Anna Hazare in jail

Though it will be short lived, Anna Hazare, the man campaigning for an end to corruption in this country, is in jail. Also he’s in the same jail that has Suresh “CWG” Kalmadi and Andimuthu “2G” Raja. Yes, that’s right.

2 men who probably went to jail because of him, are now with him in the same jail – Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

The irony is just thick, I need a diamond to cut it.

Why is he in jail?

According to Chidambaram, Sibal and Ambika Soni, he “violated” laws by protesting. That was the essence of it, but the Delhi police absurdly refused him permission to hold his fast. So he said he’ll do it anyway, and is therefore in jail.

This was totally not what I anticipated. I thought they’ll remove him and throw him outside Delhi, considering his age and the movement behind him, but the Congress decided it’s too arrogant for all that and threw him in jail.

What laws did he break? Nothing I know, but the Delhi police came up with a bunch of completely random and arbitrary T&Cs about what Anna can do on his planned fast and what he can’t. For example, they said it should be limited to 5000 people (how did they arrive at that number), they said there should not be more than 50 vehicles (how did they arrive at that number) and they said no tent will be erected (monsoons in Delhi).

Anna Hazare said “LOL wut you smokin bro” and went ahead with his fast, because the arbitrary conditions imposed by the Congress-Delhi Police duality that exists now are not cool.

Explanation please.

Ok. He did not violate anything, atleast according to the Constitution. Article 19 (b) guarantees peaceful congregation anywhere, to any citizen of India.

Obviously, reasonable restrictions must be imposed (all the emphasis in the world on the word “reasonable”). Reasonable restrictions which can be imposed, if assembly threatens :

  • The Security of the State of India – Anna isn’t even remotely anarchist, though everyone says this. He is protesting, and if protesting for something that’s very relevant in India makes you anarchist, then God save India. Yes he is fasting and blackmailing, but focus on the issue at hand – corruption. Corruption that must be eliminated.
  • Friendly relations with foreign States – I don’t think UK or Tivalu will be pissed with this.
  • Public Order – probably an issue. Traffic could have turned into a problem, or the protest could have turned ugly. In that case, arrest those who riot, and impose traffic changes. You know, like you do when the PM moves out of his house or when the US President comes visiting.
  • Decency or morality – Was Anna dancing naked?
  • Contempt of court – The courts said nothing, only the police did.
  • Defamation – Not even remotely. Defaming who?
  • Incitement – Read above.
  • Maintenance of sovereignty and integrity of India – Sure, because Anna is totally a Chinese spy.

And the reasonableness of these restrictions must be decided by a court, which is what the Government keeps harping on :

“You don’t agree with the Delhi police? LOL go to court bro”

And we all know how awesome our Judiciary is : 20 years and nothing that can be called “JUSTICE” on Bhopal. You can imagine the time for a verdict if, say, Arvind Kejriwal went to court for this.

Chidambaram’s comments, that “he must peacefully protest lawfully” are meaningless, because I don’t think Anna was planning to start a riot, let alone participate in it. He wanted to fast, people would have come to support his fast, and that is all.

What’s not lawful in that? Is congregating to discuss a contentious issue illegal? That’s what Chidambaram says, again. According to the Congress, “Once the bill is in parliament, it cannot be discussed”.

What? Show me the provisions for that.

What now?

Very little. He’s already in jail. The Opposition – every damn party is now slowly coming out and supporting Anna Hazare. They are doing this for the only reason they exist – votes.

The BJP, the Leftists and the UP parties want Anna Hazare to be released from jail. He is in 7 days judicial custody at Tihar.

He will, actually, be released. Congress will then either introduce the Bill in its present state to the Parliament, where it may/not be passed after an indefinite time of deliberation OR, it will give into Anna’s Terms and introduce his version of the Bill to the Parliament, where it may/not be passed after an indefinite time of deliberation.

Basically, there are a lot of stages to this whole thing :

1. Getting the Government to table and introduce a proper Bill.

Status : Improper Bill tabled.

2. Pass and make the Bill an Act after voting in both houses of Parliament

Expected : Won’t happen. Why will politicians write their own suicide notes?

3. Assuming it becomes an Act, then it is imperative to keep the Lokpal free of political pressure and also important to make sure the Lokpal itself doesn’t become corrupt.

Expected : Can’t say. Power does weird things to people.

4. Prosecute corrupt and introduce a sense of accountability in people, whoever they are.

Expected : Let’s not be too optimistic. I’d rather wait and watch.

Anna Hazare thinks corruption will drop by 65% in India if the better version of the Bill is introduced. To be realistic, I think it will drop by 40%, ie, 4/10 cases of corruption will disappear.

Politicians are politicians – instead of blood, they have tiny little corrupt globs moving around in their body. It’ll take supreme effort to boot out corruption in its form from the country permanently – and that supreme effort is not happening.

Plenty of people  feel things like :

1) Anna Hazare himself is corrupt.

Response : Irrelevant. If you think you’re not corrupt, then go and do what he’s doing. If you’re not interested in doing that, then I have no response to trolls like you. No one is perfect, especially in India.

