The Great Indian Bulshit: Lokpal, Aarakshan and more

This post is about the idea of India and how people just keep fighting about stuff doesn’t even matter. Or more about the insignificant perspective. Lets take the recent JanLokpal Movement as an example. The whole movement and its support base was rational in the start but become more around the symbolism associated with it rather than the bill itself.

For now, whatever questions you may have about the Jan Lokpal Bill, here are the answers you’re likely to get: tick the box — (a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind.

That is a quote from Arundhati Roy’s Editorial on the issue. I am not really fan of the author but I have to agree with her on this.

Well, let’s admit it most of us supported it coz it was pitied as India vs Corrupt politicians kind of movement and if you were not with Anna you were not with India. And symbolism like the use of Tricolor everywhere, chanting Vande Mataram and equating Anna to Gandhi helped. But midst all this, did anyone pause to focus on the real debate? I wrote a post on the issue Why should you oppose Lokpal. Also, here is another great article from the Wall Street Journal extending the point. Getting a grip on Indian Corruption. But there was no debate happening on the Bill itself. The whole time people were busy choosing sides; either you are pro-corruption or anti. I mean really? What happened to diverse perspectives?

Atleast now, some debate is happening but did anyone think before when it could have actually made a difference? No, Everyone behaved like a herd and ended up getting all of us screwed.

And no it wasn’t just a one time thing, looks like focusing on the wrong debate is in our blood. Let me give you another instance, Caste based reservations. People have been fighting and killing each other ever since politicians started using reservations a caste vote tool. The result is that people keep voting for their own caste candidates irresective of their capabilities election after election. Whether the so called lower castes should get special concessions or not and whether the cause of equality is being served by this is still unanswered. But has anyone ever stopped to wonder, What has Caste got to with lack of Opportunity? Isn’t it poverty that denies people a Chance? Or for that matter Does being an SC/ST mean that you are poor and need easier access to opportunity? Think.

In a capitalist society, it is the poor who need a chance irrespective of their caste. So instead of SC/ST fighting with everyone else and the stupid concept of creamy layer we should be debating whether income based reservations should exist or not. That is a more holistic approach coz if SC/ST are poor like some people say, they will still end up getting a decent shot at life.

Similarly, there was a debate on ‘whether women should be allowed in the armed forces’ and almost everyone kept saying that women are not fit enough and the other side kept demanding some relaxed rules. But we never looked it this way, What if a woman was fit enough to join the army even with the current physical standards which are used to judge men. Shouldn’t she be allowed in?

What I am trying to say is that we keep fighting over things that don’t matter and we usually end up fighting for someone else’s motive (in this case the neta’s vote bank).

Why can’t our people make independent choices? It is coz people don’t think and just keep following the so called intellectuals and opinion makers and thus end up serving someone else’s interst. So, next time think before taking a stand. You may not be right but atleast you will not be a sheep in the herd. Think. It is time.

It is time to cut out all the Bulshit. It is time to focus on the real debates. It is time to break away from the herd. It is time.


PS: If you did not understand the post, it is either coz I wasn’t able to express myself properly or you are just better of being a part off the herd.

Also, there is an interesting TED video about the 3rd side to everything which is basically the perspective we never get to understand but it does exist.

  • Anonymous

    Aditya, I really liked this article. And very beautifully expressed. Even I had the same problem while discussing different issues. We may or may not agree but it is good to have discussion with facts and points on any topic. 

    People have attached sentiments to every topic and leaders. So many can’t tolerate different opinions.

    • Aditya Kumar Nayak

      Glad that you liked it. :) Yeah, tolerance of differences is something that is lacking in here

  • manish dhar

    I disagree on almost all the points,just ponder over this….

    Take a converse way out,what if this issue was never raised by civil society,what would have happened ,seemingly like herds of cattle we would have continued with our lives accepting corruption as apart of our daily lives.So even if the Jan Lokpal bill is passed or not,atleast there is certain public opinion that has made the government take notice.

    So lets not just oppose it for the sake of it….

    • Aditya Kumar Nayak

      This post has a simple premise. Think before you take an action and don’t act like a herd. I don’t mind if your conclusion is in sync with the popular opinion as long as you have ‘chosen’ to take that particular action by yourself and are not doing it coz everyone else is or some ‘intellectuals’ are supporting it. 

      The choice is not important.. the Independence of choice is

  • Nitin Jain

    I agree that the Marketing and PR techniques used by team IAC were in line with Selling Washing Powder and Cold drink, but unfortunately there are not many ways left to appeal the conscience of masses without distributing any freebies! 

    I dont know what do you mean by ‘ Anyone think before’ , ‘Everyone behaved’. I am sure you are aware of public consultations, debates, online referendums, meetings organized by team IAC across India between Nov 2010 and Apr 2011. I am not sure if you have analyzed it or not but the draft of Janlokpal bill as prepared by team IAC changed a lot between Nov 2010 to Apr 2011 and again between Apr 2011 to Aug 2011 as per suggestions made by several sections of the society, including government committee on Lokpal bill. 

    I think we also need to distinguish between Cause and Effects.Team IAC was never against Politicians or government of the day. I am not sure whether you read about several letters and requests made by team IAC to government, including opposition parties before Ape 2011 to come meet, discuss about the Lokpal. After 16th of August the situation become Lokpal versus Politicians because of the actions and deeds of the ruling party, which nobody thought of/imagined before.  

