Friday, 22 April, 2011

Before you circulate that petition...

A few days back on twitter, a conversation with @corruptupa took place, initiated by them, tweeting to me the same thing they've tweeted to a thousand others.

Here's how it goes:
corruptupa @akansha_89 85+ people have signed petition against @bdutt of @ndtv. Have you? read & support @YKSHEETAL .Petition@

@corruptupa and what will you do with the petition? frame it on my wall? huh!

corruptupa @akansha_89 How ignorant can you be?

@corruptupa I'm not ignorant.I'm tired of signing petitions which go nowhere.Put your name on a piece of paper and your responsibility ends?

They haven't replied yet. I didn't expect one either.

But that is not my point. My point is simply what I mention in my last tweet. You issue a petition for what you call a national cause, and maybe you believe it too. I do not contest the belief, but what I do object to, is the fact that you issue no credible reasons for the same when you're asking me to share that belief.

It's not just about this one, signing the petition to support Hazare was a fashion rage, everybody was rushing to do it, because everybody else was doing it. Every second link on my facebook page showed the massive support Hazare and his campaign were getting! Why is it that people don't stop to read, understand, form an opinion, and consider opinions of people who are qualified enough to give them?

How many of them actually knew that there were two bills, one proposed by the government and the other by the Hazare people? What is the guarantee that the head of the Lokpal Committee will be above corruption? Will the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha actually let the bill pass, given the fact that it goes against themselves!? Doesn't it look like a lot of politics? Gimmicks? Hasn't Hazare's biggest supporter Ramdev baba publicly aired his intention of entering politics and creating a new party for himself? Questions galore, questions to which you had to demand proven answers, before you could even think about signing that petition.

Also it brings me to the next factor, where is this petition going? To the President? I doubt she has an email address! PMO? but you're including him. SC judges? they aren't above the bill either. So call it trivial, but in all, all you ended up doing was increasing the load on the servers.

Now let's talk about the bill.

I am the last person on the earth who will defend the ministers on allegations of corruption, but understand that there is a difference between allegations and charges. You can't charge someone until you have proof, and if you have the proof, the gates of the courts are open! Contest it! Fight it! Prove it! And till you can't, you can be opinionated, you can be critical, but you still can't be the judge.

I don't have a solution to the problem, and there I see people going, well if you don't have a solution, why don't you at least support what someone else is trying to do in order to improve the situation...? But that is exactly my point!! When, in the wide world did you stop thinking for yourself? Just because it looks good does not mean it has to be? Whatever happened to reading, mulling it over, figuring it out, with facts, figures, statistics?

About corruption itself? Well, if you're so eager to see corrupt ministers leave politics, can you suggest some who are not? If you're given that post tomorrow, will you refuse the crore rupees? Won't you think that if you have made the future of your kids secure, you've done something with your life? Of course that does not justify corruption, nor should it! But at least at the lower rungs if you start offering better salaries and retirement benefits, would you not be removing that reason to accept the bribe?

In my opinion, bribes are taken for two reasons. One is to secure the future. Second is because everybody knows even if you're found out, nobody remembers it beyond a few days.

To conclude, I think that if everybody understood that one line from Spiderman (at least that's where I heard it first) for all that it stands for, the world, or at least the country would be an infinitely better place to live in.

With great power comes great responsibility.

Those with power, take the responsibility. And give the power to those who are responsible.

Enough Said!


Samadrita said...

When all this mess was happening around the anti-corruption movement, several people didn't even know the difference between the Lokpal and Janlokpal bills. Many thought they were one and the same. I remember being vastly confused about what was going on...but I liked the way Anna Hazare had refused to let Uma Bharti share the same stage as him and politicize this movement. Although the presence of Sri Sri Ravishankar and Baba Ramdev and a variety of weirdos changed my views later.

Firebolt said...


The point here is that it's not about Anna Hazare or the Lokpal bill anymore.. it's a frustrated nation's response to someone standing up against corruption and taking it head on. Anna just happened to be at the right time at the right time.. the people just needed a trigger.. a trigger to wake them up and unite them in this cause..

As far as corruption goes, everyone has been involved in it at some stage in their lives but the fact remains that there are a lot of people who would not want to be corrupt had they had a choice but are involved in it because the wait for getting work done without a bribe is just too much for a common person.

This is not a personal account but an observation. I did not use a agent when I applied for my licence and waited out my turn with everyone for 2 hours. I was lucky to be a woman in that case.. and I felt for the men who had to wait 6-7 hours for a license!

Akansha Agrawal said...

I understand that a sinking person will hang on to anything you give him- doobte ko tinke ka sahara literally.

But we're not a sinking ship, not yet. We still have a lot left in us! Which is why you have to think before you start supporting someone out of the blue. Most of the supporters Hazare earned were on the first day. Do you know why? because till that time nobody knew that people like Ramdev baba and Sri sri ravi shankar were a part of it too. Also all that PR and organisation had to need a lot of money.

Allegations (not charges) say that money came from ramdev quarters.

All I am saying is, I need the complete truth before I can stand behind you with all that conviction.

Sukhi if that guy sitting behind the counter sees that everybody is ready to wait out their turn, that nobody wants to bribe him; and besides if he has a decent enough salary he would not need that money! Of course a law is going to help, but this law is so aimed at the trickle down position instead of bottom to top approach!

Try not bribing that policeman at the signal when you break the signal... it is inconvenient definitely! but hey you broke one law already!

It's going to take time, but the only way it is going to work is if go from the bottom to the top. :)

Akansha Agrawal said...

Yeah that's what! All it came down to in the end, was politics!! :|

Firebolt said...


It boils down to the same point.. these people who were 'supporting' Anna Hazare have not pledged allegiance to him or anything of that sort.. it is not Anna's army of people willing to do anything he wishes them to..

It's an army of young, mobilized people all across India who want to do something, anything, that will make a difference and help this endemic called corruption to be brought under control.

Anna may not be their hero. But Corruption sure is their common enemy.

Abhinav said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abhinav said...


Also, I will answer to all the anti-corruption motion thingy through a blog post of my own

Shaunak said...

Well, at least Spidey had Uncle Ben to talk some sense.
Where do these guys get that from?

Zeba said...

You make a very strong point. I hadn't been following this news closely. But you helped me understand the core of it..