Friday, April 08, 2011

Down with Corruption

After the world cup, it is Anna Hazare time. Everyone is speaking up against corruption, lighting candles, skipping lunch. Kashmir to Kerala, Gujarat to Kolkata (I doubt if it goes beyond that). Aamir Khan to Baba Ramdev to Barkha Dutt to Lalit Modi.

Sure there were one-off voices that refused to join this frenzy. In Open magazine, Manu Joseph wrote that Anna Hazare has always been someone who sought media attention.

I don't think it is bad to seek media attention. But I believe this is an easy "solidarity" and a comfortable "revolution" of the middle class. They will continue to remain corrupt, the caste-class nexus continue, the Lalus and Rajas will get tried for corruption, the Chidambaram kind or Kapil Sibal or Manmohan or Ambani kind of corruptions will never even be called corruption.

It was Facebook that offered some relief from this madness. Yes -- the same facebook that worked as the backbone for this new "jasmine" revolution.

Anoop Kumar linked to this story and said: "Read about the heady mix of caste and corruption. On how an honest dalit, a top official, is treated for trying to crack down on corrupt officials under him." (The news was from Kerala.)

Karthik Navayan wrote: "Where were you, Dear Anna Hazare, when Lakhs of Crores were misused (and still misusing) and diverting which are supposed to spent for development of Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes under Schedule caste sub plan and tribal sub plan? is this Not corruption??"

Rasshad Al-Hindi wrote: "....if only Irom Sharmila was Anna Hazare."

Kuffir Nalgundwar wrote: "it's not about anna hazare.. he's been roy-ized by several 'civil' society celebrities who consider themselves the 'right' people to rule. it's not about corruption either. it's about hindu society's inability to digest even formal democracy and its tendency to send the 'wrong' people into parliament." 

Ajith Kumar A S wrote: "a great chance for revolutionaries to enjoy fighting against corruption without being charged with UAPA! Anna Hazare is calling! hurry up"

Sanjeev Sreedharan wrote: "the idea of mother india that looms large over this reformation is undoubtedly more dreadful than any corruption that could befall the subcontinent." (see image)

Dilip Mandal wrote: "बिल्कुल जातिवार जनगणना विरोधी आंदोलन (मेरी जाति हिंदुस्तानी) और आरक्षण विरोधी आंदोलन वाला माहौल है। मुट्ठी भर लोगों का आंदोलन, क्विंटल भरकर मीडिया कवरेज, आरएसएस का समर्थन, हवन, गायत्री मंत्र, सिविल सोसायटी फिल्म स्टार आदि का समर्थन, राजनीति को गाली, सरकार के साथ अंदर से तालमेल।"

Anu wrote: "its like taking a dip in the polluted ganges to become pure, again. this anti-corruption angst comes complete with a mela feeling too. so pious i feel right now."

I will end with another comment from Anoop: "The problem is not that the Lokpal bill will unleash anything against the dalits. The problem is the hypocrisy of indian civil society in defining the term corruption and limiting it to politicians."

[Thanks to my facebook friends and to Rasshad Al-Hindi. Anoop Kumar is likely to come up with a more detailed write-up on this issue].


Anonymous said...

poda potta..

ninne pole ulla kapada budhi jeevikalkku mathrame corruption nodu protest cheyyaan padullu. middle class athu cheythaal ninakku choriyum.

raja dalit aayathu kondu chidambarathe koodi jayilil adachitte avane pidikkaan padulle alle.. mandanmaaraya budhijeevikalkku ethire aaru niraharam kidakkum?

Sudeep said...

Thanks anonymous for the comment. For people like you who do not get the point, I will try to write in more detail about the problems with this "revolution".

Sudeep said...

Sumedh Dalwai on facebook: "Good old Sudeep! You are the reason that I don't write.You say it all! A perfect angle, as always. Bravo!"

Inji Pennu: "we are a hero deprived country. we want heroes for worshiping. it doesnt matter whether it comes in dhoni or anna mode. we just want to go frenzy.

‎(not that there is anything wrong with that). at least we now started to know there is a bill in parliament :)

Sudeep said...

Kuffir on facebook: "now that they've shown parliament its place, why don't they let iit-jee choose voters?"

SMALL:) said...

