Originally posted on August 23, 2011
There was a time when fed up by the harassment by capitalists a group of workers decided to fight for their right in a peaceful way. They came together and declared that they wont work in the factories till all their demands were accepted. Their demands were reasonable and justified back then. They were fighting for a right cause in a not so right ( I call it blackmailing ) way. We justified the means by arguing that the ends were right. Decades later, economies world over faced this huge problem of workers’ unions holding economies on ransom for clearly unreasonable demands. The result today is Air India employees going on strike for pay hike when the company is making huge losses and Bengal being ‘bandh’ against every thing that remotely smells business friendly.
|Do the ends justify the means?|
Imagine a case when there has been a terrorist attack on a major town with hundreds dead and there is a wide spread sentiment against terrorism sponsoring nations like Pakistan. The people might feel that the government is too idle and not aggressive enough. Now imagine that a very respectable and honest man calls out that the government is influenced by international bodies and hence he would fast till the government does not declare a war on its neighboring country. There is a fair possibility that he would get ample support from certain sections of the society in his protest against the cowardness of the government. Government inspite of knowing the pros and cons of a war and knowing the right thing to do will come under pressure to act against its own wisdom just because of a huge crowd of people who don’t even know what a war means. If we tolerate an Anti-corruption campaign right now we will have no reasons to not accept this anti-terrorist campaign then.
This is what is happening right now. The previous two cases are very similar to the Anna Hazare campaign where most of the people in the march don’t even understand the Lokpal bill fully. Firstly we are accepting a system where people instead of voting a government out just prefer to hold it at ransom.
I find the anti corruption movement to be very similar to the naxalite movement where in both the campaigns instead of bringing the right government want to over power the government with their own bodies. Both the movements have emerged because of the inefficiency of the government to react to people and the belief among citizens that revolution against the government is the only answer. While one is violent the other is a more peaceful but equally dangerous one.