Friday, August 17, 2012

Political Alternative Needed?

Election Marathon 2014
Political Alternative Needed?
Don’t write off Annaji for not sticking to what doesn’t work. Samam, Danam, Bhedam, Dennam are options in his quiver. Listen instead to rumblings of Vajrayudham, Mass motivation tour, being sharpened as Terminator for 2014 battle.
James Kottoor
India needs apolitical alternative in 2014. To achieve it a new political party will be launched. But Anna Hazare himself will not contest any election. His team mates may, if they wish to do so. As prelude to launching his second stage in a new Avathar, Anna has disbanded on August 6/12 his team meant to get a strong Lokpal bill passed,. This in short is the state of India against Corruption movement started over one and half year ago with a lot of fanfare.
Nothing succeeds like success, the same with failure also – giving up hope at the sight of a herculean hurdle. But to reach the unreachable heights one should never give up in spite of unexpected defeats and victories delayed. Both are part of the game in this world of day and night.
Some have already written off Hazare phenomenon, others still continue to pin their hopes on him. What is to be done at this juncture? No one can question the enormous contribution Hazare has made to awaken the nation as one man to stand up against wide spread political corruption from top to bottom which brought even international accolades and support.
Recall Midnight Fiasco
Equally no one can question the fact that political parties of all hues are united and will stay united as one man to block the passing of a strong Lokpal, as proved by the delaying tactics they used for over 42 years which culminated in the last December midnight session of Raja Sabha debate presided over by our present honourable Vice President Hameed Anzari who got heckled for proving himself to be much less than a man above all party politics and impartial, a taint bound to stick to him all through life.
We are now in a deadlock created by two mighty forces. On one side is the united front of all political parties, not merely the ruling coalition led by the Congress. On the other is, not merely Anna Hazare and his team of competent or incompetent leaders, but “we the people” the voting public, especially the young, energetic and literate middle class, who should be supreme in a democracy and who, thanks to Anna’s campaign, is fully ceased of the magnitude of corruption dashing all their hopes for a bright future. Both are staring at each other eyeball to eyeball while the rest of us gasp in angst wondering who will blink first. This is no time to write off anyone of the duo.
Nothing lasts for ever, especially untruth and insolent might of entrenched political forces or people’s power and mass uprising galvanised by the vision of enormity of truth and justice denied. Sathyameva Jayathe! The question is how to make the wrong side blink? No doubt there were extreme positions taken by both sides – lack of democratic functioning on the part of Hazare, failure to come clean of the least taint of corruption among team members and a die hard stand for “Jan Lokpal” and nothing else. On the political front there is adamant refusal to submit itself to a totally independent, non-governmental CBI, lack of transparent functioning and insistence on rubrics of lawmaking to endlessly delay decision taking to protect as many corrupt among them as possible.
Hare Tortoise Marathon
Annaji, old fashioned and no big brain, but honest and humble, has come down from his diehard “Jan Lokpal” to a strong Lokpal. Besides his team is busy correcting its alleged image of being pro-BJP and anti-congress. He has now even accepted the Congress challenge to enter dirty politics and not get dirty. For that he will not be contesting to stay above all party politics. Still the Congress say: “We knew it already!” But it won’t wash with Anna. Since he is holding his trump cards close to his chest, critics can only allege he is piggy backing on a crooked power hungry team. One thing Anna has made it crystal clear. He wants to tour the length and breadth of India to awaken and motivate the hoi-polloi to the enormity of political corruption responsible for the miseries of the common man and of their urgent duty to vote only for corruption-free candidates during 2014 elections because parties cannot be cleansed from without but only from within through honest candidates acting as leven.
I have been proposing this from long ago. I am not a card carrying member of any party as I know all parties are corrupt – some little corrupt (recall the advise “to steal little, not to loot” of an SP minister), some half corrupt, some fully corrupt – and the only way to make them less corrupt is to vote in cleanest candidates in the given situation, or desist from voting at all,if all are equally corrupt. In the process I had voted inadvertently for all parties – right, left or middle -- but only for the better one I could find in the absence of the very best.
Become Leven in Dough
I believe this is the strategy Movement Anna should use. While travelling from state to state, he should try to discover, not which of the parties is better for the particular state, but which are the politicians in all parties in the state shamelessly parading themselves in corrupt practices and are seen thus by the general public. He should then convince people to vote against them irrespective of their party affiliation, to forestall the allegation that he is entering party politics and pitting one party against another. It is the prerogative of the people in each state to support one party rather than another. What is to be ascertained is that each party is infused with fresh healthy blood, that is, honest, service minded leaders who would act as leven to change that party for the better from within.
