Posted by: John Elliott | August 24, 2011

Greed breeds social unrest in India and the UK

LONDON:  Two countries in ferment, two governments paying the price for years of mishandling the links between social and economic change….. One prime minister losing credibility day by day as he ducks decisions, another asserting school prefect style toughness that splits society….. Both countries’ problems exacerbated by the power of social media, which generate tensions and passions that no democratic government can control.

One should not overdo the similarities between the problems that have faced India and the UK in the past two or three weeks, but they make striking contrasts. They raise questions about whether Britain’s suppressed tensions and rapid reassertion of official authority provide a better answer to social unrest than India’s muddled responses to continuing mass protests.

Britain was suddenly hit by five days of urban riots in early August that led to widespread street fights, burning shops and mass arrests – all alien to the country’s traditions. Prime minister David Cameron is importing a tough top US policeman to advise him on how to handle gangs that rule in many urban centres, and floated the idea of blocking social media during riots. With over 1,400 people appearing in law courts on a variety of riot-linked charges and nearly 1,000 being held in jail, judges have fallen in line with Cameron’s disciplinary approach to social problems and have issued irrationally stiff sentences, some now being mercifully over-turned on appeal.

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India has been hit by a far more predictable, indeed almost inevitable, middle class-led resurgence of anti-corruption demonstrations that began in April. With literally tens of thousands of people on the streets, the government has been rocking around indecisively, unsure how to handle such mass public displays of the nation’s growing despair with an ineffectual parliament and corrupt and malfunctioning administration. 

It was taken by surprise in April when Anna Hazare, a 74-year old publicity-savvy social activist, staged a hunger strike that generated country-wide mass protests in support of his demands for anti-corruption legislation. Invoking memories of Mahatma Gandhi (above), the leader of India’s freedom struggle, his aim was to wrest control from the government for drafting Lok Pal (ombudsman) laws that had been talked about since the 1960s.

The government bought Hazare off by agreeing to set up a committee with him and his supporters to draft the Bill. It assumed that it would eventually be able to ignore most of his demands because he would not be able to rebuild nationwide support five or six months later. Judging by previous experience, protestors’ enthusiasm and energy would be dissipated after one major upheaval and would not easily be revived.

I thought at the time that the government was being unwisely over-confident and was misjudging – as has now been seen – the strength of the deep middle-class opinion that was driving the protests. This was not a frenetic rabble, driven onto the streets by vested interests, but a largely young middle class revolt that had a life of its own, separate from the ambitions of attention seekers who thronged around Hazare.

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The joint drafting committee failed to reach agreement and Hazare revived his movement in June, threatening a new hunger strike from the middle of this month. The government then messed up by jailing him when he failed to agree on the length of his fast and accompanying mass protests. It quickly reversed that decision and tried to release him, but he continued fasting in jail until terms were agreed for a 15-day public fast that started last Friday at old Delhi’s Ramlila festival grounds. 

Sonia Gandhi, who heads India’s governing coalition, has been ill in the US (having had, it is widely assumed, an operation for cancer) since the crisis began, and that seems to have contributed to the governmental muddle that was being run by a team of four nominated stand-ins at the head of her Congress Party, plus prime minister Manmohan Singh. Rahul Gandhi, her son and heir, reportedly insisted that the government cancel Hazare’s stay in jail when he returned from the US, but without her the administration seems rudderless (that is the subject for another later blog article!).

Hazare and his supporters are demanding a far stronger Lok Pal ombudsman than is possible in a parliamentary democracy, saying the post should have charge of top police and other investigative agencies and cover the prime minister. There are dangers here of India ruining the flawed but effective democratic balance that has sustained it since independence 64 years ago. The government is understandably resisting such proposals, but its ministerial and other spokesmen and negotiators have arrogantly infuriated public opinion, while at the same time trying, as they atre doing tonight, to find a solution that will end Hazare’s fast and the protests (picture above of Hazare in mass procession last weekend – AP photo).

But no-one is doing anything about dealing with those most responsible for the country’s endemic corruption, apart from sometimes arresting figure-heads when it suits the government politically.

