Congress shows its primary colours

Posted: August 17, 2011 in Corruption
Tags: , ,

According to Wikipedia “A protest is an expression of objection, by words or by actions, to particular events, policies or situations. Protests can take numerous forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations.
Where protests are part of a systematic and peaceful campaign to achieve a particular objective, and involve the use of pressure as well as persuasion, they go beyond mere protest and may be better described as cases of civil resistance or nonviolent resistance.”

So which one of the definitions would best fit what happened in Delhi and other parts of the country today? And why did the UPA Government react in the only way it knows – with brute force? Because someone, in this case, a septuagenarian, had the guts to stand up and ask the government some very uncomfortable questions and demand accountability? What did he do wrong?

The UPA’s rabid reaction didn’t surprise me at all. Right from the time of the dictatorial India Gandhi, the Congress has never been known to tolerate dissent, be it from their party or from the people. And what happened today in Delhi and the rest of the country have only confirmed this view.

What I’ve also been hearing lately is that while Anna Hazare’s demands are justified, his methods are wrong. I beg to differ. If a worker doesn’t like his job he has two options – swallow the crap and continue to work, or protest. Which of these is the wrong method and which the right one and at which point of time do we decide which form of protest to adopt?

So, since Hazare or his fellow protestors aren’t employed by the government of India, they chose the last option of peaceful protest, which is their fundamental right, according to the Constitution. And then they never threatened violence nor did they ask people to resort to it. So what was the government worried about? I guess Messrs Singh, Chidambaram and the rest believed they could do to Hazare, what they did to Ramdev. Unfortunately for them, Hazare is not Ramdev. He doesn’t have an ashram built with dubious wealth and he wasn’t going to flee the place dressed in a salwar kameez!

I’ve also heard quite a few people say that he should contest an election, be a part of the system and then usher in change. I beg to differ, again.

Since 1947, elected representatives have always taken a solemn oath to serve the people, the country and the flag. Till around 1960 that is what they did. After that things went steadily downhill. Now the 542-odd MPs are doing everything to subvert the very process, they have sworn to protect. So let’s forget about being a part of the so called system. It hasn’t worked in decades and even two dozen Anna Hazares will fail to bring about an improvement in a system that is rotten to the core.

And then, it wasn’t as if Hazare and his group just got up on August 16 morning and decided to launch an agitation. They had gone through all the due democratic processes, like discussions, meetings etc and only after the government threw out their recommendations that they decided on this form of protest. All they wanted from the government were answers and a commitment. Answers to why it was unable to control corruption; Whether the people who were being accused of corruption were questioned about the source of the ill-gotten wealth; to explain who were the Indians with foreign bank accounts; how much was the figure supposedly stashed away in foreign banks; demand accountability with regard to the Jan Lokpal Bill.

For all these questions, they got no answers. On the contrary, the defiant government built a protective wall of silence, and selectively released information that did not, in any way incriminate itself – till the courts stepped in and asked the government to clean up its act. Even then the government refused to cooperate – till the courts again stepped in. Only then did they get moving and put people like A Raja and Suresh Kalmadi behind bars.

One may agree or disagree with Hazare and his ways. But one cannot disagree that it was brought on by the attitude of this government, which has been one of total condescension against any form of criticism. As if they believe they are answerable to no one – not even the courts. What is shocking is the sanctimonious blabbering of Chidambaram, Tewari, Sibal and Co. about disturbing the peace, breaking the law etc. Could they tell us how they allowed Mamata to sit in protest against the Singur land acquisition? Wasn’t that against the law?

This agitation and the government’s ham-handed response has proved to the people of this country that it’s time for this ineffectual government led by an ineffectual prime minister to pack its bags and look for alternate employment.

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