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Friday, September 02, 2011

Shayad Daag Achhey Hain !!

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This time, we dont need to rely on Saridon or Disprin to address the hangover of this recently concluded India Against Corruption movement or should we say recently halted movement.

Without getting into argument about whether Anna is today's Gandhi or his follower, or trying to analyze who contributed more to this nation Arundhati Roy or Arvind Kejriwal or whether Nandan Nilekani was right in outright rejection of this movement, terming it as inane, whether end justifies means, whether Om Puri was right in calling more than 50% of politicians useless, whether laws can be made on street, whether Civil society movements can substitute Parliamentary democracy or whether existence of Parliamentary democracy implies civil society should restrict its participation to voting and sending request letters to their elected representatives only, whether or not 90% of people who participated in the rallies knew anything about the movement or whether 1000s of volunteers who are paid for participating in pre-election rallies know anything about the election agenda of the respective parties, whether Irom Sharmila thought through before calling Anna movement artificial or whether media should be blamed for not giving her sufficient coverage or whether team IAC rightly harnessed the power of media, without trying to find what was the main reason behind reasonable success of this movement, whether it was simplicity of the man or the accumulated frustration about the worsening situation, about the inability to do anything meaningful, about the inability to get things done without getting harassed, let us look at some good, positive key takeaways for all of us.


Perhaps we were getting too cozy and comfortable with all this system of giving and taking. Slowly what started as uncomfortable reality became a habit, a indispensable part of our life and culture to some extent. It's almost very easy to miss the forest for the tree. We have been so used to maximizing the short term benefits ( by saving few minutes, few 100 Rs. etc.), that we forgot to review, assess and understand the disease which each and all of us were nurturing. The first step towards solving any problem is to acknowledge its existence. We cant bury our heads in the sand for rest of our lives and behave as if nothing happened. This movement raised a loud shout, in the heads of we the public and we and them the polity. Now, we are confronted and now we should not try to escape. This realization, this first step towards catharsis will have far reaching impact beyond any of us ever imagined.


Availability of information has changed the dynamics of game overnight in the favour of we the people. The way team IAC and several other social activists, several other real life heros came forward and got the appreciation they always deserved by masses. I am not in favour of blindly following these new found heros but somehow I hope and I believe that these old stalwarts will not let us down. Most importantly these new youth icons will encourage several others like you, me and us to take the road less traveled by.

Positive Outlook

We grew up in a society in which everybody believed that nothing will happen. We saw, we resisted a bit and soon we became party to it. Nobody ever imagined that things can change, perhaps because many of us lot of individual efforts to bring change, went invain to a large extent. At the expense of over simplifying the matter, I strongly believe that IAC movement has bolstered the confidence and developed a bit of positive outlook in all/most of us that, if we try properly, things can change.

I am sure this movement will inspire a lot of us to bring in the positive change in our locality, vicinity, in ourselves, our families AT LEAST in the short term. We have started believing in an age old adage - if we believe we can !

Front foot

This movement bought we the people, perhaps middle class people a bit more to the front foot. I think it is safe to assume that a huge chunk of middle class interact with state much less as compared to someone living in village near or below poverty line. This can be attributed to poor/mediocre services provided by government agencies (barring very few) and ability or should I say desire of middle class to move up the value chain. The participation has increased and though they may like it or not, but the factors based on which we the people will vote, will undergo a sea change in years ahead. So, stop taking us for granted and start working for what you are paid.

Back foot

Though most of politicians are writing things off stating that few lakhs of people were on street and its not a big deal. Manishankar Aiyyar and several other eminent politicians went on camera stating that we go out and meet several millions of people during election campaign ! I think they realized that they can no longer afford to neglect the middle class just because they do not vote frequently and religiously. In the back of their mind, the politicians in both ruling and opposition parties know that this movement resonated with millions and millions of people who might have not come on street this time but CAN come out when called properly.

