Anna Ji, Don’t Break Your Fast against Corruption

Anna Ji,

First I thought to ask you: How are you? But then stopped myself quickly, thinking it will be foolish on my part to ask about your wellbeing after your 10 days of fast against corruption – or rather in favour of Jan Lokpal Bill that you have been trying to push through the government corridors.

Before I go further, let me introduce myself as your friend in need. I have been closely observing you and your methods to get your document accepted by the government. I don’t have even an iota of doubt in my mind that your Jan Lokpal Bill is utterly useless and will add only to the already huge pile of junk that is supposed to deal with corruption, but couldn’t.

At the same time, I respect you when you say you follow Mahatma Gandhi and to some extent used his philosophy of passive resistance to at least highlight the issue of corruption in India.

But Anna Ji, what am I hearing? People say you are ending your fast. Is it true? Please don’t do that. You had begun your fast with the demand that your Jan Lokpal Bill (however weak it may be) should be accepted in letter and spirit by the government.

While government has been dilly-dallying and virtually ignored all your proposals, how can you even think of food and end your fast? It won’t be fair. Rather, it will be seen as a betrayal toward people who have been running on streets to shout slogans with you against the government.

Now, you should not go to the government with the plea to forget about your main Lokpal demand and at least begin a discussion in the Parliament on one of the clauses that your Bill carries. This should not be enough for you to stop your peaceful protest. You will be showing your weakness once again if you do this.

Earlier in April also, you had decided to get up from your fast, saying you are satisfied with government assurances. But actually you had failed to get anything for the people of this country out of that protest. Please don’t repeat that mistake. Don’t trust any politician – of ruling party or the opposition.

Now if the acceptance of your version of the Lokpal Bill in totality is the condition, let the government accept it publicly. Only then you should break your fast with a good breakfast. And that will not be the end; it will be the beginning of a marathon movement to create a clean India for our future generations.

Hope you will consider my request and become a true follower of Mahatma Gandhi to get us freedom from this cancer-like disease called corruption.

Your friend in need.

Rakesh Raman

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Rakesh Raman