From the very inception Anna has been against corruption, not in the abstract, but in politics. In that sense he has been meddling in politics from the start, but not in party politics. Since a Congress led government is in power, his attacks on the government of the day came to be interpreted as an attack on the congress. He could not target equally corrupt opposition parties as he stood to gain little from them. Now that phase is over. The new movement is to prepare the voting public in view of the 2014 elections when the country can be provided with a democratic alternative, which would not be led either by the Congress or the BJP vying with one another to become the most corrupt.
Already the veteran BJP leader, L.K Advani has submitted that neither stands a chance in 2014. This is also the thinking of the general public. After the UP elections, I too wondered if 2014 would produce a government led by regional parties, yes led by a youthful face like Akhilesh. There are of course no dearth of honest and energetic CMs in the country who are neither Congress nor BJP. But the question is to find one who has the charisma a Vajpaiji had, to bring under one umbrella a multiplicity of parties and to hold them together. One immediately thinks of three lady CMs, two reigning and one licking the wounds of defeat. The question is whether two ladies can get along well, let alone three, knowing the mercurial or authoritarian steaks in all the three. They have been betraying Prime Ministerial ambitions. Unfortunately we can have only one PM.
Zero can’t turn Hero?
In any case Anna has no such ambitions as he considers himself a “Zero”, “a Fakir” and announced openly that he would not be a candidate to contest elections. That means the idea of floating a party is not his, but of some moneyed, influential individuals in the new movement. This can be decided only after completing one round of tour by the new team in all states to assess popular sentiments for or against a new party with Anna as its moral mentor. Is it enough to make a single tour of all states to get the popular feeling? It may take even two or three rounds and there is one full year ahead to make a systematic, in depth, prolonged assessment. If the results are going to be against, that would be the end of the dream party as an alternative and so much the better.
In such a situation the next option would be to get the powerful regional parties united in the interest of the nation, to get them agree on the best suited as the would be PM. This is going to be the toughest challenge, similar to scaling mount Everest. The task is very risky, riddled with deadly manoeuvrings. Does “Zero” Anna have the stamina; vision and intellectual know-how to guide such risky, hazardous, long drive? It is always the diffident, service minded humble rather than the overconfident proud and ambitious, as in the hare and tortoise race, who should be trusted with high responsibilities. For believers in God, grace flows down only to the lowly placed servant. Here one thinks also of a Rahul Gandhi who evades all lime light and says always “not now”, “not me” when power and position are offered on a platter, either because of his honest self-assessment or because of his inborn compulsion for democratic process which demands election and not selection of leaders.
Have we Democracy?
One complaint against Anna repeated in most of the articles published recently is that he is not democratic enough, he is a benevolent dictator possessed by an infallibility orKhap Panchayat syndrome. Why not a benevolent dictator? What else is better suited for an illiterate voting public since a vibrant democracy presupposes a well educated electorate, existing and functioning? In its absence, what else is ours: Money-cracy, Party-cracy or Dynasty-cracy? I wrote: Ours: Money-craze, not Democracy(11/8/11), another: ”Autocracy, mobocracy or Democracy? (22/8/11) in a series of over a dozen pieces dealing with various aspects of electoral politics. I wish I am proved wrong in all of them.
What about discrediting Team Anna for corruption? Compare their inadvertent little pilfering with the wholesale Himalayan looting done by big sharks in all parties. When a congress member of the Standing committee described Anna “steeped in corruption head to foot” he had to swallow his words and quit but was surreptitiously taken back. These worthies with “a log in their own eyes” are trying to remove a speck in Anna’s eyes. Trifles make perfection and perfection is no trifle. Caesar’s wife should be above reproach but the biggest room in life is the room for improvement which no man can fill. Don’t expect the honest ones to be 100% perfect. This of course cannot be said of a Baba Ramdev, who has a very a twisted and murky background, too long to discuss here, He is now making a hew and cry in the space vacated by Annaji.
The question here is that the country stands in desperateneed of an alternative at the Hastings in 2014. A new leadership which is led neither by the Congress nor the BJP is the crying need. Both claimants have proved to the hilt to be incorrigible and beyond repair. It is a great gamble. It is for the enlightened, visionary, courageous, energetic, risk-drilled youth of India to prove themselves fit for the marathon run in 2014 and cross the victory line first, not last as in the London Olympics!
The writer can be contacted at:
 PS: An open Catholic press is the topic of discussion in Almaya now. I have a lot to write on the topic, of many experiences in life. When I was invited to speak at the 9th world conference of Catholic Press in Luxemburg, I told them them that the Catholic Press must die and gave 10 reasons.It was some 45 years ago. After a month I was shocked to receive some 25 copies in which they gave the just of my talk in French, German and English and what is more, they sent me some 80 Deuich Mark, the first time I got paid for my writings without asking for it or expecting them to do it. At that time I was editor and publisher of New Leader in Madras. So many other experiences. Should I share with Almaya? jk

