Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gap between Thinking and Action

When the Anna Hazare thing happened, i liked it.

I have to admit I am a regular middle class guy. I do not wield any political clout (neither any social, financial, media or online one for that matter). Well-to-do in personal life but utterly powerless and insignificant when it comes to macro issues like politics and governance. Typically the middle class is aloof and distant from these things. They read and watch everything but never participate. But this time it was different, the educated urban middle class, along with a hyper excited media (Arnab for Lokpal :P) made this campaign work.

But my regular internet guys (Amit Verma, Nitin Pai, Atanu DeyMohit Satyanand, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Salil Tripathi) were ALL against it, venomously. And I was utterly confused.

I mean I love to read their blogs and am almost always in agreement with their world view. But this time something was missing. They brought up the usual suspects, Bill will add more bureaucracy when we want less of it, it does not address root cause, fasting is blackmail, etc. There can be an endless logical back-and-forth on these, but we don't need to do that (The deed is done for now, time will publish the result.).

What surprised me was no one talked about the process itself. The middle class (+ media) has fought for emotionally appealing personal cases like Jessica Lal, Arushi, etc. before. But for a significant change in governance? I think this was our generations first attempt at this. It was not perfect (and neither is the JanLokpal Bill) but atleast it got a million educated straight thinking young minds interested in the workings of our Government. Isn't that something worth having? How can this be ignored?

And then I realized. These people are just writers. They collect news, add a filter of their beliefs, garnish it with their wit, and serve it up. If they too picture themselves as writers then all is well (I mistook them as leaders, perhaps because of the utter lack of sensible socio-political leadership these days. My bad). But if they imagine themselves to be leaders some day, then only sound theory (which they most certainly possess) is not enough. Their has to be action. And action almost always implies leaving the beautifully mathematical and almost perfect world of theory and getting down to the imperfect yet _real_ world of practice. Are you up for it?

Speaking of action, Anna Hazare plans to campaign for 'Right to Reject' all candidates during voting next. Wonder what the flaws in that one might be.. :P


आश्लेषा said...

good one :-) you have perfectly nailed down the problem of theory experts and rational, systematic thinkers. being like that is not wrong. but being far away from the reality adds no value in solving any problem.

Jitesh Shah said...

I totally agree!! Excellently written!

Anonymous said...

I personally don't think Jan-Lokpal will effectively improve our system.We already have huge system in place to maintain good governance. RTI,Anti Corruption Burue, Bureucrats,politicians. I would rather voice for Baba Ramdev's campaign. He is doing it in more organised way,consistent, reaching out people all across, in cities or in rural areas.
The only thing we need at this stage is 'ichha-shakti' of common man!