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The government has however shown flexibility, and that contrasts sharply with Cameron’s preference for the clip clop authority of firm government, with sound bites about rubber bullets and water cannons breaking up future demonstrations. Cameron (left) assumes he can stop a recurrence of urban unrest with strong arm police and judicial action, placing the blame for the riots on “slow-motion moral collapse” in a “broken society”.

He is showing signs of a blinkered upbringing among Britain’s elite. As Peter Hitchens, a right wing commentator scathingly put it: “He uses his expensive voice, his expensive clothes, his well-learned tone of public school [Eton] command, to give the impression of being an effective and decisive person”.

Cameron is seen by many as refusing to acknowledge that Britain’s problems are reflected across society – from those who recently ransacked and burned down shops, to members of parliament who last year were discovered cheating on their expenses, to top bankers who take unwarranted million pound salaries (some while their banks are still being baled out after the last financial crash by British taxpayers).

Both the UK and Indian governments are approaching their crises with simplistic answers. The UK’s is to get tough with rioters and looters – “teach them a lesson that it’s not acceptable” is a phrase I have heard depressingly frequently from friends in the UK this month. India’s solution is the Lok Pal Bill.

But neither solution will be enough on its own, and both might do more harm than good – Cameron’s disciplinary and elitist approach by increasing rather than decreasing resentment, and India’s by setting up a corruption ombudsman who will either be ineffective or will eat into parliamentary democracy.

The real issues that need to be tackled stem from greed and associated lawlessness – ranging from Britain’s unemployed rioters and rich members of parliament and bankers, to India’s corruptly wealthy politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen.

So deeper solutions are needed. The UK surely needs to address the plight of unemployed poor, as well as changing attitudes to authority, making the police more effective and acceptable at a grass roots level. India needs to punish the corrupt at the top of the system – right at the very top – and then work downwards through society to the villages where gangs and goons run fiefdoms.

These are difficult tasks, but I’m tempted to think that maybe India’s muddle is more sustainable than Cameron’s harsh society, which so many people in Britain today sadly support.


Responses

  1. Beside the executive, legislative and judiciary democracy needs another branch – the accountability branch composed of lawyers, reporters and scholars.
    The power of accountability branch should be such that it can punish,
    terminate, call back any member of executive and legislature
    (spontaneously) upon mis-conduct or complaint through the process of law
    (judiciary).

  2. Over a period of five days the global situation is changing very fast.There is crisis in Europe and all the Governments are engaged in patching up the crisis and no Government is willing or have time to understand the problem and then get the solution.The public is impatient and not willing to grant any time to their own representatives.The US is having to deal with its own drficit. India is grappling with multiple problems of corruption, non Governance and the peoples money stashed abroad in accounts of few people.
    The middle east has its own problem from the despotic leadership. It seems all systems of Governance, including Democracies have been infilterated and hacked by corrupt people who can be compared with white collar Dacoits and have come to run the Governments,Suddenly people are provided with social interactive sites which aggravtes the problem for these people to handle. The situation will get precipitated of its own regardless of solutions floating around. Who finally comes out a winner is in future and for me it seems China has the lead who has kept their people under their tight control. The rulers there also are the same dacoits.

  3. Both India and UK have a common problem – they are both unequal societies one more than the other – The reality is that Governments do not have answers/solutions no matter what they say or pretend to do on this. The respective citizens of these countries have one major difference – India has strong family ties that provide a cohesive glue amongst the most poorest of the poor – they can laugh/hope and put their energies to lift themselves up – UK – expectation that someone else will do this for them – having developed a dependency syndrome – we need to focus our energies on developing solutions – there is a lot to learn from each other

  4. Great post as always John, particularly the Hazare analysis.

    Cameron may well be elitist, but honestly speaking Britain’s highest priority for the next couple of decades is preparing for a world in which it is hard for a country of its size and population to be relevant, and one where are European economic and political block is conceivably dismantled.

    The Tories for all their failings are doing the one thing Indian politicians would never dream of doing, something the Americans are fighting over, and the rest of Europe is baulking at, fiscal austerity during a period of anaemic growth, that for Cameron, could well be politically almost suicidal, so that they can pursue the long term national interest of the country. Strong public finances.

