Jan Lokpal or Big Brother – What Are We Lighting Candles For?
How easily futility can set in their minds like something very important and urgent, particularly when they see people like Anupam Kher, Aamir Khan, and other Bollywood celebrities endorsing that futility (cause).It is a great misfortune of India that we mistake film stars for intellectually superior people who have good sense of judgment, particularly in matters related to society and politics.
It all looked so Gandhian, so pure in spirit — I do not intend to say Gandhi was pure in spirit, either –, and so pristine. Thanks to an endless series of mindless rattling of Radio Joks (I know RJs call themselves Radio Joks, and in the process are becoming butt of every Joke), a lot of men and women and children, who were dragged by their parents, assembled at various places in the country to show solidarity with the drafters of Jan Lokpal Bill and their mascot, Anna Hazare.
Like every other time, people never stopped to think what all this was about. They were again taken by hands by media and carried either to Jantar Mantar, India Gate or Gate Way of India with countless candles in their hands.
I have a great respect for the stupidity of mass, particularly Indian mass. I understand how easily futility can set in their minds like something very important and urgent, particularly when they see people like Anupam Kher, Aamir Khan, and other Bollywood celebrities endorsing that futility (cause).
It is a great misfortune of India that we mistake these Naachne Gaane Wallas (read film stars) for intellectually superior people who have good sense of judgment, particularly in matters related to society and politics.
For me, they are like those over-sized jokers that distribute “sale pamphlet” near any super market.
I admire Anupam Kher for his immense acting talent, but I would never look forward to him when it comes to serious matters like politics, society, and governance.
Why we should not let Jan Lokpal Bill to become a law
I am feeling like George Orwell’s Winston Smith. I can sniff Big Brother in the making, like a trained dog of bomb squad who can smell bomb from a distance.
If you go through the Jan Lokpal Bill 2011 ((Citizen’s Ombudsman Bill) drafted by Kiran Bedi, Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan,and J. M. Lyngdoh, etc., then you will understand my contempt with this Hazare wave.
I hardly blame Anna Hazare. Yes, he is too short-sighted to see the deeper consequences of his acts. But he is a mere puppet used by people to fulfill their goals.
I am having an Orwellian nightmare. I cannot imagine giving one organization all the powers it needs to be dictatorial and not using it that way. We are being naive if we think Lokpal and Lokayukta will be incorruptible.
Power, in all its varied interpretations, has corrupting influence on people. Generally, I am very optimist, but my experience with life forbids me to be too enthusiastic about “benevolence” of a human being. It, rather, tends to change color on the sight of absolute power.
Giving policing, judiciary, and investigative power to one organization which will be above and beyond politics and judiciary systems will be committing social suicide.
We all are too keen to do that, and we are burning scores and scores of candles for that on India Gates of India. Indian middle class cannot be fool enough. I know I too belong to the same sect, but I refuse to be a fool. I am not sold my discretionary power to media, particularly electronic media.
We still need to believe in constitution. We still need to believe in having a parliamentary debate. I do not want an all-powerful big brother. I am having an Orwellian nightmare, and I feel like Winston Smith:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
Bikram Kumar Singh
Bikram K. Singh is a freelance writer who after a brief stint with a leading media company got disenchanted with the corporate scene, and began his solitary journey thereafter. He tries to maintain an independence of thought and a critical outlook on the things that happen in the highly institutionalized world of ours.