Anna Hazare's dramatic four day fast has been the focus of the nation in a manner similar to its interest in cricket.
His reasons, demand for the Lokpal bill and the massive support he gathered across India has been well-documented. The government announced late Friday night that they would set up a Joint Commission to look into the Lokpal bill and Hazare announced an end to the agitation.
The support for Hazare and for the 'jan' Lokpal bill, while gathering unbelievable support also raises several interesting questions -
Who exactly are Indians banding together to fight against?
There is wide-scale disassociation between Indians and the politicians whom these same Indians elect. The support for Hazare revolved around the assumption that these politicians need to be taught a lesson and corruption needs to end, while conveniently ignoring the fact that the politicians were not in power due to hereditary rights or military coups.
We voted for these people and we allow corruption to flourish. If we accept that the average Indian voted the corrupt into power, isn't it too much to expect the same average Indian to become a Gandhian the minute such a bill is passed?
First, we need to change our voting patterns. After all, how long or how many times can we expect Hazare to fast for us? His noble attempts should not be sacrificed pointlessly because we as a people refuse to live by the ideals that men like Hazare and Gandhiji taught us.
The Lokpal bill itself is an attempt to set up a committee without peer and which overseas all. Such a move, which slightly cracks the foundations of the democracy we have built in this land, assumes some vague and hard-to-define 'just and rightful' people will judge everyone.
One assumes such people will be as unelectable to political office in the future as they have been in the past sixty years. It is a shaky premise to built an anti-corruption body.
The final version of the bill will not be released for sometime, so it is anyone's guess what its eventual form will be.
These are fine ideals, but who will watch the watchmen? No one is sure as of right now.Image: Anna Hazare interacts with his supporters during his fast in New Delhi on Thursday, April 8 2011.
Text: Vinayak Hegde