Saturday, September 24, 2011

Indians Scared To Speak Out?

There are any number of Indians who have always been outspoken about the state of affairs in India. Courageous souls, mostly from the media, who the rest of us have admired for their outspokenness. And we've agreed with them about the sad state of affairs. Many of us have berated the people responsible for it too - but always in private. Until now.

Anna's movement, Anna's team has had all of India speak out with one, effective voice. The latent energy of the people's anger has erupted never to be bottled again. What are the lessons to take away from this most inspiring of movements?

We need to, however embarrassed it makes us, accept that we haven't taken a stand before. And it isn't too difficult to see why. So many people have given their lives for speaking out. The latest victim - hopefully the last to give up her life in so blatant, unafraid and open a murder, was Shehla Masood. Has the guilty party been punished?

Indians know, with the system as it is, they never will.

What's more, Indians have always known this to be the consequence of speaking out. It's made us afraid for our lives and the lives of our loved ones. We've learnt to be cowed, to give up and give in with a sense of hopelessness and frustration. 

I hope India never feels afraid to speak out again. If there's unity and a well thought out action plan there is no need to be afraid. Today ordinary Indians are pitted against a powerful foe - corruption in politics. India Against Corruption has clearly spelt out what politicians have been getting away with and why. It has made ordinary Indians angry. IAC has made them understand that democracy won't work unless they take an active role in questioning each and every move made by these politicians. That means giving up a bit of that most precious of resources - time.

And IAC are under no illusions that people who've benefitted from the system will give in meekly. These people are bound to resist any moves to change the status quo. IAC has said only one thing will ensure their accountability. UNITED ACTION. Otherwise they will carry on doing what they've done before.

They will

  • create a parellel economy through bleeding Indians and India dry
    • through demanding bribes and 
    • through scams to siphon off for themselves, what the tax payer gives them for India.
  • not allow access to even the basics - good pucca roads that last and footpaths made to walk on, clean air to breathe, electricity, water, a basic education and an equal chance for everyone to be able to hope for a better future - benefits that every Indian should rightfully be able to expect. But most dastardly of all, 
  • kill anyone who dares to speak up against their corrupt actions.

The lessons for us:

Being scared is a vicious cycle. It keeps corruption alive.

Yet, being afraid is prudent unless we are united, have a well thought out action plan and the lines of communication are always open, not only between us but between the media and the movement leaders as well.

In a democracy, ordinary people have to participate to make politicians accountable.

 I am a proud member of "India Against Corruption" (IAC)

Activity: IAC is the movement spearheaded by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal against the cancer of corruption that is eating away at India. Our current aim is to get a strong anti-corruption bill (The Jan Lokpal bill) passed by the parliament in the monsoon session.
Details: We have a few PPT\'s, FAQ\'s and pamphlets which can help the bloggers get a bit more clear idea about the movement and the bill. Moreover the 2.2 version of the bill is also available on the website for those who are interested in the legal aspects. We also plan to start hour long webcasts about the bill every weekend very soon. Interested people can join us there too. Contact us for more details. (Ankit Lal is also a blogger and is responsible for online activities of IAC. His blog links are:, naivereader.blogspot,com)
Support: Corruption
Note: There is a lot of misconception in the public about Anna\'s movement, Janlokpal and the aftereffects it would have. Our aim is to clear the air and make the public aware about JLP.
This post is a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. Visit  and support an NGO of your choice by writing about its work.


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