Peaceful and violent revolutions are destabilizing well-entrenched political dispensations around the world. The mood indeed is catching. It is sweeping over India too, but on a more complex level. The movement triggered off by Hazare is not a fight against suppression of man’s inalienable rights. It’s against the rot that is endangering a political system that ensures fundamental rights. And sadly, the fundamental rights are taken so much for granted that Hazare, the anti corruption messiah, allows sidelining of man’s inalienable right to existence. This we saw when he endorsed Narendra Modi, and held him up as the role model for politicians.
We, the people of India, are so fed up with corruption, and frustrated at our inability to fight it that we look up to Hazare to provide the leadership – as Gandhi and JP did once. JP’s Janata did not survive because groups whose ideologies were fundamentally incompatible were thrown together for a short-term goal of dislodging an autocratic but democratically elected leader who slaughtered fundamental rights through amendments after amendments. One good thing Janta government did in 1977 was the put in place certain built-in defences against easy declaration of Emergency.
I digress, but I wanted to make this point clear. Indian democracy is strong and indestructible, because it is a state of mind – of the people. It is not something that is superimposed on a reluctant people. It comes from within them. Hence it survived famine and poverty, violent and nonviolent left and right wing ideological invasion into its polity, dictatorship and economic lows, wars, terrorism and communalism.
Today, its greatest enemy is corruption. To repeat the cliché, corruption has become a way of life in the country. But we will not allow it to destroy us, destroy our democracy. The country has always thrown up solutions when a crisis that threatens our democracy reaches a point when it cannot but be imperatively addressed. The rise of JP is one such case. Now it is Hazare.
Hazare was destined to be. So it is absolutely important that he keeps himself above blame. He should not indulge in impulsive statements like endorsing a person who committed the worst imaginable crime against helpless humanity. He should not keep the company of people whose credentials are suspect. Not only Caesar, but his wife also should be above blame. If Bushan’s name has to be cleared, take someone else. Our country provides a billion to choose from. Bhushans may be innocent, but the country cannot wait for them to be cleared.
Hazare should not put anyone above the cause. The cause is all-important. Let him not get dragged into a minor tug of war when a great war is being fought. His loyalty is to the cause, not to those who surround him. He should be wise enough to see that efforts are being made to hijack his movement. Unless his vision his clear, his goal is clear, he will be hijacked by vested interest. The movement will then lose its momentum – and direction.