    I think that their botched response to the expression of public dissatisfaction to that policy (riots), well given I live in India, and see botched responses all the time, its not what they will be remembered for. When the UK emerges from this period in much better shape than its European contemporaries, it will be because its politicians had the courage to do what was not necessarily in their interests as politicians, but rather for the good of the country. So they handled a set of riots incompetently, I live in Hyderabad, that happens nearly once a month.

  5. My blog also appears on The Independent (UK) newspaper blog site and this post received 32 comments there http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2011/08/24/greed-breeds-social-unrest-in-india-and-the-uk/ . Here are most of them, with the latest at the top…………

    Firozali A.Mulla 4 days ago

    Let us face it. India and Pakistan could have made the world’s largets eceonomy. Okay they had their views and lost the sanity and broke the boundaries. But this was by the USA and UK Divid and rule law that they implemented. Now what is the complaint? I see no reason any one sane can see the sanity of talking about India execept when it is cricket. . I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

    Anthony Formosa 5 days ago

    There is a massive difference between corruption of officials causing protests and people wearing designer goods looting for more designer goods retrospectively reasoning that the greed of bankers and politicians were to blame. Thats why a difference in strategy is needed. It is quite clear that the short term solution for this country is to come down hard on those that riot. In my opinion they are indirectly responsible for the deaths and arson attacks that occurred during those four days. And yes like you said long term solutions must be implemented to reduced social inequality, which the government has vowed to do, so why does this paper (and others) continue to point this out. These solutions will take time and their effect even longer.
    Officials in India are trying to weather the storm that will only get worse if the double dip does take place and growth slows. It is about time that they wake up and see that their country needs to reform and about time that those in this country realise such social changes will take time.

    Firozali A.Mulla 2 days ago in reply to Anthony Formosa

    Bribe corruption all are same. small or big. They get your work done faster, so what ails any? I thank you And this comes from USA and UK , the word TIP. a small word for corruption, you do this I do that. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

    Firozali A.Mulla 4 days ago in reply to Anthony Formosa

    Where there is corruption there is a competition. The smaller states in African coutanries take small bribes but LO USA and UK the huge corrupted corporation that loot all. The citizens and outsiders. This you cannot deny. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

    Iain Carstairs 5 days ago

    Common sense bears out the idea that inequality – caused by the greed of one segment – within a society will lead to unrest.
    A graph from Wilkinson and Picket’s book “The Spirit Level: why more equal societies almost always do better” confirms it: 23 countries have their level of “income equality” mapped against “index of health and social problems”. The result is a straight line at about 45 degrees.. highest inequality, highest problems. The case is proved easily, even for those lacking common sense.

    Allectus 5 days ago in reply to Iain Carstairs

    “The case” has been disproved in Christopher Snowdon’s book, ‘The Spirit Level Delusion’.

    CHARLES 5 days ago

    JOHN ELLIOTT – bleeding heart liberalist – you are our problem – not Cameron

    facebook-716486463 5 days ago

    Indeed,there are more questions then answers in todays world as we reflect on yesteryears and are we capable of learning from history to save the world,as one sees conflcits galore around the world.There are to events taking place in Yorkshire:1) To mark the birthday of Ghandi,october 2 and the feast day of St.Francis,october 4th with question:St.Francis and Mahatma Gandhi-Spiritual Brothers?speakers:The Ven.Richard Seed,Archdeacon of York and Mr.William Rhind of the Gandhi Foundation(London).the second event is to mark UN International Day of Peace;”making War unthinkable” .Guest speaker :Dave Webb(Professor,Leeds Metropolitan Univeristy,chair of CND)
    As we watched India and England cricket test match ,I reflected at the ticket counter when a lady with two sonsgot talking and asked me where I was from and then told me that she was from Pakistahn and her two sons were keen on cricket and had brought them to enjoy cricket ,where there was a colourfull atmosphere,with a westindian steel band, and so many nationalities and even though india lost badly,there was no trouble.Next day went to Imperial war museum and saw weaponary from first and second war including V2 rockets and replica little boy nuclear bomb and history of conflicst of last 100 years where over 100 million folkshave died in many theatres of the world including indian,middle east,europe and all.
    after that ,went on a walk on the embankment and saw many food stores etc and went past Savoy where the one night royal suite cost 10,000 plus vat!.
    another place,

    sylgeo 5 days ago

    The basic problem is not confined to GB and India. It is international and filters down from the tiny group of people holding power at the IMF and financial dealing down from there through world banking. All their funding is from people at the bottom up, the majority of whom live honest useful lives saving for their old age. Their funding has been used against them.
    It is an international decease needing international action to change it.

