Friday, 26 August 2011

Anna Hazare's movement and International perception

An issue that needs consideration is how the international community will view this whole movement and its aftermath? The huge scams being investigated presently would have given a clear indication that big corruption is taking place in the country and this does have the direct or indirect involvement of government officials and ministers at the National or the State level. Then Anna Hazare’s movement and its significant support across several cities would have clearly brought out that the common man in India is also agitated about the extent of corruption in India and that the issue is not restricted either in activities it covers or its geographical coverage.

The Prime Minister proudly announced that nobody can question his integrity – it is a sorry state of affairs where he could only say the same for himself and not for his party MPs or even his Ministers. And of course this begs the question – what is honesty? Is it only the taking of money to perform certain acts? This is a very simplistic approach. What about non-performance of acts or more specifically being a mute spectator to obvious wrong-doings? And is mere money the only form of gratification? What about accepting continuance of position as being the quid pro quo? Is it not well said that if power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. In this context would Mr. Manmohan Singh still be able to reconcile his stated honesty with his conscience or would he like to rethink on his statement?

The world will be watching to see what happens. Perhaps the contents of the Lokpal Bill finally promulgated may itself not be so important. The issue really is – do our elected representatives give a firm message that they are interested in reducing corruption in the country and so take some quick and effective measures to plug loopholes, to bring in transparency and to reduce corruption? Or do they have endless discussions and debates, continue posturing, procrastinate on strict measures for another few decades and continue to allow elected representatives with criminal, corrupt or other questionable background, to flourish?

And if the latter does happen then the prestige of the country will only sink perhaps rock bottom and the world will be convinced that the governance of the country consciously allows and supports corruption. Then where will be our political prestige, our pride in being the largest democracy? And what about the huge economic repercussions on FDI, exports etc. Our politicians need to consider this in all seriousness and perhaps the media too.

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