The people need a voice, a channel. With full respect to the angst, the sorrow, the anger and the frustration of having to pay taxes and rents for what should be served to us with a smile, I still cannot bring myself to place my trust in an all powerful Lokpal.
Where I bow down in admiration is the power of the people.. we still have it in us to rise above our petty (or not so petty) needs and step up for what we believe in. We still have it in us to recognize right from wrong, at least when we lose out when things go wrong. (just being honest here.. )
Also, kudos to Team Anna for excellent execution of their strategy.. their tactics, their timing and their passion have kept the people engaged. And steadily increased engagement over the days. The masterly identification of a common cause that can unite India – corruption has been the foundation of their success.
We listen to teamAnna because our channels do not speak for us any more. Our left seems to have abandoned its post, our opposition silently (or noisily) watches as Parliament steadily becomes more and more dysfunctional. If the counterbalancing forces that keep a democracy vibrant are subsumed in the chaos, then the field is left wide open for any and all.
We had a point to make, and nobody to make it for us in the legimate forum. We were left feeling like fools who would turn up once in five years and choose between the indicted, the accused and the surely-it-is-a-matter-of-time candidates. Politics was a dirty business and pathways for the honest but poor aspirant were all but blocked. Democracy was being strangled – and the people felt the squeeze.. there seemed to be nobody looking out for the people’s interests.. All it needed was for somebody to step up and fill that gap.
Does that make a LokPal a good solution? Does it feel like the last resort when all else has failed? Probably. In any case, acknowledging the felt need for a Lok Pal is an admission of failure. Failure of current systems to provide the counterbalance to venal governments and bureaucracies. Yet a weapon of last resort is to be looked at with caution. I for one am terrified of another system that puts the burden of proof on the accused – ruining lives merely on the basis of a pointing finger. Another system built on lack of trust, on catching what is wrong rather than fixing what is wrong.
(This is a part of the analysis of the current issue. As the debate rages – much has been said, some sensible, some partisan, some passionate, some just immature. Not wishing to add to the noise in the op-ed columns, I hold back my views, just placing this – that needs to be said – on my blog)