I am a hard-nosed ‘start-up’ entrepreneur, trained to create value out of thin air. My business involves motivating people, making them believe in a ‘do or die’ cause and then ‘Pied Pipering’ them towards an end goal.
I relate to Anna Hazare and his valiant efforts. However, Anna fails to impress me.
This is why:
The Intent of Anna Hazare’s mission confuses me. Is it to end corruption or to insert his own bill in the Indian Governments system, or is it both?
I question if this 'intent' really worth the brouhaha? I mean ending corruption is like ending prostitution. Noble in ‘intent’ but impossible in execution.
Don't misjudge me. I’m not ‘for’ corruption. I’m questioning if a struggling, underdeveloped country like ours needs to more focus on eradicating poverty and illiteracy, rather than struggling to cure a disease called corruption; which sometimes hurts but does not kill?
I don’t appreciate the mass agitation; lets hold the govt. and country to ransom method.
Tomorrow, what stops a leading Bollywood Actor (who has a larger mass following than Anna) from sitting in the middle of Delhi streets and urging that the Babri Masjid be rebuilt?
Isn't this movement wrongly educating Indian ‘influencers’ that they can paralyze everyday life in the interest of their cause? Also, shouldn’t the approach be to solve one tangible issue at one time ?
Say if its corruption at the Octroi Naka in Mumbai, then let everyone get together and just eradicate than one problem. If that is successfully resolved than we leap to the next problem!
What will Indian citizens like me really get at the end of this Anna Hazare charade?
Another bagful of promises from the government? Or a real tangible end result? A ‘movement’ means nothing to me anymore. I want real results.
For example, Unicef promises to erase polio from India and they are systematically doing so year after year (less than 10 cases reported in India this year).
Promise me something realistic and make that happen.Then I will buy from you next time also.
Who will follow Anna Hazare’s act?
A gentleman called Baba Ramdev tried to, and self immolated his image. Is this process of hunger striking and create chaos actually ‘repeatable’?
How can anything become really successful if it cannot be smoothly repeated, with each cycle becoming bigger, more effective and generating more impact than the last time?
Think hard - will any sensible government allow this kind of meet, fast, go to jail, come back and parade all over the country mayhem to repeat itself?!
Every movement, every business, every mission has an End Goal.
When I build a business, it is to make money. When Bill Gates attacks Malaria it is to eradicate Malaria from the face of the earth.
In Anna Hazare’s case, what I see is a loosely hanging, ‘in the air’ movement. It seems to drift, gather steam and then dissipate again. What exactly is the End Goal?
Is it to just to get some Bill into the Indian Government’s judicial system? That's it? What after that? How does a bill and its enactment still end corruption - which is the real problem?
I mean there are enough laws in India that castigate and punish murder. But murders happen everyday!
Anything that creates massive value (monetary or social) has an infinitely scalable DNA. It’s like a movement developing a life of its own, that propels itself towards, fulfilling its cause.
I do not see ‘disruptive’, pressure- tactic movements and missions being scalable. On the contrary, they deflate quickly and self-destruct.
Honestly, the more I look at the current Anna Hazare movement, the more it looks like a ‘social’ rock concert.
Indians celebrating rebellion more than they cause for which they assembled. I bet that less than 10% of the youngsters rallying don't even know what the Lokpal bill is – leave alone what’s inside it.
Also, given that this event takes law and order in its own hands, is this mission what we want young Indians to emulate? What stops an altercation with the police from becoming a riot?
Is this the place where our young sons and daughters should gain their first ‘social’ experience?
Anna Hazare has to realize that what he did fifty years ago is passé. He should be motivating Indians to attack real social matters with their brains and not with their slogans and stomachs.
This is the full article of the slightly shortened version carried by the The Economic Times Sunday Newspaper.
You can read the compilation of my articles on
AAP, Arvind Kejriwal & Anna Hazare in AAP the BIG Fail
Mr.Kejariwal ,You are fortunate to get into idea economy and could access right type of resources to nurture those ideas think of the lakhs of youths wants to join the league in which we all are and find the red-tapism and corruption incurable,Corruption is a necessary evil for development but the proportions in which it has spread is the bone of contention. Due to the corruption lot of bright students can not make it to the right colleges. Its not the Bill its the will to uproot the corrupt politicians from the system has attracted the youth of this country to the Anna Movement.
