Q. What is the similarity between Karraps (Cockroaches) and Corrupts? A. Neither of them likes to be kicked out of the closet. Q. And the difference? A. Karraps terrorize young children (and ladies) while the other sect threaten the whole nation. Q. Few examples..? A. Various types of Karraps include Silver roach, German etc. And some of the recently discovered species of Corrupts include A. Raja, Kanimozhi, Suresh Kalmadi etc. Q. How can they be eradicated? A. The former can be eliminated by the use of roach sprays, chalks and the like whereas the latter can be exterminated with the help of social activisits like Anna Hazare or millionaire-sadhus like Baba Ramdev, provided they are supported by huge chunks of the civil society. Total eradication is unlikely in both the cases.
I’ve had enough of roaches (just minutes ago, I made a vain effort to shoo them off my table). But none seem to have enough of all those corrupt officials who squander public money or those in power who misuse their status for personal gain. The media plays the largest role in unearthing their misdeeds. But not all emerge dirt-faced for their mis(sed)deeds. Some lost more than they gained (Ramalinga Raju) and some gained more than they lost (Baba Ramdev).
In India, it is rare to find a case where a culprit is nabbed as soon as the crime takes place. Lalit Modi made IPL a phenomenon and was caught in a web only after the first two seasons. Suresh Kalmadi had organized many national sports events earlier but it was the Commonwealth games which spelt doom for him. And in the case of A.Raja, it was a long time after the spectrum allocation that the CAG smelt something fishy. Now the ‘spot’light is on Dayanidhi Maran who was the telecom minister aeons ago. Some popular magazines and news channels carry out sting operations, get hold of phone tapes (remember Nira Radia?) and confidential letters inorder to sensationalize and scandalize an otherwise solvable issue.
2011 witnessed a fight against corruption on a very big scale. When a little known civil activist staged a demonstration in Jantar Mantar, nobody from the Centre took him seriously until civilians from all walks of life joined the movement and turned Hazare a hero. So began the efforts for the distant Lokpal Bill. In jumped Baba Ramdev. When three Union ministers sought to change his mind on arrival at the Delhi airport, we understood that the Centre gave Baba some thought. But it turned out to be little less than a joke after the midnight ruckus involving a scared Sadhu and his harassed protestors.
Que sera, sera. Will the Lokpal dream eventually come true? The Centre says ‘yes, but in our way not yours’. Team Anna (that’s how his group has been dubbed) says ‘then we’ll fast and fast unless we have our way fast’. When a section of the society was invited to be a part of the drafting process of the bill for the first time, high hopes were raised. Later on, it was termed as ‘a mistake’.
I do not know whether the Lokpal bill is the ideal solution to the ‘corrupts’ problem but I’m sure that the Parliament when it commences its monsoon session has more than enough to debate on. No amount of PAC’s or JPC’s can provide a fitting solution to the rampant corruption since they find it hard to agree upon anything at all.
Anna Hazare has scheduled his fast on August 16. Voices against corruption will certainly be strong that day as many youngsters and politicians are expected to throng the venue. I wish their campaign against ‘corrupts’ good luck. As for now, I’m off to try my luck with those annoying ‘karraps’ that have resurfaced below the table.