Midnight Murder of Democracy
Negotiating behind the screen, all the political parties have written the script, assigned their role, done the rehearsal and enacted successfully in the Parliament not to bring the Lok Pal Bill. Particularly the failure of the govt. to give constitutional status to the bill is an open secret to prove this. They all want us to believe that the walkout by ‘Yadaves” and “Comrades” and the absence of some Congress MPs and the way principal Opposition ditched, (according to the ruling party’s claim) against the promise it gave in the Standing Committee are ‘accidental’ and not ‘incidental’. However the high command of Congress party assured to take action against the absent Congress MPs, yet we know that they have acted as the director of the drama expected them to do. Finally they will be rewarded in the long run by one way or other. Otherwise is Congress going to expel them all from the party or deny the ticket in next election? We all know well that none of the politicians want this bill. To bring such a bill is sharpening a knife by one’s own hand to kill her. Though a frustrated individual would do it sometimes, but politicians will never do it.
Regarding the cry and criticism about not enough crowds gathered at Mumbai Fasting by Ann etc., is that Anna Team knows that without having any ‘Organized setup’ they cannot gather any crowd. Gone are the days when people will gather to fight for a common cause which will affect everyone. All are very busy and people don’t have time for such rallies and public gatherings anymore. Even those crowds—except few individuals who were motivated to participated out of personal conviction, majority of that crowed was arranged and sent by ‘Organizations’ and ‘Political parties’. A common woman on the street knows that a ‘Satyagraha’ like that of Gandhiji won’t work anymore (about which I will come later). Gandhiji too had to struggle a lot to arise the conviction among the Indians in his fight against the govt., in South Africa and several time he miserably failed. Just read the Collected Works of Gandhiji Volumes 5 onwards to know more about this. However in his fight Gandhiji not merely depended upon the conviction, sentiment of the people alone but also strongly believed in the ‘justice’ of British Empire and the Christians values which he assumed they were carrying with them wherever they went to rule or occupy. Whereas the common woman now knows that such a ‘justice’ cannot be expected from the present government in India or anywhere in the world. The main reason is that this government is what we deserve as we alone elected them. Above all, except few exceptions this sense of ‘justice’ is not among majority of us. Our Worldview forces us to resign to the fate and karma of us and not induce a sense of moral accountability and commitment both in personal and public life. Comparing the public agitation in Arab countries in recent time is unreasonable considering the vastness and diversity in India. So most of the critics of Anna and his team, like Manisankar Iyer try to condemn him and his team than remaining an objective critic.
Fight against injustice or common good would never be possible without any organized movement and support. Just merely appealing to the common sense and moral indignation never helped in the past or will help in future too. Even Gandhiji had his organized set up (British Indian Association) and a magazine (Indian Opinion) to voice his views and muster the support for his cause. Whereas if Anna and his team think that by merely appealing to the public through social media (Internet) and depending upon the TRP driven electronic media, then they have to be ready for such response alone. However for me the success or failure of Anna and his team depends not upon the crowd that gathers in the fast and agitation alone. They are symbolic and should remain as mere symbol. And judging Annan’s and his team success or failure based on it only revel personal prejudice than objective criticism. If Anna and his Team want to remain apolitical, then not depending upon the common sense and sentiment of public, they should continue their fight for Lokpal changing their strategy depending upon the development created by the politicians and govt. And in this sense, calling of his fast and going to jail make sense to me than showing their weakness and failure. Those who want to condemn Anna and his team can get some consolation by these decisions but will never intimidate the spirit of this movement. Every leader is a lonely person (‘being a boss is a lonely thing) and every satyagrahi, as Gandhiji often insisted should fight for truth individually not depending upon others support or betrayal. Let me quote what Gandhiji wrote about this through his experience in South Africa:
…If having taken such an oath we violate our pledge we are guilty before God and man. Personally I hold that a man, who deliberately and intelligently takes a pledge and then breaks it, forfeits his manhood….(p.420) …It is possible that a majority of those present here might take the pledge in a fit of enthusiasm or indignation but might weaken under the ordeal, and only a handful might be left to face the final test. Even then there is only one course open to the like of me, to die but not to submit to the law. It is quite unlikely but even if everyone else flinched leaving me alone to face the music, I am confident that I would never violate my pledge…. [Indian Opinion, 15-9-1906.]— Collected Work of Mahatma Gandhi, vol. 5, 441. THE MASS MEETING, pp.420-21
In this struggle it should be remembered that every Indian is to decide for himself independently of others. One need not look to others…. (p.100) [From Gujarati, Indian Opinion, 27-7-1907.]- ibid. vol. 7, p. 100
Those who know the real meaning of Satyagraha should not have the slightest doubt as to what the victory means. A satyagrahi enjoys a degree of freedom not possible for others, for he becomes a truly fearless person. Once his mind is rid of fear, he will never agree to be another’s slave. Having achieved this state of mind, he will never submit to any arbitrary action. Such satyagraha can be, ought to be, practised not only against a Government but against society as well [if need be]. It can Often happen that a society is as wrong as a government. It becomes one’s duty then to use satyagraha against society…. (p.152) …. But our satyagraha prompts us to become free and feel independent. We have therefore nothing to fear. ‘All this is idle talk. Whatever you do, you cannot start the campaign again. Once has been quite enough.’ There are persons who talk thus. If it is true that we cannot resume the struggle, it will have been in vain that we started it at all. Let us justify this view of ours. It is a matter of common observation that what we have won can be retained only by the same means through which it was got. What is won by force can be retained by force alone….
