One refrain that is constant in criticism of the Anna movement is : I am clean; I do not bribe; if everybody else vows to remain clean, there is no need for a draconian law and an idealistic movement. Simple as it sounds, this is more idealistic than the idealism they are attributing to Anna. How do they expect this miracle to happen? It is this wishful thinking that has brought us to where we are, after 64 years of freedom.
First, how does one stay clean? What does staying clean mean?
If I don’t pay any bribe directly, does it mean I am clean? A lot of us go to a driving school to learn driving and to take a driving licence. There may or may not be any wrong intentions here. We don’t need a Lokpal to tell us how the driving school helps us get the licence. Of course, we didn’t pay bribe money; so, are we clean?
If I vote for a corrupt politician, am I not aiding him? If I don’t vote, am I not aiding him, still?
I could be using a Tata or Reliance phone, helping them make good profits; a Tata or Reliance may have employed a Radia; a Radia could have bribed Raja. Well, who cares about all this muck. I am clean.
The free-market proponents who advocate this non-draconian status quo would know this :the buyers gain more influence in the negotiation process, when the buyers aggregate their demands. Why do they then expect each individual to fight their own battle, when a movement is gathering momentum?
The free-market proponents have also learnt this the hard way: Free markets thrive only when there is a strong regulatory framework. Same with democracy.
Diabetic patients would know this : once the rot sets in the foot, the uninfected hand cannot feel safe.
[Posted by me as a note on Facebook]