It’s raining Anna Hazare everywhere. Something like the song ‘here a Anna, there a Anna, everywhere a Anna-Anna’. He has captivated the collective psyche of our countrypeople who are tired and enraged at the surfacing of a new scam almost on a daily basis. Taxpayers are enraged at watching their hard-earned money filling the coffers of some corrupt politician who stows the money away, that could be used in uplifting our country, in some bank in a tax haven. The people have found a leader in Anna who, they believe, will pull the country out of this morass. His mission for a strong ‘lokpal bill’ has thus found support in the masses. People irrespective of class, gender, profession, religion or age have moved out of the comfort of their homes and are pledging their support, egged on by the media as the self appointed crusader. I too fully support Anna as it is necessary in a democracy that all people in power be accountable to the people who elected them and the corrupt be punished.
BUT .. I ask the people indulging in this mass hysteria a simple question. How did this happen? How did we get here? It is said that ‘we get the rulers we deserve’. When we point a finger at the rulers(be they of any party),we should also be aware of the three fingers pointing back at us. It is we, the people, who have sown, cultivated and nurtured this culture of corruption and we cry ourselves hoarse when we have to reap the crop we sowed. Yes, it is we who are corrupt for corruption begins when we offer money to the traffic policeman to be let off after violating a traffic rule, or when we give extra money to get a gas cylinder out of turn, or when we give huge donations to get our child admitted in a school, or when we bribe our way into big contracts and then recover the money many times over by putting in inferior quality of work, when we ask for commissions, or when we grease the palms of government employees to forward our files, and the list can go on and on. In fact the corruption starts right in our homes when we promise goodies to our kids in return for good marks or any other small favor.
The idea of a corruption free India is a beautiful one, one that we all as Indians should aspire for and that can happen only by introspection. We have to first cleanse ourselves before moving on to the larger scale of the nation. It’s only when WE say NO to taking and giving bribes, can we dream of an India free from the grips of corruption.
So, Indians, rise, take a pledge to eradicate corruption from your lives. Only then you are truly a part of a revolution. Just by switching off lights, taking out candle marches or sitting in dharnas, you do nothing to further your cause. You are then merely a part of a national circus.