We will see what happens when and if this thing begins to affect the sensex and economy of the country.. (it probably already is)

Nagesh said...

Lokpal bill has been introduced several times, but has not seen the light of the day. It's the failure of the successive government's that has created the present situation.Without public pressure or some form of expression by the public, do we hope that govt. will pass a strong Lokpal. I agree with @Chintan that each and every one has to change to eradicate corruption, but we have been waiting for last sixty years for that change. The first scam in India (jeep scam) during the early years of Independent India. Since then, there have been plethora of scams. Is compensation announced for farmers paid on time? Do all those injured in railway accidents get prompt compensation? Are complaints made to the civic agencies acted upon without much delay? Is our present education and judicial system free of corruption. Are complaints made to the Police acted upon immediately? The is most often No. There is a chain of corruption from high to lower levels of governance. Only when corruption at higher places of governance is reduced, that people at lower places will be under pressure to change. A strong Lokpal may not remove corruption by itself but would enable trickle down affect at lower levels of governance. Simultaneously, we will have to discourage corrupt practices by refusing to pay bribes. The same government had awarded Padmashri and Padmabhushan to Anna. At first instance, it may look like Anna's tough stance is unjust, but it is the negotiation strategy. Unless you have a tough stance, people at helm are likely to procrastinate and delay the bill. I feel the tough stance will ultimately result in mutually acceptable and strong Lokpal bill

anupam kumar said...

When ordinary people are reduced to a crowd, it becomes extremely difficult to keep them in discipline or control. When people are moved by excitement, they can hardly be persuaded to stop. As a result, we are faced with frequent gatherings and processions, slogan shoughtings, rallies, huge demonstrations, strikes (hunger), picketing and gheraos and incidence of damage to public property. Under the circumstances, it seems that who have the skill to gather and mobilize crowds will be able to secure fulfillment of there unreasonable demands. Whereas those who try to present their cause peacefully and meaningfully will go unheard. I hope people will understand the technical aspect of the present tricolor/middle class or anti-corruption movement …

Satrupa said...

Whether Anna or not is not the question ...... It is the cause that is more important. And unfortunately this man in 'chappal' had to take it up instead of the elected members whom we choose to sit in the parliament.
Is there anyone who would not want that corruption is curbed or at least reduced ??
For a lame person like me .... the first impression that Anna's bill makes is that it is 'Pro' People where as the govt bill looks self centered.
And about Anna and his team aspiring for political mileage, I am not sure of that. If we look into the past records of Anna, this is not the first agitation that he has taken up. The RTI is a result of his agitation. His model village is not only a matter of pride for India, but also people from all over the world, who flock in lakhs to see it. This shows that Anna already had a big fan following .... now it has become more evident. Had it been his motive to gain political mileage, there was no need for him to wait till the last lap of his life. He could have done that long time back.
Coming to Shobhaa's Article .... I have one suggestion for her. She has all the right to voice her opinion but it is not right to use words that sound offensive. The comments on TOI shows that people have felt offended by her. Shobhaa tumhe ye saab 'Shobha' nahin deti :)
You should sound like 'Old n wise' not ' Sathiyaa (60) gaaye ho'.

Nagesh said...

I agree with @Satrupa on Anna issue. Every time someone takes an initiative, we make a mockery of him/her. Everyone has a right to their opinion. Both supporters of Anna and those who disagree with them must respect each other's opinion. No one should abuse or force one's opinion on others. The great thing is people are finally debating an important issue openly at the public level.

Desi Babu said...

@Satrupa:

I think the reason Anna and the rest of us have to come out on the streets, is that our parliamentary democracy has no scope for continued participation in the legislative process.

You might like the recent post I wrote on this : Shut up and go home!

Peace!

Cheryllyne said...

I absolutely enjoyed your thoughts in this article. You've articulated the sentiments of not only Indians (in India and all over the world) but also of non-Indians. A lot of Americans, like my husband, are excited to learn more about Anna Hazare because, as you rightly said, this is a man seemingly without a hidden agenda and childlike obstinacy who is demanding change—something that America badly needs right now. Something that Obama promised and has failed to deliver, no thanks to the Republican, Democrat and Congress infighting. I, for one, am definitely interested in seeing what unfolds in the coming days and months. As for voting, I am an Indian citizen residing in the States. I and other fellow NRIs are frustrated that we don't have a system in place to vote long distance. The Indian government should institute an absentee ballot where Indians, like me, can register ourselves at an Indian Consulate and mail in our votes accordingly. I would like to have my voice and vote counted.

blue sky thinking said...

