Now or never…

42 years is an awfully long time for any decision to be pending, more so if its for the betterment for half a billion people, and even more so, if the responsibility to take that decision is vested on the select group which was elected precisely to take decisions of this sort. After watching the developments of the protest started by Mr. Anna Hazare for the second day and subsequently going through both the proposals for the bill, it did become pretty clear what is the value of a common man in this country. Before going ahead with this post I strongly recommend the reader to have get an overview of the points for which the nation is uniting. You can find the salient features of the Jan Lokpal Bill here and all the relevant information you want to know about the movement here. The pace with which the protest is now catching up has really surprised almost everyone, and the youth everywhere are doing their best to get involved in any way possible. The media is doing its part of making this a mass movement and trying to get everyone and anyone involved as actively as possible. There are discussions, debates, politicians being  grilled, questions being asked, allegations flying around and even a couple of futile efforts to gain political mileage.

It was a great feeling to read that the only flag visible in the protest is the tricolor, and in its present form, this is what the protest stands for. The nation. We are trying to save the nation from the very system on which it was built on. Democracy, had it been ideally implemented, would’ve been the best system of governance for the country but I guess the formulators of the system really did not see what they were doing at least next ten generations following them by creating a semi -anarchy in this country. Once elected, the greatest power a politician acquires is that of unaccountability and any attempts to hold him accountable can very easily and quietly suppressed and eradicated without the slightest trace. We all know this, and have seen this time and again. I don’t remember a single time from my childhood of hearing or seeing anything which was termed as clean politics or politicians and I am pretty sure most of us have had the same history. This, obviously, cannot be put into black and white and certainly I don’t hold the opinion that all elected officials are corrupt, but I blame each one of even the non-corrupt ones to have not made an effort to come forward and raise, discuss, solve or even listen to this issue. Even now, its not them who is taking this initiative, its the people, its the activists, its the media. There were many comments today which were made by eminent bureaucrats and speakers today. One said that the common man, who works hard and actually helps in making this country achieve a 9percent growth rate is not corrupt, its the man he chooses to help him do that is. And it is the case. The corruption which has so evenly percolated down to each and every quarter of the system makes sure that most of the hard earned assets go into account of the unaccountable which is more often than not, siphoned offshore never to come back. Obviously the common man can do nothing but feel frustrated about it, and slowly this has become so prevalent in our country that bribes are now considered as an official figure whenever something needs to be done. Be it a marriage, some function, getting a passport, license, pan card, any official document, phone, water, electricity, gas connection each and everything where a government office is involved. Nothing can be done about it because the people who are incharge of acting in these cases simply are a part of the whole scheme and the extra money that you and me pay to get these services is  commensurated according to the concerned role. The existing bill says that if you want to report such a case, then you can write a letter to the PM or the speaker of Lok Sabha who, on his/her discretion will decide on the action to be taken. If it is considered, its put up in front of a group of ministers who will, supposedly, take action on it. Obviously I am taking about bigger issues here than I just mentioned but if you don’t think that this is one of the most absurd statements you have ever heard, then quit reading this. This is as good as asking the convict to decide for himself what punishment he wants and not surprisingly, this is what has been happening in this country for decades. Only when a minister or official crosses all boundaries of greed and selfishness, and does a scam which is simply too big to be hidden from coming into public view, he becomes answerable. Then again, more often than not, he is able to get out with little or no penalties. This is also not something that is new to any of us. Only recently have we seen strict actions being taken against Raja and Kalmadi who still had a smug shameless grin on their faces while they were being taken into custody. I firmly believe that they did not have any remorse whatsoever for what they did, and will come back, and again stand for elections and probably win. There is simply no end to this absurdness. Even the members of GoM, which is responsible for looking into matters such as these, have either a shady background or don’t actually see what is the point of raising such a ruckus over this issue. Mr Kapil Sibal actually did no see anything wrong with what A. Raja did and it was his official statement that whatever the telecom minister did resulted in zero profit-zero loss scenario for the government and hence, it could not be termed as a scandal. Till when this is going to go like this, till when? There was a similar public uproar after the events of 2611 but that movement died away, primarily because there was no face associated with it and because, again, politicians got the better of it. This time, its stronger, different and more widespread. People are fighting for their right to clean governance, for their right to ask questions and for their right to see the wrongdoers of the nation being punished and made examples of. As was the unanimous opinion of protesters, which I also share, is that there are a very few times when our country wakes up and gathers courage to fight for itself, this being one of those times and 42 years in making, we should not let this slip by because it is our duty right now to ensure that we see this through the end – for us and for the nation.

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