“If you vote Congress to power, we will bring down inflation within 100 days” – we are sure you remember reading this headline in a popular and leading newspaper ahead of the Lok Sabha polls of 2009. We believed that statement of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and citizens of India voted Congress, led by its President Sonia Gandhi to power with hope that they would keep their promise. But they let us down.
According to a BBC report, “Half of Indians earn most from their farms, where growth has slowed down worryingly. Lack of access to basic services remains the most worrisome malaise, dragging down India’s social indicators. Some 40% of children are suffering from severe malnutrition, more than 45% of them are not fully vaccinated and 41% of women are unable to deliver their children safely. There are worries, too, over the quality of education, with 43% of children dropping out of elementary school by their early teens, according to figures for 2007-2008. More than a third of 8-9 year-olds in villages cannot pass simple tests in reading and arithmetic. As with many things, India lives with one feet in the past and one in the present. Crony socialism, many say, has been replaced by crony capitalism.”
The same BBC report quotes, economist Vivek Dehejia as saying a “new group of super-rich corporate titans whose cosiness with the politicians and bureaucrats who make the rules that they are supposed to live under vitiates and damages the credibility of the entire regulatory structure”.
NMTV Editor-in-Chief Dr. Ravi Subbaiah seconds the BBC report saying, “the present scenario of the country is telling a tragic story of today’s India. It would not be wrong to say that the selfless freedom fighters and leaders would be regretting why they got freedom from the British. Perhaps it was better to be ruled by outsiders than the present corrupt politicians (read rulers) in a country haunted by corruption, inflation, a third of Indians living below the poverty line, malnutrition, unemployment, farmers committing suicide, crime against women, skewed gender ratio, where health, education and basic necessities are not reaching 60% of the citizens yet there is always the Manmohan’s economic growth.”
We have been cheated. Poverty is killing the poor while the educated middle-class reeling under its own limitations and pressures, is being taken for a royal ride by the government. As for the rich, do we need to say anything about them? Aren’t they a part of the vicious circle that have corrupted the system that is strangulating the progress of nation. So, let’s not even speak about them.
Back to Dr. Manmohan Singh and his government. People of India have many questions they want you to answer. They have many doubts; they want you to clear them. “Why are you scared of the public version of the Lokpal Bill?” is the first. Why are you going after Anna Hazare – a 72-year-old social activist who has managed to captivate middle-class India’s imagination and has inspired millions to rise up against corruption?
Like Chetan Bhagat has said, “What makes you feel that threatening, crushing or insulting Anna will take away people’s need to rid India of corruption? Anna did not create an anti-corruption sentiment, he merely tapped into it. Crushing Anna will not take away that sentiment. It will just make it fester more. Right now, the movement is still controlled. By going back on your word, displaying arrogance and not listening to the people, you are risking the country’s descent into chaos. Be careful. Accountability is much easier to deal with than anarchy. Fix the Lokpal Bill now, please.”
Perhaps you do not know what is the difference between the government version of the Lokpal Bill and the one Anna is demanding.
Its explained very well by Chetan Bhagat who writes :
“The draft the government is presenting to Parliament will not check corruption. Only 0.5%, or one in 200 government officials are under its purview. Your corrupt ration shop, RTO, passport office, panchayats or municipal authority will not be covered. State scams will not be covered –yes, the Adarsh society scam or the Jharkhand scams are all out of its purview. The prime minister is excluded as well. Ever heard of a corruption law in a democracy that only applies to a certain section of people?
The government is throwing magic dust in your eyes – and counting on India’s illiterate and ignorant to not know the difference. However, you reading this are educated. You know when wrong is being committed. You know that while you have lived your life with corruption, you do not want your children to do the same. A bad Lokpal Bill may not affect you today – but tomorrow it will hit you when your child does not get a college seat, when your hospital gives shoddy treatment, when your government work doesn’t get done. We live in a poor country – poor not because we don’t have what it takes to be rich, but because our leaders have let us down. We have given them too much power, and they consider our vote as a mandate to steal and be incompetent. They hate accountability. However, without accountability, our progress will stall. There are countries where the average income per person is 50 times more than in India. Don’t we deserve the same?
Thus, whatever your personal view on Anna, it is not him but his cause that needs support. The government can crush a few activists. However, it cannot crush India on the streets. A peaceful, firm, decisive protest is every Indian’s birthright, and must be exercised in times of need. Come Monday, and we Indians have a job to do. We have to save our country’s future.”
Let’s not let the government, so called leader and politicians get away by making a fool of the Indian Republic. As the country celebrates its 65th Independence Day, rise and come out of your homes to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Gandhian, who alone has dared the government of the people’s power in a democracy to arrest corruption, if not erase it completely.
Patriots, here is your chance. It’s now or never. Join Anna’s fight against corruption today !