@Jain
Now you seem to believe Team Anna is dishonest, I don't share that prejudice with you as there is no precedence to support it.But the worst part of your position is that you would rather have the current corrupt system prevail, rather than test your unfounded prejudice.

Your fear about economy also seem to be unfounded to me. If a good anti-corruption solution emerges out of this, India may come out on top. Check out this great presentation, especially last few slides
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4aFPJXv19w&feature=share

blue sky thinking said...

@DesiBabu
I liked your post a lot. You are putting your wit to the best use.

maglomaniac said...

I too wrote something on Anna and Lokpal.Thought to share it

http://maglomaniacs-chaos.blogspot.com/


~Harsha

blue sky thinking said...

@Harsha

Liked this line
Jab mujhe jhukna na padega
Apne hi haq k lie

raaj said...

Madam, manytimes your voice seems too much abtract to digest and confined to a high section. Something ..Anna's chappal..hate etc.does not sound good.

kakaka said...

The government has said we will wait and see, if the crowd fizzles out we wont do much about it, if it dosen't we might have to think of a strategy.

WHAT BARBARIANS.

This so called parliament does not represent the middle class.

There is enough being done for the poor and the rich. the middle class is being squeezed out.

SUB said...

people who are against jan lokpal, have they tried to give their opinion about how to make the bill better? there is a website to do that...and Jan lokpal has been modified already based on those opinions...i agree Jan Lokpal if flawed...but the Govn's Lokpal is horrible if you know what they proposed...

people talk about casting the right vote? well if i am to vote again i will still vote for congress, coz i find no better alternative...but it is the same elected govn that has proposed such a horrible bill...

Ritesh said...

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आईने॒से सदा चोट खाते रहे,
वो वतन बेचकर मुस्कुराते रहे
हम वतन के लिए॒सिर कटाते रहे”

280 लाख करोड़ का सवाल है …
Visit Anna Hazare Website

Tsomo85 said...

Cool! So proud of her, you looking nice as always. Love that antique style necklace!

goodluck said...

Arundhati Roy questions why corporates, media are left out of Janlokpal?

All the 3 ladies Shobhaa de, Tavleen Singh, Arundhati Roy have their own reservations about this movement.

Jogeshwar said...

Given the very short memory of the masses it remains to be seen how Anna loyalists remember him, especially if the proposed bill does not meet the expectations of the people.

parag ghate said...

hope your Mexican vacation with your American friends is over.
Welcome back to homeland.

Your comments on Anna are valid if you spend you atleast 150days in India in a year.

ArchanaD said...

Roy wants Anna to take up farmer suicides, Bukhari wants Anna to take up communalism, Shobhaa De wants him to address poverty and army brutalities in some of our states... they themselves won't do anything. And no matter which cause Anna would have taken up, he would have still encountered idiots to pass irrelevant commentary.

Radhika Gupta said...

It's really commendable that you have boldly and honestly expressed your views about the Anna movement...
I agree when you say that we cannot rely on a single person to root out corruption from our society... but i hope this movement is the beginning of something big... Hats off to Anna Hazare for the kind of initiative he has taken... whether he succeeds or nor is yet to be seen... atleast he's doing something for the nation selflessly and whole-heartedly..

Divya Virmani said...

Mrs. De, you forced me to comment on your blog this time! While tweeting a couple minutes ago, I came across your most latest tweet. It seems as if you are the biggest Anti-Anna person in India. And you want to make sure you are heard [out loud]. I get your point in your article but you are forgetting that someone somewhere in India has to take stand for corruption. Anna did it. He's not God or Gandhi. He's simply trying to make sure that every single Indian out there stands in support to Jan Lokpal Bill. The Bill which will 'not totally' but will to some extent reduce corruption from our own, very own country.

The aam junta wont have to suffer on a daily basis and wont have to deal with corrupt officials.

If you want corruption to decrease in your country then support Jan Lokpal Bill...not Anna just the bill!

Arun Nair said...

Shobhaa, Anna is not the rhyme, he is the reason for a country feverish for change. He may be a simple man, but he is not a simpleton. The biggest of events have the simplest of beginnings.

You and the "intellectuals" can ridicule all you want about the rational, reason and rambunctiousness of the Anna movement. Strangely I'm reminded of a quote by Mahatma Gandhi. "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win".

