Sunday, August 21, 2011

I am NOT Anna Hazare

I don’t like those caps. But that's not the only reason.

Yesterday, I had been to my local grocer to get some milk. I was standing there for over ten minutes before he decided to provide me any service. Well, why not? After all, his discussion was more important than his work. He was discussing how important it is for Anna to fight, “Boss he is doing the right thing. Marne ki umar me banda lad ra hai. chalo achcha hai... marne ke pahle hamare liye kuchh achcha kar ke jaayega. Ekdum theek kar ra hai banda. Saale in neta logo ke ke saath aisa hi hona chahiye.” This gentleman, after his long patriotic speech, sold a packet of milk to me at Rs. 16 which had an MRP of only Rs. 14. When asked, he told me, “yehi rate pe milta hai sab jagah. Kahi bhi poochh lo.” It is sold at the same rate everywhere. You may go and check.

I could only smirk. I wanted to tell him - your Anna can really not do anything for you; but refrained from it. In my protest, all I did was not to buy milk from his shop. Though, I did it from the other shop in the same rate, without getting into any further discussion.

Sounds like a daily, routine and mundane life scenario? At grocery shops? at rickshaw stands? at shopping malls? Feel cheated of or not provided with the services/products promised? Well, my dear readers, none of them are part of the so-called “MAHA CORRUPT governmental system”. They all belong to us, the helpless and most miserable - Aam Aadmi.

I am not against what Anna Hazare is leading or the support being rendered in his favor. Neither am I complaining about the rallies being held in, or at least being reported from, all across the urban India (Interestingly I would also want to know what is our rural youth doing?). I am only cautioning… against a weak structure of this movement. Any structure is what its building blocks are. And in this structure of the so-called “second freedom struggle”, the blocks- most of the people (but surely not all) on the roads in the support, I think are weak. Not weak as people, but weak as people-on-a-mission. I say that because they are the same people who sell the milk at a higher price than it should have.
But does it mean that we stop our fight till we become strong enough for the fight? Not really. It need not be a sequential process, but can work as a parallel programme. And that’s what Gandhian way of leading a movement was. Gandhi led a movement not only against an issue. Rather, his movements were FOR the people, OF the people and BY the people. I reiterate, his movements were FOR the people, OF the people and BY the people. Which means while he was raising a concern over an issue, he was also ensuring his building blocks of his movement were being trained to be strong enough. And that’s precisely what’s missing in Anna’s movement, and that what my subject of concern is. In fact, it’s sad to note how the cause itself has gone into a back burner and the man and his antics have become the front page news (whether Anna will be able to go on a Fast? For how many days? Will he be sent to jail? Damn! He was sent to Tihar jail!! Whether he will fast in Ramlila ground or at India gate? Oh! Anna was so cute on that reality show with kid!). And in this structure, do we really think we can overcome the issues? Don’t we all see Lokpal itself is a small step towards bringing in a check on corruption in governmental systems? Shifting the focus on our “media-created” leader from the movement is how much favorable to the cause?

Did I hurt anyone when I called Shri Anna Hazare a “media-created” leader? I am sorry. I, not in my most pessimist dream, would question the credentials of this man. He mostly has a good past and has done some really good work. But is he a leader by choice? I am not sure (Please note I don't say I negate completely the possibility of it being the case). In times, when India is producing more managers than leaders (I have discussed how a manager may or may not be a leader but the later has to be a former, in my previous writing), when there is more-than-ever frustration about our systems falling apart all across, when media offers an opportunity for anyone from a Baba Ramdev to Rakhi Sawant to become a solution provider to a clueless janta, Mr. Hazare had no option but to be showcased as a leader, I guess.

Please don’t mistake me as a supporter of government actions. I am equally pissed as things are happening in that part of the system. But then, let’s hold our thoughts for a while and ponder: are those people in anyway not “us”? Are they from some other planet? If there is a failure, is that not “ours”? And if so, will blame-game logic work, without accepting our own role in it all and initiating a correction process? I have always wondered, why have been we asking about solutions from the same set of people, whom we have been cursing for not doing anything? If we already know they are no good, what are we doing to replace them? Or help them with better solutions? Better infrastructure? Isn't my grocer’s selling an overpriced milk a way to support in their mission of corruption? Isn't my not raising a voice and taking a concrete action to ensure he stops doing that addition to corruption? Just because someone pockets lakhs he is a thief and someone pocketing Rs 2 is not? In last few days, my morning news paper has been reporting that how thousands of people are participating in various rallies and candle marches in the city. The same paper had reported about the lower than even 50% turnout of Mumbaikars at last polls. Many had chosen to go on an extended weekend over standing in the queue to vote. What are we doing to improve the procedure of voting that people start participating?

