The author of this blog stopped writing here long time back. The posts published here embarrass her now. And hence, there is very little chance that she is going to write here again.

This blog is hence declared to be in a state of COMA.

Another seven-pointer: not in support of anything

I had been voicing my opinion about the ongoing movement like most of us—in Facebook status updates. Till at some point of time, it got more serious, thus drawing widely varied response. I then decided to gather all that I have to say:my doubts/fears/reasons for lack of faith in the Lokpal/whatever you may call them, in an article for this blog. But with some literary goodness, it happened to make way to a bigger platform—The NTMN.

As expected, I got feedback ranging from positive (in favor) to zero (neutral) to negative (ready to slay my throat :P). For those who care to read, I wish to make some things clear here. But before that, you may want to read the article and the feedback it got, I'm talking about. Here it is: A seven-pointer, NOT in support of Anna, for a change.

Read? Now here are some things I need to add:

  • I am not against Anna Hazare. I am just not with the Lokpal. But for fiery supporters of him, that may count in as opposing him. In that case, there isn't much I need to say.
  • When I say I'm not with the Lokpal, I mean it for both versions of the draft:Anna's as well as the government's. The Lokpal's proposed provisions sound fantastic, but yes, fantastic, dreamy. They make things sound as easy as 1-2-3, when they aren't. My point is simply that instead of creating so much brouhaha over the idea of a new bill, a new body; it would be probably better if we paid as much (or even half of it) heed to the existing laws and provisions in the constitution. I would have been with Anna too if instead of pressurizing the government to accept HIS bill, to agree to things the way HE wants, he had used the huge support he is getting along with his experience and apparent good-will, to press the government to get going the right way: to bring into action the existing provisions in order to eliminate corruption, to start looking into pending cases and subsequently punish the guilty-found as quickly as possible, to keep a better vigil over activities of the government officials so that they are left with no opportunity to harass the common-man and to mend all that is wrong—need I enlist?
    I wish those who criticize my viewpoint, also grant a thought to the fact that the government would have been in a lot more trouble, for reasons most genuine, if the protest was directed towards more genuine and inarguable shortcomings. All of us would have been united then, there would've been no two facets to the whole affair and the impact too would have been way, way stronger—bound to force our hitherto unthinking and irresponsible leaders, to sit up and do something. Nothing could get on their nerves better than (more than) a billion people joining hands in dissent of their lousiness. Am I wrong here?
    But since that is not the case, sadly, inspite of the unusually massive rage in action, the focus still is not on what actually matters:corruption and its elimination, but on whether or not the bill is right in the first place. Like me, there are several others who shun the draft as "not needed", and there are several others, completely in favor of it. The moral of the story? People are broadly divided in their opinion: in favor, not in favor, can't say, won't say(i.e not bothered). Remember, united we stand, divided we...?
  • By not supporting the bill, I'm neither supporting any particular political party, nor opposing the cause that has brought so many together. I also would like to add, I was never so confident about my view on this earlier, as much as I am today. And this is because, I have read/seen/heard both, undauntedly opposite sides of the coin, as some people have hinted their doubts at. Mine is not a political opinion, I have also avoided being too factual, there are ample other resources for that, but being an expressionist, I couldn't stop myself from drawing a little light to the less accepted stand and its ingenuity.
  • We Indians are sentiment-driven people. So much so that, we may even afford to skip thinking rationally for a while, swayed by emotions. Most of the arguments that I have been given are centered around one idea: Anna is ready to "fast-unto-death" for the cause, for us. He is who brought the RTI, who changed the face of a small village. A 74 year old man is ready to fight, and you are not willing to even support him? My dear, I do not discredit Anna and his past efforts, his contributions as a social-worker and like he himself says, his life being 'devoted to the motherland, ready to even be sacrificed if need be', but that doesn't mean I have to support all that he does, have to hold him correct no matter what or that I'm not entitled to my right to differ or that I'm being insensitive to his hard-work and many a people's spirit by not sharing their viewpoint. I happen to have my own say about things, and not as ignorant as some blind-followers may accuse it of. With due respect to everybody, to Anna's previous contributions to the society, to the cause of eliminating corruption and punishing all those who are cheating on us, I still very firmly choose to opine, due to reasons galore, the Lokpal is simply not needed. Now hang me if you will.