Siddhi said...

Its very easy for "social elite" writers, to blog and blurt what so ever they think....Thats the best part of democracy...I would say Try and stay one day..just one day as a middle class Woman..& one will realise what CHANGE Annaji is bringing...The confidence that he has built in all of us cannot be penned....We should be ashamed that it took a 74 year old veteran to wake us up..and not even one of the blogs...lets appreciate the efforts of the humble man...He is fighting for us..THE PEOPLE OF INDIA..

Arjun said...

While there have been several anti-corruption campaigns and crusades in the past, what sets this apart from the rest is the sheer practical nature of the demands that've been put across, even though unconstitutional it might sound to the parliamentarians, but its never been said that the constitution itself cannot be amended, cos its "people first" in any democracy.
Anna as the cynosure of this demonstration stands out to the extent that he sure is reverberating with his thunderous slogans plucked straight from the bygone freedom struggle. Its my view, whats driving him is the vicarious thrills of reliving the joy of sacrificing by the great freedom fighters; the likes of Gandhi, Bhagat Singh etc. The fact that much of his inspiration and ideologies are Gandhian is a no brainer. Although Anna's role in the freedom struggle does not match the leagues of the big names, he sure wouldn't mind replicating the feat of the great freedom fighters. He aptly names it the second freedom struggle, to get that adrenalin flowing and thrills unlimited.
People might think its crazy that he's doing it for the thrills of sacrificing, but such is the nature of the feeling that one goes through when one is itching to be counted in the league of people who've made major sacrifices for the country, especially for someone who's seen the freedom struggle from such close quarters.
That apart, whether the govt accepts the bill, rejects the bill, or tweaks it, it is important not to brand the current govt. worthless, to the extent of giving the opposition parties an upper hand. Remember, no one is clean here. Its important to let the bill find its way till it becomes law, and hopefully, bring this same govt. back to power in the next general elections, to experiment the Lokpal on them like guinea pigs, and ensure the opposition too learns a lesson or two from this, and works harder and better to show its importance and worth to the people of this country. It has to be emphasized that for any democracy to work well, a strong and smart opposition is a must.
While the congress led UPA is being criticized of its handling and bungling, its actually not too bad that in such delicate matters the govt shows a bit of silliness or foolishness, cos making rigid and forceful decisions to show conviction and control can backfire, which they perhaps realized to some extent during Baba Ramdev's rally, and to a greater extent on arresting Anna.
Being indecisive and looking foolish is a better option here for the govt., as facing the wrath of the people would be the last thing on any govt's mind.

Jain said...

The problem that blind followers of the "Anna" don't realize is that he has no accountability as a single person or a team of 5 people. I would like to ask that all those people so feverishly supporting the Jan lokpal bill, how many of them are political science majors or political lawyers to be able to comprehend the pros and cons of all aspects of the bill.
We all view the Govt's bill or Anna's bill as laymen and are free to express our opinion and have the right to make ourselves heard. However, imposing a bill that a certain mr Anna says on the entire country is just plain wrong and highly dictatorial even in the thought process. If this bill turns out be counter-productive and harms the nation who are we going to hold responsible - (I know some might say it cannot happen but has anybody tested such a bill working in a country like India). Anna does not hold any office neither does any of his team members. If in future the Government wants to modify it after a better understanding (as happens with most laws and bills ever passed) Anna will again gather a crowd on the streets and again threaten the Govt. How can the Govt of a big country like India with population of 120 cr function on the threats made by a certain group of people by gathering few lakhs on the streets. It is like holding the entire country as hostage, if you don't adhere to all the demands of the ***** Anna

Jain said...

Most people supporting that Anna seem to hold him almost on the same pedestal as God. This is so scary... Anybody dare says anything bad about him and these blind followers start cursing them and calling them names as is evident from the comments of Anna followers in various different blogs and articles.
One of the cornerstone of democracy is skepticism and right to criticize anybody and everybody.
When we don't do that and don't want others to do it either, we are working against democracy not for it.
We should all be reminded how Hitler became such a powerful person in Germany. When his country was in trouble people needed someone to call himself a messiah who can rid them of all their problems, Hitler did exactly that. People initially started worshiping him like God and soon he took total control and the rest is history....
Anna is doing something similar by saying my bill is going to transform the country and raise economy etc....
Before the Anna followers start calling me names and start castigating me, I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting that Anna is another hitler but there are lessons to be learned from everywhere in the world before we begin to think that we are competent enough that we begin to force how exactly important laws of the country should be drafted to the word as dictated by a small group of people bypassing all democratic process, holding no office and having no accountability. Who are we going to punish or blame if Govt is forced to implement this bill and we realize after 3 years results are disastrous. Why can't Anna present his views and discuss with the parliament in a civilized manner as a "common man" that they claim to be, when Govt is giving open invitation to them.
Why do they keep giving deadlines of 1 week, 2 weeks and so on.
The truth is that they are enjoying all the adulation and attention by these blind followers just too much. Who will want to give that away...

