Monday, April 11, 2011

Bill Cheese Kya Hai, Aap Meri Gyan Lijiye

So you "Like" Anna Hazare ? Oh, you are "Attending" a "Facebook Event" to join a fast to stop corruption. I get it  - You - "Support Anna Hazare against corruption! Corruption in India must stop NOW!!" - it seems. Oh you fasted for half a day. And shouted slogans at Jantar Mantar and Freedom Park? Well Done.
You see all this happened between me still trying to recover from a World Cup victory and an insanely busy week in office. Well, after recovering from the initial disappointment of finding that Anna Hazare did not look remotely as good as Anna Kournikova - I did some reading up to understand what the whole hue and cry was all about. Here are a few things that I found and so sharing it for reference.
First of all, Who is Anna Hazare ? Wikipedia and your daily fail newspaper aside, read this blog post from Gaurav Sabnis which gives an excellent introduction to the man, about whom I did not know much hitherto.
Secondly, what is the Jan Lokpal Bill ? Well, it appears that the Govt of India has been spending considerable amount of time drafting another anti-corruption law called - the Lokpal Bill. But according to better informed folks than me, it is not good enough and so they are drafting an alternate bill called the Jan Lokpal Bill (People power baby !!!). If you have the time, inclination and patience, you can go to Anna's site and read up both the versions - http://www.annahazare.org/. See the bottom left hand corner for both the drafts.
Yes, something needed to be be done. You can read a thousand articles in support of the "movement", but no one puts it better than the genius Ramesh Srivats. Read this and tell me you were not moved.
But just in case you think - this Bill will do the trick , just hold on. I am a little skeptical. Here are 3 very cogent articles why:
1) This from Nitin Pai (@acorn): Jan Lokpal is no solution .
2) This from Amba Salekar (a practicing lawyer): The Jan Lokpal Bill: Good intentions and the road to hell
3) This from the Kafila website: At the Risk of Heresy: Why I am not Celebrating with Anna Hazare
All in all, I am very confused.
"You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push!" And like it or not, as Indians we will always be part of social experiments. It seems to me that The Jan Lokpal Bill is not the hero India deserves, but the hero India needs - no correct WANTS right now.
I just wish someone could say - The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming. I just wish.
PS: This came in today from GreatBong. Superb piece. http://greatbong.net/2011/04/13/on-the-jan-lokpal-bill

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