An interesting campaign for anti-corruption and support for Lokpal in my Housing Society

When Anna Hazare’s movement was at peak few months back, one fine evening, I saw a notice on my Society’s board requesting residents to join “candle march” coming Saturday. When that Saturday evening I heard loudest possible slogans “Mee Anna Hazare”, “Annaji, go forward, we are behind you” and so on, I could not hold back my curiosity and went down to see the march.

It was a group about 30 male and female residents in middle to old age group (out of 500 families, who live in our Society) holding candles and some wearing white cap painted with slogan “Mee Anna”. I saw that highest pitch among participants was that of an ex-government official, who seems to be having assets disproportionate to the position he had held. There were few sober residents, who normally like to follow others. There were few sober residents, who normally like to follow others. Then, there were some, who have known liking to hear their own voice, paying little attention to what they actually speak. Others were those, who like to create obstacles in good work, our Society would propose.

I felt pity on an old lady, who was not able to walk properly and raise her voice. I could not resist asking her why she is troubling herself. Brightness came into her eyes and she explained enthusiastically “I want to teach lesson to our society’s security supervisor, because he is corrupt and takes money from contract labor working in society’s premises. That is what I have heard from other residents; but managing committee is not doing anything about it. When Annaji would be successful, I would drag this fellow to Lokpal”! Next day, one of my friends told me that his driver wants to take leave and go to New Delhi to strengthen hands of Anna and his team to get billions of dollars of black money from foreign accounts back in India. He believes that when such money comes in, he would get some being backward class and would lead richer life.

I felt this candle march with its participants is a true image (at micro level) of anti-corruption movement at large! It left me wondering can Gandhinian ways of protest be applied to solve an issue, which is so deeply ingrained in our system and enact legislation with threats?

It is tempting for some to raise public frenzy and fury through brinkmanship. But then, expectations of people are also raised sky high and if these are not managed properly, such movement or strategy is destined to fizzle out! This is what seems to have dawned recently in Mumbai and enthusiasts of candle march in my society now!

Corruption in all walks of life needs to be tackled with strong will and for that, realism and foresight should descend on our leaders. Corruption is an ailment, which not only requires treatment through well thought out laws and honest practices; but it would also need preventive measures like teaching Ethics in every school, college, institution and enterprise and implanting same in the minds of people like a Faith.

8 thoughts on “An interesting campaign for anti-corruption and support for Lokpal in my Housing Society

  1. First of all many thanks sir for such an issue which has become a need of time. Your last para of the post is really encouraging and motivating.

    I believe bringing Lokpal only will not solve our issues to curtail corruption from our society. What is more important along with this is focusing to bring back black money which is earned by an individual or a group for fullfilling their self-interests and lokpal Bill both the Civil Society and Government draft stress more on legal action,punishment and trail methodology.

  2. Yesterday, I posted a status on my facebook saying, “Interestingly those who were shouting “I am Anna”, now busy in submitting bogus documents for tax declaration. ;) ”, I ended with many of the likes and comments, truth is truth indeed.

    I am apposing Anna Hazare since beginning and never felt I am loosing anywhere in whole drama, I am neither politically congress fan or nor I am against Lokpal.

    I am not against of Lokpal, and I was also subject of corruptive malpractices. It is important to wipe out corruption from political, administration, and social (very importantly, please make sure you are reading word Social) arena. But I strongly disagree with the process of highjacking parliamentary representative democracy by few individuals ( civil society) who pressed the panic button and emotionally targeted the peoples sentiments of this country. I am also not ignoring the fact that public representatives of our country used all policies/ programs for their wasted interest and hardly bothered about person who is standing at the end of row. There is no guaranty of any structure will able to control 100% corruption in any society. US has the best administrative/ investigating agencies still there are legal fraud/ corruptions involved by insurance/ pharmaceutical companies, industrial and media houses joining politicians which regulates the nation. What India should have done rather than creating more structure we should have added values in existing structure by promoting more transparency, and accountability by using new methods of technology new means of checks and balances. But here everybody is willing to take credit by suggesting new structure, new constitutional amendments, rather than implementing serious policies. I have been following current issues through internet and observed where do you see representation?? Everything is politicized? All media houses and competing with each other for TRP and adding fuel into discussion.

    There should be right representation of all depressed classes in any decision making committee, or else there is no point in talking about national interests with the depressed classes when you don’t allow them to marry with your daughters.

    Article looks great, but people like me will always feel these thoughts bit biased.

  3. I agree with the views in the post… but I defer to the question raised in 4th paragraph asking if “Gandhinian ways of protest can be applied to solve an issue, which is so deeply ingrained in our system”.
    Gandhinian way of protest was called “Satyagraha (Satya + Agraha)”. Meaning “Being assertive towards truth (or in this context transperancy)”. Today it is seen mostly being followed as “Agraha”, which is not necessorily for the truth!
    How many candle bearers really knew about Lokpal bill details? They were not protesting for Lokpal, but for Anna Hajare. These kind of supports are always looked upon as political agendas (May it be at micro level against socity comitee or national level against political party). Just because people want to show their rage against curruption, they would join any rally with ignorance.
    Isn’t supporting to such rallies, also a kind of encouragement to moral corruption?

    • Think over, what is deeply ingrained in our system is part of its character or that of an individual involved. Can the best or novel form of protest/s ever change the character? Characters can be built or changed by only creating consciousness and awareness for ethics and honest practices in this context. Further, we do need strong laws to ensure checks and balances.

      • Most of the saints are considered as saints, after their time.
        Most of the dictetors are ashamed by their supporters after their regin.
        It is the “character at that time”, which decides the morality.
        The character can be changed with persistance & vision. Gandhi both, so he was supported during his time, & after. The persistance remains & vision is lost!

        The question is, Can Anna Hajare bring back that vision to India?
        Is he trying to literate people towards betterness, or gathering support from ignorant mass? People supporting Anna Hajare should think first which group they fall in!
        Actually people supporting any political matter should think this first!

        The 5-Why analysis can also help in day-2-day life decisions like this:
        1. Why support Anna Hajare? – To bring effective Lokpal Bill
        2. Why Lokpal Bill? – An external & direct control over the currupt (Government?)
        3. Why Direct control? – Current systems are not effective & tedious.
        4. Why non-effectiveness? – Everyone contributes to non-effectiveness.
        5. Why everyone contributes? – They are bound by higher chains of burden.

        Now if we go backwards & ask the questions, if the answer part “Can” be really resolved by the question, we would know what to do & where to stand!

  4. Liked your bottom line that we do not need strong regulation but stronger ethics / character.

    A structure or system strength is derived from strong bricks , a steel mesh to provide regulation and support to the bricks and a culture that acts like mortar to keep the bricks together. If any one of the elements weaken then the structure weakens. (Old adage a chain is as strong as the weakest link.)

    Perhaps the order of the day is to strengthen the bricks ie people ethics. Schools, temples, discourses, reading material, role models are strong influences to infusing ethics.

    I hope your site provides the systematic approach to drive out corruption.

    • Completely agree! This site is an enabler for people to build character -ethical character. As you have correctly mentioned, this would make people conscious against corruption.

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