With Warm Regards,
Dr. James Kottoor,


  1. As soon as Hazare expressed his intention of creating a political party, some have already got offended and written him off. Now J. Kottor has envisaged the alternatives in this beautiful write-up, I think many will be inspired and continue to pin their hopes on him. What else is left to us?
    Johny Plathottam had sent me his personal view of the issue and a positive one. I request him to post it here and give Almayasabdam readers an incentive to a healthy discussion.

  2. ആര് വന്നാലും , ഇന്ത്യയിലോ ലോകത്തോ ഒരു മാറ്റാവും ഉണ്ടാകാന്‍ പോകുന്നില്ല . ഗാന്ധിയുടെ പേര് പറഞ്ഞു നടക്കുന്നവര്‍ എന്താണ് കാണിക്കുന്നത്?, ഗാന്ധിമാര്‍ഗം ഏറെ പുകഴ്ത്തിപ്പറയുന്ന ഒബാമ എന്തെ , ഇത് അഫ്ഗാനിലും , സിറിയയിലും , ലിബിയയിലും , പരീക്ഷിക്കാതെ , ആയുധമെടുത്തത്? ഗാന്ധിയെക്കുറിച്ച് പറഞ്ഞു വലിയവനാകാം , എന്നാല്‍ അത് പ്രായോഗികമല്ലെന്ന് , പറയുന്നവര്‍ക്കും അറിയാം.

  3. സത്യമേ പറയാവുള്ളൂ, സത്യം മനസിനു കുളിര്‍മ നല്‍കും. ഇതെല്ലാം ആദരിക്കപ്പെടേണ്ട മൌലിക ജീവിതതത്വങ്ങള്‍ തന്നെ. എന്നാല്‍ സത്യം അസന്തുഷ്ടമായാലോ? അധര്‍മ്മത്തില്‍ ജീവിക്കുന്ന ജനത്തിനു ഇത്തരം സത്യം ഉള്‍ക്കൊള്ളൂക പ്രയാസ്സമായിരിക്കും. അഴിമതി നിറഞ്ഞ ലോകത്തിനായി സത്യത്തിനു വേണ്ടിയുള്ള അസന്തുഷ്ടമായ ഒരു മുറവിളിയാണ് ഇന്നു ഭാരതമാകെ മുഴങ്ങി കേള്‍ക്കുന്നത്. അണ്ണാ ഹസാരയുടെ ധര്‍മ്മ സമരമാണ് വാര്‍ത്തകളില്‍ നിറഞ്ഞിരിക്കുന്നതും.

    അഴിമതി കാണിക്കാത്ത ഒരാളിനെ കണ്ടുമുട്ടുക ബുദ്ധിമുട്ടാണ്. ട്രാഫിക്ക് പോലീസ്മുതല്‍ മന്ത്രിമാര്‍വരെയും കപ്പ്യാരുതൊട്ടു കര്‍ദ്ദിനാള്‍വരെയും
    പണംകൊണ്ട് അഭിഷേകം ചെയ്താലേ നാലാള്‍ കാണ്‍കെ ഇന്നു സമൂഹത്തില്‍ ഒരുവനു തല ഉയര്‍ത്തി നടക്കുവാന്‍ സാധിക്കുകയുള്ളൂ. ഭാരതംപോലുള്ള വൈരുദ്ധ്യങ്ങളും വൈവിദ്ധ്യങ്ങളും നിഷേധാത്മകവുമായ ഒരു രാജ്യത്ത് അഴിമതികള്‍ നിവാരണം ചെയ്യുന്നതെങ്ങനെ എന്നും ഉത്തരമില്ല. അഴിമതി കണ്ടു പിടിക്കുവാന്‍ വരുന്നവനും കൈക്കൂലി കൊടുക്കേണ്ടി വരുമെങ്കില്‍ സാധാരണ മനുഷ്യരുടെ ജീവിതം കൂടുതല്‍ നിര്‍ണ്ണായകമാവുകയെയുള്ളൂ. ഭാരതമൊട്ടാകെ ലക്ഷോപലക്ഷം ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥരെ കൈക്കൂലിമേടിക്കല്‍ നിരീക്ഷിക്കുവാന്‍ പണം കൊടുത്ത് ലക്ഷകണക്കിന് ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥരെ കൂടുതലായി നിയമിക്കേണ്ടി വരും. ഇങ്ങനെ അധിക ചിലവുകള്‍ വഹിക്കുവാനുള്ള ശേഷി സര്‍ക്കാരിന് ഉണ്ടോയെന്നും തിട്ടപ്പെടുത്തണം. അഴിമതിക്കാരെ കണ്ടുപിടിക്കുവാന്‍ അഴിമതിക്കാരായ ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥര്‍, അവരെ നിയന്ത്രിക്കുവാന്‍ അവര്‍ക്കുമേലിലും അഴിമതിക്കാര്‍; ഇങ്ങനെ നിരയായ ഒരു മോണിറ്റര്‍ സംവിധാനം നടപ്പിലാക്കുന്നതിനു പ്രത്യേക പഞ്ചവത്സര പദ്ധതികള്‍ തന്നെ വേണ്ടിവരും.

