Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pulling a fast one

Baba Ramdev, the yoga guru embarks on a indefinite fast demanding that black money that is stashed away in various banks abroad be brought home immediately. Nothing wrong in black money being brought home. But this kind of threatening and demanding different things by undertaking a fast is becoming a little too frequent for comfort.

A few weeks back we had Anna Hazare fasting for the Lokpal Bill. The government conceded and formed a committee to look into this. Today, the committee is at loggerheads on practically all the important points of the bill. The members of the committee from civil society have threatened to walk out.

A few months back, we had the prince of all thugs, king of all scoundrels, corruption personified, prisoner of the gutters go on a fast for a separate state of Telangana. After a few days, the government conceded. A quick trip to Delhi, a meeting with Madam and there was a rollback. Someone's bank balance had definitely gone up. Don't ask me which bank though!

So, the point I am trying to make is fasts don't work. And they shouldn't. We are not in the Gandhian age and neither do have a Gandhi among us. Blackmailing the government on any issue is wrong. Decisions like these should be taken after more careful consideration and consultation. Only then can we have a meaningful, implementable resolution of any issue. Only if the government of the day is serious about something will it see the light of the day. Otherwise, you will have insincere attempts, half-hearted discussions and meaningless actions.

However, if something as important and serious as corruption is not tackled seriously, where would we head as a nation? I totally agree that these issues need to be addressed. But fasts are not the way out. These will not show us any results. We will only end up having more confusion.

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