Wednesday, August 1, 2012



Let me start with a relevant Historical story on India’s fight against Corruption.

Several Centuries ago – a king called Krishna Devaraya ruled over Vijay Nagar Kingdom. One day, he was praising his people in presence of all his Ministers, Court Poets, courtiers and court-comedians.

At one point of time – his praise for his subjects became so ludicrous – that Rama Krishna, his court Poet cum comedian, started clapping, in part praise and part ridicule – one never knows which way he meant it.

The king was suspicious and looked at him and asked him straight – why Rama krishna, Do you agree with my opinion of my subjects or not?

Rama Krishna promptly replied, my Lord, there is no question of disagreeing with your opinion. I was only thinking, what can we do for our honest, generous subjects.

The king was now interested and asked Rama Krishna, what he wants to propose for the subjects. Rama Krishna said, let us hold a great Party for the subjects at the Capital city  of Vijaya Nagar. Let us serve them a grand dinner with sweets, savories and all delicious dishes. The King’s palace has everything needed for it - except the daily need of Milk. Let the subjects pour  a glass of Milk each - into a huge vessel – kept at the four road crossing in front of King’s palace. After that, the King’s cooks will prepare all dishes – and we shall have a Grand dinner.

The king and everyone else agreed with great enthusiasm to this proposal of Rama Krishna.  Next morning, all subjects of Vijaya Nagar, lined up to pour one glass of Milk each. Soon, the huge vessel was filled completely. The King was watching this from his Place. He, along with his Ministers and Rama Krishan came to the Vessel, climbed on top of the small table kept by its side and took a look inside the Vessel. The Vessel was no doubt FULL – but, of water. Not a drop of milk was there inside. The King was crest fallen and understood why Rama Krishna arranged the dinner. Thereafter, he stopped his praising escapades – and started governing more evenly and effectively.

Whether this is a fact or fiction, we do not know. It could be a slight exaggeration. But, no one India really doubts that such a thing could happen in India. This is the tragedy. How many of us are pouring only water, where milk is the need -  we all know. This is more so today.

There is obviously a BIT TOO MUCH  of corruption – all around us – and many of us are part of it – one way or the other.

Every day, every incident reported in News Papers and other Media is a sickening proof that ; that, many among us are prone to sell ourselves for even small things.

Corruption is the EFFECT -  of our innate Greed. Corruption is the EFFECT -  of our innate lack of concern for fellow Indians. Corruption is the EFFECT – of our absolute SHORT SIGHTEDNESS (Myopia). Corruption is the EFFECT -  of our willingness to sell away the country’s prestige – and our own character – for a few Rupees.

The percentage of people who are corrupt – or, corruption prone, is not easy to estimate and will therefore never be known. The numbers are Huge. Yes. They may still be in minority in India. Even so – their number is very huge.

Some of them are not just corrupt; they are avaricious, immoral, inhuman and could be cruel beyond imagination. The number of RTI Activists, honest officers and other protesters killed, injured or even JAILED under trumped-up charges (and trumped up witnesses) is disturbingly huge and scaring in India.

Some of the Corrupt are Corrupt to the very core. They are the Hard core of the corruption in India. But, some (let us say, of the second category) are induced into corruption by the former category – but may be willing to get out of it, if there is no pressure from the former category. The third category are corrupt – only by compulsion. The first 2 categories threaten them to be with them – or else – face consequences.

Yes. There is a fourth category  - who, come what may, will not succumb to corruption.

This Nation, for that matter, any Nation, needs to identify the first category first and demolish them and their group mercilessly. Other categories will be set right automatically. We need Good Rulers (like Krishna Deva Raya), who not only love their subjects, but, are willing to be firm with the corrupt ones among them.

This today - requires HUGE RESOLVE on the part of the General Public Plus the last 2 categoriesmentioned above. They need to come together and bind themselves strongly – in their fight against the first 2 categories.

