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Please Don't Hold My Nation To Ransom

To be honest, this whole furore about the Lokpal/Jan Lokpal bill is not very surprising. If you see corruption being more rampant then stray dogs in the streets, of course you’ll be angry. Throw an honest, well-meaning Gandhian activist backed by an organisation called India Against Corruption with a whole bunch of popular and controversial figureheads into the mix and you have what is now becoming a typical day in the life of an ordinary Indian. Soon we’re shouting all kinds of slogans and protesting all forms of government oppressions. College going kids with hardly any idea as to what’s the real issue jump into the mix truly believing this to be their opportunity and duty to set the nation right. And if you’re still not happy, what the hell, declare a fast-unto-death to really get the shutterbugs clicking and a frenzied media hanging on every sound bite before literally doing more analysis on it than is done on any scientific experiment. Do you know what’s wrong with this all? EVERYTHING.
This whole drama of public protests has become too commonplace. Every other day we have someone or the other protesting something. Every other person has some grievance or agenda and the only way he knows how to get his work done is, ironically, stop any useful work that is going on by sitting on a dharna. It’s okay to a point. If you’re sitting peacefully and raising slogans it doesn’t really cause too much of a problem. But when you decide that you’re going to be ones to change the law of the country on the pretext that you represent the people, I have a problem.
 See, the thing is, we chose our government. We chose to go and vote for the leaders who would represent us and our problems in the governmental bodies. So if my elected leaders aren’t doing the job properly how in the wide world am I supposed to trust people who I did not choose to represent me! You can’t just start sitting down on fasts and blackmail the government. Sad though it is, we as a nation chose this government. So if you’re gonna call insult the government and abuse it and basically try and supersede it you’re insulting and abusing the will of the nation. Sure, there are problems with the people we elect. They are corrupt, inefficient and sometimes just plain simple morons. But we went and voted for those morons. Who’s the moron now? There is no problem with the system; the problem is with the people. And the people are you, me, the leaders and every fricking Indian. 
There is the wonderful anti-government sentiment that Anna Hazare’s arrest was un-democratic. First things first, Hazare was not arrested. He was detained because he refused to obey the law. He was given limited permission to protest, which he did not accept. Subsequently he was asked to remain at home which also he refused. Later after he was offered freedom from prison, he refused again. A bloke going on blatantly breaking laws as prescribed by the Indian constitution is democratic but the government trying to maintain law and order by allowing a limited right to protest is undemocratic? If you think protests are peaceful and harmless, go and find out the amount of destruction and damage caused when K. Chandrasekhar went onto a fast unto death for Telangana or when the gujjars sat down on the railway tracks to demand OBC status or when people protested the setting up of the Nano plant.   And don’t compare with Gandhi and call this a second struggle for freedom cause most of you weren’t even born in the 1940’s and never faced a day of violent British oppression.
What’s amazing are these messages and updates I keep getting about how Anna is India and how I’m not a true Indian if I don’t support him. That’s pretty much the biggest truckload of bullshit I’ve heard in a long, long while. I’m not against Anna Hazare and his fight against corruption. The world is witness to the fact that we need stronger laws and better people. But to be adamant to pass a bill that has no public consensus and is certainly incomplete is not right. To paralyse and threaten the democratically elected government is not right. To mislead the thousands of individuals who are supporting you on blind faith is to betray their trust. Because no matter what law you pass, there is no magic wand to solve India’s problems. Raise awareness about the problems. Spread your views and encourage people to change. Have public debates on the Lokpal and raise your voice against corruption. But please don’t say I’m not a true Indian because a true Indian would accept that at the heart of the problem is the fact that every Indian somewhere, somehow is a perpetrator of the problems we find ourselves in. And please don’t hold my nation to ransom because democracy is not an individual’s right to do as he pleases but the collective right of the nation to do what it thinks is right.


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Let The Good Times Roll Magazine is an online youth magazine
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