I fear the businees lobby supported this struggle.(Nimbooz is served to end fast!:)) Amir khan like celebrities too. They won't come when the issue goes beyond as you truly said, the Middle Class Struggle. The Bharat Maatha angle is justified by me, but. Hope NAPM (people) use this platform to unite struggles to the point.

Red Handed said...

Its because of some people like Anna Hazare that the world is still non toxic and fit for human survival..if u knw wht i mean! But the sad part is everyone has forgotten IROM CHANU SHARMILA...she has been on hunger srike since 10 years!

bombay dosti said...

Oh it looks like my facebook is very different. I only had one or two even linking anything with a different view! Thanks for this post, was a relief!!

Sudeep said...

Anonymous, I am not saying that Chidambaram should be put in jail before Raja. I will try to explain: everyone knows his personal stakes in Vedanta, and most people are aware that his "operation green hunt" is in the interest of Vedanta -- a project that is aimed at wiping off our people, in the name of "containing Maoism". But we (including those who criticize him) never list him under corrupt politicians. Why doesn't this misuse of power in one's personal interest get qualified as corruption?

Similarly, it is an open "secret" that the governments in India, whether it is UPA or NDA, is run as per the wishes of Ambanis. Isn't that a huge corruption? But why do we miss out Ambani names when we talk about corruption?

Bobby has written a more detailes article, listing down the concerns clearly: Of a few, By a few, For the few.

Red handed, I really don't know what you mean.

Bombay Dosti, thanks.

Sudeep said...

More comments from facebook..

Rajeev Ramachandran: "Hats-off"

Shafeeq Rahman: "Thanx sudeep ഇറോം ശര്‍മിള യും ഈ രാജ്യത്ത് തന്നെ ഇതേ രീതിയില്‍ സമരം ചെയ്തു കൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്നു , പക്ഷെ എന്ത് കൊണ്ട് അണ്ണാ ഹസാരെ ..?"

Syam Nair: "Hopes are so high on Anna Hazare.I had almost the same emotions when Achuthanandan came with bulldozers years back.Maybe the heroism is a tad too much...But as Inji pennu says,now i know what Lokpal bill is and that it is pending in the parliament for the last 40 years."

Inji Pennu: "We all came out against corruption, since it has touched our lives at some point or other. But wheres Manipur? Sure people cant even point it on a map. Its a myth if we think people care and come out to protest for something that hasnt touched their lives. there are people like that and those are exceptions and we admire them. they are just that, admirable.

an Anna hazare is not going to change anything nor is he using the right methodologies. but sudeep for a while, for a damn decent while, people in FB twitter stopped posting their ego, their cat, their gossips, their favourite celebrities. and talked about something different. For that moment, cheers to clan of Anna Hazares. A revolution wont come in preformatted prescribed ways.

Sudeep: "‎Inji Pennu, You think this "fight against corruption" is not "posting their ego"? It is a statement, a big lie, that I am not corrupt -- these politicians are."

Sumedh Dalwai: "I did not know that the Lokpal Bill is asking for the appointment to be done by the Bharat Ratn Award winners and Nobel Prize winners of Indian origin. My God, So undemocratic! Right after the democratic victories in the middle east, applying the same method we achieve undemocratic ways of governing our society.. A little disappointing picture... Tell me we have a hope, Sudeep, I am seriously considering to doubt it! :)"

Sudeep said...

Philip Vinod Peacock : "You know it is NOT the revolution when Arnab Goswami says it is, Baba Ramdev blesses it, it takes place precisely between the world cup and the IPL."

Sudeep said...

Anoop Kumar: "The biggest strength of Gandhian model of leadership based on the notion of 'superiority of individual morality vs public morality' is that you have to think twice before calling it a fraud, when every one knows it to be a fraud."

E Pradeep said...

The agitation is not yet over; we now have timelines for preparing the draft of the bill and even passing it in Parliament; otherwise there will be another hunger strike!!! So, now somebody will monitor each and every step of the Parliament and threaten them (actually us) with self-suffering...

Anonymous said...

There are two questions I posed to Mananeeya Anna Saheb Hazare during my visit to Ralegaon Siddhi, way back in 1998.

1) How much have you put your effort into the eradication of Caste System in Ralegaon Siddhi? Have you worked on inter caste marriages in this village?

