Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Language of Crusaders

The year 2014 is a crucial one for India. It is election year. Whoever wins, whatever the outcome, I feel I'd like to air one grouse. 

Corruption is high on the agenda. Reams have been written about, spoken about and discussed by everyone. The discussions continue unabated. It is wonderful that the common Indian citizen has started speaking out boldly. There was a time, as recently as the nineties, when only a very few used to speak out. The rest of us used to rail and rant, but within the confines and safety of our four walls. And then, four or five courageous individuals told us exactly what loopholes the politicians were using in the law to get away with siphoning off crores of rupees and for gagging the whistle blowers.

I understand the ordinary person is disgusted with the looting of the Indian treasury. Just to give one example, they’ve seen individuals start in politics with modest homes to their names and within a couple of years, move to palatial houses.

I understand the anger.

So many of us have come together to fight this common enemy. We are from disparate backgrounds and we’ve come together because we want the same outcome – the eradication of this blatant looting.

What is my grouse? It is about the discussions at the "India Against Corruption's (IAC's) fb and other sites. 

Yes, we feel a natural affinity towards members of our group. We want the identical same thing. 

Yes, we now have two plans of action to move forward where previously we had one. Some of us believe we can make politicians accountable with dharnas, anshans, fasts and protest marches while others believe we've tried that route and by itself, it hasn't worked. It needs another dimension as well where the common educated and respected Indians (retired chief justices, social activists and others) introduce those accountability laws themselves - from within – by becoming politicians; that the politicians of today will never, of their own accord, allow a law that demands accountability from the corrupt to be passed. Under such a law they would be the first to be punished.

Yes, I understand there are staunch supporters of each of the two current major parties (ruling and opposition) who join in the discussions online so that they don't pass up the opportunity to bad mouth each other or to bad mouth the IAC in the hope of getting a rise out of IAC supporters.

And yes, many of these bad mouthers are staunch supporters of IAC too.

Anyone can understand people having heated discussions.  I am not squeamish about people showing their loyalty, prejudice, preferences or anger. But the stream of filth that continues to plague these discussions, words like "bhos*i " and more used to attack individuals... this has got to stop. 

The more decent individuals either ignore such comments or appeal to the offenders to stop. Neither of these two strategies seems to be working. The filth continues unabated.

Such people do a lot of harm to their own case. And if they are on the IAC forum, that’s who they harm. Their disgusting language is met with a dignified silence from the corrupt politicians they foul mouth. As a result, the corrupt come out smelling of roses - their wrong doings get sidelined.

And tomorrow, if anything goes wrong, these foul mouthers are the very individuals who will be difficult to contain. They blow their tops during discussions – what chance that anyone can contain them in any other situation? Why wait that long - wily and seasoned politicians who don't want the IAC to get into politics on the platform of corruption (too popular with the hoi polloi and too dangerous for them?) are always on the look out to stir up trouble. And a volatile few play right into their hands.

Things are looking good for IAC. People admire them for their courage and for explaining exactly where and how corruption has taken place. Here are Arvind Kejriwal's tapes (in Hindi) explaining what each of fifteen politicians has done. I think they are worth a visit.

Let's not rock the boat. Lets nip the bad mouthing right now. I wish I knew how. Suggestions welcome. 


  1. Kajriwal's video relates to Sharad Pawar & family.
    The below stated link details 15 corrupt Indian politicians as per Indian Against Corruption.

  2. Thank you Navroze. That's a useful link as it is a compilation in the news. But the link in the post is straight from the horse's mouth. Please click on each minister's photo for what that minister has been accused of. Unbelievably huge amounts of tax payer money involved. Shocking.

  3. That's a good point. Thanks for the dose of sanity. Best not to mess it up.

  4. Good blog ... keep it up from ... down under ... I hope that applies to NZ too as it applies to Aus.

    I am in the process of writing my own thoughts on the topic of this post of yours ... let's see if I finish or not.



    1. What! Mention Aus and NZ in the same breath? Honestly though, as far as I and the rest of the world are concerned the two ARE from down under. Will be interested to know your take on the topic in this post.

  5. I believe that every small step is a big move towards making politicians accountable. It can be dharnas or making a new political party - it points in the same direction.
    I am happy that the corrupt will not have easy from now on and they know that. That is the first step to create a developed nation.

    1. Well said, Amit. I hope you are right. Eventually it will depend on how much we ordinary Indians are willing to give of our time and effort. Unity is strength (and safety)

  6. All these days people kept shouting and nothing was done. At least now something is being done. If we are not helping it in any way we should at least try not to hinder its progress! Well said.

    1. I guess shouting slogans and bringing the attention of ordinary Indians to the cause would've been effective if at least one party in power or the opposition had the same cause at heart. This has been especially difficult because the senior members of every party seem to be involved (either in protecting their colleagues or themselves) and are "united" against changing the status quo.


  7. There are two common traits of corrupt people which we must look beyond face value - The apparent unity among their tribe and their apparent invincibility and power!

    Corrupt people may appear to be protecting one another, but it is really their own interests they are protecting. Their bonds are made of a thin thread which may break anytime. But on the other side, it is common to see anti-corruption fighting for the interests of others/general public.

    Corrupt people put up a huge display/show of how much power they have, how many connections they have and how much money they have. They try their best to intimidate others and that is their prime weapon. But practical people understand that if people refuse to be intimidated, there is very little that corrupt people and their non-existing support system can do.

    It is very important for people supporting the anti-corruption movement to get together and help each other. If the former happens, the latter will happen automatically. Support systems are vital and I hope people get together to start fighting this menace of corruption in India.

    Destination Infinity

  8. I agree that fear is what they hope to instil in us so that we let them continue their scams. I also agree that their "unity" is born out of necessity and is frail. And finally - we should be united. Well said.

    I hope, though, that the foul mouthing stops. It is unnecessary. We should, like Arvind Kejrwal, Anna Hazare and so many more, attack the scams but tone down our language.

  9. Some time after I read this post, I happened to be watching the season finale of x-files (season nine) which is also the last episode of the entire series. Of course, the x-files is all about a government conspiracy around alien colonization but what struck me was the dialog used to describe the way those in power suppress the truth and feel no compunction about their arrogant ways. In many ways, what we are seeing now is just that. The powerful have created systems where the common man cannot touch them, and my guess is that the efforts of citizen movements like the ones we are seeing the world over doesn't really bother them. Perhaps they feel happy that the masses are letting off steam. I truly hope and pray that the awareness that people like you are trying to create will build up momentum that will allow this wall of arrogance to be broken.

  10. They aren't to be underestimated because they still have all that money plus the state machinery and the media in their pockets with no threat of punishment hanging over their heads yet. But I can safely say, if they have been using tax payer money on themselves, far too many people are angry and they (the scammers) ARE afraid.