Kejriwal’s fight

Is it a crusade against corruption or a short-cut to power

VIEWPOINT

ANIL ANAND

 Why do the cases of political corruption come out of the closets on election eve? Is that a reflection of the lack of agenda which the political parties have or the very word corruption has become an easy tool to attract voters imagination?
      The India Against Corruption activist Mr Arvind Kejriwal may or may not achieve electoral success in the times to come but he should be credited or discredited with further strengthening this phenomena. The political greenhorn in him chose to follow the easier path to the electorate’s heart and has been successful in remaining the in the headlines at least for the present. But willy-nilly he has also strengthened the belief that developmental agenda which is hard to follow and sell is no one’s priority.
      There is no denying the fact that the rampant corruption particularly at the political and government levels is eating into the vitals of the country. Anyone will ignore this monster at his or own cost. Erasing corruption is also vital for redemption of the political culture in India. But sensationalising the cases of corruption involving the high and mighty is a limited and the holistic approach to tackle the problem. It only amounts to symbolic protests against corruption rather than waging a full scale war.
        Mr Kejriwal must be complimented for exposing corruption at the highest quarters of the power centres. Although it had well begun under the tutelage of Gandhian activist Mr Anna Hazare as societal movement against corruption, Mr Kejriwal in a rush to don the political cap has not only belittled his Guru’s efforts but has also made the entire issue look sectarian which is bereft of social niceties attached to politics of yore.
       Under the existing democratic set up and the Constitutional scheme of things everyone has a right to enter and pursue politics. More so, good and honest people such as Mr Kejriwal are welcome to enter this field which is increasingly being described as the refuge of the scoundrels. But such moves have to be deft, calculated and look different in the sense to restore people’s confidence in the anti-graft movements or designs.
      Certainly, Mr Kejriwal propelled exposes have created ripples in the higher echelons of India’s political structure and invigorated the debate on the need to eradicate corruption. But beyond that, he seems to be acting more like a political adversary, hoping against hope to grab power which he feels is the only tool to remove corruption.
      One will agree with him in a limited way. The best way to get things done in a democracy is to be empowered through the ballot and implement your agenda. In Mr Kejriwal’s case, he seems to be a middle-aged man in a hurry to meet the deadline of 2014 elections. Presently, his movement reflects nothing more than that.
    He should be given due credit for shaking the political system out of deep slumber. Whether highlighting corruption at higher places leads to electoral defeats or losses, is a different thing and may not have a long term effect on anti-corruption drives. The first priority of Mr Kejriwal and his ilk should have been to restore people’s confidence in political system and in any anti-corruption drive or machinery. Fortunately, the movement under Anna was gradually acquiring this stature but what happened subsequently is an open secret.
      It would have been in the fitness of things had he worked under Anna for some more time or started the anti-corruption drive much earlier. Once done and social awakening achieved, the next logical step would have been to float a political dispensation with a clear cut developmental agenda probably with anti-corruption drive on the top of it.
      But that was not to be. It will not be misplaced if Mr Kejriwal is to be accused of adopting a short-cut to acquiring power. Merely hurling accusations without giving a clear roadmap ahead will certainly not solve the broader purpose of either providing good governance or eradicating corruption.  
    Nevertheless, the political parties particularly the Congress and the BJP should view Mr Kejriwal’s act as a wake-up call. Particularly the party in power has left no stone unturned in questioning his motive and credentials which has become the prerogative of the ruling parties. But by no stretch of imagination, such counter-offensives are going to distract attention from the bigger issue of corruption.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST




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