How Can Anna Kournikova Save India?

anna hazare

Anna Kournikova may be a glamorous tennis star with a questionable career for some of you. For us, Indians, she is just another hot girl who plays tennis, looks fabulous on screen and has a fancy last name we just can’t learn how to pronounce correctly. But what does Anna have to do with saving India?

I’ll come to that a little later on. At first I’d like to bring to your notice a new yet common Indian phenomenon that is picking up TRPs all across the nation. The country is falling for one guy they think is a super hero and will save the country from everything evil. The man himself, Shri Anna Hazare has a solid reputation to back him up and he’s fighting corruption in the country. His decision to sit down on yet another fast isn’t news for many. This was expected, just like Ms Kournikova winning an imaginary tennis match.

What is truly happening here is just another part of human nature – we find something getting popular, we find people assume it’s a ‘good’ thing to do and we end up following it. Blindly, of course. Anna Hazare has thousands if not lakhs of followers. All of them seem to have the same motive – fighting corruption. 80% of them cannot spell corruption. 10% of them have no idea about the real cause they’re supporting. The rest of them are just too old to judge.

What happens in India is that our opinions are so much controlled by external forces that makes it just too ridiculous of you really think about it. Pick any housewife supporting Hazare for that matter. Ask her opinion and she’ll tell you how gas prices have left her sweating in the kitchen for all the wrong reasons. She’ll go on to claim that if Anna Hazare wins (don’t know how they’re calling it a war) that gas prices might come down and she’ll be happy again. Ask her what makes her think so and she’ll say, ‘arrey hubby ji kehte hain yeh’ (my husband said all this).

Housewives and senior citizens apart even the young generation, that makes up a majority of our nation, is running aimlessly after Anna Hazare. They’ll do anything to skip classes at college. Pick one up and you’ll find them carrying the Indian tricolor flag with a much proud expression, they’ll yell slogans that just won’t make any sense. Ask them if they’ve read the draft to the bill they’re fighting for and they’ll give you the look. Ask them about their plans after the protest gets over in the evening and you’ll get to know about the latest pubs in town.

What is my problem? What is this country’s problem? What is Anna’s problem? What is the solution? Too many questions? I probably sound like a jackass by now. If you really think for a moment, corruption isn’t our main problem. If I was Anna Hazare and I wanted to work towards making my country better, I’d start at the grassroots – schools. We are what we’re taught. The education system needs an overhaul and no one is paying attention to it. Instead we want lengthy bills with more loopholes than Shakti Kapoor’s boxers in Raja Babu. What is the purpose of having a bill when it’s just going to make things more complicated? Makes no sense to me. Just like what all I said above may not make any sense to you, now. It will some day.

Anna Hazare can’t solve our problems, our country. His goals and ideals are on the right side but the methodology he is following is truly pathetic. I’m sorry to put it down like this. I hold high regards for anyone who dedicates his life towards the betterment of his/her country, salutes to you guys. But before you sit down for a fast in this riot-prone, blood thirsty country, you must give it a good round of thought.

As of now, we don’t need an Anna to disrupt the parliament or the country, we need a Kournikova to distract our nation towards something useless so that we get enough time off to think about how wrong we’re going. Where are Bollywood directors when you need them?

6 Replies to “How Can Anna Kournikova Save India?”

  1. Improving the education system is definitely needed, but corruption is a different beast and a good education system will not necessarily solve it. There are people who have studied at great schools and colleges, and yet become corrupt when they rose to positions of power. Yes, education system needs an overhaul otherwise. 

    Keep in mind that Anna and his team are focused on the issue of corruption. There are myriad ways to improve this country and different people focused on solving different issues is a good way to go. So if you were Anna, you would go for the education system..great. You can still contribute in your own way to that cause as don’t need to be Anna for that. Lets leave Anna to tackle corruption and support him.¬†

    You know, I have been hearing and reading people who are cynical of what Anna is doing. This is a democracy and it’s good to have different voices and opinions. But somewhere, I think these people , which includes intellectuals and bloggers like you, fail to understand that corruption is the BIGGEST and MOST SERIOUS problem in this country. You can get absolutely nothing done if there’s corruption. Be it overhauling the education system, removing poverty…nothing’s gonna work if corrupt people grease their palms and sabotage the processes. And this is exactly what has been happening in this country for the last few decades.¬†

    When processes are corruption-free, they yield results without delays. An example of this is the Delhi Metro. It has never gone beyond its budget and seldom missed deadlines. 

