A ray of hope at last?

I had decided a year back that I would stop sharing my views on political topics as I felt they serve no purpose as I do not bring anything new to the table that is not in public domain and so many other bloggers are already doing the same. But Anna Hazare's victory has brought me so much joy that I wanted to make an exception and just express myself.

For the past few years the developments in the country have been really depressing. The governments cupboard opened and skeleton after skeleton began to fall out. I totally lost faith in the clean image of the prime minister. What is the use of being clean when all dirty work is being done in your name? The behavior of the opposition also did not instill any confidence at all. Opposition was showing interest in only stalling the parliament and scoring political points. In the past few years parties have been hurling corruption allegations against each other but I am not aware of a single instance of conviction and recovery of misappropriated wealth. Corruption allegations only served to weaken political power.

As a member of the middle class, one could just choose to turn a blind eye to these kinds of things and mind your own business. That is what I wanted to do. I even thought of stopping buying newspapers so that I do not get upset early in the morning. But I realized soon the wolf would be at our own doors with the implementation of policies like those on genetically modified crops and nuclear power. These are issues that can have far reaching consequences on our day today lives. The fact that decisions on issues that can threaten our lives are being taken by people governed by short term personal gains was really scary. The ministers won't be eating the genetically modified crops nor will they sit in the country and die of nuclear radiation. I was bewildered and puzzled what will happen.

Of course all the intelligentsia sitting in ivory towers keep yapping about democratic institutions and middle class not voting and the like. I have never believed middle class minority can make any difference through voting in a country where large majority are poor and illiterate and subject to manipulation by money, muscle and caste considerations. But anyways I ensured I voted religiously every time there was an election to avoid allegations that I am just too lazy to spend that one hour to choose my representative, though I did not find any suitable candidate with a serious chance to win worth voting for. The level of success parties like Lok Satta, Lok Paritrana etc. have attained gives little hope. There are those who would say, it is too early. Give them time. But how much time do we give them before they finally start playing a serious role in the country’s political landscape? 10 years? 15 years? By then all over forests would be mined and exported to China, our daily bread would depend on seed companies and we would be sitting on top of a nuclear time bomb waiting to explode.

When I saw revolutions happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen etc., I wondered if there would be a similar revolution in India and what form it would take. But in India, there was no clear face to focus all the feelings against like the dictators in those countries. So I felt we may not be able to mobilize like that. But Anna Hazare's struggle showed there is a way that middle class can make a difference here too. I am not so sure what will be achieved by members of civil society being included in the Lok Pal bill panel. I am not so passionate about that issue as such. But what gives me hope is the precedent that this has set. Not sure if government will buckle on more serious issues. But now the silent middle class on whose shoulders the entire country rests has a means to express their will.

Anna Hazare has emerged as the new age icon behind whom the middle class can rally, co-ordinate with each other using social media and raise their voice. Even after his time, more like him will follow along the way he has shown. Of course the opportunistic will try to misuse his iconic status the same way they have misused Mahatma Gandhi. But that is unavoidable and it hurts me to read articles against his noble struggle, saying he is holding democracy to ransom and other similar allegations.  People for their own reason can choose not to come on to the streets to support this struggle. But people who do nothing themselves can at least be quite instead of criticizing.

This is not my typical blog post seeking readership. I have tried not to show my skills at framing arguments and analyzing issues or humor or language prowess here. If I had done that I would be trivializing the cause and misusing the noble struggle like some of the opportunistic politicians and other public figures have been doing. I just felt strongly about this and wanted to express my heartfelt feelings towards this great struggle and what it means for our country. And that I have done. Hopefully next time when there is a struggle for a more serious issue, I will be able to express my support out on the streets and not cozily in front of my computer screen.


Pundit Commentator said...

Glad to see you post on politics despite running a personal literary blog. Also glad to see an honest voice. Next time you feel like discussing politics, please consider hopping over to my blog. http://punditcommentator.blogspot.com

The Fool said...

Thanks Pundit Commentator. Would definitely hop over.

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