Some days ago I read about the ‘corruption index’ of an organization called Transparency International. Every year they make a report on over 180 countries and list them all according to their level of perceived corruption. Last year India was on position 87, this year it is on 95, eight positions further down.
New Zealand and Denmark are on top of the list as the two countries with the least amount of corruption perceived. I have been to both countries and I have experienced that also the general population of both countries is very honest. I remember my first visit to New Zealand. I had been invited to a village and my hosts came to pick me up at the airport. It was a two hour drive back to their home, so they had been gone for more than four hours. Nevertheless, when we arrived there, they entered their home by only turning the doorknob. They did not need a key because they had not locked their home! I was very surprised. The same I experienced in Denmark. People in these countries feel secure and the fact that their government is not corrupt surely has a big deal to do with that.
Seeing India’s name so far down the list is a shame. Unfortunately it seems that our politicians and the government don’t experience this as shameful. There is no end to the corruption, the scams and the disappearance of public money into private pockets.
This year Anna Hazare started a campaign against corruption and it brought so many people together that even international media broadcasted about this effort of India’s population to make a change. Of course, many people already went to jail or are charged for corruption but even after this all, there were big scams in the central government as well as in the different states of India. Politicians and bureaucrats shamelessly eat money which was earned by the public through hard work.
The public, so enthusiastic about the anti-corruption movement just some months ago, is now disappointed by Anna Hazare and his team. I, too, spoke out in support of the fight against corruption but also watched that the team’s effort seemed to change from pure and focused on the aim of removing corruption to something else. People started worshipping the person of Anna Hazare. He and his team started changing their statements from one interview to another, just like other politicians do. He gives strange solutions to problems and talks nonsense about various topics. The public is disappointed from them.
In the same way however they are disappointed from the government. The issue of the Lokpal bill, a law for punishing corrupt people, is still being discussed. The promises that they made only some months ago however are already being broken in those drafts that they present. They seem to form this law according to their convenience, not for relieving the public from corruption.
Due to this, the ‘Team Anna’ is preparing another protest campaign against corruption, another fast unto death.
Even though I am not convinced about Anna Hazare and his co-workers and even though I do not like neither their way of working, nor their attitude and most of all their ego, I will keep on supporting the fight against corruption. People came together because they are fed up with the corruption in our country, not because they liked Anna Hazare. The public has made him and his helpers popular. They should understand and respect that. It is not about Anna Hazare. Don’t worship a person, fight for an issue.
We all need to come together and stay strong on this point: We want to have a corruption-free India. Maybe then we someday have a chance for a better ranking in the report of Transparency International.