Jantar Mantar: The Road Ahead

Posted on August 11, 2012 in Politics

By Jyoti Singh:

Until Wednesday, the prime concern of all the people who had been following the events at Jantar Mantar was about what lies next. Come Thursday, and the picture was somewhat clear. The fast was finally called off on Friday with Arvind Kejriwal, a key member of Team Anna giving clear indication of jumping into electoral politics.

Team Anna decided to enter politics reluctantly as they could not think of a better way to take their movement forward. Now, the road ahead is going to be a long journey if we are to see all those things that the team promised on Friday evening. Some are disappointed while some are enthusiastic. The nation stands divided.

Those who are enthusiastic about the latest change, the reasons are justified. But, those who had been supporting the movement and are against this move, they feel betrayed. But, why is there so much apprehension about the team deciding to enter main-stream politics? Why are people feeling cheated?

Don’t we know that in a democracy, the ultimate way to bring change is by contesting election and be the source of change by assuming the concerned office? Are we scared that if Team Anna enters the dirty game of politics, they will become all that they have been opposing till now?

If that’s the case, we need to look at the source of this frightening conviction. Why is politics in our country such a ridiculed profession? Is it because all our life we have seen our netas as villains? Think of an Indian politician and the first image that hits our imagination is a man in sparkling white kurta pyjama/dhoti with a Nehru topi gracefully hiding his receding hairline. A wicked smile plays on his face and he has his hands folded complacently. It is this image which team Anna talks of shattering.

Arvind Kejriwal and Yogendra Yadav envision a transformed political culture. Yes, definitely they are talking about a scenario which seems illusionistic and utopian. But, just because something of this kind has never happened, does not necessarily mean that it will never happen. They have flagged the beginning of a new dawn; we need to ask ourselves if we are ready for it. Are we, the citizens of this country, ready for an India which is free of corruption, an India where there are employment opportunities, an India where every man can feels rooted to the cause of the nation? We need to ask ourselves what our idea of a modern nation is. Are we, the citizens, matured enough to think beyond the issues of caste and religion or will we continue being the fools that Justice Katju calls us? Can we imagine living under a government which is totally democratic and transparent?

Obviously, we all know that all that glitters is not gold. So, all that team Anna promises to deliver is not going to be a very easy task. But are we ready to show solidarity and faith in this cause? Can we, for once, put our hearts into this revolution? Or are we going to sit at home and crib about all that’s wrong with the country and its system? As the citizens of this country two of the most important duties prescribed by the constitution are-

– To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so.
– To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.

And, this is our chance to discharge our duty and contribute in nation building. If we don’t do it this time we probably lose the right to complain about the dismal situation of the country. We all need to wake up to this call. The situation we are in today, the rampant corruption and other evils that we are grappling with is a result of our sixty-five years of silence. But, now is the opportunity to break it in a fashion that its echo never dies. It’s a now or never situation.