Anna's answer was that men and women from Upper Caste have taken active part in building pukka houses of poorest Scheduled Castes.
Except that they have done nothing.
He said that there is still time to take up such issues.

My immediate question was:
How long?

Anna's answer was a silence.

He very well knows that Caste is much powerful than any other BOMB that World has seen. So to touch that he is sure, he would fail miserably.

My fresh question is how many would support him if he sits on 'fast unto death' in the process of annihilation of practicing caste system from the World.

It is the real most challenge that India faces more than corruption.

K.M.Venugopalan said...

Gandhism is understood by many people in many ways..some talk of real and fake Gandhian/Gandhism..But Ambedkar had near lifelong engagement with the real one!

In the link posted here, among other things, Ambedkar points out to his foreign interviewers that Gandhi often spoke in double tongue. While in the Harijan (English journal run by Gandhi) he wrote as a leader upholding the values of democracy, in his Gujarati paper (named Deenabandhu or something like that) he spoke openly in support of caste and other renegade values..

K.M.Venugopalan said...

Now, the historic fasting by Anna Hazare and the bargain he clinched
with the UPA II Govt seem to be reminiscent of Gandhian struggles
with the Britishers. Raising chosen issues and firing the imagination
of the people, all the while, keeping the moral high ground just for
having distanced from any political agenda of ultimate choice being
given to the people.

കെ.പി റഷീദ് said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sudeep said...

Arun Sivanandan on his blog: The India Against Corruption Farce.

Sudeep said...

"Many people are shocked with Anna Hazare's so blatant leaning with hindutva-vadis and right wingers. But for many of us this is not at all surprise. We would have been mighty surprised if without such leanings he would have got so much media coverage and epithet like 'Gandhi' and media not ridiculing him for calling his own agitation as 'second freedom struggle'" --Anoop Kumar

Anonymous said...

Instead of general complaining about arbitrary things and posting facebook comments from your friends, can you please write few bullet points with clear objections. Each bullet should not be more than 3 sentences.

Anonymous said...

Okay, you think Chidambaram and Ambani are corrupt. So? I don't see how it is related to Anna Hazare.

The comments of the so called intelligentsia is so funny. One guy asks, why is the media not caring about Sharmila? The answer is, not too many Indians care a shit about what is happening in Manipur, but do care about corruption that is affecting them on a daily basis.

For a person to fight about any issue and win accolades from the so called intelligentsia, he should
(1) Demonstrate that he is pro dalit. Irrespective of the fact that the issue at hand is orthogonal.
(2) Should show support for your favorite cause
(3) Should show he is anti-hindutva.


akhilesh said...

The problem with the idealistic intelligentsia is it has a point of view that is too simplistic.

Cynical, but not cynical enough to be pragmatic. Waiting for the perfect man and the perfect movement.

Sam said...

Some questions as I could not understand the logic mentioned in some points here. Can some one please enlighten me,
1. If you have a thief who steals the banana from your plot, should you wait and say "Well there are much bigger thieves who steals bigger things like gold and I should go and catch them first before banana thief" ?

2. One person is doing a fast for 10 years and no body is giving a damn there. One person lead a strike, gets the public attention(with what ever tactics he has) and got the result in weeks. Does that tell us the fact (may be ugly but true), in this neo liberal world marketing does the trick even if it is a revolution.

NOTE: I am a non-bhudhi jeevi who believes that one step of action with out any words is far better than 1000 words with out any action

Sudeep said...

Some stories are slowly coming out. News came out that Kapil Sibal 'waved' over 600 crores of fine that Reliance was to pay. Chidambaram is facing the heat now.

And another CAG report gave insight to how Reliance was given 7465 square kilometers of land where natural gas was found near Godawari, as a 'favour' from Murali Deora. "the entire block was treated as a discovery area so it remained with Reliance.." (Report here). We did not get to hear much about it on TV or in the newspapers. The Wikipedia page stands deleted.

N Padmadabhan wrote on Nalamidam: മാധ്യമങ്ങള്‍ റിലയന്‍സ് അഴിമതി വിഴുങ്ങിയ വിധം.

Sudeep said...

Also see: India's Selective Rage Over Corruption, by Manu Joseph.