    അണ്ണാ ഹസാരയുടെ ലക്ഷ്യം നല്ലതാണ്. ലോകപാല്‍ ബില്ലില്‍ മാറ്റം വരുത്തിയതുകൊണ്ടോ ഭാരതമാതാ കീജെ, ഇങ്കിലാബ് സിന്ദാബാദ് വിളിച്ചതുകൊണ്ടോ അഴിമതിക്കു പരിഹാരം ആവുകയില്ല. ജനാധിപത്യത്തില്‍ അധിഷ്ടിതമായ ഒരു സര്‍ക്കാരിന് കാര്യ ഗൌരവത്തോടെ ഭരണം നടത്തണമെങ്കില്‍ ശക്തമായ ജനപിന്തുണ കൂടിയേതീരൂ. സര്‍ക്കാരും ഭൂരിഭാഗം ജനങ്ങളും ഒരേ ചിന്താഗതിക്കാര്‍ ആയിരിക്കണം.

    ഒരു ഭരണത്തിനും എക്കാലവും ഒരു ജനതയെ അടിച്ചമര്‍ത്തി ഭരിക്കുവാന്‍ സാധിക്കുകയില്ല. ഫ്രാന്‍സിലെ വിപ്ലവവും സോവ്യറ്റ് യൂണിയന്‍ തകര്‍ന്നതും ഉദാഹരണങ്ങള്‍ ആണ്. കൈക്കൂലി കൊടുത്തു പഞ്ചായത്തില്‍പ്പോലും കാര്യം കാണുന്ന ഒരു പൌരന്‍ അത്തരം ചിന്താഗതികള്‍ക്ക് മാറ്റം വരുത്തിയാല്‍ പഞ്ചായത്തുമുതല്‍ നാടുമൊത്തവും ഭാരതമാകെയും മാറ്റങ്ങളുടെ തുടക്കമിടാം. ജനാധിപത്യം വിജയിക്കുകയും ചെയ്യും.

    ഇന്നു നിലവിലുള്ള രാഷ്ട്രീയ നേതൃത്വം പരാജയമെങ്കില്‍ മറ്റൊരു ഭരണ മാറ്റത്തിനായി ജനങ്ങള്‍ക്കു വിധിയെഴുതാം. വിലപ്പെരുപ്പവും, സാമ്പത്തിക അസമത്വങ്ങളും അഴിമതികളും അണ്ണാ ഹസാരെ വിഭാവന ചെയ്യുന്ന പാര്‍ട്ടിക്കു ചൂണ്ടി കാണിക്കാം. യഥാര്‍ഥ ജനാധിപത്യത്തില്‍ അധികാരം ജനങ്ങളുടെ കൈകളില്‍ അര്‍പ്പിക്കണം.

    ഹസാരെ പറഞ്ഞതുപോലെ ഗ്രാമങ്ങള്‍ ഗ്രാമങ്ങളുടെതായിരിക്കണം. ഗ്രാമത്തിലെ ശുദ്ധജലവും ഉത്പന്നവും ഗ്രാമീണ ജനത അനുഭവിച്ചു കഴിഞ്ഞു മിച്ചമുള്ളതെ കച്ചവട മൂല്യങ്ങള്‍ ആക്കാവൂ. ഒരുവന്റെ രാഷ്ട്രീയ പരിചയമോ കുടുംബമോ അല്ല സ്വഭാവ ഗുണങ്ങളാണ് പാര്‍ട്ടി റ്റിക്കറ്റ് കൊടുക്കുമ്പോള്‍ പരിഗണിക്കേണ്ടതെന്നും ഉള്ള ഹസാരയുടെ വാക്കുകള്‍ വളരെ ശക്തിയേറിയതാണ്.