“How come you are here when your nation needs you to go and support the movement?”, Dadu asked me as soon as he saw me in the park.
“I do not think this as a movement rather I would call this as an agitation. I do not buy the idea behind the agitation. I do not think this is anything more than agitation. It is like we come on street and shout and bash government to reduce price rise and unless it is reduced one public figure decides to fast. Is it possible to handle such complex issue like corruption by just passing a bill? Second point is they are trying to change the democratic pattern that our country has where entire democracy is standing on three pillars namely Judiciary, Legislative and Beurocracy. Here the proposal is to build a 4th pillar which will take over rest all. There are 99% chances that in a country like India, where majority is corrupt, only lokpal will remain a saint. I do not buy this idea at all. Laws are not passed on streets because you do not have representative of all states and all classes in Ramlila maidan. Parliament is the place to form as well as pass the bill. Rather we must watch the parliament proceedings to see if government and all political parties are doing their job correctly. If they don’t then we must pressurize them.But just passing my bill otherwise I will go on strike is a draconian method.” I was sharing my view to Dadu but was bit loud as I was excited. “You remind me of my friend Dibakar Basu. When we college students decided to join a rally to support Gandhiji during freedom movement, he was did not agree with us to join. He felt telling Britishers’ to quit India is one unreasonable demand. He always said it is not that easy. He was saying that we are not in a state to rule ourselves, if we tell them to leave we will die killing each other.”
I was very very unhappy when Dadu compared my views with somebody who did not support freedom movement. I said, “Dadu, this is unfair. If I do not believe an ideology then I can not be treated bad. I must follow my heart and mind not just blindly go behind others”.
Dadu said, “I never told you that you are bad because you are not supporting. Neither I ever said that Dibakar was bad. You assumed him to be bad as he did not support the movement then. Do not think that everybody at our time supported or joined freedom movement. If everybody would have then we would not have got independence so late. Some did not join because they could not justify the logic behind the movement using their intellectual power and some due to other important responsibilities. This is no different now too. There were many who fought against British government in various fronts since ages. Only when Gandhiji came into picture it became a mass movement. and common men and women joined the movement. Like fight against corruption is going on since last several decades but only when Anna started the fast all joined him together.
I understand your point that one act can not change the character of he nation but a movement can. I do not think the purpose of this movement is only to get one strong lokpal bill passed by government. I see those thousands of youngsters who initially joined for fun or show-off are now seriously understanding the democratic process. Many people who might not be there on streets but sitting in their house and watching television and realizing that corruption is the biggest issue than other issues. In Kitty Parties and other small clubs people are talking about not giving bribe next time they want to get some service from government. Everybody is now trying to think of contributing to the nation in some or other way. This awareness is the first step to change the character of the nation. This will not give us the solution but this will lead us to the path of the solution.
I understand there are some people who are participating in these rallies and at the same time bribing in their daily life. But character can not be changed over night. It will take time. So, do not look at the negative side of this movement and support the positive side.
It may be illogical way to get a bill passed in a democratic nation but everything is fair in love and war. When you love a girl, you have one option to ask your parents to talk to the girl’s parents, then meet the girl and marry the girl with everybody’s permission assuming all goes well. Then you know each other after marriage and finally you come to a stage when you both love each other again if all goes well. The other way is to climb the pipes to reach girl’s room and then give her the rose and propose. Then go meet her in parks and other secluded places. When parents of both the families see it is a highly emotional issue, they get you both married and I assume all goes well after that. If the first way there are chances, by the time you reach to the last phase the girl might declare that she is already in love with somebody. But in second way it will be clear at the beginning.
Similarly if government passes the bill in its normal course of time then it will take another one decade for people to realize that there is such provision available to fight for corruption but in this way people are aware of the provisions from the beginning. This truly shows a bill by the people and for the people.
Support always does not mean to go on streets rather to understand the positive sides as well as negative sides and develop awareness. If you can do this in any means, it is good for your nation.”
I realized what Dadu wanted to convey and understood that I must support this movement.
– Stray Dog