Please don’t make it a circus

I have been keenly following the Anna Hazare fast.  I know that in this country we have a large number of discontent and agitated people keen on committing violence – be it arson, stone throwing or even shaking their fists and mouthing Ma – Behn gaalis.  But that I can still condone – no not the arson and stone throwing but the general venting.  We have a lot to vent about, our democratically elected government and netas have ensured that.

What I cant condone is our fat arsed armchair intellectuals who will argue every progress or positive step, without getting the said arse out of the chair and do something.

Argument No. 1

Anna Hazare is holding the government to ransom

Well … high time someone from the aam janta did!  Our netas and beaurocrats have been holding the country to ransom and thereby harassing us for a long time.  Time they got a taste of their own poison.  And it is a step in the right direction.  At least Anna and Team are trying to do their bit for a corruption free India.  What are these arm chair intellectuals doing?

Argument No. 2

What Anna is doing is unconstitutional.

Yeah sure!  By the same coin, what Gandhi did was unconstitutional too.  But the government does not like to hear that, does it?  I feel that this movement represents a hope that the general poison in our system will get exorcised.  I don’t know if it will – but am with it, because its a step in the right direction.

Argument No. 3

The growing protest by self serving brand of intellectuals like Aruna Roy, the dalit activist who fears her following may be diminished, rabble rouser and supporter of Maoists and Geelani, Arundhati Roy and the likes.  Well, I have nothing to say to them, apart from directing them to this blog post which I really admire “Why I’d rather be Anna than Arundhati”

My plea to one and all is – Please don’t make a circus out of this.  Acknowledge that you have come face to face with something greater than individuals, something greater than personal and petty aspirations.  Watch it carefully before shooting your mouth off, like Manish Tiwari did.

To the ruling government and the inept way this was handled, I’d like to ask, “Kya boss? Didja think you’d make the old man wear a salwar kameez and flee?  Bad judgement boss”

Coming to my own personal opinion

1. No I do not support the government bill at all, but I do have reservations on Anna’s bill.  I do hope that an open debate is held and glitches ironed out.

2. I am very glad that Anna has shaken us out of our apathy.  We, the working classes have been doing nothing but earning our living and shooting our mouths out on the ills that we face in this country.  We have not taken steps to correct it.  I am glad we are voicing our protest.

3.  The youth has got involved.  I love this.  Youth is, by its very nature, idealistic, impatient and eager.  Those energies will make all the difference.

My appeal to the Government, rabble rousers and the protesters is just one simple one

We have, after a very long time, got involved in something that transcends the individuals that lead the movement, oppose it or support it.  The protest we are seeing is not for just tabling the Jan Lokpal.  It is bigger than that.  It is for a cleaner system of governance in the country.  It is for getting jobs without paying bribes, it is for an effective and cleaner government.

I think Kejriwal and others in Team Anna are aware of this and are trying to keep the movement limited to tabling of Jan Lokpal.  Perhaps they are unsure of how to deal with the larger demand from the people.

I feel that we will be disappointed – but hope that its just the cynic in me that feels so.



33 thoughts on “Please don’t make it a circus

  1. Love and agree with every word ..(but hope the cynical disclaimer at the end doesn’t come true!!!) . will send this to some of the “fat assed intellectual” types i know.

  2. Now, everybody knows that when need comes, people join together in a harmonious way and show their protest.

    One more thing, all of us should take a pledge that we will not bribe for any of our services/favours done…that will be a great ‘thank you’ for Anna! But is it possible? Did you read this news? I was very impressed by our people.

    Very well analyzed post, Phoenixritu, thank you!

  3. I am with you in every word you have spoken, including the last sentence. But like I said to the L & M, even if this disappoints us, it is something well begun.

    What annoys me is those people who don’t fail to tell me that Anna Hazare is blackmailing an elected government. Hello! Excuse me. I don’t know whether these people have noticed, every strike, hartal, bandh, rail roko, rally that turns violent with mobs running amok burning buses and pelting stones to have their demands met is ALSO so-called blackmail. But I have seen none on twitter or facebook decry these tactics as ‘blackmail’!
    Coming from a state where the common man is thus immobilised by political parties each time someone somewhere in the world sneezes, I fail to see what it is about the Anna movement that can be called ‘blackmailing’. Perhaps these people should come and stay in Kerala for a few months to know what ‘holding to ransom’ actually means.

  4. Well said,Ritu! This venting of anger phase, we ought to get over sooner and get down to some serious discussions and better law-making! But moving forward at a time when almost all have agreed that BIG STEPS need to be taken to curb the menace of the BIG C that is eating into the national fabric! It is now or never! Btw read my what nonsanz on the same subject!

