Anti-Corruption: A Crusade Or A Political Drama

Posted on June 13, 2012 in Politics

By Ashna Mishra:

“Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in and breathe out.” Yes, this appears weird, but has got a deeper meaning attached to it, which we would try to find out in the latter part of the article.

Deep breathing, according to a few great minds of our country, is precisely the solution to everything. The first name that strikes one’s brains if we connect this process with a heated discussion of today — Corruption and Lokpal — is definitely that of Baba Ramdev. The first instance of a joint fast on 3 June 2012 at Jantar Mantar by anti-corruption activist, Anna Hazare and black money crusader, Baba Ramdev has indeed given rise to a debate in the political, the economic as well as the social arena.

Talking with reference to the political and economic base, it is quite clear that the old fight has acquired a new spurt. The issue which witnessed a dip in the zest for past few months has once again gained momentum after the alliance of Anna and Baba Ramdev. The points highlighted by Baba Ramdev seem to generate middle-class hysteria and to a great extent actually seem worth looking into. As per him, the coming of FDI is the key to black money. The 2G, Common Wealth Games, Adarsh Housing and Coal Allocation Scams, all put the UPA government to question and this is exactly the crux of the open challenge given by Ramdev. While on one hand, stepping up his anti-grant offensive, Anna Hazare has made a strong pitch for the Right to Reject, on the other hand Ramdev is all set to woo BJP to bring back the black money allegedly stashed abroad.

All this is getting mixed reactions from the parties and the citizens. Harish Rawat spoke on the issue that Ramdev and Team Anna want to destroy the current organizations in the name of corruption and black money and the country won’t permit this. However, Rajeev Pratap Rudy feels that Team Anna’s inquisition on coal block scam is natural; the Parliament has always escaped explanation with this regard.

Considering all that is mentioned above we definitely develop an inclination towards Lokpal. Let us now look into the issue from an entirely different perspective, connecting it to the very beginning of the article which commenced with breathing in and out. Baba Ramdev who is now being famously called the black money crusader is the very same person who after Pakistani terrorists’ attacks on Mumbai attributed to “pranayam” as the solution. And, we expect him to lead such a sensitive nation-wide movement against corruption. This actually seems nothing more than the anti-corruption movement stepping into a “yogistic” stage.

Moreover, there is disagreement at every level even within the entire team which stands against corruption. For instance, first the news flashes — “Arvind Kejriwal pin-points PM, his Cabinet Ministers as well as Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mayawati”. Then all of a sudden, Ramdev backs up saying they are against personal criticism further stating that the team’s fight is a fight against graft and not against individuals. There is even a split of views between a section of Civil Society members and Hazare. These members of Civil Society have a distinct take on the issue as they believe that “communalism” is more dangerous than monetary corruption and thus, they have slammed Anna for never speaking against communalism. Further, considering the much hyped news about BJP President, Nitin Gadkari, touching Baba’s feet forces one to think beyond the anti-corruption drive and delves into analyzing the electoral politics against the opposition. Apart from all this, the recent invitation to the strip queen, Poonam Pandey by Kiran Bedi has again put Team Anna’s campaign to inquisition.

In the end, if we concentrate and culminate everything discussed so far, it is quite apparent that the actual problem that prevails is the “problem of representation”. After all, who does Baba Ramdev represent? Or, who does Prashant Bhushan represent? Turning to the most recent addition, who does Poonam Pandey represent? This somewhat puts the people to adopt the view that the crusade is more of an on-stage political drama which currently shows no signs of being resolved. So, let us just not sit back breathing in and out and rather come up with better ways to combat the issue so as to discover a way out.