Monday, August 22, 2011

I Am Dhanna

I usually stay away from topics which are politically inclined, but the furore is such for this particular one that I just couldn't ignore it any longer. Yes, I'm talking about Anna Hazare. You need not do a facepalm just yet! My blog is corruption-free and I intend on doing just that for years to come. Because I Am Dhanna. And I'm just like Anna. Or Am I?

...Damn, that should be my slogan when I hit the streets!

Anyhoo, I'm all for India's stand against corruption and I am all for the Jan Lok Pal bill proposed by our civil society. But the skeptic in me can't help wondering if this new system will help in eradicating even half of the corruption in our country. In case you didn't know, there is already an act (The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988) which does more or less of the same thing - combat corruption. It is a very stringent law which (but obviously) has failed to totally curb corruption - something which the Lokpal bill promises on doing. Will the Jan Lok Pal bill once passed be as ineffective as our current laws as time moves on? Corruption in India exists at so many levels that I somehow find it almost impossible to believe that the Lokpal and each state-based Lokyukta will be completely corruption-free. In the bill's draft it's mentioned - "The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months." - now what if the officer claims that he's innocent? What if these "investigators" are corrupt and claim the person is innocent too?

Even if the bill is able to fight corruption in the field of politics, what about our aam janta? Just saw this status message on Facebook - "You Know Whats Ironic? An Auto driver wearing a Gandhi Topi and I am Anna T-shirt charging you Rs.50 instead of the usual Rs. 20!" Reforming corrupted people in a country as huge as India will be no mean feat. There are many such Indians out there who show support but knowingly or unknowingly indulge in petty crimes themselves ala the rikshaw wallah.

Anna Hazare has some strong supporters - like Kiran Bedi for example. And if you've an intellectual like Kiran Bedi on your side -- what more can you ask for? Just look how motivational this woman is -

She has single-handedly reformed Tihar Jail and because of this very effort, Tihar jail (or Ashram, whichever way you choose to call it) was able to yield an inmate who passed the Indian administrative civil service examinations! Impressive? I think so!

On the other hand, there exists a minority group who is totally against Anna like Arundhati Roy, for example. In her article "I'd Rather Not Be Anna" today on The Hindu, she mentions "He does however support Raj Thackeray's Marathi Manoos xenophobia and has praised the ‘development model' of Gujarat's Chief Minister who oversaw the 2002 pogrom against Muslims. (Anna withdrew that statement after a public outcry, but presumably not his admiration.)". Now anyone who supports such shady politicians usually gets my thumbs-down. But here too I would like to give Anna the benefit of the doubt, because as said by many people out there -- it's not who he supports that we should look into, but rather what he's doing for our country to end corruption.

Of course, the answer to all these questions and doubts only time will be able to resolve, provided the proposed bill gets passed by the government. Till then we can just hope, pray, protest and starve for a corruption-free India.

Before I end -- did you know that Manmohan Singh's and Kishan Baburao's (that's Anna Hazare) first names mean the same? Yes same-to-same only! Their names are synonymous with Lord Krishna. And it happens to be Janmashtami today. As Facebook would put it, would like to ask dear Krishna - "What's on your mind", seeing our current state of affairs.

Happy Janmashtami folks! :-) Leaving all the corruption aside, you've just GOT to read this post on Krishna & Radha. Brought a tear to my eyes. An absolutely beautiful piece based on innocent, true love.


  1. U are absolutely right, Dhanya.
    A bill (Jan Lok Pal Bill) mayn't wipe out corruption from the country completely until and unless every single countryman stops & refrains from using any unfair means (whatsoever) and strictly follows it - be it while jumping queues or breaking the road signals or bribing someone for getting an official file moved across or just about any other unfair practice. These are petty forms of corruption and some may even argue that they wouldn't have indulged in such practices if they were better off and that bcoz their income does not suffice to feed their families (like the example that u have given abt the autowala charging fifty rupees instead of the rightful twenty). So we tend to overlook and neglect such smaller incidents. But every small unfair/corrupt practice of today that we neglect or overlook is bound to go on to bigger proportions oneday and may become unmanageable or tolerable, like it's happening right now. Today corruption is omnipresent but for that, each one of us is somehow responsible. I guess we can't entirely blame the system.
    We don't come out to vote, taking it as another public holiday and so have been letting the power being misused and manipulated for vested interests. In a way we are handing over the reins of our destiny for five years every time, to such people - the Rahuls and Varun Gandhis, the Advanis, the Mayawatis, the Lalloos, the Mamta Didis or the Ammas. The system can change only if and when competent people with proper education are at the helm.

    Now the proposed Jan Lok Pal bill may not be the complete answer to wiping out corruption but I feel we needed a more stronger law and redressal system or some independent body to whom the govt. and all other govt./private bodies were accountable/answerable.
    But it's really heartening to see so many people coming out in such large numbers and raising their voice in unison against corruption or the govt., which has forced the govt. to sit and address the issue.
    Go Anna Go.. Go Dhanna Go :D

    And yeah, the link that U have provided here about Radha and Sri Krishna was really an enlightening post. Thanks :))

    Huh.. this was really a voluminous comment :P but then, I am so charged up :D I am Anna too.

