Its been an incredible few days for India in the past couple of weeks. Mr. Anna Hazare, his team, and their brand of expressing dissatisfaction has created a huge uproar amongst the entire nation. Thousands have supported him and his methods and then there have been others who have criticized the entire episode, but eventually the spirit of a man, ready to undertake physical agony for his principles is commendable and deserves much appreciation. At the end of it, honestly, I was more keen on Mr. Hazare breaking his fast than any bill getting passed, and thats the kind of connection true leaders make with people.
I could spend hours and hours writing about how unsurprisingly incompetent our government has been in handling the entire situation, and how a few of those I considered future leaders of India have come out as nothing but absolute hypocrites, but then it would just be reiterating the obvious. I must though point out that that the Congress government needs to have a very close look at their PR folks; the current lot is downright terrible, has no clue of public sentiment, sounds arrogant, egotistic, and even idiotic most of the time. Its as if they sit on a self destruct button each time they open their mouths, and destruction is all they do. The government really does not need opposition parties or political enemies having been blessed by spokesmen of the quality of Mr. Manish Tewari and Mr. Kapil Sibal.
Now to come back to my thoughts on the entire campaign. It was undoubtedly heartening to see “young india” come out in thousands to support the cause of Mr. Hazare. For the past 30 years that i have existed, i haven’t seen such support at a national level for anything other than cricket, and cricket kind of became an aversion with the abysmal performance of our team in England. The campaign would not have been what it turned out to be and would not have made the impact that it has been able to, had it not received the massive public support that it totally deserved. Hunger strikes have happened in india in the past, civil activists have tried to fight for causes, but i have rarely seen anything garner as much support as this one did.
All this while, i had consciously tried to not be judgmental about the situation, one way or the other. There were a lot of things that i agreed with and a lot that i totally disagreed with, but then i guess thats what ‘free will’ in a democratic country is all about. (i would like to write some day on how much for granted we take our power of expressing free will) Now that everything seems to have taken a positive note, there are a few things to reflect upon:
1. The only way to make people support a cause or an individual is to be honest with them, both in actions and intentions. Anna Hazare stood ground no matter what the government tried to do, he took responsibility for what he believed in and saw it through. His actions and methods may have sounded like blackmail to a few (including me, at times), but his intentions were always there for everyone to see.
2. They say that “customer service” of a product is as important, if not more, than selling the product. You may think you have a great product, you may even be able to sell it using fancy marketing tricks, but sustained business will only be achieved by providing continued customer service for the product. If you customer service sucks, or if you stop responding to customer complaints, your company and your product is likely to fade out of favor sooner than later. The same applies to elected government bodies of the country. Absolute majority in the parliament does not justify making decisions that are absurd. Also having absolute retards in important PR positions, is like making a nursery student answer customer care questions for Airtel(on another note, the nursery student may do a better job). Bottom line, if you don’t know your shit, you should either be quiet or be honest with people. Making up stupid excuses makes the people feel cheated and that is one emotion not easily reparable.
3. If we, the people are to bring any revolution in the country, we’ve got to start with ourselves. I know it sounds preachy, but there is no doubt to the fact that unless we undergo our own revolution, any bill, however good or bad it is, will be just another piece of paper that we never intend to read or follow. Corruption is something that cannot be discriminated against. If the commonwealth games scam is an example of corruption, then so is us bribing traffic cops to get away with small fines. If the 2G scam is corruption, then so is our crossing red lights, throwing waste on streets, caring a damn about road safety rules or using black money for purchasing properties. We cannot call some forms of corruption acceptable, just because it saves us time or money, and call other forms of corruption evil. Corruption is evil, in all its forms; period. Just as we ask the government to take a step forward and pass a historical bill, we, as responsible citizens of India, should also take a step forward and get rid of the corruption that exists in our lives. There is no excuse for us not to do this.
4. Finally, the lesson to learn from this entire episode is that one person can actually make a difference. If I really am Anna, then the most important thing for me is to not only talk about what is right for the country, but also enact upon the principles i preach. More often than not we complain of what we alone can achieve. That myth has been busted by the recent events, and we have a live example of how one man can change the thought process of an entire nation. Lets just not give into the frenzy of achieving a short term victory but use this as an opportunity to improve ourselves and subsequently our country for good.