Saturday, April 9, 2011


The last few weeks have seen the assertion of people's voices for a rightful cause emerging as the sole force to guide destinies of different nations. Cynicism, skepticism, living room discussions and other such passive venting of emotions have not led us anywhere in the past. Closer home we find that the Gandhian mode of satyagraha has resulted in the bill pending for over four decades being given life. A new institution would come into being if the momentum were to be kept up. The first round has been won by the people and the persons in power have acceded to the demands.

It is time for everyone of the active and passive persons who participated in the movement to guard against premature celebrations and return to the laid back approach. The persona vested with the responsibilities are respected figures who are likely to discharge the onerous burden cast on them diligently. However, the new institution is also to be manned by another human being who would be vested with the powers to check corruption and punish the corrupt. Agencies such as CBI, CVC etc have also fallen by the wayside though their cherished goals are not met. The culprits of the prevailing scenario is each one of us.

Institutions are created to establish order but the corrupt find the ways to dismantle them. The famed fable of King Solomon punishing a corrupt person with the task of counting the waves is known to many. The punished culprit used this postion to extract his pound of flesh from boatmen by pointing out that they had come in the way of his performing the royal duties assigned to him. The story makes it clear that mere institutions would not help fighting the corrupt since the danger of it falling prey to the same persons is omniscient and omnipresent. Evidently, this would lead many to get back to cynical ways. There should be no need for that as a glimmer of hope has been restored. It is for us now to build on this hope to shape the minds of the people.

The attitude of offering anything in cash or kind for any work to be done either by a Govenmental babu or any other person is to be converted into a demeaning one. The giver should resist the temptation and the receiver should recognise that he was merely performing his duty. This attitudinal change can be brought about by creating tales of fictional heroes who desisted from taking or giving such alms. Such tales played out in the form of television soap operas, movies, comic books etc would go a long way in instilling in the minds of the young the need to flinch from this evil of corruption breeding and bleeding the nation.

The next phase would be to ensure that the heat that has been generated is not allowed to fizzle away. The people's representatives on the drafting panel would be emboldened when there is a push from the people. We should emulate the example set by our freedom fighters who participated in the Government and Legislatures giving voice to the people's voice while the movement leaders exerted people's pressure from the outside. This would clearly send a message to the political parties that the people are here for the final push.

The civilian members of the panel should ensure that the draft bill is put up on the websites for eliciting public views. These views should be made as a guide for the action to ensure that the people's representatives do not allow their respective self interests to rule over the voice of the people. To keep the momentum on the peoples' movement alongwith the electronic media should announce a list of names of persons who have given or accepted such practices on a daily basis making it clear that the watchdogs are watching. Every such movement should also identify a new crop of leaders to be bred. Such leaders should be identified from within and without the system. The Bangaloreans had once polled for clean public servants. In the period upto June one should ensure that an incentive is placed for the integrity of the persons who have rendered clean service. To this effect people shall identify such persons and place their names on the website to ensure that no vindictive action is taken against such honest personnel. Persons who refused to cow down under pressure shall be assisted by the forum in obtaining their rights. The movement should not fizzle out. The battle may be won but this is not an isolated battle but a longdrawn out war.

Will we be able to sustain the momentum or would it be a case of the corrupt cleverly stooping to conquer? The answer is with us and the ball is always in our court. Our true tribute to the nation and leaders such as Gandhi or Hazare would be in ensuring that the ideals cherished by them remain steadfast. Let us join hands to convert the silver lining to an amar jyothi.