    Firozali A.Mulla 5 days ago

    3 Ways the Next Recession Will Be Different
    NEW YORK (MainStreet) — If the second half of 2009 and 2010 were a time of economic recovery, then 2011 has by and large felt like a relapse. Skyrocketing oil prices from instability in the Middle East cut into consumer spending, the prolonged debt ceiling debate chipped away at business confidence and the European debt
    crisis continues to enrage the stock market.
    All of this has only renewed concerns among analysts and average Americans that the U.S. would suffer a dreaded double-dip recession, but according to several economists MainStreet spoke with, even if we do enter into another recession later this year or in early 2012, it won’t be nearly as damaging as the Great Recession of 2008.
    “If there is another recession, I think it wouldn’t be as severe and it would also be shorter,” says Gus Faucher, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics. “And the reason for that is a lot of the imbalances that drove the previous recession have been corrected.”
    As Faucher and others point out, banks are better capitalized now, the housing market has shed (however painfully) many delinquent homeowners who signed up for subprime mortgages before the recession and U.S. corporations have trimmed their payrolls and are sitting on ample cash reserves to help weather another storm. At the same time, consumers have gradually improved their own balance sheets by spending less and paying off more of their debt.
    That said, another recession wouldn’t be a walk in the park for U.S. businesses or consumers since the country would experience a worsening of an economy that is still trying to recover from the first downturn. Any new job cuts, mortgage delinquencies and revenue loss – however mild – would effectively be piled on top of previous losses, making it feel that much more severe.
    Fewer Job Losses, but Higher Unemployment Rate
    This severity will likely be most evident in the labor market. The country lost more than 8 million jobs across all sectors of the economy during the first recession, causing the national unemployment rate to roughly double from 5% to 10.1% at its worst point. Few if any economists expect job losses this time around to be as significant or widespread, but the major difference is that many of those lost jobs have yet to come back, and the unemployment rate has been hovering around a comparatively high 9% for months.
    “Unemployment is not going to double from 9% to 18% now, but it could get up to 10% and maybe more, hitting those highs we experienced last time around,” says Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics in Toronto.
    Others like Faucher predict that the unemployment rate could go as high as 11% in a second recession. That may only be a 2% increase from the current situation, but it would represent the highest unemployment rate at any point since the end of World War 2, surpassing the 10.8% rate at the tail end of the 1982 recession.
    Initially, many of the same industries that suffered job losses in 2008 and 2009 would experience layoffs again in the next recession, with manufacturing and construction businesses leading the way, according to Mark Price, a labor economist with the Keystone Research Center. But unlike last time, some sectors might escape largely unscathed. In particular, Faucher points to the education and health services industries, which grew in the aftermath of the recession and have a better long-term outlook than most professions. Different Cities Could Be Impacted
    The parts of the country that had it worst during the first recession – housing bubble states like Florida, California and Nevada – won’t be helped any by a second recession, but neither will they be the hardest hit. Instead, Dales speculates that it may be cities like Washington, D.C., that are in for an unpleasant surprise.
    “One of the differences in this next recession is that there would be less fiscal stimulus,” Dales said, predicting that legislators would be less likely to expand government payrolls or pump billions into the economy given the anti-spending climate right now. “So more jobs might be lost in Washington, D.C., which escaped quite lightly during the first recession.”
    Faucher speculates other cities like New York and Boston may endure tougher times if the stock market were hit hard by the next recession, since these cities are very much exposed to the financial markets. What’s more, he argues that the technology industry might experience some turbulence as well, more so than during the previous recession, as investors would have to think twice about funding projects. If so, San Francisco and Seattle could have a gloomy outlook.
    A Better Housing Market
    While no one can say for sure which factor might cast the final blow the economy, one thing seems clear: it won’t be the housing market.
    “This will not be a housing-led recession like the last one,” Faucher said, and as a result, consumers shouldn’t expect to see a drastic fallout in the housing market this time around. “The housing market may bounce along the bottom a little longer and see small price declines, but we are pretty close to an equilibrium.”
    Housing starts are at record low levels and prices have dropped significantly, meaning the market doesn’t have much farther to fall. Once again though, that’s not to say the housing market would be unaffected by another recession. According to Dales, the big concern is that a new economic downturn could prompt another round of first-time mortgage defaulters, which in turn would lead to another round of foreclosures.
    “It might even be the case that people who are struggling to pay their mortgages now would see another recession as reason enough to stop paying, that they might say they have had enough,” Dales said.
    Sadly, since foreclosures could take years to process, it could serve as a long reminder of the devastating impact of a recession, even one that is short-lived.I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

