Thursday, August 25, 2011

Anna-ther farce?

Anna-ther hoarding outside a railway station.
Wonder if they have permission to put this up.
I'm neither a political expert, nor an activist. The past few days have witnessed a frenzy in this country. People are likening the whole anti-corruption crusade by Anna Hazare (or rather Team Anna) to a second freedom struggle. While I understand the sentiment behind this, I certainly don't think you can compare this movelment to what transpired in the lead-up to that August day in 1947. Also, I'm totally against the idea of deifying (is that a word?) a single man just because he has decided to take up a cause. Hundreds and thousands have undertaken causes that never feature in the media spotlight. The media focus on this is another thing. If you have watched the film Peepli [LIVE], you'll understand what I'm trying to say.

Can any of us truly say that we will never be involved in any corruption? What about those fake rent receipts or medical bills you got made to ensure minimal tax deduction? What about greasing the cop's palm so as to not risk losing your driver's license when you get booked for speeding? What about paying ridiculous amounts of money in the name of "donations" for your child's school or college admissions? What about the wads of notes that you need to stuff into hands at the municipal or passport offices just so your "file" or application moves to the next step? Even to get a birth or death certificate? A gas connection? You won't do it for your loved ones?

My motto is simple: "Think global. Act local." Let's clean up our own homes and surroundings of this corruption menace, then talk about eradicating it with legislation. Simple things like wearing a helmet while riding your bike, and not over-speeding or honking. Don't hire children as domestic help. Don't litter or spit in public places/transport. Stick to the 10pm loudspeaker deadline. Respect all communities/faiths/groups and their freedom. First, do the little things that matter. Teach our children the importance of abiding by the laws of the land and by the spirit of freedom. We have rights, but we also have duties. Freedom's not a one-way street.

As @69fubar tweeted last evening, "Everyone is corrupt. That'll never change. Its human nature to take the easy way out." So true!

Time to rise above the petty, and make a real change. But stop and think. Pick your battles wisely. And go for it.


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