When to Stop?
As a little boy I struggled for words. If someone asked me to write a couple of hundred words I would be completely lost; a cow has four legs, two horns, a tale and gives us milk blah-blah and that’s the end of a write up on a cow. Sometimes we would be made to sit on the ground on some fancy occasion like Independence Day when a hotshot government official would come and harangue us nonstop. Sitting under the hot sun waiting for the packet of ‘laddus,’ courtesy government of India, after this hotshot ends his discourse on morality and patriotism, I would marvel at the fellows ability to think up words and curse the same fellow for not knowing when to stop. Anna Hazare and his cohorts don’t know when to stop. All or nothing is zero sum game that nobody wins. All the goodwill dissipates when we feel exasperated at the snootiness of fellows unwilling to compromise. It was with the Baba Ramdev the first time over; three central ministers went to the airport to greet him, clearly the government was growling at his feet, he could have extracted some positive measures from the government for his cause but the stubborn stance ended in a resounding fiasco. Baba Ramdev ended up as another rabble rouser with considerable loss of credibility. If he had compromised, his influence and aura would have remained intact for future use. It is the same with the Anna Hazare, people empathize with his cause but are also impatient with their snootiness; my bill, my terms, my method no less. Even Mahatma Gandhi a thousand fold bigger persona than Anna Hazare disappointed the people for calling off agitation after Chaura Chauri incidence. So the trick is to know when to stop. The other guy will only concede to a point never all the way.
The media has whipped up a non-issue and put it up on the prime time discussion. It is like Picasso’s Guernica is on display and the panel of experts are discussing the frame of the painting. The issue is corruption and the empathy of the people with its eradication is well known yet the ‘Media’ is discussing the lack of substantial crowd gathering at Jantar Mantar. Our media apes the west and then moralizes; our culture, our values and our ethos are different. When Obama came to India, you would think heavier issues of real politics would be discussed thread bare but what you got was saturation coverage of items on the dinner menu. The whole thing was whipped in such a manner that it became a suspense thriller from Bollywood. There were scoops, reporters taking risk going into the sanctum sanctorum of the hotel and trying to eek out a response from the chef and chef predictably acting pricy about it. In the end of it all we were made to realize that the revelation that is was Hydrabadi Biryani and not Luckhnavi Chicken Tikka, was worth the wait. This is our media
The entire act is for you. You are the central object of this exercise. Corruption matters to you and you are indeed incensed that no action has been taken for its eradication. You know that the people who will take action are themselves corrupt and will not move unless pushed to move. You like Anna Hazare for doing what he is doing and would like to contribute is some way. There is oblique inference in their effort that makes you guilty for not going out and supporting him. You are not to be blamed. You are doing what you are supposed to do. Average behavior is designed behavior therefore you are behaving in the manner you are designed to behave. It is OK to send SMS in support of Anna Hazare movement and also go out and peek at the gathering if you happen to pass through that place but to expect that you will take leave from your job and make effort to reach at the gathering in support of the movement is to say the least foolhardy. An individual runs cost benefit analysis in his head and decides accordingly. Sure send SMS in Anna’s in support, write comments in blogs etc. and generally help out if it is not too much bother. I say you are doing just fine so relax and cast off that guilt from your head.