The first 2 categories have a tendency to protect each other strongly. The last 2 categories have a tendency – NOT TO PROTECT EACH OTHER, but to run away from the first 2 categories. This is their GREATEST WEAKNESS.

The Bad People join together for BAD PURPOSE very easily.

It is very difficult for GOOD PEOPLE to come together even for a GOOD PURPOSE and stick together to achieve the GOOD PURPOSE. This is especially so – in India.

Why so? Bad People’s Goals are very clear to them. They agree on each others’ Goals. They don’t mind small differences. They don’t need a leader. Their aim is one. That keeps them together.

But GOOD PEOPLE can’t sink even their small differences – and can’t agree on a simple, clear, viable GOAL.

They get lost on Utopian ideals. They see the small Black spots in each other with such a BIG FOCUS that the other good man looks like only a Black SPOT. This Good man can see nothing GOOD in the other Good Man. In fact, the Good man may even see something Good even in a predominantly Bad Man, but not in a predominantly Good man. Therefore, the world runs without both of them. Bad pervades more easily all around, than Good. That is – the unfortunate paradox – especially in India.

INDIA’s fight against Corruption – is a typical example of this paradox.

A STRONG LOK PAL may not be a TOTAL ANSWER for all the corruption in India. It definitely and surely is not. For that matter, nothing is a total answer for the monumental, gigantic corruption in India. But, a Strong Lok Pal is the BEST STARTING POINT for the fight against corruption in India.

We need a strong, viable, independent, powerful, highly motivated INSTITUTION with a single focus – of fighting corruption – and nothing else. Like Election Commission. We have seen what Sri Seshan could do, with an Independent Election Commission. It is a different thing that Politicians tried to water down the commission also. Yet, EC is still a Good institution, though not adequate.

Ditto with CAG in recent Past. We do see how the system of CORRUPTION is fighting the CAG – and how the CAG is doing his duty. I don’t see any great Perfection in what the CAG organization is doing. But, within what the system permits, they are NOW doing a Great Job. The CAG needs more autonomy, more powers, and more focus.

Ditto with SEBI (and NSE etc). When SEBI and NSE came on the scene – a wholly rotten, junk of a system which was there, was overnight thrown out – and suddenly Investors have a transparent, effective, unbiased, INVESTING PLATFORM – which they breathe like oxygen rich fresh air. SEBI+NSE may not be 100 percent perfect. As we said earlier, no system is. But, the autonomous systems brought in tremendous levels of improvements.

TRAI –despite all problems in Telecom sector – could still put in a lot of sense into the  Indian Telecom sector.

The Apex Court is a real savior for India. No other words will do to describe the Apex Court.  The Media in recent past – is doing a tremendous Job too – though it has its own weaknesses and failings.

INDEPENDENT, NON-POLITICAL, REGULATORS are the need of the hour and they can achieve a lot for INDIA.

WE needed a strong, independent, non-political, LOK PAL, in 1948. We are yet to have one. As days progress; as corruption progresses further and further, it will be more and more difficult to have a strong Lok Pal.

It is in this context, that we need to view the agitation by Team Anna.

“I want this Hen to be killed today. But, I want it to lay a healthy, beautiful Egg by tomorrow”. This is, in effect, what some of the Team Anna members are saying today. Can this happen? Is it not totally, absolutely ILLOGICAL?

We want Lok Pal in the coming session itself. This is a fair enough Demand. We needed a Good, strong Lok Pal in 1948. The Political class failed in giving it till today. But, this now looks like the second priority demand for Team Anna.

Now, let us look at the first demand. Immediately, we want a SIT to be set up against all corrupt (alleged) Ministers and MPs. Their number is just around one third of the Parliament.  If an SIT is needed against Ministers, why not SIT against MPs also who are alleged to be corrupt, criminal and so on. In fact, cases against them are already pending – and not moving in many cases. So, SIT against Ministers and MPs is the first demand now.