…Similarly what we have gained by satyagraha can be retained only through satyagraha. When satyagraha is given up, we may be sure that the gains will also be lost. Moreover, it is unlikely that one will succeed in retaining through physical force what one gained by satyagraha… (p. 153) force the fruits of victory won through satyagraha. Even a child can see that, if Indians resort to force, they can be crushed within the minute. Likewise, if we abandon satyagraha and go on as we did before, what we have gained may be lost. These examples serve to show that satyagraha is really an attitude of mind. He who has attained to the satyagrahic state of mind will remain ever victorious, at all times and places and under all conditions irrespective of whether it is a government or a people that he opposes, whether they be strangers, friends or relatives. … Before concluding, let me refer to the latest instance. When the whites held an anti-Indian meeting in Pretoria Town Hall, there were only four whites to speak in our favour. They were thus four against a thousand. But the four were brave enough to express their views in the face of a chorus of abuse from the crowd. In the event, their satyagraha considerably detracted from the importance of the meeting and turned it into a menagerie…. [From Gujarati, Indian Opinion, 22-2-1908.]– 80. EXTRACT FROM LETTER TO S.A.B.I. COMMITTEE1. February 15, 1908 vol. 8. Ibid. pp.152-54
Db. December 29, 2011. 9.00 am.
Congratulations to the Politicians
The above one I wrote yesterday morning but as per my habit of checking emails and posting in blog in alternative days, I am posting today. The reason for saying this is that even before the politicians, as per their pre-planned design successfully stopped Lok Pal bill at Rajyasaba, I predicted that this is going to happen. Though I don’t want to join the chorus of TV anchors (like Raj Deep Desai of CNN-IBN and Burka Dutt of NDTV) ‘we said so’, when I went for my early morning walk, some instinct told me that somehow the politicians will stop the bill at Raj Saba. I would say that more than my instinct, knowing the nature and religion of the politicians, we all know that this is what is going to happen. Of course I am not alone and several people already predicted this fate for the bill. And the Politicians, as a class, proved that our cynicism about them is correct.
Forget about the technicalities which the govt. trying to give excuse to present the bill very late in Raj Saba and the way each member prolonged the debate so that there won’t be enough time for voting, or bringing all the amendments by the opposition etc. Even minister Narayanasami was not only provoking the Opposition party but to react but was just babbling to which no one paid any attention. We all heard a lot of such argument and counter argument and there was no need for it again at the eleventh hour. Even Arjun Jatly and other BJP members claim that however provoked they have decided to remain quiet is also a joke. All these were preplanned. As we say in Tamil, ‘You pretend as if you are beating and I will pretend as if I am weeping’. Only Dr. Yogendar Yadav gave the correct picture that none of the politicians wanted this bill and they all planned and enacted as per the script. Whatever you call this as ‘midnight murder’ of democracy or even ‘rap’ by Keerthy Azad of BJP (with Bupendar Chowba of CNN-IBN after the end of Raj Saba in CNN-IBN), finally the politicians proved that they are different class of people and they have their own religion and successfully prevented us to become ‘citizen from subject’ (to use Yogendar Yadav’s words).
In the religion of the politicians, Parliament is their Temple, which they claim is above everyone, Power is their goddess; people are the patterns continue to supply everything to appease that goddess. Democracy is the goat. Leaders are the priests who through loyal subordinates and servants carry the ritual of slaughtering the goat to appease that goddess of power. And in their private religion people are not even allowed to participate in the ritual but to remain mute spectators to fatten that goat to supply them every five year through election.
But the media is in no way innocent. Driven by TRP they too exposed their face as both CNN-BN and NDTV continuously showed the following text on their screen (which I immediately note down in a paper to quote here):
CNN-IBN HAD FIRST REPORTED THAT PROTEST IS PART OF STRATEGY TO DISRUPT THE HOUSE
NDTV FIRST REPORTED CHAOS AS PART OF STRATEGY.
Finally, the Speaker of the Lok Saba the Vice-President has too the blood on his hand in this murder of democracy. However an honest and upright person he might be, last night just at the very end, he too brought down the curtain as he was instructed and expected by the politicians and the govt. His body language, the anxiety on his face, a slight hesitation to act as per the script and the sudden announcement to play the National Anthem and adjourning the house still remain unconvincing.
The year 2011 is the year of scams in our country but it ended with this scam of sabotage of democracy by the politicians of our land will always remain a year of shame, black and tragedy in our history.
Dayanand. December 30, 2011