So when someone wears “I am Anna Hazare” cap next, he/she should first think if he/she did anything that would be illegal, and more than that unethical or immoral, in last 24 hrs. If the answer is yes, should delay wearing that cap till he/she gets his/her stand corrected. I, as said before, anyways don’t like that cap. I am NOT Anna Hazare. He is a good man. But I would rather be a Rohit and be good as well.

P.S.: The below Amul ad more or less sums up my concern:


Illusion said...

Very well written. I am afraid that most of the people who are in the rallies dont know wat the bill represents. And how we can be actually sure that it is not a monster we are helpin create.
We need more awareness regarding this..and a reality check of our own actions as well!

Center Shocker said...

nice writeup.

COOLAMIT said...

doesn't really matter who u are lol. I already know that theres no use of whats happening, but i appreciate Anna Saheb for whatever he did for his entire life.
Corruption is a non-stoppable process at-least in our country.

Swapnil Pednekar said...

Very well said...I would also like to share a shameful incident happend today, where a ration office officer who came for verification was indirectly asking for bribe & when I denied he got irritated and left the house.....I would only say that this has become a daily routine for such people where corruption is flowing in each and every drop of their blood....Yeh Log Nahi Sudherenge!!! But now time has come since anna has given spark to this revolution this monster of corruption has to be eradicated from the lowest level to the topest level and I will definately follow his path no matter I stuck in any such government formalities, etc.

zarna jain said...

Hey.. interesting.. I agree .i hve been sayn from the start its the bill which is to be supported and not a man.. and i seriously wish to ask if everyne knws wat the bill is abt..
Pple go behind a person becoz he is famous n this generation is attracted to rebilious behaviour.. but the imp pt is u shud not wat u r suporting.. I SUPPORT the BILL. i agree der is corruption at low levels as well.. but sme one took a step let us go ahead then we will fight small n big all types of corruption.. let the fire be instigated 1st n the bill be passed.. n yes we need to luk at ourself b4 we blame others..
Very nicely written as i echo wit yur opinion on many aspects :)

Anonymous said...

Well I DISAGREE. its not about Lokpal or jan lokpal anymore. a common man can not understand the finer meaning of the bill (i am not trying to underestimate or under mine anyone). However the important thing is Common man has lost the faith on the Government and the politician. He trust Anna more than these politician. He trust that Anna along with his team will do something which is going to solve the problem at some level, some percentage. And pappal you should have not bought the milk at 16rs even in next shop..


Sunit said...

Very nice wrieup and i completely agree with the same

People supporting Anna are not only the people who relunctlessly give bribe but also people who take bribe or are cheating others everyday

But again for the cause of corruption I would like Anna to be successful with whatever support he is getting

Nruparaj said...

Very well wrtn Rohit. my view on this bills is Making a bill for fighting corruption is useless......every law/rule in India has loop holes,how do u gaurantee that the participants of the committee or body will be non-corrupt ,non-bias,etc......if they themselves will be corrupt what is the use of this bill, simple example...whay was anticorruption department was assumed that anti corruption officers will bring a break to this worm happened the other way.....anti corruption officers are most corrupts (always exceptions are there),they inform the corrupt officers that there is trap against the officer ..and save him/her for bribe....we indians have to come out of this through a total change in mind set , our fast life is making us corrupt...think on this statement as this fast life is responsible for many things....clearances,NOC's,CC's,we want everythign immediately or asap.this bill will not help us for sure.

Devesh said...

Nicely written Rohit. The whole Anna story tells me one thing : India needs Hero !! We need someone to stand up and lead us ...

mystic said...

So true!

"Sounds like a daily, routine and mundane life scenario? At grocery shops? at rickshaw stands? at shopping malls? Feel cheated of or not provided with the services/products promised? Well, my dear readers, none of them are part of the so-called “MAHA CORRUPT governmental system”. They all belong to us, the helpless and most miserable - Aam Aadmi."

mystic said...

I wanted to leave comment on your movie site for ZNMD..but your comment section is off there.