  5. I cannot agree with you more. We always thought what can we do to improve our society.. Now this is the time to support this movement whichever way possible. Though we may get disappointed at the end to some extent but still peoples voice has reached the deaf ears ( I hope ) isnt it a positive sign?
    Its so easy to say Anna’s method is not right.. if so then show us the right way.
    Well written piece Ritu. Clap clap!!

  6. I actually am quite stunned at the amount of people who have joined Anna… I never thought we could have such a moment… I have infact given up on the idea of India ! literally ! I am still unsure and worried… but atleast I am a lot more hopeful… I am not sure I know a lot about what is happening and too naive to have a view… but Hope is certainly picking up !

  7. Hi,

    I feel that subverting the parliament in such a delicate issue does not bode well for the country in the long term. Think about it. How people are involved:

    1) FB/Orkut links
    2)SMSes(9 paise per sms)
    3) Blogging
    4)Turn up on the ground after understanding what Team Anna stands for.

    I would hazard a guess that most of the support is through points 1 to 3 and the really minuscule portion that can be attributed to point 4. The vast majority of the support among the people is the arm chair variety, but with the help of social media, which gives it a veneer of active involvement.

    The first point of we hold the nation to ransom sets a dangerous precedent. Do we condone the Babri Masjid incident because the RSS and VHP sought to pursue the will of the majority? Will we condone the Jamaat agitating for the Sharia law if they can mobilize substantial support among the Muslims?

    The fight against corruption must recognize that it a complex social issue. The culture and social makeup of our society highly values the pursuit and exercise of power towards fulfilling one’s ends. So the Lokpal bill even if it works out to the satisfaction of the wildest optimist will only cure the symptom and not the disease. The challenge for the country in thrall of the rich mighty and powerful is to change the mindset that public power is to be exercised to Pareto Optimize the good for the people.

    • Sk, I am a person who went to Jantar Mantar in April and have been braving the crowds at Ram Lila Grounds. I am definitely not with the arm chair intellectuals who over theorize this. Corruption is something I abhor – for personal reasons. From what you are saying I infer that you mean that corruption is endemic and there is nothing we can do about it. Well, I am ready to do my bit to end it

  8. honestly,I am not against corruption. I get my Gas connection illegally, I used to drive a car when I did not have a driving licence and I drove when drunk. I save as much tax as I can, some of it unethically. I give bribe to the ticket checker when travelling on a WL ticket in train so that I can reach home earlier. I dont like standing in lines for filling up government forms and hence bribe the government official to allow me my permits. I love corruption as it makes my life easier. I am not sure we Indians are ready for a honest government as this will mean making ourselves honest. So Mr. Hazare enjoy the limelight while people forget about lying on their CVs and putting kids through schools via bribes. In short, the Indian right winger is a hypocrite, who is always ready to blame the system for his vows.
    are all the men at ramlila ground sinless or have been too poor to pay bribes?

    • Pity it took Anna Hazare to create a stir for such a blog post to come up. Why did this not get written when the Jaats were creating a stir or when people burn buses and stone public buildings, when people call for and get bandhs organized? The saying is true – no good deed goes unpunished. Team Anna is definitely facing this truth

  9. A stock market pro has very aptly said –
    “I still dont understand why our middle classes is going totally bananas over a movement which has complete disaster written all over it for the future of our country. (Our economy would be fine) unless of course we see agitations of the kind that we are seeing right now intensifying and derailing a duly-elected, Constitutionally-elected government and making a complete mockery of all due process of law and Constitution. If that were to happen, then all bets (would be) off; but if the middle class regains it senses and goes back to doing work instead of going and doing dharna in various places, we are very-very fine.”

    • The stock market pro must be having a lot of money to spare for bribes etc. He does not want honest progress, I dont blame him, we have been brought up with corruption and bribe as a way of life

  10. Very good article, one which I find hard to disagree with. Like all changes to a disadvantage system there is no over-night solution. Change one must one step at a time keeping the focus directly at the end objective. First think (in my opinion) is to get rid of past British Colonial System which clearly does not work in India. Decide on a new System one which favours India(ns). Secondly is to break up India constitution into institutions independent of each other. Allowing people to take advantage of facilities irrelevant of being found on other parts of the system. Allow people to vote freely without pressure and intimidation, and keep one thing in focus which is eradicating poverty and bringing about equality within and outside of a system.

  11. This comment is for ur latest post .. I cant put a comment till someone else comments 😦

    Yes we all need to get the child out and to the new generation teach them the habits we had when we were kids ..


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