One wonders how Mr. Gandhi with his pious platitudes and tokenism which seldom gave the concrete solution to any problem was able to exercise such a popularity among the masses of India to enjoy a god like status. The puzzle was that how this instant saintly acts crash course was so readily lapped up by the bovine millions to ultimately go to their doom of losing one third of their country and yet have the audacity of calling it independence.
But quite a lot of these answers were available when Kisanrao Hazare & Co began their soap opera of Lokpal hunger strike, first for five days in April (which conveniently started after India won the World cup on 2nd Apr 2011 and ended on 8th Apr 2011, the day IPL 2011 began) and the next, more popular one that lasted for two weeks in August of the same year, which caused some ultra sensitive people to name the event as the second satyagraha or the second fight for independence. It was difficult to decide whether to enjoy the entertainment or grimace at the pathetic mentality of the Indian people.
The hunger strike was revived quite a few times over the period of next one year, and in the end it did not do anything concrete, something which was unexpected by only the most naïve. And the whole fiasco ended when Mr Arvind Kejriwal, the greatest human ever, broke away from Mr Hazare and founded the Aam Aadmi Party, after convincing the participating public the preceding year that he swore on his children’s life not to join politics. In classic Gandhian style, the whole show revolved around a propped up figurehead who looks saintly and provides the much needed sacred face. The decisions were of course, taken by other people who largely remain behind the scenes.
It was a case study in Gandhism and its followers, the bovine millions.
The only difference was that in the 1920s it was the unlettered peasants and in 2011 was that it was the educated fools of the middle class. During Khilafat, it was the Ali brothers who built their own image by swearing to dedicate their lives to upholding Gandhi’s values and then discarding all association with him when their goals were achieved, and then in the same decade and after Gandhi’s death it was Jawaharlal Nehru that benefited from using this image to build himself. And in the present, it’s the self proclaimed champion of honesty who has been filling his party that he founded half a decade ago with everyone from goons to separatists to whoever will get him a few thousand votes. Yes, I’m going to ruffle quite a few feathers here, and commit blasphemy at the altar of the secularism. So be it.
This kind of all show and no effect has its route in Gandhian ideology, of which
tokenism and symbolism which are the very foundations. Gandhism excels at doing absolutely futile things at their face value which however have an appearance of being something great.
Therefore, going shirtless because so many poor don’t have clothes looks sweet but it doesn’t do anything to alleviate poverty.
Spinning one’s own yarn to promote swadeshi was a surely nice gesture, but in the end, all the cloth spun by Gandhians with their charkhas was not able to clothe a single poor man dying of hunger or cover the battered and bruised naked body of a Hindu or Sikh woman gangraped by Muslim League rioters.
Calling lower caste people Harijan doesn’t do anything to uplift their status in the society (no wonder that you cannot utter the word Harijan in public today unless you want to be beaten black and blue). Joining the work of manual scavenging did not make the life of manual scavengers easy. What was needed was implementations of sanitary measures. But then, Gandhism never revolved around concrete action and remedy.
The biggest illusion of the hunger strike fueled movement was that it was for removing corruption.
It wasn’t. It was for passing the Janlokpal bill, which according to the thinking of Team Anna was going to make corruption vanish like a tail off a gorilla’s posterior. This claim that Janlokpal is the answer to every corruption ill in India is nothing short of mass deception. All the public anger is purposefully being diverted from known guilty faces to the nameless neta. This will result in confusion which is too easy to spread in a bovine mob like us and see the old criminal entities being reelected again.
So to end the corruption in the government agencies which is largely due to the gigantic bureaucratic setup that sucks up the public funds like a black hole, the Janlokpal will set up a parallel bureaucratic network to monitor the bureaucrats who are corrupt. And this parallel network will need to very large to monitor the existing babus. And what if Lokepal comes to be constituted of Maoist and Jehadi components? Shouldn’t the solution have been to curb the bureaucracy itself, make it less numerous, more accountable, less all powerful instead of creating a brigade of superbureaucrats to see that they behave? Are you solving the problem or creating a bigger one? And what about the corruption in private sector?
So it aims to create a gang of pedophiles to monitor child molestation incidents. Reminds me of the adage that sometimes, cure is worse than the malady itself. Thankfully, the Janlokpal movement is dead and buried and may it remain so, since we already are supporting a huge bureaucracy we can hardly afford.
Even Mr Kejriwal mentions nothing about it. Maybe Janlokpal has become for AAP what Ram Mandir has become for BJP.
Plus the inclusion of socialists and progressives in the committee does not make it seem any prettier. Everyone in the team seems to want India to go back to its license raj days when Made in India was a shameful label and shortage was the way of life. They seem to stress on the fact that economic liberalisation is the cause of India’s ills when in fact its absence was the very cause. The same bunch of people talk of revoking the Armed forces special powers act in areas where secessionism is rife like Kashmir and the North Eastern states like Manipur and Nagaland. Do we want such people to decide India’s destiny? People who are mysteriously funded by shadowy organizations, whose sympathies lie with left wing extremism and anti national elements, who are against any kind of development in any field and spit on any symbol or act of nationalism. Do we need the trojan horses funded on church and petro dollars to decide our destiny?
The very act of hunger strike until death is used as blackmail by Gandhians. Never will a Gandhian go on a fast unto death if there are chances of him or her really dying. Because that requires total commitment to the cause. Gandhism is an ideology of convenience, and not commitment.
Convenient nationalism. Convenient principles. Convenient agitations. Convenient causes. Everything is convenient, with loopholes and escape at the last movement is always available. That is why the country was partitioned inspite of tall claims of it could only happen over the so called great man’s dead body.
Ofcourse, people like Indians who have no interest in knowing history, let alone learning something from it and avoiding further mistakes, will never realize this or never look beyond what has been projected to them. Escapist and shameless as we all are, we are so very glad to point fingers at civil servants , criminal elements and politicians, conveniently forgetting that it is us who create them and put them on a pedestal for our own short sighted aims and petty desires.
And lastly, corruption in India cannot be ended, it can only be reduced to minimum levels if titanic efforts are exercised. It wont be an exaggeration to say that corruption today is the lifeblood of not less than half of the country’s population.
This is not about Kejriwal. He is just the latest in the series of charlatans who make merry by using popular emotions to his own benefits and reaping huge rewards. This is about the Indian public, which does not want to do anything with doing their due to build a strong society but instead gives all the accolades to face value and drama and elects anyone who proposes an easy way out.
Corruption is not merely the act of giving something under the table. Corruption is mainly moral and ideological. Financial corruption is just a puny offshoot of it. An ideal society is the one where the benefits of the nation and the benefits of the individual are one and the same.Corruption thrives in a special kind of environment where the gains of the individual and the gains of the society and country are totally opposite. Inspite of all our self proclaimed morality, we have not been able to merge the two. Unless we can build such a society which can be very assured that the gains of the individuals that constitute it are no different from that of a greater good, all this talk of ending corruption is nothing but a third rate script of a slapstick comedy. As long as we believe in tokenism instead of permanent remedy and pious platitudes and empty talk instead of concrete action towards a greater good, Bharat Mahaan will never progress beyond being a bickering society of little people.