A colleague asked me if I wanted to participate in the Anna Hazare movement when it was in full swing. It was being held at Freedom Park, Bangalore where many took part. I told him that I wont join as I was not really sure if it was the right way.
My response was met with "Here is another unpatriotic techie!" kind of look. We went for tea and a conversation followed. I asked him if he knew the reason behind the fast and the movement. He said "I have a cheat sheet where they have explained in a simple way about the entire thing. I will forward it to you". But he did not explain himself the intent. He added "If so many people are supporting it; its right". I asked "Forget about others. Do you feel it is logical?" He did not respond; he was not sure. It was merely a case of following the herd. Techies came out in groups and they formed a 17 km long human chain.
I did not wear the Topi, neither did I fast. I did not even buy our flag. I did not feel bad or sad because Anna was fasting. I did not tweet nor did I write on my wall. In short; I did not jump into the bandwagon. I did shun corruption - then, now, tomorrow. I did not even tune to news channels to know the status. They were riding on the Anna wave and making hella lotta money for themselves. I definitely cannot digest Burkha Dutt talking about morality and corruption!! I did not want the Anna thing to intrude my normal life; some Tom, Dick, Harry and Mona, Sona and Reena giving expert suggestions on what should be done to curb corruption.
I did pose a question to myself if I was less patriotic than those who bunked classes to attend the rally, than those who made statements, than those who left their day to day work to fast and join the protest; than those who wore "I am Anna" topis. Were they all brave hearts willing to make sacrifice or were they finding solace in this while trying to escape their day to day problems?
"I can make a difference" attitude was welcome, it was nice to see people from all walks of life garnering support for a cleaner system. But participating in a rally and swaying your national flag is all the difference that you can make? Honestly no one likes corruption which brings us trouble yet we will harbor them. Do you need a Anna for you to start? What if tomorrow you dont have Anna? What next? Would the movement just stop?
Can we abolish corruption by having an organization to curb? What if the organization in future is bought by the corrupt? How long does that take? We are not fighting corruption at each step; do we really believe Lokpal bill will put an end to it? Yes, this is just THE beginning. Beginning of what? Beginning of a newer you who wont bribe anymore? Who will be transparent in every step? Who will behave with integrity?
This is not against the supporters or the movement. In fact, its interesting as to what motivated people to support the movement who did not actually think about doing something on their own in day to day life. We were all WAITING for someone to take the lead? We cant step up and speak out. We cant stand for what we believe and stand against what we dont.
For me, the bill will not curb corruption or Anna's movement wont be fruitful unless we resolve to end the corruption in our life as we go about our daily chores. By the way; I dont see 'patriotic' messages anymore on Facebook or Twitter :-)
P.S These are my personal opinion. No brickbats please :)