Anil Kumar said...

You got it wrong again Ms De. I am sorry to say but age does take a toll on human beings.

What Anna is asking to have his draft discussed in Parliament instead of the one created by govt draft. This is just one of the first step before a bill becomes a law and parliament can still reject his version after discussion.

Anna is no legal expert but his team of Kejriwal,Bhushan and Kiran Bedi are better than your elected representatives like Lalu, Amar Singh and that unelected IDIOT Sardar MMS who is made primeminister.

This is only the beginning and its not going to bring down democracy. You should better focus your energy on the PARASITES in this country like Imam Bukhari who bring in objection to Vane Maatram. These NAMAK HARAAM should be sent to where they belong...Arundhati Roys backyard in Pakistan.

Jain said...

@AnilKumar
Why do you think you have the intellect to decide who is idiot and who is namak haram and parasites and ....
Democracy means whether it is Shobha De or Arundhati Roy or anyone else they have right to express their opinion as long as they do it without holding the nation to hostage and threatening to overthrow Governments by undemocratic means..

Jain said...

I should add Dictatorship means everyone should agree and follow what one man says and if you don't - firstly "how dare you.." and if you still do then you are unpatriotic, anti-national, NAMAK HARAM and parasite...

blue sky thinking said...

@Jain
Do you know a dictator who ever fasted for his countrymen?

The way you have been throwing words like dictatorship,childish tantrums etc shows either you lack the understanding of the language or you are willfully twisting the words. What is it? Whatever it is you must *think* your are clever...

Anil Kumar said...

@Jain
Parliamentary democracy had enough time of more than 42 years to make this country free of corruption. Either you are out of reality or your dear ones are in this business of corruption.

Everyone has a right to express their opinions but not at the cost of bringing down a movement which has affected everyone in this country and for the first time some thing may happen. For all those fans of Arundhati Roy, this JanLokpal bill can still get rejected by Parliament. To find loopholes in Anna Hazare or Ramdev's movement and try to sabotage a movement which will not harm anyone is a criminal act from misguided/corrupt people.

Let me tell you one more thing. Other than politicians, PEOPLE WHO ARE CRITICAL OF THIS BILL ARE THE ONE WHO HAVE SPENT LOTS OF THEIR TIME TO BRING THE CHANGE IN THE SYSTEM AND WERE UNFORTUNATELY NOT SUCCESSFUL . IT'S JEALOUSY FACTOR WHICH COMES INTO PLAY WHEN YOU HEAR WHAT ARUNA ROY OR SOME SAMAJSEVAK SAY ABOUT ANNA's bill. THEY THINK THIS BLOODY ANNA TOOK ALL THE FAME AND SPACE IN THE HISTORY BOOK AT THEIR COST AND NO ONE IS INTERVIEWING THEM.

So take deep breath and get some fresh air and think sensibily. If we leave this bill to govt's version and drag it for another 5 years, next generation will not forgive such people.

Jain said...

@bluesky - A person who has dictatorship tendencies will go to any extent to make innocent people feel that he is sacrificing for their cause whereas he is doing it only to realize his power and motives.
Just fasting doesn't make anyone great. This is just a means of getting attention. My 9 year old nephew doesn't eat anything when he wants to get his parents to do something for him. More often than not in such situations they are forced to do as he says. As people mature they realize that this is not a civilized way of putting their point..
@AnilKumar - I agree there is lot of scope of improvement in our democracy and we all hate corruption and want to get rid of it. I just don't agree with you and Anna that this bill is going to do it. This has so many flaws at different levels (at least in my opinion and of many others) but Anna is not even ready to debate it or discuss it in the parliament. Government already offered to do that. He just wants everyone to toe his line otherwise he is going to bring the Government down, bring another set of corrupt people and take us back several years...
If the movement has affected you why do you assume it has affected everyone else in the country. Civilized way of proposing things is not to force anyone but stating your point assertively. You or Anna is welcome to do that but I completely disagree with one man proclaiming to have a magic bullet with all solutions to the problems of the entire country and holding everyone as hostage for his demands... That is just BULLSHIT.