The intent is very much clear to get corruption free India…They r not saying get our bill passed as it is…but they r saying we r open for the discussion and let the best bill prevail and be made law….Now to ur point of removing poverty and illiteracy see both r directly linked to corruption a poor has to bribe the govt rashon shop to get his grains kerosene oil a small autowalla has to pay bribe to policeman every single day so that they don’t stop him every now n then….children don’t get admission unless they don’t pay donation towards school since when this become the qualification to get admitted…hope that tells u how poverty n illiteracy is linked with corruption.
Since last 42 years the same bill has seen 8 parliaments ignoring it…the current PM too was sent many letter starting dec 2010 but he didn’t give a single reply until April 2011 when this protest started….n to name it as mass agitation its undermining the people’s intelligence n there will n wish to bring the change Anna is fighting for himself n so is every single person who’s there to protest….Give me s ingle example of social reform that has come through a single person going through very theoretical process …n please give me n example…? FYI RTI act has come through similar kind of protest though on smaller scale n the same Anna was the reason behind it.
U put a really great example to fight a disease like polio …u know how it became successful cos people took part they made sure their children r given the doses n they knew it affects each n every one regardless who follow which filmstar …so in this same example of urs lies the answer… A strong bill is presented àpassedàimplementedà n then people like u participate n make sure u exercise ur rights n make sure u register a complain when u find something fishy or ur work is not completed in the given timeframe …
Again ur answering ur doubt urself just rethink over Ramdev Baba’s event he also has lakhs of followers but what happened to him police cracked down n it went off like a fuss…so the repetitive value shall come when people themselves realize that its worth fighting for ….so putting ourselves in hypothetical situation that such movements will start a lots of other movements is just ignoring the value of this particular movement…just go back to 90s when agitation against Reservation was started but it couldn’t succeed cos there it has India divided between pro reservation and anti reservation but in current protest we have no divide towards the end result we all including u are against corruption there r doubts about the methods and other things but not about the aim for setting India free from corruption.
I think ur talking the same things in intent and end goal at least in the first part see u need to be very ignorant towards Anna’s movement to believe that they r only interested in getting their bill passed I urge u to watch Devil’s advocate ( Karan Thapar’s show) with Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal which was telecast on Saturday u may catch it on CNN IBN website where even karan thapar recognize that they r ready to negotiate on bill… About the point people not getting punishment for murder n other stuff ..if u read the bill it enables citizen to check on Judge’s creditability in passing the judgment …but that’s just the small take a whole judiciary reform election reform police reforms are the next in line….
I totally agree with u on this point the protest needs to be more organized but cos its more of people’s movement other then a group movement its bound to happen…..with lots of intellectual people are joining the movement now ..ex army personal IAS IPS officers it shall take a more strong and specific shape.
I totally agree with you on this people are celebrating youth is coming out playing patriotic songs skits and different entertaining stuff but understand one thing India has changed do think everything u do with ur business is what used to happen 60 years back I don’t think so…n it’s a welcome change atleast its not those religious gathering where people play munni badnaam hui … 2 point why 10 % there will be more who don’t know the nitty gritty of lokpal bill but they do know that govt bill cant be trusted n govt n politicians is to be blamed for this they have lost creditability…to answer the same point in different manner how many soldiers on the border know exactly what foreign ministry is doing why LOC was defined they r simply their to protect their country do you question their knowledge ?
To end my point of I believe in the fact that nothing is perfect but the intent is more important which I think is very much there in this protest…
Hope I have not made ne personal offensive remarks J
Also If you have not read the JLB I urge you to read it though that might clear thing further below is the link
I agree on one thing : corruption is the fruit and not the root of the problem.
I mean, does anyone *like* or *look forward to* being corrupt ? I doubt it.
Eradication of poverty and provision of proper living standards will elimination most corruption.
It is no coincidence that countries with the highest standards of living (for example, Finland or Sweden) tend to have the lowest incidence of corruption.
Nayan - Check out the tax rates for the Scandinavian countries. You will have a reason to why standards of living in those countries are the best. Thereafter, also research and realize the facilities the governments have in place for its citizens. Best example would be for you to study Denmark. You will then, if you can infer from relational logic, also understand why corruption is not a worry for them.
Then, when you've done that, come back to your comment and see what's missing, or also for that matter look at why India, with all its internal issues cannot yet afford to raise tax ceiling that high, and hence eventually is infected with problems of such magnitude.
If all this reading and thinking clears your doubts, cool. If not, still cool.
Totally disagree with your article.....!!
"needs to more focus on eradicating poverty and illiteracy"....there is no priority list for irradiating poverty, corruption, illiteracy etc....its not like only after India achieve 100% literacy that we can start anti-corruption movements!! " corruption...which sometimes hurts but does not kill?" nothing to say after this comment....if somebody can talk like this even after knowing the magnitude of corruption recently exposed...nothing is left to say!!