    Alex Lexo 5 days ago in reply to Firozali A.Mulla

    was this comment longer than the article?

    cecilia szutka 5 days ago

    “Greed breeds social unrest”?

    Javak 5 days ago

    Indian leaders, intoxicated with money and power, now have a Credo – “Absolute Corruption gives Absolute Power”. So they are not going to be in a hurry to do anything substantive about checking corruption and find all ways and means to check-mate the peaceful outpouring of the people of India. The only thing the politicians around the world quickly and comprehensively understand is a nasty kick in the derriere.

    Firozali A.Mulla 2 days ago in reply to Javak

    The wors is bribe, tip. If you do this I will do that. Corruption or the carrot and a stick stroy. That is all. In Indai or USA or UK the methos is same. Cash gets your work done faster or the papers fly off the table. I thank you Firozali A.mulla DBA

    tijum 5 days ago

    This misses the massive sea change in public opinion. Middle England, seeing its savings and pensions horrendously hit by The Great American Mortgage Fraud (aka Banking Crisis), and seeing politicians taking no action either to apprehend the guilty, prevent a re-occurence, or recover the money, are quietly thinking to themselves that much is amiss in British politics.
    The screams of the “hang em and flog em” brigade are muted, as they ponder thoughts that maybe the thieving scum, for whom they otherwise would have little sympathy, are a mirror held to our so-called Parliamentary Democracy.
    We have an untrusted and unelectable Conservative party, a Liberal party that has sold its soul for yet another mess of potage, and a Labour party which Mr Brown has stated does not consider the views of the electorate as counting for anything.
    Anyone seen thingy lately? You know, the man who said “for all the good……begone.”

    CHARLES 5 days ago in reply to tijum

    ..13 year s of Labour and you come up with this S**t?

    Banares 5 days ago

    By the Way John great article mate one of the best ive seen this year.

    CHARLES 5 days ago in reply to Banares

    ..don’t read much then?

    Banares 5 days ago

    John Elliot it would not suprise me one bit if there was a Civil War in Britian the people have had enough with Corrupt Goverments,Police,Politicians,Police,Media and Bankers who have systymatically abused the system for years all lineing there own pockets alongside Rupert Murdoch while serious criminality has taken place major Institutions and Public Servants who are meant to represent us the people and to add insult to injury they are trying to cover the whole think up!

    Junius 5 days ago

    Britain is not in ferment, John Elliott. Britain is back to its usual calm after a weekend of riots, triggered by an inadequate police response to the shooting of a Tottenham elder, an inadequate response which was seized upon by anarchistic and criminal elements and which spread in copycat looting to other major cities. But yes, the criminality was exacerbated by the power of social media, countered by police use of social media, and a citizens’ clean-up was organized by the power of social media.

    Perhaps the calm to which Britain has returned may owe something to the deterrent effect of what you consider to be irrationally stiff sentences handed out to the rioters, a view not held by the majority of the British people, if a recent Guardian/ICM opinion poll is anything to go by. Of the respondents, 70pc believed riot offenders should receive a tougher sentence than they might ordinarily expect. But in the DE social group, which includes the unemployed poor yet is totally devoid of rich MPs and bankers, a group one might think would be sympathetic to the rioters, the figure went up to 80pc.

