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Showing posts from August, 2011

Anna Effect: People take over reins of power

(Crossposted from Kaleidoscope)
Few would have thought that the Anna Hazare-led agitation against a system that is neither accountable nor transparent, that breeds corruption, would ever reach the state it has now. One thought a full-blown confrontation would be averted. But that was not to be.
The turning point was August 15-16, when an unnerved government blundered, badly. The whole issue shifted from Lokpal Bill to whether citizens have the right to protest or not! The sea of humanity that has since converged on Delhi has pushed the government into a cul-de-sac from where there's now little room for it to escape.

What we are seeing now is no spur of the moment, intemperate outburst against a democratic system. It has been in the making for a long time. There has been enough and more warning, that people who man our administrative and government machinery have to mend their ways. The restrictions that the government imposed proved to be the last straw. Somewhere it all had to end…

Centre vs Anna: A Dangerous Standoff

(Crossposted from Kaleidoscope)

This is not the first time in India that the issue of corruption has taken centre stage. There have always been allegations of wrongful financial dealings. Indira Gandhi, famously dismissed corruption, as "Nothing unique to India, it's a world-wide phenomenon". Over the years, it has grown in scale, proportionate to the nature and volume of business transacted.

Unlike before, the ghost is looming larger than ever before, and the reasons are not far to seek. From the "jeep scandal" during V K Krishna Menon's time to "Bofors scandal" during Rajiv Gandhi's time -- it was all about individuals currying favour and benefiting in the process. That's no longer the case. The feeling now is about the entire nation being looted.

The protests that Team Anna is spearheading go beyond mere individuals making money. It has struck at the root of India's administrative machinery. It's not just about a few contracts b…

A sad case of mob justice

Today's newspapers had a chilling story of how villagers of Chintamani, 60 km from Bangalore, lynched some people suspected to be robbers. It was a horrendous incident. Five people travelling in an auto-rickshaw were stopped and clubbed, three of them died. At another spot, six people traveling in a Tata Sumo were pulled out and killed, and the vehicle set on fire.

The story is like this: a few people tried to rob a woman working in a field. Since she didn't have any valuables, the attackers tied her to a pole and fled the scene. She raised an alarm. People from nearby fields came and rescued her.

Based on her account, villagers began looking for an auto-rickshaw and a Tata Sumo. Once they found them, and got reasonably suspicious that the passengers were the attackers, they mounted an assault and killed them.

Apparently, people in the villages are quite upset with their security. Few trust the efficiency of the police. And they have formed vigilante groups to make sure they are …