There is no doubt in anyone's mind in India that everyone, either living in a urban center or in a rural area, have been exposed enough to the 2G scam, CWG scam and other scams happening in our country.
In this age of information highway, news probably travels faster than light and all the news carriers '“ TV, Newspapers, Internet etc have done an excellent job of informing us of the scandals. Some of the media entities might be having their own political agendas but they did not shy away from reporting the hard news, and in my opinion, satisfied their social responsibility. They made everyone aware of what is going on in our country. It is almost impossible to find anyone who can even feign ignorance on this issue.
The BJP patriarch L K Advani embarked on a 'Jan Chetna Yatra' from Sitab Diara, birthplace of Jayaprakash Narayan in Saran district in Bihar on October 11. The 38-day nationwide anti-corruption '˜rath yatra' is the culmination of several press conferences by the BJP and vociferous denunciations by the Congress-led UPA government. In the capital city of Patna and across the State, grandiose banners featuring top BJP leaders connected with Bihar and presided over with a solemn-looking '˜JP' (as Jayaprakash was affectionately known) sprung up in squares and sidewalks. According to party sources, 84 welcome arches were put up for the octogenarian's visit as he traveled the length of Bihar in a van converted into a chariot of sorts, to preach the message of anti-corruption. The campaign was flagged off by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, amid boisterous cheers of the crowd that showed up for the event despite enervating heat. The yatra will traverse through 22 states in 38 days.
According to the BJP, the main purpose of this yatra is to create awareness about corruption. I feel that the last thing Indian people have to be informed is that there is rampant corruption in the country. They understand that there is corruption at high, middle and low levels in the country. There is corruption if you want a big contract at the highest level and there is corruption at the level where you are trying to get a passport, driver license or a ration card. Everyone accepts the monster existence of corruption and not one person would even think of denying it.
I do not want to go into the details of the yatra because as I said before, that in this information age, everyone knows about it. I have a very simple question. If everyone is so aware of corruption, what kind of awarenes L K Advani is trying to create? The answer lies in the undeniable fact that the yatra resulted from a unilateral initiative by Advani. My friends in BJP tell me that there were many reservations over the yatra within the BJP and its larger ideological family. The number of people who are attending his meetings is like a small drop in the ocean of humanity in India. The Indian public feels that the yatra is more like a comeback yatra for Advani who is interested in getting his last shot to become the prime minister. It was even more ironical when Karnataka's former BJP chief minister B S Yeddyurappa was arrested on charges of corruption during his yatra.
There is no doubt that L K Advani enjoys the status of a tall leader in our nation's polity but by going on this yatra, he has diminished his own image. India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% hovers below the age of 35 and this segment of the population can relate to only two words '“ governance and deliverance. They are very indifferent to other things...I am sure that any kind of yatra to create awareness for corruption is a very hard pill for them to swallow. I feel that instead of calling it a Jan Chetna Yatra to create awareness about corruption, it would have been better if they would have called it Jan Sampark Yatra. The cancerous issue of corruption has been debated and discussed enough already. Instead of trying to create awareness about corruption, they should have offered ideas to combat it. Any kind of political activity which even has an iota of semblance of theatrics in it is not acceptable to the public.
If the Indian public is already very aware and sold on the issue of corruption, what L K Advani is trying to sell?