By now we have all gone through the ritual of watching the comparison between Lokpal bill and Jan Lokpal Bill.
By now it is clear to most of us that Govts. Lok pal bill is nothing but a sham.
We might have reservations about Jan Lokpal in its totality, i.e. all the clauses might not be in the best interest of the nation in case a corrupt bigoted person becomes a Lokpal.
We have seen the consequences of assuming the people chosen to do a job will do that job honestly. We might need better checks and balances, before giving as much power to a single authority as proscribed by the Jan Lokpal Bill.
But... what we all need to agree upon is that the current system has failed to maintain propriety of public office and additional checks are required to arrest the onslaught of corruption on our society.
One point worth mentioning is that neither corruption is new nor post-independence phenomena, it is as old as the famous oldest business in the world - prostitution. But that doesn't mean we let prostitution become mainstream and allow it unabated. Similarly, corruption in such a massive scale and as destructive as much as it is dragging our country's progress, development and success cannot be accepted with a sense of cynicism. When we strive for zero tolerance will we achieve something acceptable. Indifference wont work.
Sense of cynicism is all prevalent when a change is sought. The same people who are saying, 'Kuch nahi honewala' had kept saying 'Kuch nahi honewala' when Anna Hazare and his team had fought for RTI (Right to Information Act). Today UPA itself is advertising RTI. RTI has helped in unearthing a lot of scams. RTI is helping people get their jobs done which previously would have been impossible without bribe.
The experience with RTI activism could be a benchmark for the Jan Lokpal to take shape. Indians have unequivocally slammed indifference and lethargy by supporting Anna Hazare. This is India's turn to shout back that we wont take the crap thrown at us quietly anymore.
I visited Azad Maidan today albeit for a brief period, but yes the sense of having contributed is giving me a pleasant feeling. The atmosphere was electrifying, something that cant be explained. But something you would want to narrate to your grandchildren. You MUST be there to experience it.
Here are some pics...
People were getting arrested and were being put in police vans. There was a queue of police vans to arrest people.
BhArat MAta ki jai! Vande MAtaram were the slogans that filled the air. Most people couldnt talk on their cellphones. As the sound of sloganeering was quite high.
Raghu Ram of MTV Roadies fame was present at the stage. Music director Vishal of the Vishal-Shekhar duo also addressed the crowd.
People were queuing up to court arrest. The police was arresting people and taking them to a place far off and dropping them off. Police vans made several rounds like this. The arrested people - young, old, children, men, women, able, handicapped - all were returning to the queue to court arrest.
Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik wanted to reach the stage but just could not find his way amongst the sloganeering crowd. He was then surrounded by the press and electronic media. He returned to the gate and held an impromptu press conference.
The permission at Azad Maidan is for 7 days and make your existence count. Give even a half hour to the cause and help yourself...
I wouldnt want to gloat about it nor sermonize but frankly although I could easily do more, I feel I have walked my talk, did my one bit. Now, its your turn...
Update :1 Thanks to Shakti, who commented here and asked for my permission to publish this blog in DNA, this blog has appeared in print in DNA Mumbai edition in the 'Around the blog' section on page 6 on 22nd August 2011.