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Posts Tagged ‘kiran bedi’

Art of attracting crowds

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on July 29, 2012

As there has been so much hoopla around what has been called disappointing crowds at Jantar Mantar during Anna Hazare’s fast, I started to ponder and here is what I think, if you care.

You really need to be an expert in the art of attracting crowds and following are some near sure shot ways to do it.

  1. Short skirt: Nothing beats this. Tactics has been successfully employed by news channels during ‘news’ broadcast, companies at exhibitions, F1 with their grid girls and what not. A pretty face in an immodest dress can be a clincher.
  2. Money: This again is a tactics that has been practiced for years, generally by the politicians, where a lump-sum is paid to the leader of a fraternity who is then given the responsibility to bring in crowds.
  3. Free food: There is something about free food that strikes chord with every class of society.
  4. Fear: This is the most cost-effective method for obvious reasons. It doesn’t cost a dime but, might take some time to build the reputation before you can start scaring people off.
  5. Celebrities: India loves their stars. A celebrity on stage is a sure shot formula.

Now, lets see which of the options above could have been used by 75-year-old Anna Hazare. It would be difficult for Anna Hazare to scare someone off so, option 4 goes out of the window. It will be difficult for a man who sleeps in a temple to pay someone off or arrange free food so, option 2 and 3 look a bit far-fetched. Celebrities in general have too comfortable a life to come out of their cocoon just to earn a few brownie points. So, option 5 is practically difficult.

Now Anna can always ask his young female supporters to help the cause but, a movement to eradicate corruption might well turn into a desperate attempt to prevent crime if he does that especially with the knowledge of what happened in Assam. Thus point 1, while possible, will be foolish.

So, Anna needs to rely on people’s own willingness to get out of their beds, commute 10s of kms, bear the brunt of heat and rain just to support what for all practical purposes looks like a losing cause to most. While that is asking for too much, people thronged Jantar Mantar today and gave a brilliant riposte to all the naysayers.

Having said that, to fight the way they have despite the likelihood of thin crowds, has raised Anna Hazare profile more if that was possible.

Posted in Controversy, India, Motivation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

JanLokpal vs SarkariLokpal vs SelfLokpal

Posted by Neeraj Kumar on August 21, 2011

India is waking up. 74-year-old man is making sure that people wake up. Anna Hazare, a known crusader against corruption of last 2 decades has taken it on to himself to wake people up from a slumber.

There has been frenzied debate over the three versions of lokpal.

  1.  Jan Lokpal:        The one Team Anna (Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi,  Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan et, al.) has proposed.
  2. Sarkari Lokpal: The one that our beloved government has proposed.
  3. Self Lokpal:          I created this to accommodate those voices who think that we don’t need these lokpals and subscribe to the view that it will all go away with self-cleansing.

Note: Link to JanLokpal vs Sarkari Lokpal is at the bottom.

Is this outcry really about being in favour or against some specific version of Lokpal? While that is definitely one of the issues, it is about people being fed up of scams after scams and living in a country where every form of fees comes with a surcharge/bribe. Students are fed up that either they have to be brilliant enough to crack IIT/IIMs or rich enough to pay donation that most colleges demand. People might be divided when it comes to detail but, they are united for the cause. There has been some ridiculous argument against this movement (e.g., murder of democracy) and avoidable exaggeration by Team Anna (e.g., Anna is India and India is Anna) but, when so many people have opinions, you are bound to have some regrettable ones. However, there is one fact and one fact alone. Corruption has kept this country with tremendous potential on backfoot for several years and needs to be urgently addressed.

Government has placed a version of Lokpal so, why not wait? Lokpal bill has been in the dock for 42 years so, it is reasonable to doubt their committment to pass the bill let alone a strong bill. Bribes and Donations are far too common to escape any eye that wishes to see. How many convictions have we seen? Media and agitations seem to be the only time when government appears to be all eyes and ears. “Lok Sabha TV” is probably the only adult channel on Indian Television so, excuse me if I doubt parliament’s intentions. Excuse my scepticism when people like Manish Tiwari, Digvijay Singh represent the ruling party.

Why not Self lokpal? Self cleansing is not a new concept but, unfortunately we live in a “real” world and not “ideal” one. This revolution is not just about calibrating our own moral compass. It is more to do with coming up with a system which will prove deterrent for those who don’t have any moral compass to calibrate. While it is all too well to say that it should start with self cleansing (and it should), people more often than not get coerced in to doing things that they otherwise would avoid. Bribe often is extortion and donation the norm. If every one voluntarily plays their part sincerely, we wouldn’t have murderers in the society (thus no need for IPC 302) and there wouldn’t be people looting the luggage of victims of train accident. It has to start with you and us but, a country must have provision to hold guilty accountable. I haven’t bribed anyone and still there are scams worth thousands of crores. I pay my taxes honestly and still I can’t expect half decent roads. So, to think that SelfLokpal can eradicate corruption is naive and too simplistic.

To have your doubts regarding the movement is one thing and to undermine completely another.

Read here: JanLokpal vs SarkariLokpal

Some other interesting take on the issue (Following are two opposite views):

Swapan Dasgupta: UPA’s credibility is now History.

Tavleen Singh: Making of a hero

Posted in Controversy, India | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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