Anil Kumar said...

@Jain
In this country the corruption doesn't affect those who have good contacts and surplus money. And I think only handful of people have this luxury and they don't complain. That's why these peple are out of touch with reality.

To correct you, Anna and team is not against the discussion but the government is posponing things for last 4 months and don't want to discuss the critical point of the bill. They infact sent their own bill to standing committe and didn't even consider the Anna's bill for discussion. The statement from BINA POONCHH ka BHANSAA - Kapil Sibbal was let Anna do what he wants to do, govt will do it's own thing. Don't blame Anna that he is against discussion...The language you are talking is the political language.

Please go and re-read the newspapers and news bytes of last 4 months and you will understand it better. may be share it with Shobha who also seems to have same disillusion.

Timing is everything. If people slip this time who knows when we will be talking about eroding corruption may be after 10, 20, 30 years or more...That's why you find people like us desperate for Anna's bill. Something is better than nothing...people are tired of such jokers who have betrayed this country for half a century.

Jain said...

Firstly, corruption affects me and bothers me big time. That does not mean Anna impresses me or affects me in anyway. He is just another joker like many of our politicians who has momentarily impressed lot of people by saying very "loudly" that corruption is bad which we all know. If he limited himself to saying that and protested in a civilized manner and remained humble by saying that here is one proposal(not necessarily the best one) but should be considered. I would have supported him whole heartedly. Unfortunately just like politicians he makes false claims that he has all solution to corruption. He himself is delusional and far from reality.

The misconception you have is that this bill is going to erode corruption. This misconception has been injected by false publicity from the team of Anna and all the news channels running in the race of popularity and eye balls without assuming any responsibility. Do you know what Anna had proposed - He said that the all powerful lokpal is going to consist of non elected members who are noble prize winners of Indian origin. You might know who awards noble prize - the Govt. of America. So in other words get a group of people awarded by Govt of America, who may or may not be involved with civic life of Indian people to control the Govt of India. I believe they later modified that clause after some pressure from other civil societies and politicians. There are so many monsters hidden deep in the bill that they don't tell the aam junta about. They just want to use the aam junta as a tool for creating noise and gathering crowds to make themselves powerful. Kiran Bedi makes statements like "Anna is India and India is Anna". These slogans are very similar to what Hitler said to claim he is the most powerful man in the country.
This is nothing but a publicity stunt.

Jain said...

Moreover, the concept of Lokpal has nothing revolutionary about it. All it says is that create one more body of nominated people (not elected by people). Therefore the first assumption is that only people elected by public of India can be corrupt and nominated people can never be corrupt. Then it says give powers to these "nominated" people of the kind that no one else in the country has. Not even the prime minister of India or the Chief Justice of India. What will be the result, these set of nominated people (with I don't know what kind of accountability) will be more powerful than anyone else who may be elected by the people of this country.
Very soon they will say only people who consider Anna as God get to be part of this Lokpal committee (probably unofficially it is already out there). So in future Anna becomes the God of the whole country.
How can you even tolerate such nonsense. We need to get away from the mindset of hero worshiping. Power of democracy is not people like Anna but free thinking and rational minded citizens like you (if you chose to do so by not becoming part of blind followers) and me. Anna like other politicians is only going to take us into deeper shit.

blue sky thinking said...

why don't you debate about specific of the bill you think are not effective...in spite of challenging you to do that you resort to distortions and exaggerated political language that no one here buys. Do you realize that you don't fool anyone?

Anna never said the bill solves *all* corruption problems. But you continue to argue as if it claims so. This kind strawman arguments suggest either you are not well informed or you are dishonest by your own design. What is it?

Jain said...

Could you respond to the specifics of what I mentioned above about nominated people without accountability. The provision of noble prize winners being the constituents of this committe.

Just like Anna and his followers you again generalize "nobody" buys my arguements here whereas while some people may disagree many have similar opinion as me including the author of the blog that you are following. The brand of thinking you guys are propagating is the whole world revolve around you all and everyone either agrees or should agree with you.

