In my opinion, the whole JLP critics' argument that it is undemocratic for an unelected mass to coerce elected representatives into approving JLP is flawed. To me, the issue with this argument is the part where they call it as 'undemocratic' and not with disagreeing on the contents of the bill.
The mode to achieve democracy is not written on stone. Electoral process just happens to be one way to run a democratic state. Not the only one. If Anna was able to garner such a widespread people support through social network, in my opinion it is conceptually the same as that of an elected representative's people support.
And we must remember that whenever a state or any establishment's functioning is observed to be inefficient or unjust, loses its credibility and there is no better alternative, people go to streets and fight for their cause. History has always witnessed such uprisings. But whats important is that during this opportunity leaders and intellectuals have huge responsibilities of organizing the mass to achieve goals that better serve mankind by arranging for a more meaningful political discourse. So, the issue here is not their approach but the bill they've come up with.
The bill is purely founded on the populist notion to single out and blindly attack 'corruption' - Corruption is evil. Let’s fight it. There were no deep questions or concerns raised to analyze and understand the roots of this so-call-corruption. What is corruption? Can we define it? Will that be a universally accepted definition? Can a simple abuse of power be called corruption?. Before that, are we all qualified to accuse others as being corrupt? How many of us have not cheated on a test or logged an 8 hour timesheet without productively working 8 hours or used any kind of social network during work hours or cheated for a tax rebate or bought a black movie/show/game ticket or taken a recommendation/shortcut for a desired outcome or simply taken advantage of ignorance. If we assign a number to all of the above ‘misdeeds’ and add up it will easily surpass some of the shocking amounts we see in our dailies.
For argument sake, let's assume half of JLP supporters have passed the above test and qualify. Will they be able to objectively analyze each and every corruption outcry in this billion head-count country? Is that even realistic? Just for kicks, let’s take it little further and say they were somehow able to look into each and every case, serve justice and punish the offender. Then obviously it'd be a blow to such bureaucrats 'under-the-table' income. But then, how would the system balance out here? Or how would that bureaucrat make up for that lost income which was until then used to send his/her son to that private school or to save for his/her daughter's marriage or even just to keep up with the inflation.
Now, in the case of high profile politicians and corporates, where hundreds and thousands of crores of money is involved, the incentives, motifs and methods need to be uncovered and nullified which is way way easier said than done. Power and Greed is where the deconstruction will lead to and those have been human driving factors since our evolution. How would you address a ‘wired’ intent as an issue? It is no different than asking us to give up our jobs or our breads and just walk away.
I am not saying that it justifies them to continue earning through such means. I am merely stating that the problem is not as simplistic as what JLP designers and supporters have assumed it to be and on the contrary tangled with so many other issues facing our country such as population, lack of education, poverty, lack of tight law & order, unemployment, inaccesibility to resources just to name a few. Easily, a streetvendor’s inaccessibility to good healthcare or education or even just a fair treatment can be traced and connected to corruption and any of the above issues and vice-versa. There are no villains and monsters out there in the public arena. So, we need to control this urge to serve poetic justice and instead try to analyze and understand status quo before even thinking about a solution.
But, does this all mean such an uprising which is unusual for indian mass should fade away to nothing? No, this is exactly the right time to bring attention to some of the core issues facing
and arrange for sensible and rational discussions among economists, sociologists, intellectuals, policy researchers, law-makers and human behaviour analysts. Unlike ten years ago, demagoguery is at its best today in this age of social networking. An opinion, a view, a stance of any influential person (doesn’t have to be a celebrity or a politician or an academician) is immediately picked up by his/her acquaintances and they multiply enough to sway major decisions. An ‘India Against Corruption’ movement may be a great beginning, but by itself will only satiate some of the frustrations arising from misconceptions and will definitely not provide a long-term, progressive solution. India