  2. I feel u were better in writing the article and the skeptical doubts a 100 times better then what arundhati roy did. Won't write more but definitely 100 times better then her article and a million times better then the utter shit that Shobha dey wrote on TOI a day back.

  3. Even I keep wondering if the Jan Lokpal Bill will succeed in totally eradicating corruption in a country like India, where poverty is so widespread and people opt for illegal methods to earn money. Until each and every Indian makes a self-conscious decision not to accept or give bribes and live honestly, none of the Bills will help. But the good thing in all this is, people of India are awakening to the fact that something can be done to fight against corruption. We are tired of being reticent and watch all the corrupt politicians hoard our hard-earned tax money in their Swiss Bank accounts. And for this we should be thankful to Anna Hazare who has shown and paved a new path for all Indians. I support Anna Hazare.

  4. There is a reason why prevention of corruption act is proving useless.

    1. There is not time limit for the proceedings. corrupt people get advantage of it. Janlokpal has time limit of 2 years.

    2. Even if you are found guilty, your property is not confiscated. JanLokpal has the provision .

    3. All the current institutions are under central government. One phone call from authority and you are free... Useless system. JanLokpal has addressed this issue.

    You should see this video:

  5. Amit - That was one detailed comment. You could've made that into a post you know ;) Thank YOU for such a detailed comment. I agree ditto with everything you had to say. The Jan Lok Pal bill might just be that starting point we are looking for to wipe out corruption. I am not totally in favor of everything that the bill proposes, but that's completely another point altogether. Let's hope that the bill is able to deliver what it promises :)Lol @ Go Dhanna Go ;)

  6. Pulkit - Yaar! Comparing me with Arundhati and Shobha De is a lil far-fetched na? :D But thanks a lot -- your comment made my day :) :)

  7. Moh'd Israr - Thanks a lot :)

    Prasanna Rao - Well said! I support Anna Hazare for the time being too. I say "for the time being" because I want to see where it all ends up. Hopefully HE won't get corrupted once he gets into the selection panel :P

  8. pRasad - We will have to wait and see how Jan Lokpal bill will really help in resolving the problems which the prevention of corruption act couldn't. Will check out the video today :)

  9. I will, Dhanya :D I will. Infact, now I have already made up my mind to dedicate a post to the Jan Lok Pal Bill on my blog and will pour out all of my buried frustrations over there :D
    Aaj kuch kar gujjar jaunga :D
    But right now, I am busy watching Iss Pyar Ko Kya Naam Doon :P

  10. Hehe i liked your slogan.
    Its not about auto drivers. How many of us are not corrupting?? If you closely observe our daily activities, we start with corruption.
    People get licenses without knowing how to drive but still they post their status supporting anna?? Huh!!
    And now the IT people depend on real estates for their property and they pay 1lakh extra (this is my known case) to get their OWN property registered (ASAP). What they say it correct. "Start the change within you. Why to wait for others?".
    Thanks for sharing the things about Kiran Bedi. I never know.
    Happy Krishnashtami to you too! :)

  11. fr d skeptic in you... ... n also... the fellow indian. help me out making up my mind.

  12. Anna mania is sweeping India

    But we Indians need to reform ourselves, supporting Anna alone will not do. I am sure many people supporting him will resort to wrong means when pushed to a corner

    And I know Kiran Bedi personally, she is not all what appears

  13. though corruption cant be wiped out with a single bill,it has to be appreciated that it was Anna and his team that brought this issue to the forefront..btw Arundathi Roy is a Maoist who is jealous of Anna...!

  14. I agree with you somewhat... like the TED link in your post.. hearing the powerful lady speak with such confidence has increased my admiration for her..
    I have also dedicated a post on Corruption, more about its effect on India and the swindling attitude of this Govt!

  15. Amit - Hahaha ! You know when I approved your comment, I was watching Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon too :D But I couldn't leave behind a comment because was too immersed in the sitcom =))

  16. Pria - I know! Corruption has become a part of our daily lives.. and hardly anyone notices it. Most people act as if corruption is entirely an external thing, and they are not responsible for it. The example you've given is just another one of the many corruption practices that happen in our country. Let's hope the aam janta realizes this too :)

  17. yshfn - Yeah I had seen that video. It was pretty shocking. One of the reasons why I am a skeptic, but I wouldn't want to doubt Anna's intentions just because of this video. Let's just wait and hope for the best :)

    Pesto - How is Kiran Bedi in person? :O I just saw her Magsaysay dance yesterday at ramlila maidan... funny! She was not being a hypocrite, and just voiced what we people feel about MPs -- can't blame her for that.

  18. Nikhil - What I've noticed is Arundhati never supports anything! :P If you see something trending, rest assured she won't be supporting it. Wants to gain some public attention this way maybe?

    Shaily - I loved her speech too :) I will check out your post now. :)

  19. Congrats Dhanya and Congrats everyone..
    Irrespective of what all "(T)uchh bichaar" Rahul Baba (Gandhi) sermoned in the Parliament the other day or what views Kapil Sibal held till the end, Anna and the people of India have won the first round! Now let's hope this movement of cleansing the system continues and the politicians be made to understand/realise whom they are actually representing and what their duties are!


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