Sunday, April 10, 2011

हज़ारों की ख्वाहिशें ऐसी -- Hazaaron Ki Khwaishein Aisi!

हज़ारों की ख्वाहिशें ऐसी!
Thousands of Indians yearn for this, for corruption to be weeded out. For transactions to be free from the facilitating आना (Anna).
I guess, that it was high time for a person like Anna Hazare to stand up for what the masses yearn for - हज़ारों की ख्वाहिशें!
It is indeed atrocious to hear about what all scams are being perpetrated by the people in positions of political and administrative authority.
In March 2010, India was horrified when Mayawati was garlanded with Rs. 1,000 notes. It was presumed that Rs. 200 crores were spent in that rally itself! I had then echoed Gordon Gekko's sentiment that for our leaders, Greed is Good!
But it did not stop at that.
Greed was even better when the 2G telecom scam deprived each poor Indian household of nearly Indian Rupee ₹20,000.
Then onions made us cry - the shortfall was apparently "created" and India was forced to import onions. And what not?
The problem is that shady deals that our politicians enter into through their cronies result in crores of Rupees being siphoned out of the system. And those figures are obscene. Here I quote from my blog post of March 2010, Greed is Good:
I came across two sources on the Net which referred to Swiss Banking Association reports of 2006 and 2008 which talk of deposits from India exceeding US$ 1.5 trillion, now that's an obscenely, astounding Rs. 65,25,000 crore.
Between then and now nothing would have changed the amounts would have only gone up and beyond my imagination.
The Indian people are frustrated today. Development has all but ceased. The government claims to start off developmental work, but not even a penny trickles down. This has created dangerous disparities between the "haves" and the "have-nots".
All this money stashed abroad can be put to good use - develop the education system, build infrastructure, overhaul the bureaucracy and what not.
The corrupt system is such that one things feeds the other. For instance, business houses have an interest in perpetrating corruption to speed up deals and to outwit competition, for which they pay bureaucrats and politicians -- Radiagate is case in point. Politicians thrive on bureaucrats to push the "dirty" deals and they need money from business houses to bank-roll election campaigns. And recently, there was some news on bad apples in the judicial system also! Neither is the Fourth Estate all that clean.
The bottomline -- everyone has a vested interest in seeing that the corrupt system not only survives but thrives - it's a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch your back" kind of environment.
Public response to corruption is also strange. We tolerate sophisticated corruption at the apex, yet make a big issue out of a traffic cop demanding a bribe.
I recall a recent incident, when Neeti and I were taking friends out for dinner. While taking a U-turn, we jumped lanes and were flagged down by a cop, who did not carry a receipt. We wanted to get away by giving him a Rs. 50 banknote, but this friend of ours literally threw names of top cops and terrified the young cop, insisting on a receipt which came an hour later!
Now if a minister can accept bribes that run into billions and launder the money away to British Virgin Islands, is a poor cop wrong when he accepts a bribe? Remember, the poor cop earns barely Rs. 5,000 a month, lives in a shabby slum, stands up against the weather to keep the traffic going. And is throwing names not corruption? When we stand up against corruption, we need to ask ourselves whether do this.
To weed out this self-sustaining system, it will take surely more than a Anna Hazare. How? Time will give us answers.
But for now, elements in the system would go all out against Anna Hazare and however cynical I may sound, the ख्वाहिशें or wishes would remain wishes....

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