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Friday, 26 August 2011

Why So Many People are Against Anna...


Written by Dr. Seshadri Kumar, August 21, 2011


There are a lot of "intellectuals" out there who go out making intellectual-sounding arguments against the anti-corruption movement - how it is undemocratic, anti-parliament, constitution-defeating, etc., etc., without a thought about the huge positive aspect of the movement and the mood of the people.

I was responding to a comment from one such person to one of my articles, and I made a statement which made me realize something.  This person was trying to suggest that if Anna Hazare succeeds in pushing through his law, based on sheer majority, without the 15-day review period, then it would set a bad precedent for anyone who could bulldoze parliament by a show of majority.  What I said in response was, "India is a Hindu-majority country, but if you try to make a law that discriminates against Muslims, the crowds on the streets will not be people in favor of the bill, like it is now, but people against.  I have enough faith in my country."

Special-Interest Groups

This made me think.  Why is that?   Because Muslims form a special-interest group that is linked with politicians and vote banks.  In fact, so does most everyone.  Try creating a law against Gujaratis, there will be an agitation - because Gujaratis form a special-interest group.  Today there is an agitation in favor of a Telangana - because there is a special-interest group for Telangana.  There is also a special-interest group against Telangana.  But this goes for every group you can possibly imagine - women, children, Maharashtrians, Bengalis, Tamils, government employees, auto rickshaw drivers, dabbawalas, you name it.  Create a law that goes against them and the next day you will have an agitation on the streets - headed by politicians.  Why?  Because there are votes involved here.  Someone who is pro-Bengali or pro-Maharashtrian or pro-rickshaw drivers stands to gain from the votes of that vote bank.

The Anti-Corruption Vote Bank?

In contrast, an anti-corruption movement, by its very definition, has no vote bank.  Why would any MP or MLA support an anti-corruption movement?  There is no special-interest group for anti-corruption, because the very title "anti-corruption" implies no special favors.  In addition, there is a huge governmental office lobby that stands to lose from this - from your office peon to the highest office-bearer in the land.  

This is why they are using every trick in the book, and every pseudo-intellectual argument, to try and defeat this bill.  You cannot tell the truth, viz., that it will hurt your livelihood, so you couch your argument in terms of high-sounding phrases like "protect the constitution," "parliamentary procedures," "tradition," "open discourse," and so on.  What amazes me is that a large number of educated people believe this nonsense.

Jai Hind!

Seshadri Kumar

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