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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Corruption centerstage!

Anna Hazare has jolted the sarkar.

Anna Hazare has also woken up the nation.

Since the Tianaman incident in the early nineties, I always wondered whether a public uprising is indeed possible in our nation of over a billion. The recent show of public solidarity against corrupt regimes in many nations in the middle east also filled me with a deep sense of sorrow for our nation that though not governed by an autocratic regime has also not failed in setting an absolute high in corruption levels in the public domain.

Revolutions to succeed require a critical mass of incorruptible people. We are rather fortunate or maybe unfortunate that our nation of over a billion people has so far been unable to produce the critical mass.

The Anna movement is appreciable because of the purity of its purpose and also because of its ability in shunning the politicians so far. It however needs appreciation that the politician, of whatever hue and shade he may be, is a true representative of the society we live in and no purpose would therefore be served by merely castigating him, whether he belongs to the treasury or the back benches. The politician is the true face of the society and if the face is bad, so be it.

It is true that corruption has been so deeply ingrained in our society that for a common man, it is almost impossible to get anything repeat anything, done from the sarkari tantra, without the customary greasing of palms. Fortunate are the senior politicos and bureaucrats and also the super rich who are not affected by the malaise and this is a major contributory factor for corruption to flourish. People who can change the system remain unaffected by the system and therefore have no stake in changing it. The complexity of the sarkari tantra with its plethora of thumb impressions for even mundane matters is the real culprit.

We already have many checkposts in the form of CBI, CVC, Lokayukta, police and innumerable vigilance setups. How much will one more checkpoint in the form of a Lokpal help is therefore a matter of debate.

A holistic view on the entire issue of corruption is the need of the hour.

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