India 2011: Corrupt, but Resurgent

August 15, 2011

August 15 is here. Time once again to put our country under the scanner and see where we have gone right, where we have gone wrong, and where we have not gone anywhere at all. India is too vast and complex to allow such scrutiny, but of late, there seems to be a wave of change sweeping across the country.

The India we see today is a resurgent nation, a nation that refuses to sit back and relax. The typical ‘chalta hai’ attitude is slowly disappearing, not altogether, but in flashes. It is a country constantly on the move (direction notwithstanding), a country which, even when immersed in scams can still show progress, a country where corrupt politicians have at last begun to feel the cold floor of the Tihar jail, and some others are on their way. It is where the young have decided not to tolerate a corrupt system anymore, where injustice is no longer the norm, but an impetus to fight for one’s rights. Yes, India 2011 is quite different.

And yes, ‘corruption’ is the buzzword, the term that has come to define the Indian political scene over the past year or so. Corruption, and scam. Together, they have made an entire nation sit up and actually take notice of what has been going on forever under their very noses. Corruption is nothing new, it has always existed in some form or another. I have no doubt that some ancestor of ours too might have bribed his fellow tribesman with an extra piece of rabbit meat to get the best cave in the vicinity. Today of course, it takes a little more than that to get the traffic policeman off your back. But then, thank god for a corrupt system, or else every other citizen would have been either wallowing in jail or cursing the uselessness of money.

Sarcasm apart, the crusade against corruption by the modern Gandhis of the Civil Society, despite all the criticism it has been generating and all the controversies it has been courting, is a step that Indians wanted someone to take. Keeping everything aside, the very idea of protesting against the practice of corruption itself is a novel one, and one that India has always thirsted for. Freedom from corruption is not easily achievable, in fact hardly so, and in a country like ours it would be nearly impossible. Yet, if the movement were able to change the conscience of a country, it would more than achieve its aim. However, the direction it has currently taken, from being an honest fight against corruption to a blatant exchange of allegations, threats and a flurry of abuses between the government and Team Anna, it seems to have wavered in its purpose, and is already losing popularity. One wonders if this too will end up like any other ordinary protest, though on a bigger stage and ten times the drama.

The Janlokpal Bill is seen as a revolution of sorts - it may be or may not be, but merely a Bill or Act would not make a difference unless we, the people, also act. Let’s stop bribing the local officials, the tahsildars, the watchmen, the traffic policemen, the peons and the inspectors. Let us not bow down to circumstances and give in to their demands. It’s the ordinary citizens who need to take over the reins from politicians and run the country – by being an informed public, by practicing integrity and not succumbing to temptations, and playing an active role in the nation building process. Easier said than done, yes, but change has to start from us. From you and from me. When that happens, we would not need any Hazares or Kejriwals to stand up for us, we would be powerful enough to do it ourselves.

The nation stands on the threshold of yet another Independence Day – 64 times it has come and gone, and most of the time, for most of us, it has meant little more than patriotic singing competitions and flag hoisting in school, holiday from work, a day in front of the TV or out with friends, and at most, SMS and greetings on Facebook. It is going to remain that way, no doubt, but give a moment to reflect – we are one of the lucky ones in the world to be able to walk the streets without the fear of being shot at or chased, of resting comfortably in our homes without worrying that a bomb may explode in our garden any moment, of being certain that our loved ones would return home in the evening. For all that, Independence Day deserves to be celebrated with full vigour.

For all that and more, Happy Independence Day to all. The value of freedom is best known to those who do not have it. So cherish your freedom, defend it when it’s under threat, respect the freedom of others, and just be good Indians.


Celebrating Freedom:

By Anisa Fathima
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Comment on this article

  • Bulsam, Mangalore

    Tue, Aug 16 2011

    Mr. KRPrabhu, you are absolutely right. The moneyed politician demand vote by hook or crook and get a seat to loot the state later.

