Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Politics of Politics

There was no Democracy during Mirza Ghalib's time, but he understood the ever persistent threat of betrayal in politics through the following couplet.

"Humne ki unse ummed-e-wafa, Jo nahi jaante wafa kya hai"

Anna Hazare made the mistake of trusting the opposition, to get the Lokpal bill passed. He corrected it by calling off the fast and deciding to clean up the cesspool of corruption himself. The passion and oratory seen in the budget session of the parliament, while opposing the formation of Lokpal was matched only by the debate for a self approved wage hike. Trusting them to get the Lokpal bill passed, from a government which has been singed by passing RTI, was living in a fool's paradise. And they have been rudely evicted from the paradise.

Now that Anna has decided to form a political party, he must understand that his fight will not be against NDA or UPA but against a system allergic to transparency. His party will have to withstand threat, coercion, pressure and inducement, including temptations aimed toward both ego and bank balance. It will also have to be given that politics, is long process of constant struggle and not instant results. More of Patience and perseverance(the Atal Bihari Vajpayee type) and less of rhetoric(Mamata Banerjee variety) will serve them well.

But this endeavour would need active help from the masses. One must remember, that urban India participates both in corruption and the fight against it in equal measures. We, who claim to be victims of corruption, never hesitate to make a side deal, when it suits us. When we break a law, instead of paying the fine, bargain with the authority for corruption rate of escape. We cannot pray for divine providence against corruption, if we are willing slaves to the same demon. 

Another piece of advice for Team Anna. Your conduct and character would be under intense scrutiny from the classes(i mean the ruling classes) and the masses. Any slippages and you shall be pilloried in the public and ridiculed in private. In fact, Ghalib had a couplet for your situation too, and you shall be well advised to keep it's counsel .....

"Hum aah bhi kare to ho jaige badnaam, woh Katl bhi karde to iss shehar main charcha hi na ho"

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