India Against Corruption movement spearheaded by the charismatic Gandhian Anna Hazare, got a shot in the arm, after millions of India’s corrupt — professionals, NGO activists, reporters, doctors, judges, government employees, private employees, policemen, builders, property dealers, security guards; corrupt Indians from all walks of life — joined Anna in his fight against corruption.
“I’ve sinned, so help me Anna”, read a poster in a rally in Mumbai.
“People are ready to come forward and voluntarily confess to corruption they’ve engaged in”, said IAC activist, “because, people are tired of corruption. I think the government, and a section of cynical intelligentsia, do not understand the mood on the ground. Yes, people are tired of engaging in corruption. They don’t want to be corrupt, and they want to be honest, and righteous like our leader Shri Shri Anna Hazare. The system has become so corrupt that it’s forcing everyone to be corrupt. And people now realize that”
“For years”, said a doctor who takes a cut for every necessary or unnecessary USG he proscribes his patients, and more for every time he sends patients to specialists for further consultation, “I lived with this terrible guilt of corruption. But now I see better. It’s the system which is corrupt, and I’m a helpless pawn in the game. I am going to do everything that is needed to help Anna cleanse the system of this demonic corruption”
Does that mean he will stop taking those cuts?
“That’s a very ignorant question. If I don’t take the cut someone else will. So unless everyone stops taking cuts, I can’t. If I stop taking a cut, the specialists, and the pathologists, the urologists, will start eying me suspiciously and spread rumors about me, and who will suffer? Poor patients who will stop coming to me and go to some unscrupulous doctor. This is the system we have to fight. And lokpal will fight it for us”
IAC activists are beaming with energy as they prepare for the final assault on India’s corruption, armed with a team of thousands of such followers who’re corrupt victims of the corrupt system, and who’ve now seen that the system has to be changed for getting rid of their corruption.
“I must confess there is a temptation to run into the streets naked like that guy in the science books shouting ‘I’m corrupt’, and to rid oneself of this guilt. But in the interest of the movement, I must carry the burden till the whole country is corruption free. The IAC needs my support. I cannot just confess I’m corrupt and be punished, because that way, the worst of the corrupt will enjoy the fruits of corruption while those like me with regrets, the best of the corrupt, will be punished. And the system will not change at all. We need systemic cleansing, and Lokpal will do it”, said a builder from Baroda, who has made millions with shady business deals, and evading taxes.
“Ek dhakka aur do (give one more push)”, shout the crowds gathered at India Gate, and the mood is buoyant for a better tomorrow. Police, government employees, are ready to give up bribes for a better tomorrow, where their children will be educated in good public schools, and not have to be educated with those bribes in expensive private schools they cannot afford. “Once we punish a few guilty politicians, and high ranking bureaucrats”, said T. Raja (name changed to protect him from official backlash), who works in Nagpur RTO, where he does not move a paper without proper weight, “everyone will start being afraid. No one will take bribes, and then I will be free to be clean and corruption free”
How will he pay EMIs for the house he booked recently on his meager pay?
“Surely, Lokpal will raise my salary”, asked Raja indignantly. “I haven’t read the draft yet, but all that money they say they’re going to put back into public kitty, they’re surely going to raise my salary to corporate levels”
When told that Lokpal doesn’t really have the power to decide the salaries of Government employees, he said: “Is that so? We need to change that too. I’m sure those guys will think of that”