Letters from Readers
After reading Khabar’s Anna Hazare interview very attentively
in the October issue, I have the following comments:
• By his own admission Hazare says: “people are corrupt and they sell their votes for mere 100 rupees. People expect rewards for their votes.” If people themselves are corrupt, how do you expect their elected representative to be non-corrupt? Which comes first, a chicken or an egg?
• Hazare says: “in a democracy laws should be drafted by experts familiar with the subject matter to make it meaningful.” Hazare does not know but there are committees and subcommittees which consult with the experts while drafting any major bill. This happens in all democratic countries and it takes a year or two to complete the process. Of course politicians will then modify the final version to suit their needs.
• Hazare says: “Since no party gets majority votes, every government will have to be an alliance in order to survive. These alliances tend to be more corrupt.” Hazare should know that political alliances are called parties. Like-minded people come together and form parties according to their beliefs and principles. As the proverb says, “United we stand, divided we fall.” Another proverb says two minds are better than one.
• Hazare says: “A day will come when political parties will perish and that day we’ll see the birth of a true democracy.” Hazare’s dream will never become a reality, because if there are no parties, then it becomes an authoritarian rule or a dictatorship. Both the U.S.A. and Great Britain have political parties and their democracies have not only survived but thrived for centuries, because the party system keeps checks and balances of each other’s parties.
• Hazare says: “corruption is increasing because of the party system in the country.” Does he know that money and power go hand-in-hand? So where there is money (rich people), there will be a power struggle. Power struggle is often fought with corruption, because voters themselves are corrupt.
• Hazare says: “A Prime Minister selected by a party will never belong to the people.” Well, according to Indian democracy, people elect their representatives (MPs), and they in turn elect their leader who becomes Prime Minster. This system has worked perfectly in Great Britain for many centuries. Even in America, though people vote directly for President, he is nominated by his party.
• There was corruption even in the ages of the Ramayana and Mahabharata; their stories are full of power struggles and corruption but we often overlook these.
• Hazare says that whenever he fasts, the government agrees to include his representatives in the drafting committee and breaks his fast. However, in the final bill the laws are quite different. This has happened many times, because they were non-election years. Now that the new election is on the horizon, he is confident that his demands will be included in the bill.
Hazare is forgetting the mindset of politicians. They give false hopes and phony promises in order to get elected. Ironically, people have short memories, too. They will re-elect the same guy again and again based on his false promises. It happens in all the countries.
Hazare is also enjoying his celebrity status and media attention while it lasts, because that is the way Indian people are. They love idol/hero worship—that is why we have so many gods and so many movie stars.
So don’t expect a miracle from Hazare. A single man
like Hazare cannot change the world and cannot wipe out
corruption. How is he going to educate all of India’s uneducated
masses about the value of non-corruption when it is
ingrained in our veins? It will be a tall order, which cannot be
filled by any man, not even by Gandhiji or Jesus Christ!
Why not include helpful information?
The article “Hell in Your Own Home” (September coverstory) did a great job of highlighting the real issue of abuse and violence that exists in Asian homes in the U.S. But I was disappointed that Khabar did not take the opportunity to list organizations, contact names, and phone numbers that victims could use to reach out for help. Since the article mentioned that these victims may not have access to phones or the internet, you must, therefore, realize that your magazine may be the only source of information to which these victims may have access.
Instead of a poem, the contact information of organizations that can help these victims would have been much more appropriate.by email
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