Posted in Politics - General

Tihar Live

Renuka Chowdary (or Chaudhary or..) Congress party’s official media spokesperson asked a panel last night on a TV show if anyone had seen the movie “Peepli Live”..And that was in response to a pointed question about how the government has handled this whole Anna Hazare issue so far. For the next few minutes, she demonstrated how a politician can speak for 10 minutes and yet not answer a simple question directed at them. She also demonstrated how a clever panel member participating in a debate can create a new issue on the spot, which is totally irrelevant to the main topic of debate and find a way to accuse other panelists and the moderator of making assumptions & being biased on that particular issue, thus putting them all on the defensive.

For the next 30 minutes of the debate, in spite of multiple attempts by the moderator, she never elaborated on the Peepli Live reference. It was almost as if she left it for the listener’s imagination. May be that clearly was her intention.

Anyways, What’s going on in India is a culmination of pent up frustration over corruption for the past few decades. Those who are on the streets protesting are mostly middle class people and youngsters who deal with corruption on a daily basis in every walk of their lives..So their frustration is totally justified.
As it normally happens, Indians tend to follow their emotions more than common sense.

What people need to understand is the fact that actions more than laws & bills that will eventually minimize corruption in a society like India’s.

Some Actions I suggest:

  1. Stop paying bribes under all circumstances ( and death situation could be made an exception for now)
  2. Stop paying bribes under all circumstances (don’t give any excuses..If you do, then you don’t have a right to point fingers at a politician. Rs.100 or Rs.100 crores – It is still corruption)
  3. Stop paying bribes under all circumstances (yes, some of what you want may not get done when you want them to be done. But this will change when every person who is used to receiving bribes suddenly realize people have stopped giving bribes)
  4. Stop paying bribes under all circumstances. Yes. Exactly.
  5. Repeat 1-4 forever.
  6. Remember Corruption is not just about exchange of money or material gifts in order to receive a service or a product which you otherwise duly deserve & paid for. A person is corrupt when he/she is not being honest even for the the smallest of things. Let those who are fighting on the streets monitor themselves for 24 hours while they go about performing their normal day to day activities…They will realize how dishonest they are on a daily basis through their actions and words (not talking about bribes at all). Be Honest 100% of the time for 1 full year.
Lokpal Janlokpal and Feblokpal bills won’t do any more than give someone in power credit for successfully passing the bill and a shining pathway to get reelected. There have been enough bills passed already which are in effect as law in the current constitution and they should have been enough to prevent all the scandals that recently rocked the country. But they had no effect. People who are corrupt found ways to be corrupt and probably will continue being corrupt unless the above actions are taken by everyday citizens.
On a different note, I personally find Fasting unto death or Fasting  indefinitely – being used as a technique to protest, absolutely unacceptable. This really amounts to threatening to commit suicide unless what you want is given to you right away without any negotiation. It is Blackmailing. By doing this you are not giving a choice to the other person and hence your action becomes a crime. But I am not going to talk about this anymore because this method has been popularized during India’s Independence struggle spearheaded by Gandhi himself. Who am I to poke my finger at the hornet’s nest and get swathed by angry retorts for deriding the Father? So..

Although Hazare has taken up a good cause, his means have been populist (including the Janlokpal Bill) and in the process he and Team Anna seem to have lost sight of the real end goal. Given that the UPA government is hellbent on digging its own grave through a series of errors in terms of how it handles the whole issue, Team Anna is now playing a very intelligent game where every move of the govt. is being checkmated and thus making this emotional drama stir up more passion and faux patriotism amongst Indians – than ever before.

Of course Indian media is relishing the feast served out to them in an all-you-can-eat format..:)

Peepli Live? No. This is Tihar Live.


Besides fantasizing about being a Peter Gibbons at least for a couple of days at my work, I think I have a long way to go to realize some of the other fantasies. But like any ambitious man out there, I will get there! Note: All views expressed in this blog are mine alone and have got nothing to do with my company Cogent IBS, Inc., its employees or any of its affiliates.

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