Why supporting Anna still makes sense

The name Hazare till a year back meant Vijay Samuel Hazare, the elegant batsman who was also India’s captain in its first Test victory.

However these days, Hazare is symbolic with Anna Hazare, a former army man, socialist, Gandhian and professional protester par excellence.

My acquaintances and friends often ask me questions such as what I think about Anna, whether I support him and so on. Well, my opinion should hardly matter to anyone, and I have so far shied away from being opinionated on the Anna brigade and their actions.

Some of my friends on Facebook and other social sites have  suddenly started projecting themselves as anti-Anna, while others who form the vast majority are pro Anna. It’s  soon going to be fashionable to go anti-Anna.

Media is divided, while most of them did their bit in building Anna into a super hero, almost comparable to Rajni Saar, some of them  have slyly started taking digs at Anna. Team Anna has been criticized, and there are several conspiracy theories around some of the members.

Many reputed citizens have started criticizing Anna and his team too.

Frankly, I did not quite understand the nuances of the proposed Lokpal bill, and I realize it does not really matter. You do not need to know anything about Lokpal to support Anna.

That’s because I am sure that Lokpal bill will not end corruption, and I am willing to bet on this. This is no silver bullet to problems of corruption. In fact, the change that people are expecting is Utopian and is never going to happen.

Yet I guess we need to continue to rally behind Anna and his proposed Lokpal bill. First of all, it’s the right step or at least it’s a step against corruption.

Today corruption is so rampant, and the cuts which the corruption racket take are humongous. It’s no more a mere 10%; in some cases it’s 100%. Yes, there are many bills which are passed when no work has been done, no materials supplied, and no progress made in many government projects.

A strong body, at least on paper, which is expected to be vigilant and may not be toothless, after all, will make a corrupt officer think.  He will be cautious, and will be more careful.

You need to remember that a corrupt man is not brave, and hence he will take lesser risks and chances. Today 80% of government officials accept bribes, because they know they are not going to get caught, and even if they do, they can get away by paying up. This confidence is something that needs to be shattered.

When a corrupt government official or a politician considers the risks because of a stronger layer, of a potentially vigilant body, then the cuts they take would also automatically become smaller. They would take lesser risks.

Even if we can cut down corruption by 5%, and that funds get utilized in meaningful projects or two,  it’s a great start. It’s a great result too.

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