By Chandan Wadhwa:
Corruption does not need any special introduction in today’s scenario. It has transcended all the ethical limits and has reached a point where the glass is completely full. The unfolding of multi-crore scams in the public domain has just acted as a fuel to the fire. This fatal disease has formed its niche in the system and is now being accepted by the people as their fate. Hence, the immediate restructuring of the whole system is the need of the hour. The onus was taken up by the anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and his core team members- Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan who initiated the ‘India Against Corruption‘ campaign.
Anna’s magic was prominent all over India, as the common people came out of their houses to support the old man with the vision of a corruption free and developing India. He fasted unto death at the Jantar Mantar in 2011. People fasted with him and together they were able to coerce the government to hear what they wanted to say. But, sadly it was only heard. The false promises of the government held the country’s interest at ransom, just to shield some bureaucrats who were alleged of money-laundering and fraud. They could have been exposed under the scanner of the Jan Lokpal Bill, but it was not meant to be. As the debate in the parliament continued, a consensus could not be reached and amidst all this drama unfolding on the floor of the parliament, the movement lost its steam. Team Anna left no stone unturned but could not recreate the same magic, as lesser people turned up when they fasted in Mumbai in 2012. The movement of the people was in crisis and in dire need of support to sustain this rough period.
Arvind Kejriwal stepping into the political arena gave impetus to the dwindling movement. In my view, you have to fight fire with fire. Fasting, dharna and bandhs won’t serve the cause, since the government is very powerful and can eschew from all this commotion without being fazed out. But this step of forming a political party promised a utopian society to the aam aadmi. The current state of Indian politics is sadly embroiled in corruption and somebody had to take the bullet and take up the responsibility of cleaning up the system. Being an incipient in politics, he has to fight his way out, but there is no doubting the fact that with the support of the people, his road could be smoothened. Unfortunately, the Gandhian crusader himself has opted out of this move by Kejriwal, which in my opinion is the major setback for the nation. The presence of the veteran leader in the ranks is enough to send chills down the spine of the opposition.
The roads taken by Anna and Kejriwal are just two different means which lead to the same end: a corruption free India. The major challenges faced by the incumbent politician would be to have a multi-faceted programme and a vision of the world that guides its stance on a million different concrete problems and cannot be restricted to a single point agenda. Their main focus should be to embrace transparency in sources of political funding in all the three tiers – the local, state and central level, thus setting a benchmark for various other parties. He is to be aware of its limitations and define its ambition within the given context.
All the existing political parties, right from the big ones like the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party, to the minnows like the Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party etc. have shown their true colours after being elected to power. Now the time has come for a change, for revolution and the step taken by Arvind Kejriwal must be backed by the people because it is for the people. All the recommendations in his nine point ‘Vision Document’: which talks of power to people, judiciary, police, bureaucracy and electoral reforms are to be noted. It also said that not more than one member of the family will get a ticket to contest elections. People will decide the profit margins of products and future trading in the essentials will be banned to contain inflation. Also the party will have its own Lokpal to monitor any charge of corruption against the members. All this marks the beginning of a new chapter in Indian politics.