  • Shridhar, Muscat, Mangalore

    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    @KRPrabhu, Mangalore/Bangalore, you are right Mr.Prabhu.. today in India there is not a single political party which doesn't indulge in Vote bank politics. All parties have their target audience and try to cater to them exclusively. The day the political parties consider all citizens are one irrespective of their caste, religion or language, then no body can stop India can prospering.


    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    hello brother's and sister's happy independence day to all iam an indian
    today at nellore i myself hoist the indian flag at morning with 10 feet white pipe tied with flag(big)at nellore ,andhrapradesh,india,mulapet,near water tank ,pin-524003. iam proud to be an indian!

  • Tulie Rajesh, Bajpe / Dubai

    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    Every citizen of India has a collective responsibility towards the betterment of the Nation. Its time for Indians to change their attitudes and work towards it by making a difference at least in simple ways. Happy Independance Day!!!

  • Anand, Karkala/Dubai

    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    Exactly Mr. Subhash Jain. Withdrawing from the fasting will boost energy of all the corrupted politicians and the same trend will follow till the end. There won't be any actions by these shameless politicians.
    Building a strong party of young and energetic under the patronage of Anna and contesting from the grass root level will curb the corruption to gound zero. Good idea.

  • Shekar Moily Padebettu, Padebettu/Udipi

    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    Nice and indeed a beatiful article written by Ms.Anisa Fathima.Heart touchy and fact it is.But who Will ring the bell to the cat? As Ms.Fathima rightly said many Independence days have come and gone.Many promises have been made by the politicians/goverments.But nothing happened.Eradication of corruption in a vast country like India is a herculean task.It is not overnight job.Only by phase can be rooted out by the people like Anna Hazare movement-and hence support him whole heartedly
    and not by any politician or by congress,BJP,JDS,or any other party/government ruling the country.It is deep rooted disease.Because all are corrupted.People lost faith/confidence in all parties.These corrupt people/governments made common/poor people's life miserable.Only God must perform some miracles to escape from all these corrupt politicians.Present day rule is more worst than British rule.
    Anyhow I thank Ms.Anisa Fathima for bringing this facts to the notice/attention of Aam public.You have spent your valuable/precious time in compiling the facts.Keep writing and wishing you all the best Ms.Fathima

  • subhash jain, shirur,dist.pune,maharashtra

    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    Today no sector of Indian society is left uncorrupt.Politicians are making property using positions.Nobody fears to law,nobody ready to believe in legal systeme.The prices are rising beyond reach of poors.Provisions made for welfare of poors are
    misutilised for corruption.This is only because the politicians are either protecting or neglecting corruption by coleagues. All parties joined hands with corrupt people for winning and remaining in the power.These tendencies acquired high positions,dominated every aspect of life for making property.The need of time is to change the political systeme from root instead of probing into corruption,Anna Team shall build a political national level party and contest every election from Grampanchayat to Parliament.Most people are fed up of the present political parties but there is no alternate.If Anna team establish national team of dedicated candidates,and contest every election in non corrupt manner, people surely will support it with a confidence & hope to get the representatives having good moral & non corrupt motive in social matters.If people show full confidence,the corrupt elements will be alarmed to change.If people show partial confidence, elected candidates may become hurdle to corrupt decisions.If people show no confidence,the united people of this party may put stronger pressure against corrupt decisions than today's one.Anna Team must divert from fasting agitation and to lead to the position wherefrom corruption takes birth.

  • KRPrabhu, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    Please allow me to add one more serious aspect that needs to be addressed and chnace for beterment.That is fighting Vote banking politics.
    Hope and believe that I may not be out of context.

  • Anand, Karkala/Dubai

    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    Happy Independence Day to all Indians and my dear commentators. Corruption already reached to the level which can not be uprouted easily by anybody on earth. We can fight to reduce it but not to zero level.

  • Bulsam, Mangalore

    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better...
    We should unite and fight communalism, corruption, nepotism, social policing…
    Happy Independence Day to all daijiworld readers!

