You let us down, Mr. Prime Minister

This is probably one of the most under-performing Governments ever in the history of India. With a cabinet ministry that has an IITian, couple of Harvard graduates and an Oxford graduates, this is not what I expected. An utterly pathetic performance. Period. All it needs is a couple of corrupt men to screw up man-years of exemplary work. And this government had them in plenty. You suck! I am sorry. This Congress government (2009 elects) have lost the moral authority to rule the country. They deserve to quit but not just yet. They deserve more an opportunity to clean the mess before they leave.

This government sucks for letting someone like Anna Hazare to come up to New Delhi and fast until death. For all his noble intentions, nobody would want to see Anna Hazare rule this country. What is wrong here? Two things: 1. Anna Hazare as a person and the ideas he stands for. 2. His methods (Fasting unto death). Somewhere I read that he is a Gandhian. What??? This guy was born in 1940! And he was the only survivor of a cross-border firing. Some more ad hominem: He banned alcohol in his village and flogged people who were found drunk. And he demands to ‘hang them’ and ‘cut their hands’. Agreed that he did some great work with transparency and education and rural micro-economy and eradicating untouchability. But with great power comes great responsibility. What kind of man on a national stage asks for corrupt men to be ‘hanged’? Excuse the use of hyperbole. I see a streak of extremism here. I hear the voice of an Indian ‘Taliban’ here. This government sucks. I can afford an expensive and leaky moderate society compared to a squeaky clean and repressed country.  The ideas he stands for look like they are straight out of a Shankar (the guy who made Robot/Enthiran with Rajnikanth) movie. “But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!” You can’t have an extra-judicial center to dispense punishments or to determine guilt. You can’t have an extra-judicial and extra-governmental center of power that is purely nominated. You can’t have a separate authority that has no accountability.  The mechanisms needed to prevent crime are there. It is the enforcement that is lacking. Laws, without enforcement, do not solve any problem. Demand accountability. Call for public debates on crucial debates. Demand transparency and public telecast of crucial investigations and parliamentary hearings. Demand people not to bribe. Spread the message. Enforce the law. Nobody wants to do that because it is so hard and it takes years of perseverance. Wither moral courage! Wither moral authority!

Wait. This guy wants to fast until death. He is trying to do something that is illegal. Personally I fear blind upholders of law more than law-breakers because in the long run they cause more damage. But isn’t fasting more like blackmailing? What he is essentially saying is, “Stop stealing from me or I will kill myself”. It reeks of powerlessness. Gandhi did it because he was fighting against a superior machinery. There were no elections he could contest, the 1857 War showed we can’t win and guerilla warfare was not yet in vogue. It seemed right at the exact scenario. And retrospectively, it was a huge success. What is Anna Hazare doing? Satyagraha? It’s a farce.  For all his intentions, I can’t let myself down by standing with him. Neither can I let myself not write this.

And this government has failed for these very reasons. This government has failed because it has given space for a Baba Ramdev to preach public probity. I don’t take away his right to do so. But will not bother you if Milosevic preached non-violence and co-existence with his fatigues still on. Hypocrites! Why does he not publish the sources of his funding and bring transparency to his accounts? Why doesn’t he explain the source of money for buying an island in Scotland? This government sucks for letting someone play with thousands of lives. Imagine 100,000 people fasting for something. Imagine someone dying. I fear bloodshed and violence. This government would fail even more if it came to that. It already has dirt in its hand. It doesn’t need blood now.

This government has let us all down for letting someone who claimed to have cured cancer, someone who advises people against allopathic medicine, someone who is intolerant of homosexuals, someone who is against sex education, someone who is a god-man (but that would be an entirely different story by itself) to lead thousands of innocent people into something they have no idea how it is going to end. I hate this government for giving space to irrational forces and extremists. I hate this government for making the common man think that this movement is going to lead to us to a new ‘Order’.  Though I like the fact that there is a debate and alternative opinion being aired, I am appalled by the methods employed. It makes people feel better to sit down and fast for a day or maybe a couple of days. It makes them feel like they did their bit for the country. Why don’t we do more?

Why don’t we stop paying bribes? Why don’t we all decide to stop jumping signals, stop spiting in the open and just stop complaining? Why don’t we be the change that we want to see? I know it is painful. More painful than fasting for a day. Why don’t we vote for people we think are corrupt? Why did WE elect A.Raja and Azhagiri and Maran? Why don’t people with BC/SC/ST certificates just tear them up and decide to fight it out, if you are by no means deprived? Why doesn’t any parent teach their kid that they should never ever give/receive bribes? It would take years and maybe a couple of generations to see the change if we all start doing these.

This government let us down exactly for these reasons. This government let us down because of its corruption. This government let us down because of its lack of authority and courage on facing charges of corruption. I feel ashamed of my country. I feel ashamed…

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