  • I do not mind many people's idea of "trying something new" for the cause of eliminating corruption, through the Lokpal. But I think, so much hype over just another attempt is unjustified. The state's normal functioning is being disrupted, many a lives are being disturbed—think of a daily wage earner, the public is facing inconvenience (take the autowalas' strike, for instance) and a lot more...I would have stood in support if all this was for something more solid and, I tend to use the word again here, inarguable. The second point above, elaborates on this.
  • My lack of support for the movement should also not be seen as a political opinion. Of all other examples of "deviation of focus", one prominent observation is that people, in a bid to criticize the government and thus the Congress, are taking advantage of the situation to justify their own political beliefs, to gather support for the political party they personally support, like say, the BJP. Today morning specifically asked me to listen to this speech of Arun Jaitley: Arun Jaitely speech in Rajya Sabha on PM Statement. I did; and pitied the innocence/cleverness of many a common man, due to which, they tend to easily forget/ignore, knowingly or unknowingly, that as far the political parties are concerned, they all are the same. Mr Arun Jaitley's well-put speech too, stands testimony to the fact. It is clear that even the BJP is nowhere close to supporting the bill, for the obvious reason that it seeks greater autonomy than even the government, it calls for the making of a supreme body that'd be more powerful than even the "tallest functionary of the country", as Mr Jaitley himself says and somewhere some day the BJP itself may come to rule; BUT being an opposition party, they certainly can't afford to lose this golden opportunity to add to the ruling party's troubles. And thus their vague arguments about the government violating Anna and Co's 'right to protest' and so on. While actually, quite a lot of measures have been provided for the protest, that finally starts today, to go on smoothly. 400-500 MCD employees were working all night to prepare a drenched Ramlila maidan for the protest, Anna has been provided with a television set that he had asked for, to keep a check on the activities, metal detectors and other security measures have been deployed, as today's newspaper informed me. Clearly, they were never denied of their right to protest, because they cannot be, it being a fundamental right. But when the matter is so sensitive, safety of the people is an equally important aspect, that such aggressive protesters tend to forget. All this is, infact, the govt's responsibility, so they didn't oblige anyone by doing it. The point is, some conditions obviously had to be imposed, though I do agree, the govt.could have opted for something more sensible than right-away arresting Anna, which angered the masses further.
    I do not tend to contradict myself, talking of the BJP's double-standards ( My purpose is only to highlight that let's not, at least, make this a political fight, remembering that the first objective of every party is to come to rule, for which they need people's support, for which they need to spill mud at the party currently in rule. We, as matured citizens, should not let them use our sentiments for their ulterior motives and instead stand for what our understanding says is right, and stand against, what we feel isn't. 
  • I absolutely deny being biased. No. If they dare to accept, the supporters are more biased than the non-supporters and near-neutralists like me—the very trait of rash and spontaneous anger that arises from the heat of the moment. Anger probably turns people into hypocrites, so they'll clap when a certain Mr Jaitley talks of the fundamental right to protest, but won't acknowledge the presence of another fundamental right: of expression—which, by the way, grants as much permission to voice their beliefs to those who don't support something, as those who do. I still chose just the quiet power of words for the purpose. When they call Anna "Gandhi", it is fair; but when I reason he is aping him, I am cursed. No wonder, everything after the so-called "seven-pointer" in the post went ignored, it was generic, and honest, and thus not of the angered supporters' interest. Which is also why, while I, and those who agree with me, can still respect everyone's involved emotions and sincerity and hope that whatever happens, happens for the best—even if that means we stand falsified by the end, Anna's strong supporters find it hard to swallow a different opinion and pass remarks that range from personal to aggressive to derogatory. I repeat, I'd be more than just happy if all this bears fruit some day. These are my doubts, my reasons for not standing alongside many and if they are proved wrong, the society would still be at gain. Which is all that matters, not just for you, but for me too.
    But there also were people who didn't agree, yet gracefully acknowledged a different take. I thank them. And hope that their optimism wins over my pessimism. Even though factually, the movement for most is either driven by sentiments for Anna & Co. OR by their dissatisfaction with the govt. OR by big dreams of the bill succeeding in eradicating corruption completely and quickly ('everything will become cheap when the black money comes back to our country, I won't have to bribe anyone,' a very common definition of the Lokpal bill, as seen on T.V). As for the Lokpal, I still feel, it is not needed. Not as many as other reforms waiting to be brought about. Amen.

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