Saturday, August 20, 2011

Appetite for change


The Lokpal, the Annasaheb Hazare super-phenomenon and this small thing called the civilian movement. Those are the themes of my latest article.

Are the change-makers here to stay?

It was a challenge writing it mainly because there's so much to write about. I had to keep chopping for hours. My editors in Dawn are already kind enough to accept 1300-word articles even though the word limit is 800. I try not to test their patience :)
But I wish I could have mentioned how thrilled I am that whole new generations are hearing the name of Jayaprakash Narayan. I've been pissed off on a couple of occasions when usually well-informed friends asked, 'JP, who?' Hopefully, fewer people will ask that question now.

Anyway, time to meet an old friend. Ta-ta and have a great weekend.


  1. I read your piece .A very balanced article.

    Elimination of endemic corruption is the crying need. That gives the legitimacy to Anna’s movement. We cannot expect the government, the bureaucrats, the business men and the politicians to give a lead as they are the nidus of all the evils. It is therefore only a people’s movement led by an individual with good credentials for rectitude that can fight for this cause. There will naturally be resistance in degrees by vested interests.
    But care should be taken that we do not create another monster to kill one monster. Certain inbuilt checks and balances are necessary.Careful thought should be bestowed on this.

    The government should have the magnanimity and humility to associate the civil rights group along with major opposition parties in evolving a consensus instead of pushing through other’s throats its own version as it is presently doing. The standing committee should take note of all the issues in an apolitical manner while suggesting changes for parliament to pass the bill. Adamancy on either side is best avoided and government should show political sagacity.The most important thing is that this mass awakening and clamour should result in a positive outcome and not result in hardening of stands and possible unfortunate developments

  2. Totally agree with you, Parthasarathi sir.

  3. I read your article and I agree the stiff resistance voices like yours are facing in Indian media as of now.

    However, I firmly believe that Democracy is always in progress, hence, there is no such thing as the 'best' democratic model.

    We have experimented with a form of democracy for last 60 years with some good results and some bad.

    Now, I want a change and I agree that we can start with any of the umpteen issues, however, now that we have an issue (Corruption), a proposed solution (Jan Lokpal), I want to see it through to start with ...

    With any new institution there are always worries .. its like driving a car with the fear of accidents. Let's drive!!

  4. Hi Prasad,

    I totally agree that democracy is a work in progress. And it is the prerogative of people to demand positive changes to a festering system. But we must also not get carried away by the mood of the hour. We will have to be cautious along the way, and reassess every hour.
    Indians are showing concern like never before. And if we're able to sustain this tempo, the system will change. It will, most certainly, not respond to upheavals that behave like passing showers. Deserve, then desire. We've only just begun deserving. And the journey is a long one.
    Hope that makes sense.