15th August 2011
64 years since the stroke of midnight, when India, the Nation and it's people achieved their Independence, after a long and hard fought struggle.
64 years since, the pioneers of freedom struggle, who with the belief in their hearts and minds, that, a free people, who have witnessed the tyranny of being enslaved, would understand the true meaning of Independence, and cherish that understanding and freedom of free decision making, to make choices that would help every person live their life self righteously, upholding their beliefs and ethos and, thus, creating, A society and ultimately A nation, where they can do so freely without being forced to compromise their integrity and choices by the whims of a choicest few, gave to the people of India the gift of Independence.
64 years since, An entire nation and a society has collectively watched that dream fade away into the muck of individual and progressing Corruption, which has swept far and wide through every aspect, be it bureaucratic, politics, economic, infrastructural, judicial, of the largest democracy in the world.
64 years to this day, where situation has come to a pass, that this entire nation is ravaged into a serious debate on how to bring accountability in this 'Democracy' of the people, by the people and for the people, by creating an Institution called as The Lokpal Bill, to bring about corrective measure.
The Lokpal Bill, is basically a proposition to create an independent body called, The Lokayukt, that would be empowered to speedily investigate, any matters of irregularities brought to it's notice, without the need of prior government permission and thereafter submitting a report for action.
The Debate that is going on is because :
1) Of the lack of consensus on some proposals in the drafts of the aforesaid bill, as proposed by the Govt. Of India and that proposed, by a group of activists working for the cause, spear headed by a Gandhian, Anna Hazare. for example - whether to bring The higher judiciary & The prime minister within the preview of the bill?
- the kind of punishment that should be decided once a person is found guilty,
- the kind of powers and autonomy that the lokayukt would have,
-how the lukayukt/lokayukt committee would be elected And
-how will the Lolayukt execute their proposed powers.
2) Because their is a doubt in the people, As to how can a Lokayukt maintain integrity in a rotten system, which in the first place led to the need of a Lokayakut. A fear in the minds, that Lukayakut might just end up joining the ever enlarging list of failed/corrupt institutions and because of the inherent structure of the bill, even an Independent and unchecked body of corruption.
The purpose of this post is neither to debate the Lokpal Bill, it's worth, or which group of thought is right or wrong, nor to go into the depth of issues concerned with it, rather it is to highlight a more important and alarming fact, which has been lost in all this ruckus..
That yes, there is no denying that 'Fighting corruption', is probably the biggest and most important problem that lies before our Nation today to continue it's functioning, but what is more important is, is addressing the root cause from where this monstrous growth is arising, and that is :
" An overall degradation in the ethical and moral structure of the very people which constitute this Nation. It is the time when we as individuals need to turn within ourselves for a major introspection. An introspection, of our ever enlarging egos, for our growing lack of respect for value of hard work, of our unchecked wants beyond our earned means, because we live in a nation which is suffering, in every aspect, with the problem of too few resources for too many people creating a wide divide of those who have a lot and those who have meager none."
And Unless this happens, bring as we many as we might laws, institutions, the monster of corruption shall fail to be defeated. And even as I write, I fully understand how naive and theoretical this suggestion sounds, I would still suggest, look into the individual that lives within, remember that Individuals and societies coexists in a balance that forms a nation. That a nation moves on the wheels of it's individuals and not vice-versa. We can continue to lie to ourselves, continue justifying our wrongs in the names of need for survival in a worthless system, but the truth is, that We ourselves are responsible for the worthlessness of that System.
The choice lies with us. And there always is a choice. It's for us to choose now.
This independence came at the price of the blood of millions and we owe not just to them but to the generation that shall come after us, the answer to the question as to 'What we did with a legacy we were handed?'