This refers to the article “Dealing with the Hazare aura” by A K Bhattacharya (April 20). I don’t think Hazare needs to work hard to preserve his “aura”. What is required is for him to remain honest to the cause and not let the power, popularity or media-hype take its toll and dilute the crusade against corruption. It is a pity that politicians “will do everything possible to deny” Hazare the role of the crusader against corruption. Does Anna Hazare need such a role? Of course, Hazare’s sweeping statements in the media that Indian voters are bought by booze or money was not palatable. In fact, you cannot boast of people’s power for the crusade against corruption and demean them as purchasable voters at the same time. Hazare should get rid of the fear and get elected from the rural Maharashtra where he has brought about exemplary rural development.
It is, in fact, in Hazare’s own hands to brighten the halo or let it fade owing to his sometimes not-so-well-thought-out statements. Also, it requires poise and prudence to tackle the politically-engineered efforts to tarnish the halo around Hazare through a controversial CD, which may stall the process of drafting the Jan Lok Pal Bill.
The author has rightly argued that “fighting corruption requires democratic methods to make the rules more transparent and the system more robust”. In fact, now that we have a Jan Lok Pal Bill Drafting Committee, it is in the country’s interest to get over the first hurdle and have the draft in hand for further debate by the public and their representatives in Parliament. The Bill, if passed, will be just a step – a significant one, of course – towards reducing corruption in India. However, India needs enduring solutions as well. And one of its elements could be for us Indians to have what Harvard Professor Howard Gardner calls “ethical minds” striving towards good work and good citizenship. It may take a couple of years or a generation even and I think it would be worth the wait to get the tree of corruption uprooted from Indian soil.
Raman Kumar Agrawalla
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