August 16, 2011

The Red and Blue pills

We human beings as a species seem to have lost our sense of balance and pragmatism. Look at the political scenario in US / UK / other  European countries / India, etc. The main political parties seem to take positions that swing from one extreme to the other... Nobody seems to be value the prospect of the middle path.

Look at the politics in India, either you are with the Congress or you are branded communal and fascist. In such a polarised scenario, we see the emergence of the so-called civil society movement led by Anna Hazare. Unfortunately, he is also falling into the same weakness, that of extremism. While it is important to keep corruption in check and punish the corrupt, the means to achieve a corruption free society looks set to get derailed with almost clownish, immature, extreme, militant behavior of the team associated with Anna. We all know that more than 200 years ago, Lord Acton coined the now famous phrase, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely". History shows that corruption, in some form, has always been there in society. What is new is the % of corrupt people and the magnitude:-)

To resort to a fast at the drop of the hat, or threaten a fast if his demands were not met is certainly not Gandhian behavior. There seems to be a rebellious, arrogant stance in this movement that can also describe the Congress party. So, as, citizens, we actually have not much to choose, far from the red and blue pill that the movement had originally promised. Back in April 2011, I was really taken in by the simplicity of Anna Hazare, but in less than four months the halo around him has vanished and he is just another wannabe. The corruption he wants to fight, probably started at the top, but today, it is a systemic disease and just attacking the leaders at the top will never weed out systemic corruption.

Greed is human nature.. But what is alarming is the extent and magnitude that is shocking us, today. Look at the reasons of the global economic collapse in the world.. it has been individual greed that has been the root cause. White collar crimes are becoming common place everywhere and in India too. Can this Jan Lokpal bill address all aspects of corruption?? Unlikely. If I could have a word with Anna today, I would tell him, "Great work done my friend, to force the government to introduce the Lokpal bill. Now, allow the bill to be debated and then influence changes and allow the bill to evolve, instead of attempting to perfect a bill and bringing the country to a standstill."

No comments: