Jan Lokpal Bill: what's it, how it will change the country, is it good for us, will it make the situation even complex etc etc, these are just few of the points on which people have made different theories. And amidst all this, I a common man, who wants to stand there for my country on the streets, is confused. What I don't know is if standing on the streets will make a change? If it does that there's no one happier than me, but what if it doesn't. What if this movement turns out to be a dud? What if the enthusiasm drains out after 10 days? What if everyone involved in this movement realize that they have responsibilities to fulfill, the ones which are more important than nation(for them)?
Today, I went to one such demonstration in Pune. For 5 minutes i shouted slogans, and then i turned to some people standing next to me. Those were the people who have been supporting Anna since 9th April Anshan. This is what i asked and what they replied.
Me: Kya aap jante hai woh points jahan Jan Lokpal Bill, government ke Lokpal Bill se achcha hai. (Do you know how Jan Lokpal Bill is better than Government Lokpal Bill)
One of them: Hum bas ek baat jante hain (we just know one thing), "Anna nahin ye andhi hai, desh ka dusra gandhi hai."
Me: Aapko kya lagta hai kaise ye corruption iss bill ke wajah se kaise khatam hoga, aur kya ye bill sachchi mein corruption khatam kar payega.(Do you know how this bill will end corruption. And will it actually going to end corruption?)
The person: Anna ne kaha hai 60 percent corruption khatam hoga, Anna jo bhi kar rahe hain sahi kar rahe hain. Agar Anna ne haan kaha, toh main haan kaha. (Anna said it will end 60 percent corruption, he's doing the right thing. If he said yes it will end corruption, then it's a yes from me.)
I was shocked, it was something that immediately made me shiver thinking about the outcome. Here's the youth of the country which is putting blind faith in Anna Hazare without even knowing what they're standing for. They just know one man out there, who'll do the required and all they need is to keep supporting him.
I am scared.
I am scared about what will happen, if that man in which they have put all their faith fails. I am scared what will happen if in the end somehow the bill is not passed. I am scared what will happen the day people will not be enthusiastic enough to sit in the fast(in case it goes on too long). I am scared about the day what will happen after the fast/candle marches/anshans, because I know the corruption can't be removed by just protesting.
If you want to pass in the exam, you can't do it by going for candle marches.
I am scared about what will happen once the bill is passed, people will go home celebrating and then one day we'll realize that it's not working the way we wanted. What'll we do, because right now we are setting an example that corruption will end with protests and everything can be done by the government. But what we don't realize is that the government is made by the people, if we are corrupt then pass 1000s of bills, our government will still end up being corrupt. What these people won't realize that more than the bill, our right of voting in the elections is a more important issue.
What i am also afraid of is, a major part of these protests are kids, small kids. What we are showing them that the answer to every major hindrance is protests. I am sure most of those kids have seen their parents give small bribes, and one day they're seeing them protests on the streets against the corruption. I don't think those kids will grow up thinking that we can end our problems by being strict with officials. They'll just think that we'll have to protest all the time, we'll have to blackmail our democracy by sitting on fasts.
I have read the bill and i won't say i have understood it all, but from what i have understood is that it will help. But it will target higher officials in the government, it won't target our daily bribes, it won't target auto rickshaw drivers asking for 20 Rs extra. It won't target the extra money we give to get a gas connection or telephone connection fast. It won't target the money we give in return for exam paper. This way the small bribes become bigger and in the end become the money stocked up in Swiss banks.
It won't target any of these, because these things can only be stopped by our actions. But do these people understand this? Do they understand protest is just a way, and not the solution?
As an optimistic Indian, i hope they do.
1 week ago