    Perched high on your elephant in a far-off land, you can be forgiven for erroneously concluding that greed bred what you term was the ‘social unrest’. Most folk back home are of the opinion that the feral lawless and a few impressionable fools seized a golden opportunity to embark on an orgy of wanton destruction and looting.

    Alex Lexo 5 days ago in reply to Junius

    1st”Perhaps the calm to which Britain has returned may owe something to the deterrent effect of what you consider to be irrationally stiff sentences handed out to the rioters”That assertion -despite the ‘perhaps’ and the ‘may’ – is so full of holes that I simply don’t know where to begin and I’m not going to bother.2nd’social unrest’ vs feral lawlessAlthough it’s not particularly clear, from what you have said, it appears that you refute the social aspect of these events outright and instead take a moral-character standpoint. Unless you are expounding the argument that social ‘position’, for want of a better word, can be collocated with moral character (which would be frightfully retro or even feudalisticy of you) then I find your position to be wholly untenable by the simple fact that – undeniably – those arrested were overwhelmingly young unemployed men who reportedly displayed little concern for possible jail sentences nor regard to their future as they perpetrated these acts. It is incredible to me, in light of this fact alone, that you would assert that the majority deny any social connotations (whether or not those connotations are relevant to DE social group membership – the mentioning of which is a poor pre-emptive counter argument btw).

    Allectus 5 days ago in reply to Alex Lexo

    “… it appears that you refute the social aspect of these events outright and instead take a moral-character standpoint.”

    “Refute” means to disprove; so, unless you’re conceding that Junius had disproved “the social aspect of these events”, I think the word you’re fumbling for is “rebut”.

    You seem to subscribe to the fallacy that “society” is some kind of moral agent, to which individuals can abdicate personal responsibility for their actions. You accuse Junius of “collocating” “social position” and “moral character” when he ascribes the riots to “feral lawlessness” and “criminality”, and yet, curiously, you seem to believe that the fact that “those arrested were overwhelmingly young unemployed men” is sufficient to absolve them of responsibility for their crimes. Do you really find it so incredible that 80% of DE social group members should favour harsh sentences for the rioters when the vast majority within this group somehow resisted the urge to riot and loot?

    Banares 5 days ago in reply to Junius

    Are you for real or what the Rich Elite in this country along with the Establisment have run and abused the system for years while the peasants at the bottom are taken for mugs we are in a 20-30 year deppression the Bankers and corrupt Goverments have destroyed the fabric of this once great country and the rest of the home nations its why 100 people a day are loseing there homes because they can no longer keep up the payments while the Rich Elite made a 30 Percent increase in there wealth last year its why the people are standing up to the Corruption and Looting at the very highest levels even the Police,Politicians and Journalist have all been in on the act no matter how much they try to put a diffrent spin on things its not going to make a blind bit of diffrence because the masses have had enough

    CHARLES 5 days ago in reply to Banares

    …you are eating too much food from the left side of the fridge my son.

    Allectus 5 days ago in reply to Banares

    Apart from one solitary comma, it would appear that somebody’s helped themselves to all the punctuation in your marathon run-on sentence. I blame the “Rich Elite”.

    tmrep 5 days ago in reply to Allectus

    They added some letters in some of his words too and altered his spelling to make him appear not totally literate……………….

  6. I am confused after reading your article.
    At one occassion you are saying that “by setting up a corruption ombudsman who will either be ineffective or will eat into parliamentary democracy” and the other hand you are saying “India needs to punish the corrupt at the top of the system – right at the very top”
    How do you do that when the corrupt people who are sitting at the top: that list starts from people who are sitting in the parliament – who direct / force & (encourage) the bureaucracy to do so. So it’s the elected parliamentarians & their hand picked bureaucrats who consist of 50% – 60% (as seen from common man’s eyes) of our corruption cases.
    Who opposed to the resolution adopted by the parliament most ? MPs of the Congress Party – Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav etc – & secretary of the PMO office..so it’s this class that’s most scared! They know this bill will start from the top & they are the people who will be in trouble.