"Tomorrow, what stops a leading Bollywood Actor (who has a larger mass following than Anna) from sitting in the middle of Delhi streets and urging that the Babri Masjid be rebuilt?"....larger mass following matters the most in a democracy...let him/her sit like Anna....you will get your answer by the number of people following. For example Rajnikanth is a superstar in India no matter what the intellectuals think abt him....these things are well known to entrepreneurs...can't figure out how you missed it!!
...people from every religion, every political color, every class, every caste, age has recognized the PROMISE in it....its to free INDIA from corruption!!
...seems you forgot the freedom struggles and GANDHI while writing this!!
...its only the start....nobody is claiming it to be the end goal!!!
"I do not see ‘disruptive’, pressure- tactic movements and missions being scalable"...again U missed GANDHI !!!
..when was the last time we saw the whole of INDIA united for such a noble cause...with such magnitude? let it be a social ROCK CONCERT...no harm in it as long as it gives us a strong LOKPAL BILL!!
"I bet that less than 10% of the youngsters rallying don't even know what the Lokpal bill is".....I bet if articles like these are written to discourage these young generation then even less will ever know what it is...but with constant support (other that criticizing) that percentage will grow.....and you don't need to be master in Indian politics to vote...still people vote..same here...the idea is grasped by the youngsters and the common people...the integrity of the leader is clear to them...so they jumped into it....rest is left for GOOGLE!!!
Yes this is what we want young India to emulate, and yes this the place where our young sons and daughters should gain their first ‘social’ experience...no doubt in my mind!! "slogans and stomachs"...are the basis of the formation of India as a free nation...its our identity...taking up AK47s to protest is not our identity...or selling our economy to corporate will and politicians is also not our identity....that’s the reason why every Indian is "identifying" himself with this movement...in every corner of this country!!
Alok, please read your article again. You will then realize that you don't really take a stand. You contradict yourself through examples that you try to elucidate your point with.
Saket has addressed your article very well.
Being a businessman you ought to understand that eradication of poverty and illiteracy requires resources. When the fundamental requirement itself is a demand, then friction in getting things moving is higher. You might look back at your start-up days when getting your idea realized was dependent on how less demanding you can make the resources required to get it moving.
Lokpal may not entirely eradicate corruption and it is true. But it will hold back on some fronts. If we go ahead with a cynical attitude such as yours, towards everything, there really would not be much scope for India to go in any direction, but to either remain stagnant or to move downward. Imagine if you had that cynicism when you were starting out.
Reducing corruption will mean withholding the exact resources of which we are in dire need of, to eradicate poverty and illiteracy.
Aren't great disruptions about segments the roots and creating new ways through..??
I will keep it short here...
This protest you're seeing is clearly not for the Lokpal bill, its a collective outpour of public anger against the oppression shown by the high-headed Govt. Lokpal bill has become the face of this adamant public stand. Its repercussion is clear - the incorporation of at least some-kind-of-lokpal bill - something that has been left in the lurch for 50 odd years.
The probability of this repeating is highly implausible. You need the perfect mix of the right role model and the right cause in order to arouse the public sentiments in the manner this protestation has been able to. Expecting every hunger strike to bring the country to standstill will be naive.
Finally, I dont know how much have you been following the proceedings but the 'end goal' is definitely bring over all reforms to revamp the whole system of rampant corruption. This, of course, is the first step. Beginning has to be made somewhere and often the first step is the most difficult one. I hope, being a serial entrepreneur, you will concede me that much.
One thing is pretty sure - ugly as it may look to the sticklers of constitutional assembly - but with the kind of Govt. (opposition included) and administration we have, this was the only way something like the Lokpal bill, or any other reformist bill that empowers the citizen, would have made its way to the Parliament. Everything else is debatable.
i doubt how many of the supporter s even understand the difference between lokpal and janlokpal bill.
I agree with Suresh Ramani “Its suddenly sexy to be supporting Anna.”
It’s very easy to shout in social media and stand in ground or rally.
Everybody has faced corruption but its thing which we can live with. If you want to fight corruption fight from where you are standing or where you live or practice not in some ground.
And before going to this rally and all just ask yourself this question “What have I done to remove corruption?”
Passing of a bill is not going to help what about RTI and why media is not covering the Shehla Masood case I doubt if anybody will file RTI.
Will anna hazare movement help in removing corruption I too doubt it .
Doesn't matter if they dont know the difference between the two bills. Our honorable MPs also didn't know the ABC of Indo-US nuclear deal, when they had opted to vote for/against it. These people are mere citizens.