    Those who are supporting Lokpal cause it will eradicate all corruption are simplifying the issues and so are those who are opposing stating that it will not achieve anything at all.

    Before romanticizing with words such as free will and independent choices, we must understand that if there are problems with laws, provisions in constitution (none of which are sacrosanct by the way), they can be rectified, overcome by amending the laws, constitution. 

    I think most of those opposing Lokpal bill are either opposing Anna as a person, or methods or team Anna or the recklessness of the crowd which was present in all the rallies, but which they are confusingly projecting as opposing Lokpal.

    There was a clear lack of Political will, which made sure that Lokpal bill is never passed for 40 years and also made sure that the draft of Lokpal be made so weak that even after negotiations Lokpal will still be reasonably weak. And it is these acts which made the movement against Politicians (in addition to everybody’s individual experiences with Politicians at personal, professional, theoretical levels)

    Your statement after PS: makes you contradict the free will which you are proposing otherwise, which I am not sure if you wrote intending pun or otherwise. Btw: the title of your post resembles the post I wrote on my blog few days back about Police reforms :)

    • Aditya Kumar Nayak

      First of all, Thanks a lot for you comment. Appreciate it. 

      The line after PS, The pun was intended for people but now for people who could understand it 😀

      Yeah, saw your guest post submission. Will get back to you on that shortly. 

      • Nitin Jain

        I am sure your third front is not about corruption or about team IAC (btw there are more than 3 agencies with their own version of Lokpal).

        I realized the pun and that is exactly why I bought about the point. I felt your post was against a misinformed Lokpal supporter who was not ready to discuss and perhaps didn’t know about provisions in Lokpal. I think usually in all the movements, all the companies, all the political parties, all the members of a religious community you will find some misinformed, fanatic followers because its almost impossible to make and every person understand each and every aspect of something as complicated as a bill. So while it is important to discuss about all the aspects (which nobody denied in the first place) of anything and everything, I think its incorrect to take the view of that misinformed follower as view of everybody from that agency/political party/company/religion. 

        • Aditya Kumar Nayak

          I was there on ground during the Ramlila maidan protest and I can assure you, almost everyone I interacted with didn’t have a clue. :)

      • Nitin Jain

        regarding Caste issue, once again the point that Caste has ‘Nothing’ to do with opportunity or poverty is equally wrong as the point that ‘Only’ caste should be the criteria of reservation so as to provide level playing fields. And while religion is an important aspect for most of the people in India, I don’t think as on date ‘All’ of our political parties are based purely on religion and ‘Everybody’ blindly votes based on caste.

  • manish dhar

    Look  India & Indians are no more archaic in their thoughts that’s merely a hyperbole ,with media stepping in & the rise of middle class & crony capitalism , it’s not easy to fool people as easily as it was say a decade ago.So what if people are not aware of the exact provisions of the bill.The entire movement for us commoners has been a way to splurge out a sense of frustration that has been brewing over the past so many years.It had to come out somewhere….how ,when & where was a matter of fact & it was all just so relevant.

    Your basic premise of the previous articles was quoted with a few potent questions as the considerations of  Lokpal itself being corrupt,which have been quite adequetly  dealt with in the BILL,i would not go in depth assuming you would have already gone through the provisions,just to add on there can never be a fool proof system,so before contesting the provisions,let me know if you have a 100% error free idea,would be great for our nation.

    A lot has been said about the movement eventually leading to “anarchy” ,being unconstitutional, not upholding democratic fundamentals….To me all that is blasphemous,good for argument sake,for me,if you are firm believer of democratic principles laid out,you have what has been the subsequent governments have been doing is actually “anarchy” ,by merely getting a mandate by supposedly  mobilizing caste based vote banks, you dont have the right to misused the office .What are we talking of,are we living in La la land or what….Since the past 6 decades,none of the governments in power have have either meant or nor even shown the zeal to uphold the ideals you have suggested.

    In no ways i am trying to undermine the institutions but a uprising to justify the preamble which begins with “WE THE PEOPLE”  after so many years of suffering ,an uprising not against “A political party” but against the fundamentals to respect people is what this movement was entirely  aimed at.Please dont shoot the messenger,Lokpal was never meant to remove all the corruption,it is just a beginning,and yes in India nothing works with a straight face,you need a totally independent authority whether you like it or not….

    • Aditya Kumar Nayak

      Thanks for your comment Manish. 

      The 100% error free idea is to remove the source of all the errors. i.e. is the state. The solution is Libertarian ism. 

      And yes, I have gone through the bill and have followed its evolution. The final product is much better but that does’t take away from the fact that we don’t need a monitor. This article might help explain my point 

      But what I have tried to say in this article is that all of this doesn’t matter. Things like these are used to make us, the common people fight against each other when either way our lives will not be enhanced. 

  • Rajeev Upadhyay

    I am sorry to say that may hurt many people that India is a country of bulshit. We are simply the best hypocrites in this world. We talk something, do something while we need something else. whether it is reservation, economic policy or something like proposed lokpal bill, everything is made to fail. it is best policy  that Indian nation follows

    • Ganesh

      It will always be set up to fail if you rely on the Parliament which actually has nothing to do with democracy(Rule of the people), but rather promotes kleptocracy(Rule by the thieves).
      Every member of Parliament is corrupt and dishonest.