The Futility of Fighting Government Corruption in India
by Mark R. Crovelli
by Mark R. Crovelli: The
Horrific Life of the Police Officer
I have been
traveling in India for the last week, and I have been following
the hunger strike of Anna Hazare with great interest. Anna Hazare,
for those who donít know, is the Indian anti-corruption crusader
who told the Indian government last week that he was fasting until
anti-corruption legislation was introduced in the Indian parliament.
Hazare was so serious about this that he was reportedly prepared
to die rather than be ignored or denied.
for four and a half days Ė without food or water Ė the Indian
government reportedly caved in to Hazareís demand by promising to
introduce anti-corruption legislation during the next monsoon parliament.
As a result, the nation is awash with excitement, and marches and
celebrations are taking place all over India. Hazare is already
being hailed as the Gandhi of this generation, and people are talking
openly about a "new age of participatory democracy" in
India. One commentator actually called Hazareís triumph an "epic
victory for the Indian people."
It would appear
that things are turning up roses in India, what with Hazareís so-called
victory on top of Indiaís victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup several
is, as anyone with even cursory knowledge of Indian political history
can tell you, fighting "government corruption" in India
is about as impossible as holding back the sea. The fact that a
man had to almost starve himself to death to get the supposedly
democratic government to even promise to introduce anti-corruption
legislation tells us something about the likelihood that real change
is at hand.
that for one minute. The Indian government let this very old man
publicly starve himself for almost five days before they
would even agree to only introduce the bill in parliament.
Moreover, itís not like Hazare was asking for the Moon. He was only
asking the government to abide by its own laws, and it took five
days for the government to agree to consider it next
monsoon season. The long time frame to introduce this "change
Indians can believe in" gives the government plenty of time
to figure out how to placate the gullible public with a bill that
will change absolutely nothing. It will be hailed by the government
as a radical bill, and they will publically praise Hazare for his
role in bringing it into existence, but Indiaís government at this
time next year will look exactly like it does today.
The fact that
Mr. Hazare is being beatified before the Indian government has even
done anything at all does not bode well. Promises of political reform
are as cheap as Indian tobacco, and that is all the government has
deigned to grant so far. What happens when, as should be expected,
the Indian government does nothing more than pass a token bill in
six months to placate the already beatified Anna Hazare? What then?
Will millions of Indians publicly then starve themselves to death
to try to rid the country of corruption? Big deal. Thatís a daily
occurrence here. When has the Indian government ever given a damn
about Indians starving to death?
and the rest of the Indian people who are celebrating in the streets
today are missing the forest for the trees. They are under the Western-inspired
delusion that democratic government itself is never evil Ė only
individual leaders or specific laws are ever "corrupt"
and in need of reform. Following his "victory," Hazare
himself counseled the Indian people "to have faith in democratic
government." This from a man who had to almost commit suicide
solely in order to convince the democratic government to
consider following its own laws. The depths of human naiveté
sometimes boggle the mind.
would think ordinary Indians would recognize this, because the government
here does nothing that is of use to ordinary Indians. The infrastructure,
if indeed it deserves the name, is a shambles. The water the government
provides people to drink is literally poisoned with super-bacteria.
The sanitation and sewage systems that the government is providing
the people of this country are laughable to the point that it will
make your eyes water Ė and your nose burn. What the hell do the
Indian people need this fantastically corrupt government for anyway?
Why try to "reform" something that is completely incompetent,
corrupt, and unnecessary?
From the perspective
of an outsider without patriotic prejudices, it is clear as day
that Hazareís crusade will reform nothing about the Indian government.
The Indian government, even though it is called a "democratic,"
does not exist to further the interests of men like Anna Hazare,
and it does not exist for the beggars on the streets of Jaipur.
It only exists to extract money and privileges for itself out of
the Indian body politic just as surely as the leaches in the Ganges
exist to suck blood out of pilgrims. Itís been doing it since time
immemorial, after all. Just have a look at the splendid gardens
and marble inlays at the Taj Mahal that were paid for by hungry
and poor Indian taxpayers in order to build a tomb for a dead politicianís
long as a government exists in India, even if it is "democratic,"
the Indian people will continue to get fleeced. Democratic government
is only a method for deciding which liar will put his hand in your
pocket. It is being given the right to choose which pickpocket in
the Varanasi train station is going to nab your wallet. It does
not matter one whit whether the money that is demanded from the
Indian people comes in the form of supposedly "corrupt"
bribes or supposedly "legitimate" taxes. It does not matter
at all whether the arbitrary rules that Indians must abide by are
made by so-called "corrupt" officials or whether they
are made by parliament.
I wish that
I was wrong about this. I wish that Anna Hazare had truly won an
"epic victory for the Indian people." But he has not and
will not so long as he and his followers seek only to rid the country
of corruption. An "epic victory for the Indian people"
will only occur if the Indian people decide to squash their giant
government leach, instead of asking it to behave itself while itís
It is the one
animal that these poor and pious people should not hesitate to put
to the knife.
Crovelli [send him mail]
writes from Denver, Colorado.
© 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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