Anna Hazare fasted again for one day to protest against the Government’s highhandedness in just about everything.
Let’s glance at what they’ve all been saying :
- Kapil Sibal said they will draft the Lokpal bill with/without civil society, in response to Team Anna’s boycott of the Joint Committee meeting. Team Anna boycotted the meeting because of the crackdown on Baba Ramdev.
- Kapil Sibal had told the media on the evening after the crackdown “if we know how to accommodate, we also know how to rein in”. Congress = Arrogant senile old people.
- Kapil Sibal among others keeps claiming that the incumbent Centre was elected by the people, therefore elected representatives of the people, therefore they must be allowed to do their jobs properly.
- Rahul Gandhi has finally spoken out and said “he has had enough of mollycoddling” with civil society on the issue of corruption and wants the Congress to take up an offensive against the protests.
- The Congress and it’s Rakhi Sawants (Manish Tiwari and Digvijay Singh) have slammed Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev as being “fronts” or “stooges” or “mukhotas” of the BJP/RSS.
- Anna Hazare is facist and he must stop threatening the Government said Digvijay Singh. I have paraphrased.
- It is unfortunate that the operation had to be conducted, but quite honestly, there was no alternative” Manmohan Singh (who’s our PM, for those of you who forgot) said on the Baba Ramdev crackdown.
In response, common people and Team Anna have their own retorts:
- India is a democracy and not like China. If we can’t hold protests, are we just supposed to keep quiet while $ 1.4 trillion sits in Switzerland? – Random guy in protest who appeared on Times Now.
- Are we supposed to elect people and forget them for the next 5 years and let them run a dictatorship in the country? – Aravind Kejriwal
- The MP’s are more united on the issue of their salary than this bill – Anna Hazare
- Who is this Government representing? – Me.
Let me just make very clear the issues that is pissing Anna Hazare off :
The Government doesn’t appear to be serious in tackling corruption. For example, they want the lower rung civil servants, the PM, the judiciary and MP’s out of the ambit of the Lokpal bill. Then what is the point of the bill?
They view civil society as enemies when civil society is eager to work with them and reduce corruption.
They are secretive and closed and unwilling to telecast the proceedings of the Committee live.
They are releasing multiple contradictive statements and there does not appear to be a clear leader.
They seem to think the only people who can stand up to them are BJP and are also constantly playing for Muslim votes by accusing everyone of being an RSS agent.
Then think that as a result of being elected into power, they can run the country as they please and no one not involved in politics is supposed to tell them anything.
Basically, they’re being stupid arrogant brats who won’t stop their nonsense. Do they want this loot to go on?
Instead of actually bowing to the will of the people, the Congress is planning an offensive against Anna Hazare and other people who are opposing them publicly because they view them as fronts for the opposition who want to gain political mileage on this issue.
Even then, so what? I mean, seriously, is this a one party system where anything anyone else says is wrong? Though it’s not true, so what if Anna Hazare and other civil society members are fronts for the BJP/RSS.
It’s absurd to think that that’s wrong. It’s not. How is it wrong?
I’m flummoxed, but then again, Digvijay Singh has a knack of doing that. He says supremely random things on air.
Lets discuss the main issue : black money, and why a 70 year old man is repeatedly fasting about it.
Black money is any money that is not accounted for. If you’re a businessman dealing in clothes, and you tell the IT department that you have sold x units and earned y, but actually you have earned y + n, then n is black money. The IT department doesn’t know about it, and you can’t use it too much because it’ll look suspicious and attract raids, so you put it somewhere where the IT department can’t get you.
This “somewhere” is called a tax-haven. I’ll save you the trouble of reading here. Read the wiki if you’re interested.
Anyway, some estimates in 2008 have pegged the black money economy at 50% of our GDP. That’s a lot of money, about $ 640 billion, or in absolute terms : 640,000,000,000 dollars.
Convert that into rupees.
No? Doesn’t matter.
In contrast, India’s average salary is around 1.43 lakh rupees. Anyone earning below that is, by definition, below average and therefore “poor”. And more than 60% of the population earn way, way, way below that amount.
So you can just imagine the mindblowing amounts of money concentrated in the hands of a wealthy few, who are stashing it abroad for what goddamn reason I don’t know.
It’s like putting money in a wallet and then burying that wallet : What’s the fucking point?
The total amount of money stashed abroad since 1948 is $1456 trillion. Second is Russia, with a relatively paltry $470 billion.
If India got back all that money,
Around 45 crore poor people can get Rs. 1 lakh each. That’s 45,00,00,000 or 450,000,000 people. Four hundred and fifty million people can get 1 lakh each. Stupid calculation, but this is just to show you the sheer volume of money.
Our entire foreign debt can be paid off. Fully.
So where is all the money stored? Famously, it’s stored in Switzerland and other smaller countries whose entire economies depend on corruption to survive.
I’m not saying all this money can be got back with the Lokpal. That’s silly.
What the Lokpal Bill aims to do is, however, make sure people are held accountable for stashing money abroad. If they’re caught, they will be punished.
Right now, that accountability doesn’t exist. Anna Hazare wants it to. I want it too. I’m sure you do too.
