A Revolution in India

The news about the arrest of Kanimozhi, DMK Rajya Sabha MP and Karunanidhi’s daughter in the 2G spectrum scam must come as bad news for many of our corrupt politicians and yes bureaucrats too, although for the country and people as a whole, it is a day of great significance. The fact that a kin of a senior, powerful and wealthy (south) Indian politician has been put in Tihar jail will forever change the way we look at corruption. The latest arrest following the earlier one of a former Union Minister A. Raja has broken the time tested rule that the powerful will get away for their crimes of omission or commission. No more so it would seem. As one of the comments from the Left front put it: the law is taking its course. This is also indicative of the fact that when institutions are allowed to function without political interference, everyone will be treated according to the merit of the case without fear or favour. Unfortunately in a system like the one we have in India, everything can be manipulated and hence there is no fear of being corrupt because you will never be caught. In the last one year, a quiet transformation is taking place. The powerful politician is no more protected. Many of them are landing in the notorious Tihar Jail.  
A revolution is indeed taking place. The mass anti-corruption crusade that was led by social activist and Gandhian Anna Hazare and the demand for a credible ombudsman (Lok Pal) and the government’s assurance that the Lok Pal Bill will be introduced in the coming Monsoon session of Parliament, all this has indeed changed the mood of the country and also the dynamics of our institutions including the political class in favour of tackling corruption. Political parties across the country both regional and national are competing to ‘take on corruption’ so to speak. All this is good and comes as a breath of fresh air. For the long term, one of the way/s to tackle corruption is to make it an election issue. The problem with the present is that talking against corruption or corrupt leaders does not fetch you votes. If voters vote out the corrupt from power it will send a strong and clear message to our politicians.
Even our political parties will be compelled to take steps towards a corrupt free government. In the case of Nagaland, corruption is hardly an issue in our elections, meaning that we have come to accept it as a way of life. This is the problem of fighting corruption in Nagaland. On top of this we have very weak institutions—the legislature, judiciary and the press (fourth pillar of democracy). We really must go into the heart of the problem. Unlike in the rest of India, we in Nagaland are far away from any kind of revolution. But the wind of change is blowing. Corruption must become a thing of the past and its place let us cultivate hard-work and honesty. As Gandhiji famously said that there is enough on Earth for everybody’s need, but not enough for everybody’s greed. We need a new thinking in our politics and social discourse.