Proactive Participation

I am sure, many more of us will take the proactive approach now or in near future in whatever ways possible to bring in the change we always wanted, we always observed during our overseas trips. If 1000s of us start taking baby steps in the right direction, soon we can have the giant leap which we always dreamed of for our family, our neighborhood, our cities and our country.

Shayad Daag Achhey Hain !!

Because we like to consume chocolates and intend to take bath and wash our clothes frequently, Indian and Multinational companies put up advertisements on TV channels and the rate of these ads is determined by the popularity of a particular program, which is mathematically conveyed as TRP. But this time the matter was beyond TRP ratings indeed. Right from day one when the movement started to even now, when the movement is temporarily on hold, government has tried its best to malign the team IAC in one way or another.The more they tried to throw mud on IAC team, the more news media houses got, more and more we the people got angry, more we came to know about the inability of you the elected representatives to do something constructive, in addition to sleeping in or bunking Parliament sessions altogether !

I am not sure if they are aware of this or not, but let me make this clear dear Parliamentarians we have been reading newspapers, watching channels for decades now, recently we have started blogging and now we are on the streets.

The credit goes to the political class and their relentless efforts to blemish the image of team IAC, magar Daag lagane se kuch achha hota hai to, shayad...


  1. shayadh daag achey hey-nice title and writing.

  2. great write-up - such clarity on the topic - nice

  3. @Chitra, thanks for the comment. I hope you would like some other posts as well.

    @Sujatha. Thanks for passing by, hope to see (read!!)you more often!

  4. You know I just read an article which talked about Parents outsourcing the homework given to their kids to professionals.

    That is where the corruption starts.
    At home.
    No one wants to do it the hard way (and in any case "today" - its not the hard way effort that is rewarded, but the result).

    One thing which I have not observed, perhaps because of my own inabilities, is that the current leadership of IAC has not come out in open with a formal statement regarding the role of HOME is corruption. (What I mentioned in the paragraph above)

    Ppl have come to believe that corruption is something like when the traffic police asks for Rs50 when one commits traffic office.

    What about the person giving the Rs50 instead of asking for challan and give fine? Isn't he corrupt? That person is us.

    1. Actually that is the key - Corruption starts from our home. We have to curb it from the bottom because people on the top would not do that.

  5. No law at government/national level can stop individuals from cheating each other in day to day lives.So, I think its good that IAC team has not ventured into corruption at home ( which is not governed by any laws) or corruption in thoughts (which is not tangible) etc.

    I tend to believe that the personal level corruption is a result of habit developed by daily/frequent practicing it while dealing with state/government.

    E.g An Indian living in Japan, New Zealand or UK will not encourage his kids to cheat in exams because if they get caught, they are looked down by the society, the local school has strict rules (which usually are not traded for few bucks) because of which they can even face the consequences. So the 'looked down' and 'strict rules not traded for cash' are self imposed outcomes of living in society, which in general understand and appreciates the long term benefits of following rules/laws.

    If we frequently see rouge politicians, businessmen, big scamsters being prosecuted in our organization, vicinity, village, town, city, we tend to believe that corruption is bad not just because it is bad as perceived by the society, but it can have damaging consequences for us and our immediate family. So a balance of Greed and Fear is maintained.

    1. Nitin - Thats the crux and I really appreciate your writing and deeds. If we see who percolated this corruption in our current state of mind, we find that it was this system of wrong incentives.

      When I was working as Area Officer of an OMC (one of the oil marketing company in India and one of the few known for extreme corruption). I noted 2 things
      1. People criticize corruption but still indulge in this
      2. The biggest reason for these people to indulge in corruption was fear of loosing out of the materialistic race.
      3. People having money and power are well respected in society. I used to live very near to where Anna lives (Relan- siddi)but I never got to notice Anna during 2 years of my stay. At the same time, Sharad Pawar, Telgi, Vijaya Darda (Coalgate MP/MLA), Jains of Jalgaon were very well known. They are considered to be successful in life, while Anna is not.


Appreciate your views, feedback, criticism....