If you think you are so well informed why don't you detail any specifics that in your opinion are helpful to us a common man. All Anna brand people keep saying is that removing corruption is important and this bill is going to remove corruption. Why don't you enlighten us about some specifics of how exactly it will remove corruption and I would counter your each and every point..

The much bigger point I am making that you keep missing is that you are not a legal expert (and neither am I but I am not afraid to admit) to feel so strongly about the bill word to word. This is nothing but blind following.. However your brain has been washed so badly trying to talk sense seems like political language to you. I am free thinking citizen with an opinion of my own and I refuse to be led behind anyone held by my nose, does that make sense???

Siddhi said...

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blue sky thinking said...

@Jain
Don't be lazy, you claim that this bill won't work. How? The burden is yours after all these extreme adjectives you have using. Dictators, child tantrums, brain washed are the adjective you hurl at those whose positions doesn't suit you. And yet you claim to be some sort of thinker? It seems you either don't understand meaning of these words you throw at people, or you have just poor comprehension or you suffer from serious integrity issues. Anyway I'll give you benefit of doubt just one more time.

With respect to specifics of appointed people, you are repeating the overused supercop argument. These people have powers only to investigate, not to prosecute nor punish. And their accountability is insured thru complete transparency of their investigative accounts. Besides there are provisions for swift removal of non-performing investigators, who again would be very visible thru public records. This is so much powerful than what we currently have. All scams are stalled at investigation, as those who are supposed to inquire often need to salute those who have power and means to perpetuate the scams.

Sandip said...

You commented "Poor Anna Hazare", rather "Poor Indians". This Poor is not about comfortness enjooying by the people of India. Sitting in an AC room and presenting some statements on Anna, Jan Lokpal and movement to the Media, I would say is "Poor" sentiments. Dont become Social Activist, Social Columnist, be become "People of India". Anna Hazare may die because of a cuase. Sobha Dey cant be "Poor Anna Hazere"..rather will become "Rich Sobha Dey". I think you are happy now with "Rich" word. I would urge all in your comment list, be clear what you want "Jan Lokpal" or "No Lokpal". I am an Indian.. but who are against of it are "Pro-Indian".. Anna is not POOR. But he reaches to a level, no one imagines.. I would like to fill in a question "Are you guys sleeping in a corner when there was a huge discussion going on drafting Jan Lokpal and seeking suggestions all over India?" or waiting to how Lokpal draft looks like, just what BJP and Oppn. did?

Last word: Become an Indian.. not a Pro-Indian(who can't be part of any people's movenments, only passing comments in media, writing blogs)..

All of the above will never hurt to an Indian.. but surely it does a Conscience Raiser..

join Anna and support Jan Lokpal without doubts..

"Jai Hind"

raaj said...

Sobha mam, I listened you today in some random on some channel, seems you are a born critic..has anything +ve you have given to except writing books and giveing away prizes? Please listout here to how many you have given a optimistic direction in life. Not sure how much time you may be spending on your style as well. However we see a reason to follow somebody whoc fights for a good cause, understood there may be issues in the bill, then why we are waiting floor it and discuss further, Are u thinking we spend another 40 yrs to see it happening. For god sake, if u can not dance in Ram maidan at least don;t try to stop others dancing.
Simple question to you....what is your version of thoughts on this bill, have u tried to convey it in any form before critising to something ....

raaj said...

@Sandip Appreciate....

Navin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Navin said...

Yes, neither Anna nor Dr Singh posses magic wand to remove the corruption overnight. But, the difference is willingness to do something. At least to start, to take a small step towards eradicating the menace of "bhrastachaar". Dr Singh has proved that he is nothing but a silent viewer of what his 'beloved' fellow-politicians are doing.

Even if the Anna's movement will not end up with the desired jan-lokpal, some kind of check is now badly needed on the style of working of our elected parliamentarians and top-bureaucrats.

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0... said...

This man lives in a temple...He has no bank balance...He is 74 but can fast for 12 days to eradicate corruption from the country...When he shouts " Bharat Mata ki" no Indian can control but has to shout back " Jey " for sure...

The cause is noble and every honest Indian should stand by him...

bangi.Bijapur said...

Normally I do not miss your column. You seem to be Anna's fan. Someone Anna could fast for months together as he has a special formula, but alas, he was not allowed to speak on the chat show.Was Gandhiji admitted to hospital after each fast? And those supporters never go for voting. they were there to have fun, just like westerners enjoy holi or melas.

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