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 Blooming Stars

New Year Musings

            As the year 2011 has come to an end and 2012 has broken in, a few questions and thoughts come to my mind for soul-searching and reflection. The Lokpal bill has been debated and passed in the Lok Sabha. Anna Hazare is fasting for a strong bill. In a democracy the government is going to be only as good as the people. A coalition government with divided loyalties is not likely to pass a strong bill as compromises to accommodate partisan and vested interests are at work. We cannot have a parallel government outside the purview of the parliament. It is almost impossible for a parliament with so many factions and divisive issues to govern. Are parties that cannot see anything good in other parties and spew vitriolic criticism at opponents at every opportunity objective or interested in the common good of the country?

            Is Anna Hazare, whose cause is certainly sublime, too impatient? Does he as well as his team have the necessary purity of intention and clarity of purpose as he is getting into uncharted waters as to the mechanism of administration of a Lokpal to eliminate corruption? Who are these corrupt persons? Are they not our parents? Brothers? Sisters? Wives? Husbands? Children? Neighbors? Ourselves? Do we benefit from the corrupt practices? Who are the people who bribe others to get benefits or favors that they are not entitled to, or that go against common good? Recently there is a report of a relative of the previous chief minister of Kerala getting some special land privileges, and the then chief minister saying he did not know anything about it.

            Another report of some NRIs and thousands of government officers getting into a list of BPL (below poverty line) persons. How did that happen? Is anybody doing what he/she is supposed to do? I myself was a victim of intense emotional abuse and considerable property damage from a local religious body for standing for my human rights. Lies, cheating, human rights violations are taking place in our very families and in front of the very police officers who are supposed to protect the innocents. Can a strong Lokpal bill do much? I doubt. But certainly it is a good start. What we need is a sea change. A pervasive conscientization and value education are needs of the time.

            Human rights and freedom of women are required. A secular society needs to stress human values and spirituality rather than narrow, vested religious interests. At the end of the day, I need to examine myself. Am I corrupt? Opportunistic? Do I do double-talk? Do I enable corruption in others? Do I have anything to hide? Am I ashamed of any behavior of mine that I do in secret, and that I do not like to come to light? Do I look for privileges that I am not entitled to? After all having said and done the change in others is often a response to change in myself. Am I courageous enough to change in areas that I need to change so that this world is a better place for all in 2012?


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