    I am not sure if there is any other way to deal with this problem. The govt and the bureaucrats are the ones who are the prime targets of this bill, and they’ll never let it pass if they aren’t coerced into accepting it.¬†

    To conclude, I’d like to quote the IIT-IIM grad and Morgan Stanley VP from Hong Kong who took leave from his job to travel to India and participate in the protests. Here’s what he had to say:

    “When I was in India, I used to evade taxes. I don’t even try that in Hong Kong. Here, I used to jump signals, I don’t do that there,” he confesses. “What I’m getting at is that I am the same person-I still want to reach my office quickly, still make more money. But there is a system I must follow. India needs to have a better system in place and the Jan Lokpal draft is the best piece of legislation drafted in India.”

    That’s what is needed. A system where the corrupt are caught and punished, no matter who they are, and people are encouraged to become whistle-blowers and rewarded for their honesty. Unless that happens, unless we change our “hota hain, chalta hain” attitude, unless we realize that enough is enough, there will be more Rajas and more Kalmadis, looting us of our hard earned money while we go about our lives in the same way as we are doing now – hoping for an Anna Kournikova to distract us from the problem at hand, which we are afraid to deal with.¬†

  2. @Abhijeet I differ with your opinion and those of the person that you quoted. It just goes on to prove that corruption begins with ordinary people. He is the same person who in India would bribe at the first opportunity to get away; this is corruption for convenience where the bribe giver is happy to bribe to flout rules and regulations. I think the point that author wanted to make by calling for changes in the education system is precisely that. Take for example the number of school going children driving their way to school on their own vehicles. They don’t have a driving license because most of them are ineligible for that. Those children and their parents would be the first ones to offer bribe to policemen to avoid going to court. Now who is to be blamed here for corruption?

    One more thing, it is strange why those who are supporting Anna tag the ones having a different opinion as cynical. We all have the right to our own views and if I have different view it does not mean I am against you and I am certainly not being cynical.

    1. Vikrant, the point is to create a system where corruption cannot easily exist. While moral values need to imbibed in individuals, relying on people to be honest and having a system which can be easily flouted will only increase corruption. That’s exactly what that person who came here from Hong Kong meant.¬†

      If the system can be easily compromised, people will compromise it, and more people seeing those people easily compromising the system, will think that compromising the system is the way to go. That’s what is happening in India. You gave the driving license example. Tell me, how many of us get a license by bribing and through pimps, even when we know how to drive? A majority of us, right? Because the system can be easily flouted. Getting a license that way in Hong Kong or in any other less corrupt society would be very hard, even for a corrupt individual.¬†

      I won’t blame the system entirely because the onus is on individuals like you and me too. However, the overhauling of system is what can bring about a massive reduction in corruption.¬†

      Regarding your other point about being cynical, I didn’t mean it in that way. May be skeptical would have been a better word. As I mentioned, this is a democracy and you are welcome to have different views. And so am I.¬†

      1. Absolutely, having a strong system in place with enough checks and balances is the way to battle corruption and I am all in for that to fight out corruption. ¬†Is Lokpal bill the only way? I don’t think so; however, it is merely a very small part of the holistic solution.

        It is not the laws that solve the problem but how religiously those laws are implemented and followed. ¬†We already have the Prevention of Corruption Act and the CVC so the problem is not clearly the lack of strong laws and institutions.As for the license example, I am sure if people try to get it directly they can easily bypass the middlemen. ¬† It’s not that people just can’t get a license without bribing; the reality is that people don’t want to follow the rules laid down to get a license and don’t want to take the pains of standing in queue and taking the driving test. ¬†As I mentioned earlier, this is corruption for convenience.The problem that I see with this Anna campaign is that they are misleading people by claiming that bring the Lokpal bill and 65% percent of the corruption will be taken care. ¬†First of all I am amused by this figure and want to know how did they arrive at that number. ¬†Not only that, the kind of language, methods and means they are using are all questionable. ¬†Take for example, Anna’s recent demand that the govt. should accept his bill or quit. ¬†Does he even understand what he is saying? ¬†Does he understand that this nation, which is already battling inflation, can’t afford a mid-term General election. ¬†Considering that he has large number of people supporting him, imagine if these people suddenly start protesting to get this govt. expelled and getting a fresh poll.Another problem that I have is their inflexibility. ¬†Statements like the govt. must only pass our bill, govt. should take permission from Anna before making any changes to the draft bill, if any third party wants to discuss their version of the bill then they should do it with Anna and not with the govt. ¬†I mean who gave Anna and his team this authority. ¬†Why should someone like Aruna Roy, who herself is an eminent social activist, should necessarily discuss her bill with Anna group or be called a¬†distraction to the cause¬†and congress agent and what not.

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