Sunday, August 21, 2011

The lathmaar school of management

People, you see, have problems. And even if the problems are not of the state’s making, the people still expect the state to intervene.And when it comes to corruption, they are truly furious and justified in their fury because they confront corruption mostly via state-controlled agencies. So they are mistrustful of the government when it claims that it will tackle corruption on its own.

The mishandling of the Ramdev situation in Delhi is still fresh in their minds, and threats that Anna Hazare would be treated the same way have just caused a massive, public upchucking.

That’s how these protests appear to me — an outpouring of disgust. Friends have been calling from other cities to say that their staid, smug middle class neighbours are marching in support of Anna Hazare. They are probably upset about food inflation. Or insane real estate prices. They are not really supporting Hazare’s version of the Lokpal Bill. They can’t, because they haven’t read the draft nor thought about its repercussions.
I have, and I disagree with it. Police and judicial reforms are far, far more pressing. Yet, people support Hazare because they need a rallying point. They need to express their disgust. But how does the government deal with public disgust? By flexing its judicial and administrative muscles! By throwing a colonial-era law book at their faces!

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