I respect Anna Hazare and I wish I had half or perhaps just an iota of the courage, fortitude and drive he possesses.
I’m a good citizen. I love my country despite its corrupt politicians, quite a few of who rise from rags to riches on the strength of the brute force of threat votes and a television set or two thrown in for good measure. I’m patriotic. I cheer at cricket matches and curse and swear at the opposition especially if it’s Pakistan or Australia. But I’m a bit thrown, confused at this sudden consciousness that my fellow countrymen and women have developed almost overnight.
Oh yeah I saw the police out in full force today, the traffic cops pulling people over, then haggling and smiling and… “hey” I’m tempted to shout “you forgot to kiss him goodbye when you left, you seemed like such old pals… what with all that surreptitious hand holding”.
Perhaps I’m naïve because I’m no saint. I have bribed a cop… once… many years ago. My first car and perhaps I had stepped too hard on the accelerator and I thought the light was orange. Seriously! But he was there, the Pandu at the signal, hiding behind a truck like they used to in the old days. And the haggling started… New car… Young girl. Two hundred he said, we settled on fifty. That was it, never again. Not because I’m a good person but inflation hits us all and I have better use for that note.
So what’s with this sudden conscience that people seem to have developed and their eagerness to jump on the anti-corruption bandwagon. A friend called me yesterday to say that today is “wear black for Anna day” and then I get a message from another that to wear white. Another wants me to light a candle… and I’ve lost count of the protest marches and discussions groups sprouting everywhere.
I suppose its a good thing that we’re all so interested in the rooting out corruption and that we want to be partake in framing the Lokpal bill and see it come to light. That we want to take a stand for something good for once in our lives. I agree with that cause… even though I do know that some of the most vociferous of them who are heading off sprinting to Cotton World and FabIndia as I type, to stock up on their Black n Whites, won’t give a damn once the government agrees to some of the good man’s demands.
It will all be forgotten.
To all these good people everywhere all I want to say is… take a moment… take a stand against atrocities and corruption every day…Don’t bribe the cop who catches you when you break a light and for starters don’t break the light. Don’t pay the guy at the MHADA office when you want your form pushed up and on second thought don’t you have two flats in your name already and these were low income units… But I suppose your one crore a month take home, perquisites extra, kinda puts you right there doesn’t it?
So yeah I’m a bit overwhelmed and I’m a bit irritated too at this pseudo consciousness that’s doing the rounds. Right now I’m not buying too much of it except from those who are at the front-line of struggles against injustice, inequality and corruption everyday.
So power to Anna and I’m glad the government relented so he can break his fast.
But on second thought a fortnight of attempting to show the world how honest we all are won’t really hurt. Will it?
Perhaps I should just wear purple for Anna.