Aug 29, 2011

National Prozac

Last week while I was walking, a neighbor asked if I was joining the march to show our solidarity for Anna Hazare and team. I cringed as soon as the words, 'I have some reservations,' were out of my mouth. I realized more than the bill and the means to it, the way we as a nation have reacted to it is more interesting.

This is certainly a feel good, anti-depressant protest.

Television coverage, marching with candles, politician bashing etc. obviously makes one feel good, heck elevated even. It was not like someone is shooting the marchers down or even their livelihood was at stake. It gave us a sense of purpose, was time bound and had an escalated sense of urgency thanks to the fast. No wonder we gobbled it up.

And then thinking calmly, one starts wondering about the details - about the existing vigilance commissions and their effectiveness or lack thereof and one wonders if we can't find a single person of integrity in the parliament, with so many controversies surrounding some of the activists how are we going to find people to appoint as Lokpal and Lok Ayukta. As a nation did we have honest, intellectual debates? No.., no.., no.. We either reduced most of it to sound bytes, bent our knees to fasts, or better still made ad hominem attacks. [An occasional print media article was a rare exception]

Anyway - now that the Arab spring has come and gone, Lokpal bill part 1 has come and gone, we will have to deal with the withdrawal symptoms.

I get reminded of Tom Friedman's words - more steroid and less muscle building, that's what this is all about.

Unfortunately it is a complicated world, solutions wont be simple.

August 29, 2011