    In addition you mention “and then work downwards through society to the villages where gangs and goons run fiefdoms.” — if we gradually work this thru society — you forget the audience that is standing with Anna Hazare — middle class — and this middle class is impacted by what happens in his / her day to day life / the interactions that this society has with public “servants” — the post office / the registrar – sub registrar office / the police on road / the govt telephone people / electricity dept / etc.. — there needs to be an accountability (citizen’s charter) of these “servants” who touch our lives daily. The MP’s & MLA’s are only once in 5 yrs..

    Thanks,
    Ritu

  7. The media has created this ‘Anna Movement.’ Not wanting to to lose out on any hype or potential revenue all of them jumped and he bounced up high into the sky. Anna has being doing this for decades in Maharashtra, but is probably now better known in Delhi then Pune.

    Anna, Congress, and the ‘greedy’ are different avatars of the same mentality: As long as I am satisfied let the country go to hell. Just everyone’s excuses are different.

  8. Thousands out in the streets women children elderly and young men with rare sight of police and security men.they dance they shout they protest and then go back home at night without breking a single glass without a single bleeding nose.and that is happening for over a week or to see say for about 2 weeks now.

    THIS IS INDIA…….this is who we are this is the very reason why british citzen who stayed back in most countries while almost all fled from india and never stayed back after 1947.

    India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 including mine and more than 65% hovers below the age of 35. It is expected that, in 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years.
    no one can get away because our generation will book them and we will make a currupt free state by the end of this decade..a new India A better India.This will a struggle and like we are winning the very first step in this direction we will win each and every till we achieve the our goal of India Against Curruption.we are young and we dont forget issues so fast or to say we dont have a short term memory problem.

    our generation with the wisdom and knowledge of our ancestors will drive them out change them and anyone one who tries to get in the way of our growth as a strong nation we be dealt harshly and strictly from now. JAI HIND…

  9. Another good read John. Britain’s problems are tiny in comparison to India’s, but will be interesting to see how British society reacts to a gandhian hunger style tactic for social /political reform. Has it ever been tried in the past in the UK, if not do you think it can be successful there? cheers

  10. Power (wealth and money) corrupts and poor people are jealous of powerful.
    However, a fine balance is essential between corruption and jealousy by devising a mechanism which is sustainable and flexible enough to give opportunity to interested parties for playing power game. Indian scenario is providing that opportunity for both to exercise and play the game of power. The outer boundary of this game is periodic general elections. Time is also important element in this game. In british scenario, I fully agree with your view that Cameroon is not imaginative and inventive in his game. His tactics are not enough democratic and will hurt him in long.

    with regards
    yk

  11. Dear Sir,
    Since yesterday I was holding this article in my mail box. Today I realised the Govt has taken a leaf out of your blog and did what it always wanted to do. Yesterday it took stock of the resolve of the Civil society led by Anna Hazare.Today the Govt did the volte face and spurned the representative of Anna.The Govt is encouraging the supporters of Anna Hazare to go violent and then do the Cameron. Sir you did provide them with a brillient idea.

  12. Complete garbage.

    People looting stores and burning buildings is not the fault of David Cameron.

    Take your childish comments and quotes and keep them off the internet.

  13. Corruption has become so endemic and so deep rooted in India that every day one has to deal with it. Ironically, thanks to the liberalization policies pursued by Manmohan Singh when he was the Finance Minister in the early 1990s, the country has seen the rise of a new Middle Class , whose character is completely different from the old class . Their fathers were perpetually in awe of power and government, (read politicians) since they held government jobs. Given the plethora of rules and guidelines governing a government servant, politicians had the power of life and death over the average public servant who could hardly raise his voice. The new middle class has contempt for government and politicians since they are liberated from government service as private sector is the new employer. They are people for instant results and cannot wait for the Lok Pal bill to be debated anymore… after 40 years of limbo! They are revolting against the corrupt politicians and government servants who raked in enormous bribes and pay offs thanks to liberazliation by encouraging crony capitalism. Witness the meteoric rise of various Indian corporate groups who cornered licenses and natural resources at ridiculous prices which bureaucrats and politicians willingly provided in return for pay offs! They are just not willing to wait any longer and want a system that punishes the corrupt and does it NOW!


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