Freedom from corruption

A Silent Pledge

Often surveys tell us how bad the new generation is about the country’s Independence struggle — knowing little or nothing.

Some fail to recall the name of the country’s first Prime Minister, many simply don’t know who wrote Jana Gana Mana, but I still see bright shades of patriotism in them — in their very quest to do something for their country and, increasingly so, for their city.

I think the fault lies in the manner in which country’s history is taught in schools without any sense of pride. It’s not a dull subject to be crammed. As I have written earlier, it’s a subject to be felt by visiting the historical spots connected with the country’s freedom movement. How many schools even think of taking their students to Kakori Shaheed Samak — the spot where Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan along with several others had robbed the train, jolting the British Raj.

Countries like North Korea teach history not in class rooms but at historical spots. Let’s move forward now that the young have the tricolor in their hands. Revolution will happen. It’s a matter of time.

Now it’s for the country and its polity to nurture those sentiments. But what’s happening is just the reverse of that. The drama that goes on in Parliament on issues like price rise, lokpal bill and corruption certainly doesn’t motivate youth in any manner.

Somehow politicians don’t impress the young, irrespective of the party they belong to. Integrity, commitment to the nation is not their cup of tea. Then why crush the civil society that kindles some hope?

What would politicians get by crushing the voice of Anna Hazare, who had a groundswell of support amongst the country’s youth? It was not Anna, the person, that they had supported. It was the issue of corruption and credibility at higher places that had haunted them and had brought them on the street with candles in hand. Candles- to show the light to polity, candles to bring light to people’s lives.

What happened? Public pressure forced the government to bring in the lokpal bill, albeit without the Prime Minister and the judiciary in its ambit.

There are divergent of views on this. But I strongly feel the PM, the judiciary, the executive, the legislative, the media—all should come under its purview. Why shouldn’t they? A person of Manmohan Singh’s image should have no problem in accepting the civil society’s demand.

Somehow I feel the country is gearing up for another movement. This time for freedom from corruption and lawlessness and all the ills that comes with them.

Polity is not ready. But people are. Perhaps many may silently take a pledge this Independence Day.

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