Baba Ramdev”s Fight: Another Political Quest Against Corruption or a Run for Political Conquest?

Posted on June 29, 2011 in Politics

By Akash Pal:

As the dynamics of the political scenario in India changes, there seems that too many thoughts have spoken at the same time. The ideology of a democracy has always been the foremost light for leading the country as whole with an equal stride. However, at this juncture in Indian politics, when the need to fight corruption has risen as a popular priority, there seems a shadow that everybody seems to miss amongst all this activity. To be specific, people seem to be taking advantage of this situation to amass the support of civilians across the country. Even if this may be a simple speculation, truth be told, this is a scenario our country has seen for decades. Powerful promises, amassing mass support for a relevant cause, and rising in ranks of political importance only to blend into the ways of corruption or simply not uphold their promised political reforms in the long run. We are very clearly seeing this in the campaigns led by Baba Ramdev and his followers against the issue of corruption. In one perspective, it is truly great for people to finally rise against the corruption that has become embedded in our system for too long. However, a concern that is quietly building amidst these is, if this is an effort by a vastly popular individual to get a hold of his political objectives.

In the recent past we have seen Anna Hazare valiantly make the government take notice of the rising anger of the masses against corruption. However we have Baba Ramdev now who has been pursuing yet the same cause with his own demands which figure as follows:

The demands of the jet setting Baba – whose acolytes recently bought him a little Scottish island to open an ashram – include:

– Tough Lokpal Bill, with a provision for death sentence for the corrupt, especially corrupt officials

– Immediate return of all black money stashed away in tax havens abroad to the country

– Declaring all wealth in foreign countries being held illegally by Indians as national property and charging those with such accounts under the sedition laws

– Abolishing Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 currency notes

– Disabling the operations of any bank which belongs to a country that is a tax haven

– Replacing the British-inherited system of governance, administration, taxation, education, law and order with a swadeshi alternative

– Reforming the electoral system to ensure that the Prime Minister is directly elected by people

– Ensuring that all citizens declare annually their incomes

– Bringing income-tax details under the Right to Information Act

– Increasing substantially the Minimum Support Price of grains

– Making wages of different categories of laborers uniform across the country

– Revoking the Land Acquisition Act, as farmers should not be deprived of their land for industry

– Promoting Hindi at the expense of English.

It has demands which range from the serious to the bizarre. It is evident from the growing concern shown by the political strongholds of our country to Baba Ramdev’s demands and their overwhelming response. Yet there is a feeling of both satisfaction and insecurity. The common reason of satisfaction lies primarily in the comfort that there finally is a stride to eradicate corruption of all forms and reduce the growing divide between the rich and the poor.

However, there is a growing insecurity about what if all these efforts are just noise without a protected and guaranteed aim to make all these promises and demands materialize[for a change]. Our countrymen do not need another public display against the political front without any progress actually happening.

We have trust in these efforts yet are not sure what happens when all this is dealt with. Will these leaders of change blend into the colors of Indian politics or will the truly change the system for good? To change the system is a huge task. Not only does it need time and great efforts, it needs the support of the common man, the political gurus and the rich and powerful. Everyone will demand to see their addition in all these efforts considering that we as a democracy have to uphold the suggestions and opinions of everyone. Hence, it is followed by many years of debate and speculative talks, consuming a span of time which may trigger back practices that had been dissolved.

All this may again lead to disruption of the grand plans for that great change. The efforts put forth are definitely worth applauding, however, with time we will see if a motion of change and eradication of corrupt processes comes into action.