And that’s the problem. The Government thinks the people are enemies and that bowing the to will of the people will make them look weak. But look weak to who? I don’t know.
Anna Hazare however, thinks corruption is the enemy and wants it eradicated completely. The “eradication” happening now is ineffective.
Because right now, there are no “legit” punishments for those accused. The CBI is controlled by the Government. Since the IT department recently started an “investigation” into Baba Ramdevs accounts and funds after the recent fiasco, I’m sure even it is controlled by the Government. We all know about the police.
And even if they are arrested and sufficient evidence is produced for a conviction, they can bail themselves out for ridiculously small amounts which they can definitely afford.
In contrast to common bail amounts of Rs 10K or Rs 50K or whatever, Raj Rajaratnam, who was arrested for a hedge fund scam in the US, had to pay a cool $150 million as bail.
Anyway, even if bail is denied, the accused have lives of absolute luxury in jail. Raja wanted home made food. Kanimozhi wanted a new toilet and privacy. Shahid Balwa, a bigshot reality guy in Mumbai, wants a softer bed and pillow. [Source : Times of India, June 6th]
This is because there is no proper punishment. There is no fear of staying in a jail in horrid conditions, and no intention of reforming so as to never come to jail again. Isn’t that the whole point of jails?
I’m sure it is.
Put simply : Anna Hazare wants the Hulk instead of the cat that the Congress is proposing.
And yeah, whether you like it or not, or are willing to accept it or not, this is just the first step in actually making India a better place : to put the fear of jail in those who are powerful and looting the Mahatma’s land.
The second step is implementing the law successfully. The third step is making all the auxiliary stuff, like police being centralized and the civil services being completely independent of politics, come true.
So this is actually just one small step for us, for the giant leap of India. Cliched and bad, I know.
But when the Congress is actually trying to impede even this first step by behaving arrogantly and like jerks, you have enough and more reason to worry.
I mean seriously, how hard could it be? Did they not pass a law more than a year ago increasing their salaries absurdly? How about the new IT laws? No whisper about it in public, right?
I fully agree with Anna Hazare when he says MPs are united only for their salaries. When it came to their salaries (we all know they make more money than on paper), the MP’s voted to increase it by 300% without consulting the people.
But now, they look to give pathetic excuses and retarded reasons as to why this whole shebang won’t happen or why it’s wrong to make it happen this way.
If Anna Hazare fasting is blackmail, what do you call the blatant and rampant corruption by A.Raja that made Manmohan Singh say “its coalition politics, we can’t do anything.”
That’s not wrong? That’s shocking man, no one can say that, not especially the PM. When he said that, he made it clear that politics (votes) > integrity and honesty.
So we will protest. We have no reason to believe or trust the Government. Why should we? The Government is not behaving in a manner befitting of warranting trust.
And this is just a means to the end. The people of India have waited for long enough for issues to solve themselves democratically, and it has not happened. No one has spoken about the Madhu Koda scam, or the food fodder scam in UP.
The Congress is harping about the whole anti-corruption protest thing being orchestrated by the BJP especially because, in their logic, the NDA government was incharge of India from ’99-’04, and no protests happened then.
“Why now?”, they’re asking and answering themselves, “The BJP is hijacking the common man’s movement and forgetting that it did not do anything about corruption either when they were in power nor is it doing anything in Karnataka.”
By saying things like that, they imply many things :
1) They agree they’ve not done anything about corruption
2) They seem to say that because the BJP has not done anything, they also need not be expected to do anything.
3) They’re making it look like a big conspiracy by the BJP to discredit the Congress, when its for everyone to see what the Congress has actually done and is doing on the whole issue of Corruption.
Simply put, in the eyes of the Congress, only they can morally and legally exist, and no one else can. The citizen is inconsequential except during elections, but in the period between elections they have a free reign to do whatever in the country because they are “elected representatives” and the BJP is wrong and must be “ended” because it preaches an ideology that killed the Mahatma.
But hey, the Congress has no right to talk about the Mahatma. The Mahatma wanted empowerment from the village level, something that the Congress can never do. They want to control the whole of India from the Centre. Whatever.
This is wrong, the Congress is wrong, the BJP is wrong and all politicians and other individuals having any semblance of power are wrong.
The Congress is being targeted only because its in power in the Centre. Even if it was the BJP or the Communists, we would still be doing the same thing. But the Congress has been in control of India for the last 7 years. Do the math.
So yes, Mr.Chidambaram, the Parliament is supreme and we cannot coerce it to do anything. Also, the Law of the Land is also supreme. As is the Judiciary and its honorable judgements. I’m sure the executive is doing its best to handle issues properly.
But then again, the Parliament and the Executive exist only because India is a democracy : by the people, for the people, of the people.
Those in the Parliament and generally in power should not think they are superior to the common citizens.
We don’t serve them. They are our servants to do our bidding. Otherwise we will vote them out of power and employ someone who does want to do our bidding. That’s the whole funda of democracy.
So I just sincerely hope the Congress will get off their high horses, stop making childish allegations and just fucking get on with it.
Update : Chidambarams turn now to call everyone an RSS agent. Way to go, Congress.