  • Lavin Noronha, Paladka/Bahrain

    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    Dear All, Wishing you all a happy independence day. As far as corruption is concerned I strongly feel that every section of the society MUST and SHOULD support Anna hazare movement whole heartedly. Here the CAUSE is important, not the person or the political party. So, I request you all my fellow Indians to rise to this occasion and support Anna hazare else we will have to regret in the near future.

  • Rosario Fernandes, Kallianpur/USA/Goa

    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    Happy Independence Day to all Indians and Pakistanis too.
    From today onwards let us just forget Anna,Manmohansingh,Congress
    Please adopt this resolution.

  • ihusain, khobar/udupi

    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    Henri Bahrain,Pakistani @ Heart but Pakistani's are coming to India for their Heart Surgery to become an Indian :)
    Happy Independance day.

  • Srinivasa, Mangalore

    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    It's correct we should not bribe Govt officials. These officers are worst than British.They will make your life miserable and force you to bribe. There is no options left. They rule better than British that's why a Govt peon can earn 63 times more than British peon and Ministers can earn 126 times than then British rulers.


    Mon, Aug 15 2011

    Happy independence to all who are INDIANS AT HEART. There are many who are Indian by citizenship but Pakistani at heart! May God bless India.....Jai Hind!
    Kind regards.
    Henry Misquith

  • Pushpendra, Gurgaon

    Sun, Aug 14 2011

    Happy Independence Day to all
    today early in the morning i went to church,and I prayed all the people of India.
    " Today kindly forgive your enemy " as per the roul of govt Thanks
    Pushpendra Mishra

  • Declan, Mumbai

    Sun, Aug 14 2011

    I agree with N.Rammanohar. Speeches are meaningless if not accompanied with determined and persistent action. However, I must tell the author of this article that a large part of the credit for awakening Indians to rise must go to the Indian electronic media/Indian Press who have been relentless in exposing corruption and injustice practices after which only the citizens have dared to speak out and come forward against corruption.

    Even Social activists like Anna Hazare have benefitted immensely by the media to spread the message of the Jan Lokpal Bill to fight corruption. The RTI Act (Right to Information Act) also came into being because of the persistent efforts of social activists. Today the RTI act has done wonders in helping people from the media involved in investigative journalism to unbiasedly expose corruption, inefficiency, apathy and social injustice wherever it happens without fear or favour. Hope this trend continues at a rapid pace to make our India a nation truly free from corruption and all forms of injustice. Jai Hind !

  • Agnello, Mangalore/Muscat

    Sun, Aug 14 2011

    India is all about Triumphs and Troubles. I don't think we can wish a Happy Independence Day as long a most of our citizens do not have basic amenities of food, sanitation, health , education and decent job. But we can wish ourselves the best in years to come and may we triumph over our troubles.

  • Ankit, Pune

    Sun, Aug 14 2011

    At least try to be optimistic or positive for one day!
    Everybody knows lot of things to imrpove in india.. but critizing always like u do want really help..
    and who is 'u' in ur comments.. Talk about urself what u doing for country at least for one day..

  • ayush, jharkhand

    Sun, Aug 14 2011

    Very well-written. I liked your article. All the very best.


    Sun, Aug 14 2011

    By giving mere speeches in tackling corruption does not mean but it should be transformed into action. I think you have no guts to take action that is seen the the super scams of 2G and CWG. On this you have said the given the same speech that in coalition govt this will happen. Then what we can expect you (Mr Prime Minister) and your ministries.

    You people after elected going hayward because nobody is there to control your misgovernance. Further on the rotting of grains in Punjab did you question your agriculture minister.What action you and your minister has taken still it is rotting. By giving speeches under the national flag does not mean anything to the nation. It means when it is implemented. By shielding you and your ministers does not end corruption. Finally the rich becomes richer and the poor becomes poorer. What independence we have got what the Britishers did before 1947 the same replica you are doing. You are not concerned what the people wants, you want your position and amass your wealth keeping the people in the hell.

  • Alwyn Crasta, Neermarga, Mangalore

    Sun, Aug 14 2011

    Happy Independence Day to all
    today early in the morning i went to church,and i prayed all the people of India.
    " Today kindly forgive your enemy "

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