Anna Hazare, a simple man with a simple yet profound message, has galvanized all of India as well as the global Indian Diaspora. On his arrest on August 16, Anna said to all Indians that the Second Battle for India’s Independence has begun.
We concur completely. On June 11, 2011, we asked Is Today’s India Still Under Colonial Rule Or Is It A Democracy For The Indian People? We wrote “in our opinion, the so called “Indian Democracy” is really a Colonial Rule in an Indian dress and the Indian people are just natives of these new Colonials“.
This week, we saw quotes from core Indians that speak volumes:
- Sunil Wadhwa, a teacher said of India’s ruling politicians, “You can’t connect with them, You just can’t go to them. They have become an elite class. They are just different.”
- Gopal Jha, 38, a businessman who wore an “I Love India” bandana around his head, said “They have eaten millions and millions, and all that money belongs to the people. We want all that money to come back to the people“.
- Sambhu Varma, a 36-year-old employee at a metal-forging company, said “Gandhi gave us freedom from white colonial rulers, but they were replaced by brown masters who continue to loot us and our country; Anna is today’s Gandhi because he is trying to free us from these brown masters.”
(Photo by Manish Swarup/Associated Press – src New York Times)
Anna Hazare and his movement galvanized the entire country because they hit the one chord that touches every single Indian, every Indian who is made to feel that he/she is at the mercy in his/her own country by a vast apparatus that only seeks to enrich itself. The symbol of this apparatus is the small or large bribe that Indians have to pay just to live, just for every day necessities of life.
And what is this apparatus? The Indian ElectoCracy – an all-pervasive apparatus that runs elections, that creates vote banks comprised of groups & communities, that selects so-called leaders to deliver the votes from these vote banks in exchange for money, patronage & power. In the last few years, this apparatus has mutated into a hereditary mechanism in which children of politicians inherit the seats and power of their parents.
This is very different from a democracy whose sole purpose is to benefit the people. This is why we call the Indian System as an ElectoCracy and not a Democracy.
Scholars of the Indian Constitution state that the Indian Parliament is the Supreme Power in India. This august body, established in 1947 with noble aspirations, has the power to rule as well as create mechanisms to monitor the rule. Unfortunately, in the eyes of some observers, it has become a collusive oligarchy and a captive body of the ElectoCracy.
If this is true, then it can be argued that today’s Parliament no longer represents the Indian people. This may be why the words “parliamentary” and “people” are used in the Indian media to describe the opposite sides of this battle.
This is why the core dispute will not be easy to resolve. The Government insists that the Parliament has to be supreme and the Anna-led Indian People movement insists that the Parliament itself has to be held accountable by an independent agency. This is not just a dispute, but a revolt by the ruled against corrupt rulers.
This was precisely the battle between the British Raj and the Indian movement led by Mahatma Gandhi. The core demand of the British was that their rule must be supreme. Gandhi opposed this core demand and first argued for self-rule. Then when even this basic demand was opposed, the Gandhian movement became a movement for Independence.
That Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely has been true since the birth of civilization. Today, the absolute power in India is held by the ElectoCracy. The members of ElectoCracy sit in the Indian Parliament and rule the country. And we see the result – massive corruption throughout the Indian ElectoCracy. This is why the Anna-led movement is in revolt against the Absolute, Supreme Power of the Indian ElectoCracy.
This Second Battle will be long, arduous. It faces a concerted attack from the beneficiaries of the ElectoCracy, in particular the leaders of the vote banks who have become rich and powerful by delivering votes to the ElectoCracy. These leaders know they will lose their patronage, prestige and power if the Indian people win this second battle for Independence. These leaders have captive “intellectuals”, people they have nurtured for decades with money and awards. These self-proclaimed “intellectuals” are already in full attack mode against the Anna-led movement.
The Anna-led movement will also have be smart politically and tactically. It will have to adapt just as the Gandhi-led movement did in the first battle.
Whatever happens in this initial fight, we are convinced that this Second War of Independence by the Indian people will lead India to greater glory, to a society that is truly a Democracy By the Indian People, Of the Indian People and that is run only FOR for the Indian People.
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