As I Feel It
I wrote in my Blog on ‘ Satyagraha and Democracy’ and also on ‘ The Corruption Debate ’ with reference to the agitation of Anna Hazare and the Civil Society on the Lokpal and corruption and Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev on black money and corruption. Much has happened very fast in intervening months. There are a few lessons to be learnt from the prophetic warnings of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, father of the Indian constitution. He said in the Constituent Assembly on November 1949:
We must hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives. It means we must abandon the bloody methods of revolution. It means that we must abandon the method of civil disobedience, non-cooperation and satyagraha. When there was no way left for constitutional methods for achieving economic and social objectives, there was a great deal of justification for unconstitutional methods. But where constitutional methods are open, there can be no justification for these unconstitutional methods. These methods are nothing but the Grammar of Anarchy and the sooner they are abandoned, the better for us.
We all know the aftermath of Baba Ramdev’s agitation at the Ramlila grounds. Baba Ramdev is in trouble. His close associate Balakrishan is on the run. I think Baba discredited himself and the message on black money. He tried to assume that he was more powerful than the duly established Government and the constitutional set up of the country. Nobody shall undermine the importance of the issue of black money. But the process to address the problem shall have legal and constitutional support. Now Baba Ramdev is busy in proving that the money and property he amassed over the years is white and legal. I think it would be difficult. It would be advisable for the Baba to read and consider Dr. Ambedkar’s reference to the grammar of anarchy in his thought provoking speech.
Coming to the agitation of Anna Hazare and the so called civil society, it is going to be, to my mind, yet another disaster. Anna Hazare is a respected Gandhian. The members of the civil society like Kiran Bedi, Swami Agnivesh, Arvind Kejriwal, Santosh Hegde who are the supporters and instigators of the agitation are also well placed intellectuals. The cause and issue of corruption for which they are agitating is also important and topical. They made their point and the Government of day fell in line. The joint drafting committee on the Lokpal bill was constituted. The duly elected Government has agreed to introduce a bill in the Parliament on the Lokpal. Anna Hazare and the civil society are not satisfied with the provisions of the said bill. There is no problem. They may still have differences with the authorities. But to sort out these differences now, they are expected to go to the Parliament and not to the Jantar Mantar. They shall speak and convince the political parties and the MPs and get their wishes included in the Lokpal Bill. They make the Government agree or if not, may consider defeating the Government on the floor of the house. Thy may even consider amending the constitution to accommodate their wishes not only with regard to the Lokpal but also any other issue. The constitution provides for such arrangements. Anything outside this would amount to subscribing to the grammar of anarchy which the framers of the constitution spelled out. Let us hope that the saner sense prevails and these issues are addressed through constitutional means. Corruption needs to be tacked head on. There are not two opinions about this. But how it could be done ?Certainly by not shouting from the top but by faithfully and diligently working for the empowerment of the society at large though constitutional ways and means. I reminded of an Urdu couplet of Dr. Iqbal:
मस्जिद तो बना दी सव भर में, इमां की हिरार्त वालों ने,
मन अपना पुराना पापी है बरसों से नमाज़ी बन न सका !