Take a bow to Anna Hazare. He is crusading against corruption. Last checked, corruption was the root cause of all the problems plaguing India. This accomplished social activist is on Fast unto Death. We should all support him by fasting for a day and spreading the message on social networks.
Not so fast!
There is a fundamental problem with the way everyone is jumping onto the “I Support Anna Hazare” bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong here. I am all for supporting this great man and his dogged determination to root out corruption. However, I am not OK with the way this “support” is being understood by the masses.
Are you worthy of supporting Mr. Hazare? Before fasting, have you even questioned yourself whether you are corrupt? Have you NOT resorted to bribing for getting things done? Have you NOT comfortably slid under the cloak of helplessness to abet corruption? Have you NOT jumped the line in the passport office by questionable means?
Have you? Or have you not?
Here is some more food for introspection. Have you NOT fudged your resume to get your dream job? Have you NOT reported your iPhone as lost in the UK and then gift it to your family members or friends in India? Have you NOT resorted to piracy? Books or Movies or Music?
Can you say unequivocally that you are not corrupt? Can you declare confidently that you are on the right side of this movement?
I apologize for sounding so rude. My intention is not to point fingers at you. The word “You” is used in a generic sense. Please don’t be of the opinion that I am accusing you, the reader, of all that I have talked so far.
On Twitter, on Facebook, on my company’s bulletin board – I see all these messages from family and friends, celebrities – movie stars, sportspersons – All quickly siding with Mr Anna Hazare. Isn’t it convenient? Fast for a day and you are on Mr Hazare’s side. All your sins are forgiven. You need not change your way of life. Just a day of fasting and your bit is done in the crusade against corruption.
I don’t know about you. For me, this is just on the same level as the then Home Minister Mr Shivraj Patil saying “I condemn” in a freshly pressed suit – immediately after the Mumbai attack.
You condemn? You sure do. It absolves you of your responsibility, does it?
In the same way, fasting does not absolve you of responsibility. It does not prove anything.
When Anna Hazare fasts, the world blinks – It is not the fasting part that makes everyone sit right up and take notice. It is fasting backed by Mr Hazare’s impeccable integrity and stature. He is worthy of the cause. Are you?
Fast, by all means. But if you want to truly support Mr Hazare, root out corruption from YOU to start with. And then, take a deep breath and wave your hand to set in motion a butterfly effect to change the world.
Take a bow to thee, Anna Hazare. I will try to walk in your footsteps. This is my promise. Until then, I am not fasting.