2) Who are these civil society people and who voted them into place?

Response : A member of civil society is anyone who is not involved with any arm of either Government or the Military in anyway.

That is, you or me. And they – Anna Hazare and Co – don’t need to be voted into any position to represent you or me. They’re the leaders in very necessary movement.

3) How can you force something down the throats of elected representatives?

Response : Since this has been on the table for 40 years and continuously rejected, and the Government was unwilling to budge or cooperate in May, June and July this year, this is the only way to get them to do what is necessary. It’s the last peaceful and civilized resort.

Think about it. Have these men been threatening to fast everyday for every month of the year? Anna Hazare already said he’ll fast on August 16th if the Bill is not satisfactory. He said this way back in June.

Who is he to say all that? He’s a citizen, and as a citizen he has voted people into power. One of those people is an MP in Parliament. When these people who he, and other people, have voted into power don’t do their job, then its our right to protest. Right?

Just as we common people have rights WITH responsibilities and duties, so do the politicians. When they shirk their duties, its our right to protest.

4) Nothing will change in India.

Response : If you are so negative, you have my sympathies.

5) I don’t care, I think India will slowly only improve. You cannot force change.

Response : How slow do you expect said improvement to take place? What improvement anyway?

Having BMW set up plants and having 20 Indians in the top 100 rich people list? Or improving the lives of hundreds of millions of impoverished Indians who live everywhere in India?

If you chose either, you are disillusioned. One because that’s not a measure of success alone, and two because that’s not happening at all.

Conclusion

This is a movement that may run out of steam because of the nature of the Indian mindset. Either people resign themselves to the fact that corruption will be there, or they actively do something about it, or offer solutions to it, or be corrupt themselves. I can’t think of anything else.

Maybe the Congress just pushed this movement and gave it a 3rd lease of life, or maybe people will get tired of it (because we, as Indians, need to see results ASAP), or maybe the movement is as good as dead.

I can’t really say now.

I’m deeply ashamed that Anna Hazare is being treated this way while criminals like Hasan Ali and Kasab are alive and kicking. Kasab, an enemy of India who was caught on tape killing people, is still alive in a jail. Anna Hazare, a true citizen of India who was caught on tape inspiring people, is thrown in a jail and the same jail as corrupt filthy losers like Raja and Kalmadi.

The Government really needs to step up, come out and clarify things without slandering anyone or trolling anyone. Or just answering to stupid presspersons.

No one asks the right questions, especially those media people. As an intelligent citizen of India, I need answers to questions like :

1) What threat did Anna and his movement pose to Delhi? What indication does this give of the Government’s intentions? What is to say that you will not crush another movement in Delhi using the same methods? Then how can you claim to run a democracy?

2) Why is your version of the law better than Anna’s version even in your own eyes? For example, a failed complaint gets jail time of 2 years while a punished corrupt official is thrown in for 6 months. Explain that.

3) Even if you say the Parliament is being disrespected, don’t you agree that the Parliament is full of MP’s, of which one house is entirely elected by the citizenry? Then doesn’t that mean, when so many citizens want a strong anti-corruption bill (as Anna’s movement has shown), you should respect their wishes? Isn’t it THEM you represent? Or do you represent only your party and your party and your party?

4) Do you think it would have come to this if you had stopped being arrogant and just understood what he and everyone else wanted? You keep no one wants corruption, then why such a weak and ineffective Bill? To me, on face value, it looks like it’ll make things worse. 

5) What do you actually think Anna Hazare was trying to do? As a non-political citizen of India, what do you think his motivations are? To blindside the Congress and become Supreme Ruler of India? Or to just find a practical, acceptable and viable solution to a relevant and irritating issue in India today?

You know what, let’s just see what happens.

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Posted on August 16, 2011, in The Serious Stuff. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. A word for the government too. Just what exactly are you thinking when you are trying to shove an impotent law down people’s throats? And what makes you feel that threatening, crushing or insulting Anna will take away people’s need to rid India of corruption? Anna did not create an anti-corruption sentiment, he merely tapped into it. Crushing Anna will not take away that sentiment. It will just make it fester more. Right now, the movement is still controlled. By going back on your word, displaying arrogance and not listening to the people, you are risking the country’s descent into chaos. Be careful. Accountability is much easier to deal with than anarchy. Fix the Lokpal Bill now, please.

    Finally, for the people of India, it is time to prove Uncle Cynic wrong. There is a bigger truth than his ‘nothing ever changes in India’. That truth comes from the Gita, which states “Nothing is permanent”. The Gita also says, “When the pot of sin overflows, something happens to restore order.” Now, it is up to you to determine if the pot of sin has overflowed. It is for you to say what it means for Indians to act out their dharma. And you, and only you, will decide if it is time to come on the streets.

  2. This is called the government of the biggest democracy who spent so much money in keeping Kasab safe who killed many of Indians and putting the person behind the bars who try to kill corruption and love india so much…
    don’t understand why the world’s the best constitution, law n justice are misused so often….

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