Make Fight Against Corruption A Real Peoples Movement
By N.S.Venkataraman *
There appears to be widespread view that corruption can largely be eliminated in India by enactment of new laws and regulations. Such expectations appear to be naïve in today’s Indian conditions where the law makers have become the law breakers.
Due to characterlessness of administrative bodies in India, the corrupt elements, both in the government and outside are able to bend the laws and defeat the purpose of anti corruption laws effectively.
I am convinced that a strong peoples movement at micro and individual level is the only way to defeat the forces of corruption. When it is argued that corruption should be fought at individual level, many people wonder how monumental corruption such as 2G and coal scam can be eradicated by resistance to corruption at individual level by common man. This is a defeatist view, since strength of any movement should start at ground level and from the base which will have strong chain effect upwards.
The alarming issue today is that increasingly people are getting reconciled to the corrupt happenings and many unwillingly submit themselves and become part of the corruption chain even if they feel strongly against the corruption. The movement has to be built amongst such people to strengthen their resolve and build faith in their mindset about the anticorruption efforts. Anna Hazare certainly has done a great job whatever may be his limitations by bringing corruption issue as the central theme in the national agenda. Whatever may be the fate of his movement now, let us give credit to him for his enormous achievement and let us not decry him for any reason.
Anti corruption movement has to further take off from where Anna Hazare has brought it now. Let every concerned citizen take a pledge that under no circumstances, he/she will take bribe or give bribe and let him resolve that he would willingly make the necessary sacrifices for the cause. This is possible and Mahatma Gandhi led the freedom movement by convincing freedom fighters to make personal sacrifice when hundreds of people went to prison for the sake of national freedom. This can happen again in India today.
Further, let every concerned citizen take a pledge that he will boycott any politician, bureaucrat and businessmen facing charges of corruption in court of law. The corrupt politicians businessmen and bureaucrats will certainly feel the heat of public opinion about their corrupt dealings and will come under enormous pressure. Concerned NGOs should stop inviting them for any public meetings or social functions, which would an effective way of humiliating the corrupt elements and silently exposing their misdeeds.
Both the above acts will amount to dignified and passive resistance and everyone can do this at his own level. Every member of India Against Corruption may take this resolve and sign a charter which can be created by India Against Corruption for this purpose and put it in the public domain.
* The author is Trustee, Nandiani Voice for the Deprived, Chennai