Corruption, Democracy and Hunger Strike

September 2, 2011 § 2 Comments

Every movement has its high point and its low point. To make it successful, I would imagine we want average to be closer to high point rather than the low one.
One of the recent movements in India was against Corruption. If you have read my blog before, you know where I stand. Sadly it’s a movement which reached its’ peak pretty quickly, but I doubt if average result is even closer to middle. While everyone jumped aboard, How many started following it?
India against Corruption is an awesome movement, no doubt. It was high time that something was done about it. But the way we went about it, was it the right approach? My argument has always been that it’s our fault. Each time you pay a cop to get away from a fine, you add to statistics. You raise the average. Each time, you brag about it, you make it attractive, something worth doing.
Now the argument given by lot of people is that Corruption starts from Top. If you clean the top, bottom will cleanse automatically. Basically what you are telling me is, You want corruption to go away as long as someone else cleans it up, not you.
Then the whole Anna Drama. I support the cause. I agree corruption needs to go away. But is a Hunger-strike the only way to do it? If you can blackmail government by just a hunger-strike, what does it mean for democracy? Should a terrorist be allowed to go free tomorrow, because some people can do hunger strike on his behalf? How can I relate the two, you ask? Well, Because in principal, they are same. You cannot turn blind eye to one thing and not another. It’s a classic black and white situation. Either government can be blackmailed or it cannot be. There’s no gray area that on some causes it can be and on some it cannot. Sorry doesn’t work that way.
All I ask is stop asking government to do things for you. Start doing them yourself. Ask questions at every level. Choose your representatives wisely. Play Devil’s advocate each time. There’s no way corruption can survive if you remove it from roots. Bring Honesty back in vogue.
So, in nutshell, I’ll continue to not pay bribe to anyone. But I’ll not attend your hunger strike or support it.

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§ 2 Responses to Corruption, Democracy and Hunger Strike

  • Eric Wilde says:

    But is a Hunger-strike the only way to do it? If you can blackmail government by just a hunger-strike, what does it mean for democracy?

    From a distance, this hardly looked anything like blackmail of the normal sense. A popular movement wiith hundreds of thousands of adherents protesting *is* democracy, regardless of whether the personality behind the protests is fasting or not.

    How can I relate the two, you ask? Well, Because in principal, they are same.

    Again, from a distance, they are not at all the same. A popular protest is very different than “some people” doing a hunger strike. Your equivalence is very wrong-headed.

    All I ask is stop asking government to do things for you.

    Um, that’s what governments are for – to do things that a market or individuals cannot do.

    I do agree that individuals who pay bribes are part of the corruption. The roots are in the individuals who contribute to the corruption. My belief is that you have to pull it out by the roots, not at the top. Having been in a position of authority over large groups of people (yes, nowhere near millions of citizens) I can say that very little change is driven from the top. Leaders set the tone and vision, individuals effect change.

    • Another Dreamer says:

      But the protest seems to be less against corruption, more for the person fasting. And the whole point of movement is to get a bill inside parliament. To set up watchdogs is great idea. But in a country where historically people have found ways to get around almost anything, what will a new law do. And who will watch the watchdog.
      My problem with the whole thing is that it doesn’t include weeding out problem at roots. I believe if people stop being part of corruption and start questioning it, it’ll to some extent go away from top. And that’s when Watchdogs would be successful.

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