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Fast and Furious

August 24, 2011

(WITH DUE APOLOGIES TO TEAM ANNA)

(Thanks to SHAIL)

Yes, there is a fast. To say it is just another fast would be blasphemy given all the hype provided bythe media and their seamless coverage. And yes there are a lot of furious people thronging the Ramlila Maidans, the Tihar jails, the India Gates, the Azad Maidans, the Juhu beaches, the Marina beaches, the Freedom Parks. People who are furious with the government, furious with the politicians, furious about corruption. Then there is also the government which is furious with Anna hazare, furious with the youngsters who are supporting the crusade against corruption, furious about the opposition parties which are trying to take credit for all that is happening. So now we have a lot of people who are furious with everybody else except themselves. Therein lies a tale.

As tens of thousands of people are supporting the movement against corruption, holding candle-light vigils, and fasting; there are also millions of people going on about their daily routine of giving or accepting bribes, driving through red lights at the traffic signals, throwing garbage onto the roads or into their neighbours house, parking their vehicles haphazardly on the roads without any concern for other road users, jump queues officially or unofficially. People go on doing all the above as if they are oblivious to what is happening in the country now. Somehow nothing seems to be wrong when WE indulge in these activities. The underlying factor always being ‘I am supreme’ and I don’t care about anyone else.

I am overwhelmed by what I see on TV, So many people out on the streets lending support to a cause that affects all of us. The famed Mumbai dabbawallahs have come out in support of this movement, breaking a 120 year old tradition. The commercial sex workers have come in support of the movement. Don’t the politicians feel any shame, for the beating their image has taken? I am filled with disgust as various politicians try to score brownie points on TV. They appear like children fighting, trying to shift the blame on the other party. If the bill is introduced because of all the pressures from within and without, I can never imagine the parliamentarians making it a law in a jiffy.  None of the politician would want this. They will take whatever it takes to stall its entry or passing. The whole thing will be mired in technicalities. Even if the bill is passed, I am still skeptical of its successful implementation. After all is it not common knowledge that ‘Power corrupts and Absolute power corrupts absolutely’. Where I live, there is a law against smoking in public, a law against spitting in public, a law for compulsory wearing of helmets for 2 wheeler riders. Sadly there is no evidence for saying even one of them is being implemented. There is a song in Tamil and one of the lines goes like this ‘thirudane paarthu thiruntha vittal, thirutai ozhika mudiathu’, roughly translated it means unless the thief himself repents, it is not possible to stop theft. (The whole song is so apt for what is happening today.)Is it a wonder that I appear to be super cynical? I very strongly wish and pray that I am proved WRONG.

Jai Hind!

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 28, 2011 17:12

    Ahh, now in this light I understand the observation on cynicism on FB better. 🙂

    Reading this I was reminded of something. One was the time I was travelling by bus from Trichur to Palghat (or vice versa, don’t exactly remember) a few years back. A man was smoking and another passenger objected to it, also citing the new law about not smoking in public places. But the former was abusive and said, he’d do just as he pleased, the bus was not anybody’s ancestral home etc… None of the others said a word. The man continued puffing away till the bus was on its way, sitting right inside the bus. I remember feeling angry. frustrated and helpless.
    About throwing garbage. I am regularly up against some people for throwing garbage into a plot that is empty. ‘No one stays there’ is the answer I get. But why not give the garbage to the garbage collectors? Beats me. And the raised eyebrows and snigger make it look as if I am behaving abnormally!

    • August 30, 2011 22:22

      Now you know why I am cynical. It has to be bottom up approach. People should be corrupt free to make the leaders also corrupt free and it will never work the other way round. Each one of us has to change. Will we? I understand the snigger for I too get sniggered at a lot of times Cheers!

  2. August 30, 2011 09:29

    I share the same cynicism, Govind. Sad but true. I write in this when we are told that the Team Anna with the fast and furious tagline have won. Won what? A Discussion on three points, a Debate to come after, and then, as you say, the rest will be history, mired in the self same technicalities that any new law that threatens the political establishment finds itself in!

    While there seems to be a silver lining in the way we have come together, there now needs to be sustenance. As one of my students wrote, in The Hindu (will post the link on to your wall on FB), if we must have an analogy with Gandhiji’s movement, we need to realize that the movement was a success (in the case of wearing Swadeshi clothes, Khadi) only when the masses refused to wear anything other than Khadi. Can we , this day and age, emulate that happening? In terms of bribes, dumping of garbage, smoking in public? If so, then Team Anna has made a mark!

    • August 30, 2011 22:26

      I am just waiting to see how the whole thing will unfold in the next few months.
      I read the post by your student. He hasn’t let his teacher down. 🙂

  3. Aravind Menon permalink
    August 31, 2011 19:01

    Perfect say!! If you are labelled cynical, 90% of of ‘thinking’ Indians will have to be too..Double like for your article:)

    • September 1, 2011 21:50

      Thanks Aravind for the visit and kind words,Something tells me you are the illustrious student of the illustrious teacher mentioned above, in which case I want to tell you that the article you wrote in The Hindu was superb.

  4. Aravind permalink
    September 5, 2011 07:17

    Thankyou so much:)

  5. October 15, 2011 14:09

    @ Govind Sir, I wrote as it is read below when our siddharth sanchetti posted something on Anna’s corruption and how we all are culpably to be blamed.

    I understand everyone has paved the way for corruption in one way or the other to have their work done quickly. The corruption is not about ordinary citizens which has induced the interests of people like Anna to subdue it. The incumbents of the government or the elected representatives of the people who are supposed to set an example to all others, if such sort of people get involved in a mammoth corruption such as what we have been witnessing over a last couple of days or so then it is something which we need to have a look into.

    These things cannot be compared with the instances of corruption which you have pointed out in your article. It is something more ,which, when unravels itself, our country will lose its dignity.

    So, whatever Anna Hazare is doing, even if it is of no use, is an eye opener to all of us and so cannot be undermined.

    This is what I feel.

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