But, the Ministers and MPs who should stand before such SIT must first propose the SIT, form the SIT and go and STAND  in queue before the SIT!

Don’t we see how illogical the second demand is? Anyway, who DECIDES who is really CORRUPT? When the LOK PAL is formed,  the Lok pal  will investigate and declare and decide who is corrupt and who is not. We cannot and we should not. This does not mean that there is no corruption. There is. We want LOK PAL – at super fast speed. Then, LOK PAL will do that task – of rooting out corruption.

The FOCUS must be on LOK PAL, and Team Anna must press for it; and hopefully, many parliamentary parties will also support this demand. Many from the ruling party also will support the same. But, if day-in and day-out, accusations are made against one MP or another – who will remain in Parliament to support LOK PAL Bill?  This is simple LOGIC. At least, that is what I find.

Second, why speak of COMMUNALISM etc – when your fight is against corruption? Whoever supports ANTI-CORRUPTION MOVEMENT – all must be welcome. If you have seen some of the week-long Yoga trainings of Ram Devji – many Muslim Mullas, Moulanas, Moulvis, Sadhus, Sants, Gurus, Priests, Sikh Gurus, Buddhist monks and all others Participate in it enthusiastically. I have seen this myself, in the Sibir that I attended. I have seen so many YouTube videos too later. Ram Devji , in my opinion, is MOST SECULAR – and the most Indian at heart.

That many Muslim leaders have not participated in Team Anna agitations so far – for whatever reason – despite their protests against communalism. Ram Devji embraces the Moulvi and embraces Modi – with no animosity inside and no bias inaside. Team Anna’s call also must be to ALL – whoever wants to protest against corruption – but, fine, other BANNERS could be avoided. Do not at all be apologetic about what some loose tongues may say. That said, People like Prime Minister and President – need to be treated with due respect. They may be ineffective for some reason – but, I don’t think they are CORRUPT any way. The fight against corruption needs their support and blessings too.

If our EGO stands in the FRONT, and LOK PAL stands behind, neither of them will win. Corruption will win.

Anna and Ram Dev are both Great Leaders – with High stature. At one time, team Anna was not willing to stand by Ram Dev – for some small simple mistake he may have committed. Even now – Team Anna’s friendship with Ram Dev is said to be somewhat lukewarm. Not from Ram Devji’s side; but, from Team Anna members’ side. This is not correct. There will be differences in perceptions on many other issues. But, on LOK PAL, there should be no differences. In hitting out at Individuals, there are differences. So, Find common Ground. Crusade for LOK PAL. And for Lok Pal only.

I strongly feel that  DEMANDING LOK PAL is done by the core of your Hearts – all of you. I have no doubt in that. But, accusing people – is done by your EGOS. It is not needed. It is not even the time for it.  And, You are not the right persons to accuse people this way.

Please..Please..Please…do not lose FOCUS ON LOK PAL BILL.

And when Team Anna can appeal to Dr.Kalam and so many others, who have never replied a word…what prevents them from more wholeheartedly embracing a saint like Ram Dev – who was campaigning from a time much before Team Anna…against Corruption and Black Money…

Dr.Kalam and Others also will agree on FIGHT Against  CORRUPTION - but, have you every heard Dr, Kalam speak against INDIVIDUALS? He too will not support that. Make a more whole-hearted call to ALL. Of All Parties; of All non-politicos; of all religions; indeed, to all. There will a huge ground swell of support.

INDIA’S FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION must start with installing the LOK PAL. Yes. As one esteemed News Paper said recently, at least some Political Parties must also take up the Gauntlet against Corruption now. You can’t be on the sidelines. LOK PAL  is the need of the hour for INDIA. Team Anna has done well to focus on it. But, Anna’s Age and Health are matters of concern. Everyone must come and participate in the demand for Lok Pal.

I whole-heartedly wish all SUCCESS  for INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION.

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