Two days ago, lakhs of urban middle class Indians have come onto the streets in a show of support for Anna Hazare’s victory against Government of India when the latter conceded Anna’s demand to form a committee with some civilians in it. While this outpouring from these yuppie Indians looks good on TV and internet campaigns, I ask myself some basic questions. Are we really on our way to root out corruption with this show of support and introduction of Lokpal Bill? Are we about to change the system? Unfortunately, the answer I get from myself is a big No.
To give a perspective, imagine a rally or a fast taken up by a Gandhian to stem out casteism from our lives. We may see a similar response from many Indians who are ‘fed up’ with casteism in this country. We may naively believe that such rallies and fasts may be the first step towards extirpating casteism from our society. But the reality is that casteism is so deeply entrenched into our system that a mere fast or rally will not make a dent in its solid structure. At the most, such rallies and fasts combating such deep-rooted problems will have a symbolic value. I don’t underestimate such symbols. I believe they are quite important. But it would be unrealistic to believe that a single legislation or law will somehow curb casteism from this country. The same holds true for corruption.
To all those yuppie Indians who actually believe that this event from Anna Hazare is going to actually bring any change, here is the bad news – nothing is going to change. I write this not out of cynicism but with a sense of realism to exhort the anti-corruption activists to do much more than what they are currently doing if they are really serious about the cause.