Bengaluru is witnessing one of the peak periods of protests and campaigns as a result of the reckless attitude of the Government ,here in Karnataka by the BJP, and then at the Centre by the UPA-2.
While Karnataka is being branded the ‘Most Corrupt state of India’, from being the ‘Haven for IT and development’, Citizens seem to have finally started bothering about it beyond their coffee discussions and newspaper reads.
Manifesting their concern today, a whole bunch of e-networked tax-paying professionals, students from a set of colleges, few NGO’s and the organizers together held the “Corruption Saaku Campaign”, as a part of the National Campaign Against Corruption.
I came across this initiative in a mailing list, and was following up their developments for the past week.
Today, I did participate in the Corruption Saaku Campaign to voice my opinion, and more so to see what solutions were being churned and presented in this initiative.
The turn out was really good: There were about 400-500 of us, and the Walk from Kanteerva Stadium to Shantinagar Grounds did make the rest of the public attend to. The T-shirts, posters, stickers, handouts, slogans and banners did convey the intentions of the rally in an attractive manner. The walk lasted about an hour, and at the end of it all of us gathered at the Shantinagar Grounds. I was more keen on the propositions that would be presented at the venue by the Organizers of this event, to get insight into the future actions.
Before analyzing the objectives and measures, and their feasibility presented here, it would be of interest to analyze the variety of people gathered for this campaign.
As mentioned earlier, major portion of it were tax-paying professionals and students, with a few activists from the various NGO’s organizing this event. It definitely did not represent all the sections of people who are being affected by this “Multi-headed and tentacled demon called Corruption”, as put by one of the participants.
Given that this is the start of a prospective mass movement as portrayed by everyone, it would have been appropriate to include people from all sections of the society. As for today’s proceedings, I see no initiatives on those lines happening.
Further, the course of actions, future objectives, which are of more import did end up disappointing me.
The speakers were hinting at empowering the vigilance institutions, increasing the powers of Lokayukta, citizens abstaining from giving bribes, and other measures which I believe would only act at the superficial level. There were no clear measures discussed as to how the “Rotten system”could be cleansed.
It appears that the inherent flaws in the system which invite Corruption to breed would be left untouched, as a temporary solution the weeds would be chopped off only from the surface.
And no agenda or course of actions were presented which would guide this movement to grow and take a better shape in future.
I am not complaining about the efforts put today. These were genuine enough, but without the long term vision of eradicating a deep rooted parasite like Corruption entirely, it wouldn’t bring about any real and permanent change in the system. Attempts to tackle such perils from the surface will only give temporary solace and will be infested again.
All the passion shown today by the concerned citizens should be enveloped together, bringing together people from all sections of the society.
They must be guided with a vision to cleanse the system from its roots. That is when protests, campaigns and attempts to bring about movements such as today’s can sustain, and, at the least embark upon the path of salvaging people from the current hostile conditions of the society.
Rahghavendra,Thank you for shedding the inhibitions and taking to the streets with rest of us. I agree with your assessment. The idea of saaku is not to make a huge noise and go away. Before the walk the saaku baton visited about 14 colleges/schools in the city and the message reached about 7000 students directly and many more indirectly. The plan for post Saaku has already been worked out- due to constraints of public meeting we could not effectively convey that. 'Center for Gandhi Giri' is the platform we will be building inspired by successful citizen victories over corruption. See nyayapara-andolana.org I invite you to join us in making this happen. We need folks with passion such as yourself!Do watch saaku.in for announcementsSrinuTeam Saaku!